Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WHAT MATTERS THE MOST

The phone rang.
Anand rolled over a picked up and then hung it up again. Wake up call from the front desk. Sitting up, he stared at nothing in the pitch-black room. Thinking.
Today is the day. Today is his day to take his brothers and sisters to the cleaners. The day to finally show them who is the king of acquisition; the man with the most. Today is the day they tour the estate, and claim what is rightfully theirs among the millions and millions of dollars worth of property and belongings. Remember the rule, he thought to himself – whoever dies with the most, wins.

His father’s funeral was normal. Well, it was normal for a man that owned somewhere in the area of four or five hundred million dollars worth of property. Thousands attended the old man’s funeral. Some, maybe at least thirty were his friends, the rest were vultures and people that wanted to make sure he was really dead.

Anand had mixed thoughts about his father. Here was a man that arrived in this country with not a cent to his name. He worked and clawed his way for more than thirty years to get to the top. Literally to the top, he thought. Nobody could climb higher, or faster than his father did. Growing up in abject poverty tends to do that to a person.

Anand picked up the phone and slowly dialed his home number. Part of him wishing he didn’t have to hear the voice, part of him thankful for the voice he would hear on the other end of the line.
“Hello?” came haltingly from the other end of the phone.
“Hi honey, this is your wake up call.” Anand said quietly.
“Good morning sweetie. Well, today’s the day, huh?” the voice had sadness to it.
“Yes, today is the day. I wanted to call and tell you I love you before I go”, Anand nearly whispered.
“I love you too honey, take care of yourself. Remember what I said”
“I will baby. Go back to sleep, I love you.”
“I love you too.

As Anand hung up the phone he could hardly keep from smiling. Always trying to save my soul that girl is. He got up and got dressed for the meeting. Finest suit, finest shoes, finest custom made Ferrari in the world – he was ready.

As he turned into the driveway he stopped as he made his way around the first turn. From here he could get a full view of the family house. Magnificent. He took in the huge property surrounding the house. Seventeen acres of field and forest. He smiled when he saw the baseball field that his father had installed for them. The only thing that his father did for his kids, he had always wondered about that. He never knew his father, never spent much time with him. When he did, it was just a few hours of a maybe one or two days a month, and it was pretty much with a baseball bat in his hand.

There were six cars in the driveway already. No doubt his siblings were coursing throughout the house tagging what they think is theirs. Well, he’d fix that as soon as he walked through the door. Being the youngest, he was always getting stepped on by his older brother and sisters. He knew how to scrap as well as his father did. He wasn’t raised in poverty, but he had to work against six to one odds to get where he was. Anand parked his car and entered the house. He who dies with the most, wins.

The meeting was short. Short for Anand, everyone was still at the house fighting when he walked out. He arrived back at the hotel in the early afternoon and called home.

“Hello?” The voice was wide-awake now.
“Hey sweetie. It’s done.” Anand replied.
“Is it over? It’s early.”
“Yes, it’s over.”
“Well?”

Anand remembered thinking earlier in the day about how he would react to that question. His wife wasn’t a material person. She kept telling him that they have everything they wanted. There was nothing to gain by fighting over what was left of his father.
“I got everything I wanted.” Andy answered finally.
“Everything?”
“Yes, everything. As I walked in to join in the fight, I walked past my dad’s trophy cabinet and I saw the whistle he used when we played baseball. He was always the umpire, you know. I grabbed the whistle, turned around, and walked out.
“I love you.”
“I love you too. I’ll see you in about eight hours.”
“Bye honey”
“Bye”

Anand hung the whistle around his neck and started packing.

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11 comments:

Anand said...

Hi..
Without saying much.. I'd jus like to say...
My name happens to be Anand.

I jus wonder wot ur reaction wud be..?
Anand. :-)

Som said...

Custom made Ferrari .. :P

A very cliched concept but the treatment was good. Especially the Baseball field one was innovative ...

i am what i am said...

@anand: ha ha ha!!!!! trust me i'm rolling on the floor. ans as regard to my reation....well....ahemmm....all i can say is.....nice name. thanks for dropping by. do visit again.

@som: thank you.

Chirag said...

Sometimes smallest of thing makes the biggest difference, I had my dad's watch for 8 years, one day my stupid friend lost, it after which I have never worn a watch. Your stories are really good.

Balvinder Singh said...

Very touching story, small things sometimes are priceless as against the glittering valuables.

You have a lovely style of writing. Keep it up

अविनाश said...

well written but I believe I will act as your critic in this fragment (fiction)......a bit more of portrayal is needed in lettering fiction, some outline to give the hint of tale and above all something that suits archetypal Indian middle class (true fiction is about mind's eye but we do best in writing when we write about own ambiance, that’s why Sheldon wrote mostly on wealthy & women and Premchand on paucity & if at all one still tries to be out of league, then I appreciate, I REALLY APPRECIATE UR WORK keep on trying)......4 ex ..Me...M besieged to buy a safari, still driving with bullet sized Alto, so it’s difficult 4 me 2 convert billion dollars into Rs. (I conjecture my in built calculator will struggle with my brain cells not co-operating)

Well Gunmeen, I anticipate all these annotations/suggestions doesn’t annoy u, if it does you can come all guns blazing on me :-)

Unknown!!! said...

Nice story!

moon's muse said...

Touching.You write impeccably.

You tagged me.Where?your blog doesn't load properly.I tried subscribing to your feeds so many times,they too seem to have some problem.Could you please look into it.

i am what i am said...

@chirag: thank you so much. and yeah we almost fail to realize the true value of the smallest things in our lives. and thanks for sharing the bit about your life. very touching really

@Mr Balvinder Singh: thank you sir so much. its so nice to get appreciation from you. it really means a lot.

@avinash: wow!!!! trust me i always love to get your comments. and thanks for all the constructive creatism. and i appreciate it. comments from readers like you always encourage me to write better. so do keep reading and posting. and your comments, categorically, do not annoy me. they are most welcome always.
regards

i am what i am said...

@unknown: thanks

@moon's muse: yeah you have been tagged on my post "its eight time". i'll look into the feeds and let you know. and its nice to see you back. trust me.

Maald said...

You wouldn’t start a night like this
Why end it that way?


http://maald.wordpress.com/

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