The Stranger

(Reposted from a write-up dated April, 2007)

Author’s Note:

Writing fiction after a break of more than a year would never be easy. Choosing it from three topics along with the names of the two judges revealed, one hanging right in front of you with its two intimidating hands ticking off every second would be the most difficult challenge. Moreover setting up a verbal boundary of 250 thereby curbing the realms of imagination would be Mission Impossible. With so many obstacles it needs a genuine writer to pull off a winner. But humans are cunning and I qualify for that. A direct rip of an original with a few taps from his drum would make the music his creation. When posed with the task of writing fiction in an hour I chose the original and gave a few round-offs to the facts. So friends of my unknown world, I present you my work of fiction. And friends who know me, I plead your forgiveness.

This short story was written for a competition that was held at MCity, Infosys in April 2007.

The Stranger

Little did he know about the stranger who would be calling him within the next 15 minutes. He sat unblinking on the couch staring at his home phone with an heart pounding more than 72 times a minute and thoughts racing from ‘Steven Spielberg’ to a ‘Porsche’.Twenty-two years of his life he had scampered from cinema halls to DVD complexes plunging to watch the movies he had yearned for. He remembered every instance of his participation in Ad-Zaps, Skits, Cultural events which shot his creative nerves to exciting levels. A science student by education, an engineer by profession, he had forever wondered how his passion was going to define the future. “Love for Cinema” was what he had sustained and realized only within himself. Long Shot – he saw his retiring father smiling with tears at his engineering degree.

The Phone Rang.

He got up from the couch – with two steps of confidence, a clear throat and a hand of nonchalance as he picked up the phone.“Hello”, he said.

“Am I speaking to Mr.Sridhar?” asked the stranger.

“Yes, Sridhar here”, he replied.

“Hi Sridhar, This is Robert, from the Techno Software Park. Our company has been very much impressed by your resume. Your interview with our Human Relations Team showed good skills of your communication. Moreover your acceptance to relocate and work 24 X 7 in this highly demanding software world has instilled greater confidence in you. You have been appointed and are requested to join our company the coming Monday. So see you on Monday and Wish you the very best for the future.”“Thanks a lot, Sir”, he said and placed the receiver down.

No emotions crossed his body as he slowly sat down on the couch. ‘Steven Spielberg’ waving his hands in farewell flashed across his eyes and tears trickled down them. He thought about his parents. The Job would make them happy. He would be able to make merry and party more with his friends. The whole world would start seeming to get so close but he knew – he was always going to be a stranger to himself.

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