Thursday, December 21, 2006

My first Short story...Lifes like that

The vulture was waiting for him to die. Ben could feel that, as it was circling his body and watching him intently. Even he was sure he would die, here in the middle of the Sahara desert, with no sign of life nearby. He had been sucked of his last bit of energy, and with the sun shining down upon him, he was seeing mirages. But now he was blinded by the sand winds, and he just decided to lie down there, waiting for his death; and the vulture. He was to become just another victim of the Great Desert. “So, this is death, then?” he thought, “Is this what I wanted all through?”

His mind wandered off to happier times. Not always was he a picture of tragedy, as he liked to call himself. He had started his own company at the height of the dotcom boom, which was doing really well. He had a great group of friends, a beautiful and caring girlfriend, and very supportive parents, who had backed his decision to leave his consulting job to start something of his own. Life seemed so beautiful to him then.

And as he remembered, the dotcom crash had left his company, and his life shattered. He had lost all faith in himself. His parents and girlfriend and other friends stood by him, but he still could not come to terms with his loss. He had been drawn into alcohol and drugs, and had broken up with everyone who cared for him. He had taken up a new job, basically to support his addictions more than anything else, and he was lonely, truly lonely.

He turned suicidal soon after. He had tried various methods: cutting his wrists, eating medicines, and hanging himself. Somehow, nothing seemed to ever work. Even his attempts at ending life only pointed to the same old thing: nothing he could do would ever work. And the more he thought about it, the worse it became. Finally, he decided to see a psychiatrist.

Dr. Ashton Gellar was one of the most reputed psychiatrists in his fields. He took Ben through a lot of psychological tests and methods, but nothing seemed to work. Each method seemed to be working: Ben seemed to be okay for the next few days, but then went back to alcohol, drugs, and inventing modern ways of attempting suicide. And each failure to kill himself further aggravated Ben’s depression. Dr. Gellar had cured more depressed persons during his 25-year tenure, but he could not explain his ineffectiveness with respect to Ben. Ben had lost all good feelings about life, and every new day seemed like a big burden to him. He had to be made believe that life was a miracle, that life had its purpose, a mission, and that every man must wait for his bid time, before passing on to the other world. Then one day, he told Ben to read the Bible, and was surprised to see the results. Ben finally seemed to understand he had a meaning in life, but was still unsure about the meaning. And that was not helping out his condition much. Dr. Gellar also advised Ben to read the Quran, Bhagwad Gita, and the ancient texts from China. Anything that could make him find his purpose, and Ben tried to look forward to each morning. And Ben remembered how one day he had decided to follow his heart’s calling, and visit all these ancient cultures to try to find his purpose.

He had taken a break from his office, and booked a ticket to India. He had visited ancient places like Varanasi, and then also visited the Dalai Lama’s capital in exile. He had also been to China and seen the forbidden city, and Lhasa. His travels also took him to Jerusalem and Mecca-Medina. He then came to Egypt, where he became a part of a caravan journey from Cairo to Luxor.

It was intensely hot that day, with sand blowing all over their faces. It soon turned into a horrible sandstorm and he remembered being thrown off his camel. Even as he tried shouting for help, he knew inside that he was lost. And he was alone. By the time the storm cleared, he was isolated from all signs of life, amongst this huge Sahara desert. But he was not alone for too long, for the vulture had spotted him. And after two days of relentless running after mirages, he had decided to give up. “So, this is death, then?” and closed his eyes, waiting to die.

“How are you, Mr. Ben?” The Doctor asked him. “Where am I?” asked Ben, “Is this heaven?” As he later found out, he was in a hospital in Cairo. Luckily for him, a caravan had found him before he had lost his life. He was lucky to survive, he was told, only one in thousand people managed to survive the Sahara, like he had.

And that put Ben in further thought, “why was I saved? Maybe I have something more to offer to this world yet.” This realization made him see reason. He realized how he had given up on all his good relations over the past five years. He knew he had found his mission in life, to be as good as he could be. He wanted to throw all negative thoughts off his mind. He was going to celebrate his new found life.

He decided to call his parents, and his ex-girlfriend, and told them all he had been through, and that he could not wait to meet them. He also called his friends, and Dr. Gellar, informing them about his new found desire to live life to the fullest. Finally he was completely happy.

He booked the next plane out of Cairo, and could not wait to get back to his old life, one he had himself spurned away. And as he was sleeping, he heard the Pilot’s warning.

“An Air Egypt plane, from Cairo to New York, crashed in the Mediterranean Sea. All 181 passengers and crew feared dead.”


atish said...

Ashton Gellar... where did that come from ..:D (ross gellar's bro or smthng)

some observations
predictable but good....
the title could have been better

hope that this is one of many more to come...

zubin said...

No idea where that came from..was high..put the first thing that came to my mind..and I am high now..and yeah, I did wrote ur forward..thanks for sending it..meeting Maddu Maggu this weekend..plzz call me...Zubin

evilme said...

great blog.........donot know why but it reminds me of alchemist except the fact that the trail of disappointment was ended by hope and yours was somewhat opposite...but a great piece of writing

O said...

good one Zubin..when do we see the next one?

Caliguliminix said...

Reminded me of that song "Ironic" by Alanis Morrisset.