I have an english paper tomorrow, which explains why I have a lot of free time on my hands. Anyhow, I took the opportunity to practice SAT 2 math and thought I'd do essay practice for the SAT 2 writing test. However, I soon realised that I really hate writing essays, and thought of a short story instead, on the way to the market to get a haircut.
This is a monumental achievement in my writing career. This is the first story with Human characters that I have ever written where they don't end up dead, or greviously injured in the end. No people at all, in fact, were harmed in the writing of this story. I'm very proud of myself.
Anyhow, no more trailers as to what it's about. I give you:
“How did you know!” she exclaimed.
“Basically”, he replied, “I’ve been stalking you for the last three weeks. I’ve hacked your computer, found out whatever you’ve been searching for over the last few weeks, gone through your personal files, and pretty much done everything I could to get to know you inside out, all so I could get you this.”
She rolled her eyes disbelievingly. “Well, a job well done, it’s perfect. How on earth you managed to get an autographed Beatles LP cover is beyond me, but…this is just so perfect. Tell me again why you did this?”
He stood blank for a second, and then broke out into a broad grin.
“Why did I do it? Just for the look on your face, why else?”
And then he saw it again, that big lopsided Madhubala smile of pure joy, that kind that only the perfect gift can bring to someone’s face. From seemingly nowhere, she heard a click sound, which vanished just as fast as it was heard.
“You”, She exclaimed, “are the sweetest chap in the whole wide world, you know that?” She leant forward and gave him a big hug. He smiled to himself, and added bonus, he thought.
“Well, I’ll be off, now. I’m leaving for Mumbai; you may not see me for a while. Consider it a return present, okay? Catch you later”
And with that, he disappeared from her life for good, with mission accomplished. He had to move on to bigger quarry in Mumbai. He was meeting and old school friend, whom he had recently caught up with, after some six or seven years. They had chatted over the net, and in just a few conversations, he had begun to share some of his personal problems. It’s amazing what you’ll tell someone you know when you can’t see their face. Anyhow, life wasn’t going exceptionally well, or according to plan for Hari. Things had, in fact, gone remarkably wrong. The rigors of Mumbai life had got to him. His health was shot; he had high blood pressure at 23, we was having major problems with his job, and was in danger of being fired, and he had an eviction notice from is landlord, for falling back on his rent. Things could not get much worse, and yet, they did. His girlfriend had also walked out on him, for not having enough time for her. Like Murphy stated, everything goes wrong all at once. When life hands you lemons, you gripe about them to the nearest chap you can find, and that magically happened to be our man in question.
Before meeting with Hari for a cup of coffee, he had made a few arrangements. Doing random favors for people did have certain advantages, and even in an uncommon city, he could pull a few strings. Firstly, he called one of his friends in McKinsey Consultancy, to ask them if they were hiring. Seeing as they were, he promised his contact that he had the perfect man for the job. With blind generosity often comes faith of purpose, and his contact immediately set up an interview for one Mr. Hari Sharma, for what was probably the job of his dream. Besides, rent would hardly be an issue with a six figure salary.
Next, he stopped his taxi at the nearest flower shop, bought a dozen roses, and spent the next fifteen minutes of the taxi-ride on the way to one Shalini Puri’s residence, coming up with an appropriate poem for a woman he knew nothing about. The girl in question was, of course, Hari’s neglected girlfriend, and he felt certain that she needed to feel a bit special.
Shalini, of course, was thrilled with her roses, as well as the charming courier-man that Hari had sent for her. Suddenly, he didn’t seem such a bad chap after all, and she would definitely give him a call at two in the afternoon, just as the pleasant courier-man had asked her to. The smile on her face was priceless, and was momentarily disrupted by a strange clicking noise.
Soon after, he rendezvoused with Hari at a Café Coffee day. He hadn’t changed a bit in seven years. He still had the most photogenic face in his school, and cheeks so chubby he looked like some kind of deranged teddy bear. Of course, he was quite worried at the moment, but that would soon be taken care of. He had a couple of pleasant surprises coming up. Anyhow, they ordered a couple of Vegan Shakes, both of them being Lactose Intolerant. Ah, back to the point. Conversation began.
“You know, I’m really glad you’re visiting Mumbai on business, I haven’t had a decent chat with anyone for a long time. Though I seriously doubt you can help, as you promised. Things are kind of out of control, I don’t really think there’s much you can do.”
He smiled. “Well, I’ll be the judge of that. I had a friend working in McKenzie, and he had a job opening. You said you were having a few problems at work, so I thought I’d get you an interview.”
Hari’s jaw dropped. Before it could pick up again, his mobile phone rang, sharp at two-o-clock.
“Oh, I also paid a visit to Shalini; Sweet girl, she is.”
The ensuing phone conversation was riddled with exalted screeches, and random words of kindness. It lasted a good ten minutes, before they decided to call it an afternoon. It wasn’t their decision to make; truly, Hari’s incoming was unfortunately not free. As he cut the phone, his face seemed to be exploding like a cracker-full Diwali.
“Thank you, thank you so very much. I have no idea why you did this, or why, or…How, how can I ever repay you?”
“Repay me? Hmm…the smile on your face is payment enough.”
There were two or three clicks this time, but they didn’t particularly distract Hari.
“Anyhow, I must fly. Big important business meeting and all, and then I have to fly right back to
Hari was too happy to be particularly disappointed in the sudden departure.
“Again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I don’t know…what prompted your generosity, it’s just incredible, just, wonderful…What do you do, by the way?”
“Oh, I’m an artist.” He said, and departed before Hari could get a word in.
With that, two years of work was done. He returned to his studio, booted up his beautiful Apple iMac, and opened up Photoshop. He took of his glasses, plugged a fire-wire port into them, and downloaded the last three photographs of his series. A neat little gadget he had picked up from a
Well, he put the final touches onto his last three photographs, edited them, spruced them up, generally made them look really nice, and then hit the magic print button. An album of fifty quality photographs came out.
Later that month, his exhibition opened. It was simply titled “Joy”, and consisted of some of the brightest, purest, most wonderful expressions of Men, women, children, teenagers that had ever been captured by a hidden camera.
The exhibition was a hit, and many art collectors bid for his work, proving once and for all that there is such a thing as a million dollar smile.
There, told ya no one dies. Cheerio.