“Dad i just hate this watchman, he is so lazy!” she complained to her father.
“You don’t hate him. You dislike him. Hate is too strong a term.” her father adviced her.
“What’s the difference?” she asked with shrug.
He put his newspaper away and said, “When you grow up you will know the difference. You will know that more often than not, hate is a kind of love gone wrong.”
She rolled her eyes and disappeared into the room but the father did not pick the newspaper up.
She tendered her resignation to the news channel editor.
“Why? You are very good. You can go places.” the editor said.
“I wanted to be in a news channel sir not in an entertainment channel!” she said summoning her courage.
The editor laughed, “Of course its entertainment. The juicier the news the more entertaining it is.”
She shook her head, “No sir, not juicier, the more tragic the news. Being here i have realised that one person’s tragedy is another’s entertainment.”
The editor was stunned into silence.
“I am sorry, i really am but…. ” before she could finish her friend cut her off,
“I don’t think you should apologize.” she said.
“Why not, i love him.” she emphasized.
“That is the point. In a relationship when you apologize, to keep the peace and not because you are wrong, you empower the other person to continue being the asshole that he is. Don’t do that. Don’t be wrong willingly when you are right.”
She knew her friend was right.
“We were ready with the concept, why did you say we would brain storm and get back?” the young advertising executive asked his senior.
“It was too fast. Wouldn’t have value.” the senior responded.
“What does that mean?” the young man prodded.
The senior smirked, “In a quiz contest if you answer fast you are clever. When asked for advice, if you take time you are wise. In this world the time you take to answer denotes intelligence, not the answer. So we should be intelligent enough to sell the perception of intelligence.”
“The man is so rude and insulting. It hurts me deeply.” he cried to her.
“It’s not the man, it’s you that insults you.” she responded enigmatically.
“I insult me? What does that mean?” he countered.
She handed him a cookie that she had baked and said, “It’s your need for the man to buy your art that insults you. If you don’t need him he can’t insult you. Remember my love, no one can insult you without your permission.”
He was stunned by her world view.
“I am not a coward. Don’t say that! I just have my way of dealing with things!” he screamed.
She spoke in an even tone, “You said the man is a bully and takes credit for your work. I think you should confront him.”
But he did not agree, “I am just going to plan my revenge.”
She shook her head in dismay, “Remember my love, these are just excuses to not confront. I have learnt one thing in life – when you are not courageous you become cunning. So you choose.”
That hit hard and he grew silent.
“She is 15 years younger than me, but i love her. We want to be married.” he told his friend.
“What stops you?” the friend asked.
“What will people say? I am worried.” he confessed.
The friend grinned, “You know this world is like a dark arena where everyone is picking their nose but the one who gets caught is the one on whom the spotlight falls. And the other nose pickers say, look he is picking his nose. Between love and public opinion, love should always win.”
He smiled and nodded.
It was good idea to talk to his friend.
“Why do i feel jealous? I don’t want to feel jealous!” she asked him.
He paused a moment and said, “Do you know jealousy is hardwired in humans? When we were scavengers there wasn’t enough for everyone, so jealousy was important to survive!”
She rolled her eyes, “Can you please be my husband and not a professor?”
He laughed out loud, “It’s just that times change but people don’t. There is an abundance, no one is taking what is yours. What is yours is coming to you. We don’t feel jealous of someone standing ahead of us in a queue, do we?”
She shook her head. She hugged him.
He was an angry soul, he had done everything right, prayed, loved his fellowmen and yet he died of the pandemic.
“Why God? Why did you do that?” he asked God.
God smiled, “Do what?”
The soul raged on, “Why did you kill me, why have you done this to millions of human beings?”
God looked at the soul lovingly, “Human beings have the wrong notion that i am the God of only human beings. I am also the God of the virus.”
Who could gift him a brand new Mercedes?
There was a cellphone number with the gift.
He dialed it.
“Hello! Who is this? Have you sent me this car?” he inquired.
“Yes. You probably don’t remember me, but i am rich because of you today.” the voice answered.
“Because of me? I am just a simple real estate agent.” he was confused.
“Not simple.” answered the voice.
“I worked for you a long time ago. I was so bad that i knew you would fire me but instead you said, every man has a talent. I was not bad for the job, the job was bad for me. Because of you i found the right job. Thank you.”
“He is not what he used to be. plus the alcohol and the domestic violence, i wonder why i take this!” she asked her father in deep despair.
“You should leave him. You have a right to walk out of toxic relationship.” her father counselled.
She wiped her tears and asked her father, “What makes people live in toxic relationships dad?”
The father smiled, “The hope that those happy memories which brought you together will replay themselves. But they never do. You have a choice, wait for the past to replay or build a new future.”
“A friend of mine has been appointed CEO, i think our problems will end soon.” he told her, filled with renewed hope.
Oddly, she did not share his enthusiasm.
“You remember in school when the teacher was not around, she would appoint one of us as the monitor of the class?” she asked.
He nodded, wondering where this was going.
“As soon as our friend became a monitor, he would cease being a friend and lookout for who he could discipline.”
She did not explain further but he knew what she meant.
New power changes old friends.