I still remember my last day in Lucknow Law College. All were happy and joyous on completion of their degree but me. There were 23 of us who had graduated as lawyers this year. Some wanted to pursue higher studies and some were happy with the jobs they were been offered. I wanted to pursue my higher studies in England. They said they make the best advocates. But life had its own plans.
My father a bureaucrat had made all life decisions for me till date and even for my future. He didn’t want me to go abroad, being the only son among five children. I was never made responsible for my sisters or my family’s needs and wants but it was clearly stated what I ought to do and what not. Why I am not a bureaucrat is not a point of consideration but what I am supposed to do is. I am a lawyer, and I wanted to be one, as per my father now I have to take up a job. I need to start earning so that I become the perfect marriage material, but not as a lawyer.
In fact my father has already searched for another job for me. He wants me to be a personal assistant for a bureaucrat high above his scale. I don’t deny his orders but why?? Well I can’t even question that; I just need to follow what he says.
This bureaucrat is a resident of our city itself but was currently posted in Shimla. I was asked to take an appointment for interview immediately without wasting another day in Lucknow or my home town and meet him. I got an appointment real fast to meet him in 3 days. My meeting was fixed for Sept 4th and I reached Shimla on the night of Sept 3rd.
I reached there by train and as everything was already decided there was a car waiting to pick me up at the station. I was escorted to the circuit house. Shimla is beautiful with its greenery and the circuit house, as all circuit houses are, majestic. Though I didn’t get the presidential suite, the room that I got was spacious enough, on 1st floor with windows all around, giving the view of the city from one side and the jungle on the other.
On Sept 4th, I woke up early and set for my run. The air was crisp and cold, nature is awesome. It awakens you, clears your mind and pacifies you. The tall trees, chirpy birds and the slowly rising sun, Shimla you seem promising. A nice start to the day and I think it is good to get going with this mindset. Coming back there is this palatial bungalow a bit ahead of the circuit house, I wander who stays there. Is the king of Shimla still there or must be some old zamindaar. The bungalow is as covered with trees from the outside to cut vision as mini jungle. But I can glimpse a lawn over there and maybe a swimming pool or a stream with the sound of water.
After getting fresh I decided to take my breakfast downstairs in the dining hall, I wanted to know more about that bungalow. As I sat on the dining table it was laid with Indian and continental food, enough for 10 people but there was no one around. I finished my meal alone and disheartened set towards my room. I was already instructed that Sir is going to call me once he is free from meetings. The day passed just like that.
The next day while I was returning to my room after the sprint I met the caretaker. After an entire day of sitting and wandering alone I was dying to speak to someone and so I took the tea before time and sat with him. We chatted about the city, the people and yes the bungalow close by. To my surprise that bungalow belonged to this bureaucrat. It was his ancestral property and that is the reason he loves to take posting in Shimla. I asked the caretaker more about him. He told me he is a nice man but a strict disciplinarian. He has rules for everything. He married a foreigner and has four daughters all well educated; almost most of their studies have been through in foreign land. Wow and compare that with my family, my sisters are only taught till 10th standard good enough to wed them off.
Again the day ended and no response. On 6th Sept I had lost a bit of my enthusiasm and continued all my daily chores a bit languidly. After my evening tea I thought I should take a walk. I had already explored the city in these two days now it was time for the forest. The forest is dense; there were Deodar, Pine, Gulmohar and a beautiful lake I see. Sitting beside this lake just set me contemplating. Why I was thinking all this now?? I had abided by fathers thoughts and instructions all my life. I don’t know what I am doing here. The person I was asked to come and meet for an interview is not even bothered of giving me a chance. I think it’s time I need to take a decision. Maybe father would be sad or angry, but I think it’s time to leave.
My flashback thoughts were broken by a hustle. Damn I spoke to the caretaker about everything and never asked him if there were wild animals in this jungle.
P.S. This is part 2 of a 4 part story.
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