“Nice place, it is.” Ashish said as he glanced around Omkar’s apartment.
Omkar nodded with a smile, “So, what are your plans?”
Ashish sighed. “I don’t know, man. I mean, I want to become a writer, but I’ll have to do something to survive ’til I get a good job for writing. I wish to write in editorial pages in the newspapers or maybe some good magazine stuff. But as of now, I’ll just find a cheap place to live because I-”
Omkar interrupted with a frown, “Woah woah, what do you mean ‘find a cheap place’? You’re living with me, numbskull!”
Ashish smiled, “Thanks, man. I appreciate your offer. I really do, but I don’t want to live being a burden on you. I hope you understand.”
Omkar flicked on his forehead in a friendly way and chuckled. “Stop being so corny now. Your ass is staying right here! I need a roommate too. Might get a hand with the dishes. Haha. Start unpacking now.”
Ashish tried to deny again but Omkar was already unpacking his bags. As Omkar reached out for the bags, he realized there were only two bags. It reminded him the situation through which Ashish was brought up. Though Ashish was the only child of his parents, they lived in a small house and his Father’s job as a government school teacher was the only source of income of their family. Even with the mere salary of the teacher, his father never let him feel the poverty. But, he did teach him about the right value of money. He taught him that if one decides to be, he/she can be anything they imagine themselves to be.
The next morning, Omkar left for work and Ashish started to look for a job. Omkar was pretty much sunken in his work so he couldn’t call Ashish to ask whether he got a job. On his way back home, he stopped at Redlen Cafe which is a block away from his place. Tired, he got himself comfortable on one of the chairs and loosened his tie. A familiar voice asked him, “Sir, your order?”
He immediately recognized the voice, stood up and placed his hand on the waiter’s shoulder, “Ashish! Good to see you, man. That was quick.” Ashish nodded with a smile, “Yeah, I know. My working hours are from 4 pm – 11 pm. It’s a part time job and the pay isn’t much. But I don’t plan on settling for this job you know.”
Omkar laughed, “Yes, I know. Now go get a cappuccino for me!”
Ashish started visiting various newspaper, magazine companies for a good job. Everyday, he got up at 6 am and left home at 9 to look for a job and then later, he went to the Redlen Cafe for his current job. Most of the companies had no vacancies, the others rejected him because his writing style wouldn’t get along with them. One fine day, as he was wandering the streets of Mumbai, he saw a major newspaper company’s office.
“The Candor,” Ashish read. He exhaled. One more rejection. He shook his head and reminded himself, “I’ll get it this time!”
Ashish went in The Candor’s plush office which was situated on the 21st floor of Zenith Heights. The receptionist fixed his appointment with Mr Yash Singh from the HR department two hours later. The receptionist said, “Sir, I’ve fixed your appointment but, I want you to know that there’s no current vacancy for any post. But, Mr Singh would like to talk to you about something.”
Ashish closed his eyes and let out a heavy sigh. The receptionist noticed the disappointment and said, “Sir! Don’t be disappointed. There’s this another thing which I forgot to mention. I’m sorry!”
With a ray of hope, Ashish raised his eyebrows and asked, “Which is?”
to be continued...
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© An Unknown Wanderer