The day had a lot to offer
Short Story by Pradipta Nag
The day started quite late for me. The last night was long. I had to work till 2:00 a.m. The day ahead would not be going to be easy either. I was feeling frightened thinking about the plethora of work still left to be done. The mundane corporate life was getting irritating with each passing day. I was looking forward to some change in my life to cultivate motivation for days to come.
Suddenly the phone rang. I thought again someone from the office was calling to complain about some job failure in production. But, it was an unknown number. ‘Who’ll call me at this time? It must be from a credit card department of an f**king bank.’ — I shouted in anger and went to the bathroom without answering the call to mark the start of the day with a shower.
After taking the shower, I rushed through the pages of the newspaper. My mother called me up to have breakfast. By the time I was having my breakfast, I heard the horn of the office cab in front of my residence.
It was 10:55 am. I boarded my office cab. It takes around 50 mins to reach the office from my home. It was time for me to quickly check my WhatsApp and Facebook notifications. My wife gifted me a wireless earphone on my birthday. I enjoyed some lovely melodious songs as well.
I reached the office around 12 noon. Some extra time was wasted due to a traffic jam near the airport crossing. I immediately started my pending work from last night. The phone rang again. It was from the same unknown number. I was so engrossed in my work that I rejected the call again.
I checked the call history during lunch break. It was from the same number. I didn’t have the True caller app installed on my phone; I couldn’t check how called me twice. I called back; a soft and calm male voice answered my call. Furthermore, I asked ‘Who is this?’.
He answered — ‘You don’t recognise my voice!!’. I tried my best to remember with no luck. I said — ‘No man. I can’t remember your voice’. He continued — ‘Can you remember the striker of your opponent team from college days?’
I screamed — ‘Vikash!!!!! Where are you manning for so many years? We were hardly in touch. You got busy with your higher studies and I joined the IT firm. Both of us had to sacrifice Football, our first love. When can we meet a man?’
Vikash replied — ‘I have a surprise for you. Let’s meet tomorrow at 11 am, CCD, Salt Lake’. I replied — ‘Sure man. See you tomorrow.’
The Next day, I reached the venue five minutes ahead of the scheduled time. After a few minutes, I saw a gentleman coming towards me smiling. I couldn’t recognise Vikash at the first glance. He had put on at least 10 kilos in 11 years.
We chatted for some time over a cup of coffee. Then I showed my curiosity about the surprise he mentioned the previous day. He handed me an envelope. I was pretty surprised. I reluctantly opened the envelope.
What I saw inside the envelope was something I had never imagined. The First thing I remembered was the desire I used to express quite a lot to Vikash during my college days. I used to say — ‘My dream is to watch a World Cup match sitting in the stadium. I don’t think India will ever play. The chances of fulfilling my dream are next to impossible.’
What I found inside the envelope is the ticket to the Final Match of the World Cup. I was at the top of the world. I shouted and hugged Vikash. The year is 2018. The Football World Cup is scheduled to start in a few days time in Russia.
Vikash told that he won a lucky draw competition and won two tickets to the final match. He could only imagine me accompanying him to Russia. It was only possible due to the magic of Football. The day marked the reunion of two friends and the fulfilment of an impossible dream. The day really had a lot to offer.