For his whole life , Mr. Gorakh Lal Mehta never believed in one very particular thing – life. His unacceptability to the concept of life could be traced back to his childhood .
When he was just 11 years old, his parents were brutally murdered at the hands of a millionaire industrialist. With no one to care, he, along with all his 7 siblings, was abandoned on a footpath. Although all the seven siblings were admitted in an orphanage, he was lost In the streets on Mumbai.
He, soon realised, at this very young age, how callous and unsympathetic people were. It appeared as if life ceased to exist on Earth . People were but lifeless – with no emotions, and certainly no love.
Finally, after years of sauntering, plodding, mind-numbing toil, beggary, and brutal exploitation at the hands of factory worker, he concluded that the life did not exist at all . People were just non living things and had to be dealt the same way .
All that existed and was of value was money, a lot of money – his passion, his love and his only dream .
Making a lot of money legally was too difficult. Making the same amount illegally too risky. Somehow , Gorakh Lal managed to fulfill both the tasks, though for him the latter was former.
Now After 60 years and a lifelong history of cheats , frauds and swindles , today, Gorakh Lal’s net worth was
$ 990,000 . His only dream was to reach $1,000,000 .
That day , he received a phone call .
“Hello ? ”
” Good morning , Mr. Gorakh Lal . This is your assistant Dev here . ”
” What is it ? ”
” Sir , I would like to inform you that our deal with M/S Arun and Sons has been finalised . I have fixed a meeting with them for you to once review the deal . . ”
” Ok , I’ll be there ” Mr. Gorakh Lal never spoke more than necessary . He had never been able to understand the need for polite demeanor, or strait-laced propriety and now, it was too late to learn .
So, he hung up the phone and grabbed his computer. He smiled. After this last swindle, his net worth would be One Million . His dream was about to come true.
Next day, he got himself ready for his deal with M/S Arun and Sons. He wore his best clothes, and of course, his lucky tie.
” Driver, get the car”
” The Jaguar, sir”
As he set out to begin his day, a long, lanky boy came up to stand in front of him. He grunted.
“Good Morning , Mr. Mehta ” the boy said smiling, in the hope that this time perhaps Mr. Mehta will wish him this time, but he didn’t .
” How many times have I told you not to show me your face in the morning .”
He always treated him like this. It wasn’t that he,Wasim, had done something: no, only he was too ‘kind’ . Mr. Mehta believed that since, there was no life, no kindness on Earth, Wasim was most hypocritical and diplomatic. In fact, according to him, he was most callous and unsympathetic inside. In most senses, Gorakh Lal thought of Wasim as the millionaire industrialist who killed his parents, for the industrialist, too, in the beginning, acted humble and confabulate with ‘sugar coated words’. Over the years, Wasim had grown kinder and Mr. Mehta angrier. His loathefulness for Wasim was now beyond all bounds .
“Mr. Mehta? your car is ready”
“Finally” He said as he passed Wasim.He reached the office at 10:54 and found his assistant waiting for him with the Arjun & Co. papers ready. He signed on them without looking and went on to his office.
After an 8 hour day, he went home to celebrate $1,000,000.
“Just one more day and I’ll be a millionaire” he muttered as he walked down the stairs.
He fell all the way down the stairs.
“Aaah” He cried but no one heard. Of course, there was no one in the room, or the house, in fact. Mr. Mehta had hit his head. It was bleeding heavily.
“Mr. Mehta?” said a familiar voice.
” Wasim? ”
” Sir , you are bleeding! ”
Wasim ran down to him and tried to cover his injury, only to fail.
Mr. Mehta tried to say something but balanced against it.
Wasim carried his body, outside in his own car.
“No..no..” Mr. Mehta said panting heavily.
“Go” Wasim shouted to the driver.
Mr. Mehta was not afraid to die, no. According to his concept there was no life in him, or anyone. He was only thinking about two things – one, how to escape from the person he had loathed all his life and two, how to live long enough to make his dream come true .
He glanced at Wasim, who was sitting there anxiously, gently holding his head in his arms. Wasim looked at Mr. Mehta, staring at him .
“Don’t worry Mr. Mehta , you’ll be fine . I will not let anything happen to you”
“I will not let anything happen to you” The words echoed in Mr. Mehta’s mind several times. It is said one’s whole life flashes in front of them at the time of their death and such was the case with Mr. Mehta. He saw his childhood, his mother, his parents, his siblings, the cruel industrialist, all the callous people of the Mumbai streets and in the end, Wasim. Despite all the times he scorned him, and all the times he loathed him, despite all the abuses, the poised words and despite the moments of altercation, there he was, struggling to save him.
He glanced at him, held his hand, and subtly smiled at him hoping to wish him thank you for reviving his faith in life and love. He opened his mouth in gratitude but, was too weak to speak. All he said: Viva La Vida.
And, with this, ended the life of great Mr.Gorakh Lal Mehta, in the arms of one person he had hated all his life, and with the words that no one had ever expected to hear from him: Viva La Vida, or Long Live Life .
This is my first short story, that I wrote for WordPress Weekly Challenge. Hope you liked it. Leave feedback:)