As the darkness closed down upon him, the much talked about vivid flashes of memory started making their customary attack. The sunset on the half-made housing society, Brahmani kites riding the thermals and putting up quite a show for anyone who cared enough, the barges making their daily dough, people celebrating yet another goal in their daily futsal routine.
He wanted to end it all, to give up. He could see no reason, no rational thought behind continuing life as he knew it. He burnt quite a few gray cells in trying to figure out where it all went wrong, and then burnt a few more in realizing that nothing of much avail was to happen through that particular process. Sounds of a sisterly concern rang through his mind, but he was positive the world wouldn’t stop turning. He vaguely remembered childhood tales advocating perseverance, and discerned how trivially he’d let them go. Somehow, the distant memory of walking under a flyover, on his way back home, and clenching his fist in determination and vehicles screamed past him played over and over again. He thought of the many who’d take great pleasure at the consequences, those who’d day would be made. The cellphone in his pocket was a dead weight, pulling him further down.
It would be so marvelous letting go. Something new, the change he’d been waiting for. In difficult times too, there is change. And in change, there is a challenge. Completely oblivious to the rat-race in progress, about a hundred meters behind him, Daniel believed it was time to let go. Fate, although, had other plans. For that was when his cellphone buzzed with the delivery of a text message. The one liner caught him by the scruff of his neck, inches away from the abyss and dumped him back onto the cold hard floor of reality.
“Free Coffee?” the message had said.
He felt the warmth seeping in. The overwhelming darkness felt lighter, and the bad taste in his mouth seemed like it would go anytime soon. He saw beauty around him.
He was soon to realize that in times like those, he was a dent in the happy lives of those who are perfect. If underachiever was not that clichéd a word, he would have thought it. Cold as metal, with all the performing capability of a dodo on tranquilizers. A dampener of spirits. But at that moment, he was happy. There were a few things that could act like global anesthesia, even for a few moments. And free coffee was one of them.