Half asleep, he somehow picked himself up and blindly walked towards the switch board,narrowly missing the chair in his way. He switched off the fan and went back to bed. The early morning coldness always made him uneasy and since it was summers, he had not taken out the warm blanket.
As he hit the bed his hands automatically went in search of the cellphone. As always it was under the second pillow. He took it out and checked the time
7:34 AM .
He can sleep for one more hour before he has to rush for the office. Office was 10 minutes away by an Auto-rickshaw. Though the place was a bit costly, its proximity to his office made him stay put for last two years.
He opened his eyes. He was feeling cold.
"but I switched off the fan" he thought. He looked at the fan, it was still on.
"must have switched it off in a dream", he was not amused, it happened earlier as well. Sometimes he dreamed of locking the door and later found it open. He again took out the cell phone.
1 New Message. "VM- Future"
"Want to know your......."
Delete Message ? Yes Or No?
"Damn Yeah!!..who the hell send these messages so early in the morning"
He sprang up, sat on the edge of the bed.
"So much of screen time ..some day i will go blind" . His eyes were aching.
Being a software engineer he spent 10-12 hrs in front of desktop and at home it was either TV or his laptop. In a day he was either in front of some screen or was sleeping.
He got up and the moment his foot touched the ground he felt a hammer stroke in his left eye. He sat back on the bed. Pain wasn't new.Images from last night popped up in his head..
Chatting, watching videos, reading blogs, more chatting..more videos and then 2:26 AM...the time he switched off his laptop.
"Today I will sleep at 12..no matter what" His right brain promised, on hearing which his left brain had a huge laugh. He smiled.
All set to move out. He took cornflakes and poured some cold milk over it, as he was settling down in the bean-bag he switched on the TV. Left brain was up and working, " little MTV to make it a Kickass Morning" .
After finishing the breakfast, he switched off all the lights and fans. Checked...re-checked the gas knob,taps, back door , windows ...he was never sure whether he closed them, even after few seconds of closing them. He came out and locked the main door. As he reached the outer gate, as always , he retraced his steps to recheck the door.He hated it, not even once had he forgotten to lock the door but he was just never sure.
He started walking towards the main road, it was some 100 m away from his place. Few steps ahead of his house was an office, some Placement agency. The office had glass door ,so everyday while passing by he used to have a quick glance inside. Three or four girls worked there. He always felt that some of those girls watched him passing by, as if they were waiting for him. Further down the road there was Blue Box , a house so blue that it made him hate blue, his favorite color. Today it appeared even more Blue.
As he was about to reach the main road, someone honked twice.
"Son of a..." he always hated unnecessary honking. As the car passed he saw an Auto coming his way. He signaled him to stop.
Auto driver inquisitively raised eyebrows. He lifted his right hand and pointed towards east but no words came out.
"Kahan jaayenge??" ("Where do you want to go?" )
He was blank.
Driver asked him again "Kahin jana hai ki nahi??" ("You want to go somewhere or not?")
He had no clue.
Driver spitted few curse words for wasting his time and sped away.
He looked left and right. He had no idea why he was standing there. He looked back, there was a lane. Something inside urged him to go in that direction. As he started walking, he checked his pockets. There was a key, a cellphone and handkerchief. He felt a wallet in his back pocket. He walked a little and stopped.
"This house looks familiar! "
"Is it my house?"
He was not sure. He did not wanted to go in. He did not liked the color. It was blue.
He moved ahead.
"Niharika HR Consultants"
A girl ,standing inside the glass door ,was smiling at him.
"Is she looking at me?"
"Do I work here? "
He wasn't sure of that either.A black gate down the road caught his eye.
He went inside.
"Do I live here?"
"Ground floor or First floor? "
He looked at the key and then rang the door bell of the ground floor.
It was not answered. He again looked at the key and then went for the lock.
"This is where I live"
The room was messy, a bed with two pillows, couple of chairs with some clothes on them. A TV, on top of which some old newspapers. He sat down on one of the chairs and took out the cellphone. Fingers ran through buttons to access the call list
"Nikhil" "Aanya" "Vishal" "Sandy" "Home"...
He looked around, there was a phone in the room.
While staring at the phone, he pressed Call button on "Home". "Home" was ringing but not in his room.
"Hello! " It was a lady.
He did not knew what to say, so he murmured
"Hello...Manu??" She said
"Manu...what happened son? "
"Yes son, what happened?" He could sense the tension in the voice, as if she knew what happened.
"Maa....I can't remember anything" ,tears welled up in his eyes.
"Take me home Maa...I can't remember anything..."