Akira is driving his car towards the airport to board the flight to the next city; he is going to meet the client during the weekend. He looked apprehensive if he could reach on time as he was already late due to traffic. This meeting will play a vital role in his career growth.
Akira is young IT professional, unmarried and career oriented. He is extremely focused and dedicate to his work. His personal life is often disturbed by inevitable work, however, he never realized it, and continued to work hard, thinking that this stage is the peak of his life. So hard, that he detached himself from his default happiness for the sake of his job. He had not realized how professional words like Target, SLA, and client or customer sank in his head, unconsciously. Entire professional information or data is at the tip of his hands.
As he reached Airport, the flight left just above him; he missed the flight. He is upset and it is first time that he missed any flight. He blamed himself and thought he should have started much earlier; He moved in to check for any other flights with frown face. Unfortunately, no more flights to his destination until next day evening and he has to meet client tomorrow morning.
He got into his car and drove towards highway and the signboard above shows 501 KM to the next city, his destination. Yes, he decided to go by road for 10hr journey. He thought how come 10 minute delay resulted 1hr Journey into 10 hrs. Journey.
He called up his boss and explained the situation and his boss yelled at him by default. He tried to explain that it was due to huge traffic and boss replied that there was never anything like âGood Excuseâ and advised him to take a short cut, which will reduce 2 hours of time.
He came out of the highway and drove into a winding road as per bossâs advice. He never used his car for any long drive earlier, but now he is determined to go. It is dark by the time he left the city and now he is driving on a long winding road.
He is hungry and stopped his car nearby a small hotel and grabbed some food and back on the road. It is only his car lights beaming on the road and no sign of any other vehicles.
Nope, in fact, there are two lights; another is white blinking light on the top, Moon, it is blinking as the clouds pass.
As he drives through villages, he found more trees than houses. Suddenly, he felt jerks in the car and it stopped. He is surprised and anxious, he ignited the engine, but it did not
He thought, âNo, No, No, Please donât do thisâ. To his nightmare, it has not even made a sound when ignited.
Now, it is only one light.
He got out of the car and saw an endless road under moonlight.
âWhat a bad day?â he thought. He was lingering on the road and looking for any other vehicle.
He is afraid that he might not be able to make it and he made a call to his boss and told that he may not be able to make it to the city. Boss tried to say something, but call disconnected due to bad signal. He locked his car and set on foot to find any help. He is extremely disappointed that he will not be able to meet the client.
Although he is frustrated with his situation, he started to enjoy the breeze. As he walked half a kilometer, he heard a barking sound. He found a small house and there is a dog in their compound. It is a beautiful set up, a small house and a dancing tree in their compound and they are shining under moonlight.
He turned back to look at his car, It was small and dead, but shining in moonlight.
One older man sat outside in a chair in the veranda and writing something.
He went near the house and the dog started barking continuously. Satyajit, old man observed the stranger and walked towards the front gate asking âHow can I help youâ.
Akira replied that his car broke down. Satyajit looked at him suspiciously and inquired his whereabouts; after trusting his words, he invited him inside, finally. The dog stopped barking all of a sudden.
He observed the entire area around the house and could only see a few houses nearby.
A kid came out running fast from the house and stared at the stranger, Akira.
He asked Satyajit if he could get some help to repair his car.
âYou could only get help tomorrow morningâ Satyajit replied.
âYou could stay in our house tonightâ Satyajit continued.
Great relief for Akira and he agreed with a smiley face.
âI will sleep outside, this place is wonderful and I love it.â
They arranged a small bed in veranda and both Satyajit and kid went inside the house by saying âgood night.â This is a strange situation for Akira; he had not slept outside except in his childhood.
It reminded his summer holidays with his grand mom, where she is used to tell bedtime stories.
He is absolute workaholic and hardly had any vacation time after he started his career, which was ten years ago. He started to enjoy the cool breeze. It is a breath of fresh air and relaxing. Blinking light on the top is gone as dark clouds covered it. He could sense that there are water drops above waiting to sink into the earth.
He felt the gusting wind on his face and followed by calmness. As the first few water droplets fell, they carried a fragrance of beautiful natural odor. This phenomenon is called as âPetrichorâ. It brought back his childhood memories where he used to play in the rain.
Slowly, rain gained momentum and started pouring. He just loved and started looking outside the veranda. Suddenly, his eyes captured a great lightning and followed by a loud thunder. For few seconds, it was broad daylight with raindrops falling down, bringing the sound of rhythm.
It was a slow motion picture in his mind and it has been greatest click his eyes ever captured. He recalled the image; he saw long winding black shining road uphill surrounded by lush green.
He saw a coconut tree looking down from the top of the hill, in front of his residing house.
This image literally struck Akira by thunder; He had been away from enjoying nature ever since he joined the job. He was always career oriented and created artificial happiness for him and lost happiness given by nature. He is so curious and waiting to see another lightning to quench his thirst for natureâs beauty. After a few seconds, He enjoyed another view of the scenery when lighting repeated.
He moved to the far end of the verandah to see the overall picture to his left. He observed tireless tides making sound of nature in repeated lightning. He could see a small beautiful lake in front of the house.
Although he was tired, he could not sleep as he enjoyed the beauty of nature. Slowly, he has gone to sleep.
After some time, he woke up and realized it was morning; He was enthusiastic to see the surroundings immediately. The rain had stopped and the sun is beaming its rays and he could still feel wet shine on tree leaves. It was just a breath of fresh air.
Little boy came to him and offered some coffee, Akira thanked him.
In front of him, he is watching a beautiful lake, Akira was curious about it and he loved it as it is still and calm.
Satyajit came out and greeted Akira âGood morning, how was the sleep, you had a good sleep?â
Akira replied âGood morning, yeah, I just enjoyed sleeping outside.â
âOk, Greatâ Satyajit replied.
âI will ask mechanic to come here to check your carâ Satyajit added.
âSure, that will be great, thanks for help.â
As Akira watched, both Satyajit and boy moved out of the house and walked towards the lake. They dipped their feet in the water and started walking into the water. Wait!! This is not a lake, but open space filled with rain water; it may be about 5 inches deep. It looked fascinating as it is clean & still and both of them walked into the water disturbing the stillness. Satyajit exhibited his childlike behavior with his grandchild, former started to kick water and the latter followed the same, they both seemed delightful. They walked for a few minutes in the water and returned after half hour, with smiling faces.
The Satyajit said âCome Akira, let us eat breakfastâ
Akira joined their family on the dining table and started eating breakfast.
The Satyajit started a conversation with Akira.
How has been the work? Tell me something about yourself.
Akira replied âI work in IT Company and have been working for the last ten yearsâ
âI agreeâ he nodded.
Akira continued âI manage projects in my company and we work for foreign customers and their expectations and boss expectations are high, so we need to work hard to reach expectations.â
âDo you love your work?â
âHmm, Yeahâ Akira replied after a pause.
As they finished their breakfast, Satyajit started saying about his son.
My son also lives in the city and he used to work in IT Company like you and he was also passionate about his job and he became workaholic, he spent extra hours in the office and did not take much vacation.
One day, he fell ill and he was hospitalized. Unfortunately, to my surprise, none of his colleagues visited him during his illness. I and my son learnt that nobody gives a damn about you from professional front, no matter how important you may be in office. Only his friends and family took care of him.
Itâs important that you either find work life balance or turn your passion into a profession, although it is difficult, because work occupies most of your life.
In the meantime, a mechanic arrived at their house. Akira set out with him towards his car which is upside hilly. It is a free road and they are walking straight, he recollected busy streets and roads in cities. We just canât walk straight in cities, it is always zigzag mode; avoiding people and things which are due to extreme density of population.
He could feel, breathe of fresh air and he is enjoying beautiful scenery. The road is wet & black surrounded by lush green, it looked like a painting.
After a few minutes, they reached the car and mechanic started identifying the problem; He says that certain parts need to be replaced to start the engine and he would like to go back to his shop and do needful.
Akira nodded and came back to the house; by that time, Satyajit came out with his grand kid, they are going out to market to get some fish from the nearest fisherman, which is near to their house.
Akira walked along with them; they started walking in the sand. Here he could see sand which is pure and not polluted and he recollects his memories visiting beaches in cities, where the entire beach area is polluted.
Some fishermen are selling the freshest fish. They go into the ocean early in the morning for fishing and start selling immediately here. The fisherman is jubilant and seemed happy with what they do.
Satyajit got some good fish and it is inexpensive; we could have paid 10 times more in the city for this kind of fish, Akira thought. They started walking back to the house without any words; Akira walked back by listening to the relaxing sound of tides.
Satyajit gave the fish to his wife and asked her to cook in his favorite style.
âI am a foodie, and I eat fish regularly. Fish is good for health as well.â Satyajit said with a grin.
âYeah, I know.â Akira smiled.
As both Satyajit and Akira settled down in sofa; he asked Akira to continue their previous conversation.
Akira said âwe were talking about your sonâs career.â
âYeah, correct, I think you should do something that will interest you forever and not something which interests your boss and which are temporary.â
Akira nodded in yes.
Something caught Akiraâs attention in the house; it is a book shelf, he could see lots of books with various genres. He got up and started browsing; there are books about Art, Music and some interesting novels.
âDo you read books?â Satyajit asked.
âI used to read in my childhood and not now, I like books but nowadays who has time to read books.â Akira replied.
âI guessed it; this younger generation is more interested in social media. Reading helps a lot and one should read every day for at least a half hour.â Satyajit advised.
Akira grabbed a few books in his hand and sat down in the sofa. As he observed the house, he also saw some good wall paintings.
He inquired Satyajit about them. Satyajit replied that they are paintings of my grand kid.
Akira could not believe it. There are three paintings; one is depicting small flowers with a background of dark clouds, second is a fisherman on a boat with a background of huge sun, and the third is long winding road with a background of greenery.
Akira said âeven I used to paint in my childhood, but we did not frame like this. This is incredible.â
âMy grand kid painted it and left these in his room, I just honed and framed them; credit should go to my grand kid.â Satyajit replied.
âYeah, absolutelyâ Akira said.
In the meantime, lunch is ready and she served to all.
Food is delicious and it is one of the best meals he ever had in recent times and he thanked her for the awesome recipe. After finishing the lunch, Satyajit has gone to the bed for a nap.
Akira started reading some books outside in veranda; he is holding a short story book. He finished one book in two hours.
It is around 4 P.M; from the upside hill, he observed few people coming towards the beach.
One of them is holding a cricket bat and others are holding wickets, he realized that they are going to play cricket. Akira got excited. As they came closer, he went out to them and asked if he can also join them. One elder person, may be the captain, in the group nodded and invited him to play with them.
They went near to the beach area where the ground is somewhat hard and rain water drained out as the ground is slightly slanted. The pitch seems to be hard and they are playing with a hard tennis ball. There are around 14 people along with Akira, they split into two teams and went for a toss.
Akira is in fielding side and he was placed in mid off, which is opposite to the beach.
That is a beautiful sight, beach looked gorgeous in the evening time, and he had never played cricket in beach earlier and that too in a clean environment. In the first over itself, he grabbed a catch. His captain also asked him to bowl. He bowled his favorite leg spin and got 2 wickets. Though it has been long gap, he played well.
As he is playing, he recollected his memories of playing cricket once in the city. In one ground, there were 10 pitches, like some 100 people played on the same ground at the same time, it was pathetic and he never wanted to play in that crowded ground.
Today, Akira played for two hours continuously and he just had one of the best days in recent times, although he is tired. After the sunset, all of the team players sat as a group and started talking about highlights of the match.
Akira thanked the team members and said bye.
Before going to the house, he walked into the beach waters and recapped this day. He was happy; he never bothered to check his smart phone entire day. Daily, we get to see some pointless notifications and emails on our smart phone and we even check every half hour and it consumes a lot of time, unknowingly.
By the time he reached the house, the mechanic is waiting for him along with the car. Akira checked his car, thanked and paid him.
He entered the house and met the family with a broad smile.
âI played like anything today, I am exhausted.â Akira told.
âI am glad you had a good timeâ Satyajit replied.
‘Playing a game or sport keeps you fit both physically and mentally’ Satyajit added.
Akira stayed in their house for that night, during that night he learnt some painting techniques from Satyajit and read some recommended books.
He sent an email to his boss that he needs a break for couple of days.
Next day morning, Akira is set to go back to his home in the city. Akira thanked the entire family for the great hospitality and particularly thanked Satyajit for his valuable guidance on life.
He started his car, he recollected his last couple of days; he realized that his happiness lies in with the nature, cricket, painting and books.
He told himself that he will not spend extra hours in office, but move by 5 PM from office to play cricket and keep himself fit.
He told himself that he should stay closer to the nature; he thought of a vacation every three months.
He told himself that he will hone his painting skills and read lots of good books.
And his red car moved on this black long winding road.