Chapter 4: The Kingdom of Obsession ‘The Tragedy’

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Chapter 4: The Kingdom of Obsession ‘The Tragedy’

He quickly put on the night robes set the book aside on the side table putting all his clothes on the bed opened the door for his dinner.

Again he tipped the water heavily; the waiter left happily. He wanted the waiter to leave him alone as soon as possible. He didn’t want him to keep blabbering about “Enjoy your meal sir, have a nice day sir good night sir…”

Vivek never read a book while watching TV or while eating food. He wanted full concentration on the books and moreover he wanted to take it slow; he loved suspense and the story had stopped at one.

He enjoyed his dinner as if it was his last one; slowly chewing each and every morsel aiding in its digestion. He never watched TV, unless it was a cricket match. TV destroys your imagination he said, your mind stopped imagining things. He heavily criticized movie directors for making movies inspired by a novel. That stopped people from reading the book. That’s the worst you could do to kill a book and kill creativity.

He had stopped watching news channels too. “They are all fake,” he said, “spewing all the venom and creating tension in the society.”

So the TV in his room was never switched on. He placed his dinner on the table and made himself comfortable on the chair and armed himself with a knife and a fork, all ready to enjoy his dinner to the fullest. His dinner menu was always fixed. The hotel knew what he liked. He didn’t want to remind them every time and the hotel understood it.

Slowly digging into the meal he started thinking about the book. “The book is not that great as it is hyped about. There was no suspense, it is predictable. The storyline is good but bland, nothing new or special to it. And where is my memorabilia? You’ll get it, calm down now.” he consoled himself.

The book might have taken an interesting turn with the tragedy mentioned in the last pages he just read. So what could be the tragedy? Did Jishnu die before the app got released? No that’s not possible; the book would end there, isn’t it? Well unless it is a ghost story; and this is not. So what happened? Probably his partner ditched him. No that will spoil the story. Or is it that he could not release the app as scheduled? Probably the marketing team goofed up and the release dates got extended making him adjust his schedule accordingly. Certainly looking at the theme of obsession and with his obsession for schedules, this is entirely plausible. Or probably he ran out of money to support his company, naah not possible, his father will help him out; unless something happens and his father decides to cut him off, yes.

So which one is it? He began to consider. The suspense was building up yet he would not hurry with his meal. He liked the suspense and he liked his dinner too.

After about half an hour he finished his meal clearing his plate clean he placed the plate outside the room not bothering to call room service for clearance, they would get to it he knew. Cleaning himself up he sat on the chair and opened the book.

Turns out that he was right about the app not releasing as planned, but that was anybody’s guess. A much bigger tragedy had fallen on Jishnu; his partner Firoz had died. Just when there were 2 days left for the release Firoz got involved in a car accident and died.
The tragedy almost devastated Jishnu. But he could not mourn over it. He had to fight the tears he had to go as per the plan. He did not mourn not because he had no love for Firoz, but because the mourning was not mentioned in his schedules. On the other hand, Jishnu had to change his schedule to finish Firoz’s pending work.

His friends were furious when they came to know that Jishnu would not attend the funeral as it was not mentioned in his schedule. But Jishnu had a reputation to turn into a furious lion when someone tried to convince him to break his schedule. That had an exception; Divya.

Only Divya had had the courage to speak to him directly on his face. In fact she spoke to everyone the same. She was his Assistant Engineer and also his childhood classmate and dear friend. They had something special going on between them; she called it love and he… Well, he didn’t know there was something special happening. She had to step in as this whole episode would be a bad advertisement for their app.

“How could you do this Jish?” she asked him with a surprised tone.

“Look Divya, look” he opened his Google calendar and showed her his schedule.

“What’s this? Are even listening to what I am saying?” she was getting frustrated.

“This is my schedule which I had prepared over the past week. Do you see anywhere that I have any extra time to spare?” he asked her moving the phone closer to her face.

“Stop it Jish” she pushed the phone off her face as hard as she could. “What are you saying Jish? Are you saying that you don’t have time for your dear friend? Come on Jish, this is the last time you will be able to see him.” she said almost fighting the tears back into her eyes.

“Look I saw him last evening when he was alive and could respond to whatever I said. He’s gone he’s left us. There is no point in talking to his dead body. I am busy. If possible I will send some flowers for his funeral” he said casually.

“What!” Divya just could not believe what she just heard. Maybe she was dreaming; no it’s reality. This was not the Jishnu she fell in love with. “Are you listening to yourself Jish? So if something happens to me tomorrow will you come and help or will you check your schedule first to find out if you have any spare time?” her voice was furious now.

“Divya just leave me, please. I have got work to do. I have changed my schedule to work double now. I have to cover what Firoz was doing too”.

“But what is the hurry Jish? This work can wait. What will happen if it is delayed by one day? Just relax man. Just mourn for a day at least for your dear friend like others”, she pleaded.

“Don’t you realize we have only 2 days left for the release and there is a ton of work to be done? You guys are wasting your time. In fact, you guys have to work double hard on this now,” he said.

“Release in 2 days? What are you talking about? Didn’t you hear the release has been postponed for 3 months?” she broke the news.

“What who did that?” he was surprised and angry.

“Paul did it” she swiftly replied.

“What why? And why was I not informed about this? Wait let me get that bastard’s act right. Paul you are fired” he said with his furious voice and picked up the phone.

Divya grabbed the phone away from him. “I told him to do so and this reaction is the precise reason why it was not informed to you and I think as your Assistant I have the right to postpone the release.”

“But why? Why did you postpone it? 3 months! God 3 months is a long time and we will lose to our competitors. Why did you do this to me?” his mind was racing through all the alterations he will have to do to his schedules because of this change. “What will I do for these 3 months? God, I am screwed.”

Divya took a moment to consider her answer. The real reason she had postponed the release was to give the entire team a proper time for mourning. Firoz was a team player, he was everyone’s favorite. He was the glue that bonded them together whereas Jishnu was the thinner that loosened the strongest of adhesives. She foresaw that with Firoz gone and Jishnu with his crazy love for his schedules the team will scatter it will break and it will be a huge failure for the app. No, she could not take a chance she had to be the savior she had to save the company. But she could not let Jishnu know about it, so she came up with another explanation.

“I did this because it’s bad marketing for our app Jish. With your partner gone and the company mourning the public might think our company has no human touch to it. While actually we are emphasizing human connections and on the contrary we are not doing as we are preaching in real life.” she said with confidence.

She had Jishnu’s full attention focused on her.

“and then” she continued “we can use this opportunity to let people know more about Firoz through this app. We will showcase his life and achievements on the app. So that people will know what we are committed to”, she was talking in his language now; the language of business. She had played her trick.

“Oh yes… Yes you are right. Why didn’t I see that? We can ask the marketing team to get right to it” suddenly his tone was filled with excitement.

Still no sign of mourning for his friend; Divya sighed. But she had to play along.

“Don’t worry we will do just that. As soon as possible we will do it. But first, let’s get ready for the funeral. Now since you have the time to change your schedule a little bit and come along with me. Please at least for me.” she pleaded.

“Off course baby,” he said and got up to wash his face.

“Ah, finally he’s back.” Divya let a sigh of relief.

Jishnu didn’t need much time for getting ready. He just needed to wash his face, apply some cream on his hair, and sprayed a deodorant. Shaving was a once in a week activity and changing clothes was once in 2 days activity. He quickly glanced at his Google calendar and made some mental adjustments to his schedule and he was ready to go. But as soon as he looked away from the schedule he had a hint of sadness in his face.

“Hey what happened now” she saw the sadness and hugged him.

“Nothing, forget it. You’ll get angry with me” he tried to avoid her questioning.

“Why I will be angry. Come on now I love you and you know that. I cannot be angry with you. Tell me what’s the matter?” she hugged him tighter.

“It’s just that I don’t know what to do with the extra 3 months of time” he frowned.

“And I was thinking Firoz’s death is bothering him. So stupid of me” She thought.

“Don’t worry we will sit together later today and plan out our schedule for the next 3 months.” she assured him.

“Really?” he said excitedly.

“Yes off course and probably you can keep up your promise you had made” she started playing with him.

“What promise?” that took him by surprise.

“The promise of you taking me to the Maldives for a holiday. It’s been almost a year since you made that promise and now you have 3 extra months to fulfill the same. A week in the Maldives as you had promised” she reminded him.

“Oh yes I did promise you. But I have to work on the app”

“You were going to finish the work in 2 days if I am not wrong,” she said punching him on his arm. “Besides now you have 3 months to work on it and fix all the glitches too. We will work hard and we will plan it out and I will help you with it. Don’t worry the app will be ready for release. I want you to detox from your grief. One week away from all work. I am sure the team will take care of the work. (“The team will be more relieved to”, she thought) please for me Jish” she pleaded.

“OK done I will alter my schedule and get the travel plan fixed,” he said.

“Oh Jish you are so sweet”, she gave him a peck on his cheek as she giggled with excitement.

They both got ready and left for the funeral. “This is not the right way to go to a friend’s funeral” Divya was thinking in the back of her mind. But when it’s Jishnu there was no use thinking about moral convictions.

Sydney Billford Monteiro

Sydney Billford Monteiro was born and brought up in Mangalore, Karnataka. An HR by profession, he has a Masters in Social Work and is working for the Hospitality Industry in Bangalore. He is an avid reader of Crime Thrillers, Mystery novels, and Science books. Creative writing and poetry is his passion.

He loves exploring the world of stories. His favourite pastime is experimenting with real-life events, creating characters, and turning them into engaging storylines.

Apart from reading and writing the author loves football; his favourite game and watching movies that depict unusual concepts and real-life events.

He also loves to have a healthy debate over a scientific idea.

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