Updated: Sep 13
He had been thinking about it for some time now. He couldn’t take it anymore. Far from home, he was just a teenager in a hostel filled with rote machines.
In pursuit of brilliance and awesomeness that others wished to see in him. After all, they had invested in him. Begged and borrowed money just for him.
But he was not like the others there.
They were driven and focussed. They had signed up to be products. Mass-produced in batches. In factories that filled one with just the right dose and blend of information.
He was, well, different. And that was a difficult position to be in.
The sly smiles, the hushed murmurs and looks of disdain after every test. They didn’t need words to bury him in a sea of shame. Those formulae on the board mocked him. Those alien words from the books mocked him. Those diagrams in the papers mocked him. They taunted him day and night. He was inferior. He was a failure.
He woke up from his fitful sleep. It was D-day. He would do it today. No more excuses. No more reconsideration. It would all end today. No matter what.
He had spent all his pocket money on the stuff he needed. He waited for everyone to go. He feigned illness and stayed back in his room. All alone. It was important. He didn’t want anyone to hear when he did it.
He packed his stuff and arranged it in a neat pile. Wore his crisp new shirt, trousers and shoes. He even had new underwear and socks. He gelled and combed his hair in the latest fashion. It was important to look perfect. It was a matter of his image, his self-esteem.
With trembling hands, he set the camera up to record his video.
It was uncomfortable. He loosened the collar of his white shirt. It was hot and they had removed the ceiling fans from their rooms.
‘There! It is done.’ he thought as he tapped his phone with a flourish to upload his video. He looked at the clock. It was time.
The rope he had bought was looking at him. Egging him on. With a decisive nod, he picked it up. He tied his bedding and bags with it, picked up his stuff and ran as fast as he could. Far far away from the hell hole. He had a train to catch.
“Ma! I am coming back. Check out my new song on YouTube.” He screamed into the phone.
He would not be a product he didn’t want to be.
“I am going to be a singer, Ma!”