I looked at the glass,
It was half-full,
Or was it half-empty?
The amber-coloured liquid,
Ambrosia when taken in moderation,
A killer when it turns into an addiction.
I looked at the notepad,
A last message,
A final letter to the world,
When they found my corpse,
Another failure in this big city,
That makes a milion dreams come true.
But failed me?
The scripts that had been rejected,
The manuscripts that the publishers,
Had sent with a rejection notice,
The reminders from the banks,
Asking me to repay the loan,
Some letters from home,
Asking me to remit money,
They all lay in stacks, one atop the other.
The paper packet of rat poison,
The vendor outside the railway station,
Had promised – would be potent,
Enough to kill ten rats sir,
Very strong poison sir,
Five rupees that’s all it cost me,
What do you get for five rupees today?
Even a cutting-chai costs a tenner.
Would the packet suffice?
Would I be put out of my misery?
Would this help me?
Would this help my family?
Was suicide the answer to all questions?
This was how it was all going to end?
One more failure, one more statistic,
That the municipal records would close.
No – no – it cannot end this way.
Let me give it one more shot,
A second chance at life,
I am destined for greater things,
If not greater, at least for a life of mediocrity,
That lets me pay the bills,
And keep everyone happy.
I flushed the rat-poison down the toilet,
Put my head into a bucket of cold water,
Rinsed out all the frustration from every pore,
The newspaper from Sunday,
Had a list of vacancies,
They were hiring chowkidars,
The agency was offering Rs 10,000 a month,
Plus food and money for over time,
The star scholar from college,
The darling of the professors,
Was going to give life a second chance.
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