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Fiction Friendship Contemporary

Satish came home from the farm for lunch. After cleaning his hands and legs properly, he sat down for lunch along with his father.

"Baba, I have to tell you something important," Satish said.

Surprised, Father finished the morsel in the mouth and said,” What is it?”

“Baba, My results for S.S.C. will be out very soon. I want to go to Mumbai for further studies. Can I start looking for colleges in Mumbai and a convenient residence arrangement?” Satish reeled out in one breath.

Shocked Shankar Rao and his wife Nirmala Devi looked at each other.

“If you go to Mumbai, who will help me in farming? Who will look after our farms, when I retire from this work? I am getting old and very soon I will not be able to put in the required labor. “ Shankar Rao said after thinking over the matter.

“I will be back after getting a degree. That will be 4 years or at the most 5 years. I will be working in the field after I return.” Satish said.

"Okay. We will discuss this later. But I do not agree with this idea," Shankar Rao.

“ I have thought over this for some time now and I have almost decided to go to Mumbai,” Satish.

"Give me some time to consider the pros and cons,” Shankar Rao resented the idea. But Satish was firm on his decision.

The next day, before going on the field, Satish met his friend Ramesh.

“Ramesh, I have decided to go to Mumbai. I want to take some degree. Actually, I find this farming work uninteresting. This village life is so mundane. No girl worthy of considering as a life partner. I want to go to Mumbai and enjoy that fast, interesting way of living,” Satish told Ramesh.

“What are you saying? It is not so easy to adapt to city life. Our village life is slow but it has not made us mechanical. We still meet each other, share our ideas and we never feel alone, or isolated. We understand each other's problems and extend all possible help. Our entire habitat acts as a family and one never feels lonely,” Ramesh asserted. “ What about your crush Vidya? Will you be able to forget her?”

“No Ramesh, in Mumbai, everything is in so much abundance that you can get anything quickly and easily and in large quantity. One just can not compare these two lives,’ Satish insisted. “And about Vidya. I haven’t thought about her much. As such I find her a typical village girl. I have come to know that Mumbai girls are much smarter. Maybe, I will find a smarter girl there."

After a lot of deliberation and arguments, Satish landed in Mumbai. He missed his childhood friends. But he got new friends. Satish was impressed by the automated facilities. Metro train service, local trains, bus service. And to top it easily available taxi service. Many restaurants offer ample choices of food. Glittering malls promote trending apparel and the latest gadgets.

Satish was impressed. He was extremely happy over the jazzy environment.

He made many friends. Seriously studying during the weekdays, he was enjoying the weekends. Trekking the nearby areas, picnicking in various gardens, Fun, Fun, All the way great entertainment. Every human being here was having a whale of a time.

But slowly Satish realized, many of his new friends here were not happy with their present lifestyle. The smarter girls were mainly interested in money backup. Their smartness needed much more money to maintain themselves. They were dreaming of boys settled in some Western country. Some friends were planning to shift to the U.K. The information they had gathered about the U.K. had mesmerized them. The current way of living, they were finding uninteresting.

Every activity in Mumbai, they found humdrum. Every activity in the UK they thought to be exciting.

And few of them left Mumbai and shifted to the U.K.

Satish also got influenced by these thoughts. After informing his father, Satish also took admission to master's, and he shifted to the U.K.

Satish found the U.K. on the lines of Mumbai. A step ahead of what Mumbai had to offer.

The girls there were smarter than Mumbai girls. He was getting attracted to every girl he was coming in contact with.

Satish got involved in that lifestyle. Initially, he enjoyed the changed way of living. But soon he found the life humdrum. The girls had dreams of leading a lifestyle in the U.S.

His local friends too were not happy with their way of life.

During the two years of postgraduation, he realized the boys there had the ambition to move to the U.S. They considered the U.S. as their dream country. After exchanging ideas with British friends, Satish was also impressed with the idea of moving to the  U.S.

Satish applied to various universities in the U.S. for admission to a research program. And brilliant that he was, he got acceptance to MIT.

Satish joined the institute. He found the lifestyle there a step further from that of the U.K.

Along with his studies, he was enjoying the different way of living.

After a couple of years, his studies were coming to an end. His research was about to get over.

He noticed that even this lifestyle had become monotonous. The activities that he relished so much, had lost their charm. The girls had absurd ideas about their life partners. He thought the beautiful, smart girls were unsuitable for his Indian mind.

After receiving his Doctorate, he booked his ticket back to India.

As soon as he landed in Mumbai he drove down to his village,

His friend Ramesh received him.

Satish realized his village had got transformed so much. The small village had turned into a small city. The barren land then had changed into a bustling area with many buildings. So many cars were plying on the road. A few malls were studded with beautiful showrooms.

‘ How everything here has changed. A small quiet village had got transformed into a hustling bustling town rather than a small city. He remembered his school days crush, a typical village girl, Vidya.

‘Where would she be? Like the village, has she also changed into a modern lady?' Satish was uneasy.

After a general talk, Ramesh told him about his childhood crush Vidya, who had received her MBBS and joined the Civil Hospital in the town. Satish’s childhood memories surfaced. He wanted to see Vidya as early as possible.

Satish went to her consulting room.

When he saw Vidya, Satish was taken aback. A graceful, educated, adorable lady was in front of him. Realizing that she had not tied the knot yet, Satish was happy and wanted to propose to her.

“Nice to see you back home. Where did you finish your education?” Vidya asked.

"I went to Mumbai first thinking that grass is greener there. But by the time I graduated, I found that life there had turned monotonous. To overcome monotony, I went to the U.K. for post-graduation. Here too I was searching for greener pasture which I thought was in the USA. I went to the U.S.A. Got my Ph.D. But again, I found life there mundane.

So finally, when I realized that the grass in our country was the greenest, I returned. Now I will look for a suitable job and manage farming with father.”

Satish paused. He studied Vidya’s expressions. He was trying to find out whether she was still interested in him.

“Satish, my patients are waiting for consultation. Can we meet tomorrow evening?” Vidya checked up.

‘Next day! Isn’t it too late?’ Satish thought.

“What about today evening? At any time convenient to you?” hesitantly Satish said.

“I have an important meeting in the evening today. Don’t know when it will get over.” Vidya said.

“In that case, when your meeting gets over, you give me a call. I will start immediately and will come here to pick you up. We will have dinner in a good restaurant.” Satish suggested.

“It is okay with me. But today only you have landed here. Aren’t you having jet lag?”

“When I saw you, I have forgotten the jet lag and all that. I will be waiting for your phone call in the evening. We will meet and proceed to a restaurant.” Saying this Satish got into his car and started going to his house.

July 26, 2023 17:53

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