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Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Song of Life

Hauling his bag and gasping for breath, he rushed into the restaurant. Luckily, the wall clock read 10.50 am and he relaxed as he took his time setting up his synthesizer and tuning the mike to get just the right note for a day of mellow music. He’d been told that several group bookings had been made for today by patrons celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries. He was ready with his stock of golden romantic songs and a few swinging new numbers that were always a hit with the restaurant’s usual crowd.

As he settled down to begin the live performance, he rifled through the pockets of his coat for his phone to switch it off. Once or twice he’d forgotten to do it and those were precisely the occasions when some pesky telecaller had rung to offer him a club membership he couldn’t afford. Now, as his fingers searched frantically, he couldn’t locate the phone in his coat or in his bag. A quick mental retracing of his actions before leaving home made him realize he’d forgotten it on the bed at home. That was good in a way – at least he didn’t have to bother about it ringing midway through his performance. Besides, there were hardly any calls he received ever since he’d fallen on hard times.

As the restaurant started getting filled, he began crooning soft numbers, keeping to his list of chosen songs. As each of the birthday groups came in, he sang the “Happy Birthday” song in the person’s name and then went on to sing some specific song they wanted. Some of the celebrators left the choice to him and he put his heart and soul into singing what he thought best suited their age or situation.

As he sang, watching the people talking and eating, he wondered about them. That couple who looked admiringly into each other’s eyes…would they make a loving life together? That man who sat with his teenage son, neither talking much, both seemingly lost in their own thoughts – were they here because the woman of the house was away and there was no one to cook at home? That lady and her daughter celebrating the kid’s birthday were here with other adults but the father seemed to be missing…what could have kept a dad away on such an important occasion? Did that married couple celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary seem to be a bit subdued or was that just the way some people were?

Whatever, surveying these people celebrating with their loved ones, he prayed they stay happy and laughing that way forever.

He reached home after a complimentary dinner at the restaurant. It had been a long and tiring day but he felt strangely satisfied.

Fishing out his phone from under the blanket, he checked to see if there were any calls he had missed. No, there had been no calls today. Nothing, except for an email from TimesJobs. Although he always automatically deleted those messages, today he clicked to read. It read,

On your birthday,
We wish you a great career ahead
Hey Sujay,
On your special day, we wish you lots of happiness and prosperity all round the year. On this special occasion, you surely would want to know how your stars are placed for the coming year and what actions you should take to make the best out of the available opportunities? To know more…………….

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