First salary (Short Story)

It’s been 4 years Ajay graduated from the most reputed college in his city. He didn’t know whether to call it his fate or bad luck that he was not yet able to find a decent job for his living. He was fed up of the constant taunts from his family and friends.

The song of sea waves gave him enormous peace. He was sitting on the sea shore for the past three hours. He looked at the waves and said, “How lucky you are, no worries, no stress, peaceful existence.”

Till now, Ajay was hunting for jobs based on his educational qualification. Today after thinking for three hours, he took a decision. He made up his mind to start with any kind of job, no matter how small it is. A job that can at least help him to cover up his petty expenses.

As he got up to return home, something stuck his feet. It looked like a piece of paper. Just to know what it is, he picked it from the dry sand. He thought he will drop it in the dust bin near by. “A contribution  towards Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan, That’s the only thing I can do for the country as of now”, he said with a silly smile.

Before throwing it in the bin, he simply gave it a look. It was a photo of a pair of blue shoes. Something was written at the back. He read it loud. “If you get this picture, please return, it is very precious to me.” There was also a phone number scribbled below the note. Every word written was very clear. So he assumed, it must be lost recently.

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He got curious and called to that number. A lady picked the call. She had no idea which picture he was talking about. She disconnected the call.

Ajay kept the photo in his pocket and went home. Some unknown forces did not allow him to throw it away at the spot.

At night he got a call from that number. He was surprised as well as scared. “Did I fall into any trap?”, He thought for a while.

It was a gentle man’s voice from the other side. “Hello, I am Shankar,  Shankar Khurana. It was my wife who picked the call when you called in the evening. Actually she has no idea about that photo. I hope you did not throw it away. If you don’t mind, can you send the photo to my address?”

He sounded very polite. Ajay was impressed. “Yes sure, please give me your address. I will post it tomorrow itself.”, he said.

“Ok, I will text you my address. Thank you so much. May I know your name?” He asked.

“I am Ajay, Ajay Trivedi from Mumbai.” Ajay said proudly. “Can I ask you something Mr. Shankar?”

“Well, you may want to know what is so special of that photo, right?” Shankar read Ajay’s mind. Ajay was super impressed.

“You said you are from Mumbai. My office is near Chowpatty Beach. If that is convenient to you, we can meet some day when you are free.”

Ajay murmured in his mind “I am free from past four years.”

“I live near the beach. How about tomorrow?”, asked Ajay.

So they decided to meet the next day. Soon after the call, Ajay got a text from an unknown number. ‘Prabhath Textiles,  Chowpatty’, Just tell my name, anyone there will guide you.’

It was a very big and famous textiles in that area. So there was no confusion. “May be he works there”, thought Ajay.

Next day when he went to the textiles, he got to know that Mr. Shankar Khurana was the owner of Prabhath textiles. He knocked at Shakar’s cabin. “Please come in Ajay”, He got a warm welcome from a man in his 60’s.

Secret behind the photo

“When I was young, I belonged to a middle class family. I had many dreams to fulfill when I got a job. I started as a salesman in a small textile shop. I had a rich neighbor who always made fun of my chappals. So I wanted to buy a branded shoe when I got my salary and show him. This is that Shoe. It is a very precious memory of my first salary. In fact, I saved my three months’ salary to buy this Shoe. Borrowed a camera from my friend and clicked this photo. I simply wrote my land line number in the back side of the photo, in case I miss it any where. I always keep it in my wallet.”

Ajay smiled. He didn’t know how to react. He has been dreaming of his first salary for the past four years.

“I am so thankful to you Ajay. I never expected this photo would come back to me. By the way what are you doing. Working?”. He asked Ajay’s most hated question.

“No sir, searching for a job from past four years.” He said sincerely. “Well, I should leave now. Nice to know you sir.” Ajay tried to avoid further conversations.

Ajay went home and collapsed on his bed. A bunch of thoughts danced in his mind. Meanwhile his phone beeped. It was a text from Shankar. Ajay opened it.

“Dear Ajay, would you like to work with Prabhath textiles. I wanted to ask you here itself. But it looked like you were in a hurry. Just let me know if you are interested.”

Ajay jumped out of his bed. Working in textiles was not something related to his Engineering degree. But he decided to accept the offer and start a new journey.

 

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