Thursday, March 19, 2009

A plain life

Ajay was a real simple guy, with simple dreams. His simpleton nature maybe attributed to his village life. He was the 1st person to become an engineer in his town. His father had great ambitions for his son. His father was the 1st graduate in town and was the 1st to get a government job as well. So Ajay had to improve upon that and he did that by being the 1st engineer in the entire village. He went to a town to complete his engineering degree. He got into mechanical engineering. Like all village boys in towns, he was also made fun of; for his dressing style from the 80's, or for his hair that he used to oil and curl up like some 70's film hero, or his simple study technique-where he used to write down each and everything he learnt 3-4 times so that he could get it into his head. He used to believe that he's from a village and has to work extra hard to overcome the shortcomings in his life and he did work hard and was lucky to get into a prestigious PSU when they came calling to his college campus looking for bright, young and dynamic engineers.

He got into NTPC and was posted to Singrauli Power Plant after his training in Gurgaon, where he learnt and re-learnt many of the funda's in mechanical engineering for suiting to his work life. He once again learned about Power Plant Engineering. He learnt new techniques like FEMA, TPM, Maintenance concepts etc etc. He was delighted to work in an organisation that powered the lives of millions of Indians everyday. He was also proud of the fact that he worked in a installation that produced 10% of the total power produced in the country. He was on 7th heaven when he was made a panel operator just after one year of getting into the job. He had the power of controlling the entire complex from his hand and at times he felt lucky to be at such a high position for a village boy he is.

He used to be well behaved to his superiors and subordinates and all of his subordinates were so happy that they vied with each other to get along with his shift for their duty. He was a soft spoken person and had a jovial attitude. He was an able decision maker and took the right decisions at the right time for the smooth operation of the plant. Slowly slowly the thrill of operating the panel died down and he felt bored doing the same monotonous job of watching the parameters on the panel. He needed some adventure in his job and jumped at the 1st chance when his boss needed a supervisory engineer to oversee the activities relating to the erection of a new fume stack(chimney) in the plant.

It was amongst the tallest chimney's in the world. Heck it was so tall that it had a lift for getting to the top of the stack. Except in special cases the top floor was kept out of reach for most people. The chimney was 181 mts tall. It was so tall that one could see the clouds below on winter times. He was to oversee a work for changing the airline mast which would warn approaching low flying air-craft about the tall structure. His job was to just stand there along with the safety inspector and make sure the job was done with proper safety equipments and precautions. It was simply boring standing there all the time but then he wanted a change from his boring routine in the panel.

He was to do the job in 3 days and would just stand there watching the workers put up the support structure for the light masts. He would walk down the steps and then take the elevator down. On the final day he was to inspect the wind deflectors by going down on the side of the chimney via a wire rope. He wasn't someone who was afraid of heights, but hanging down on a 181 mtr tall structure with just a rope isn't for the faint-hearted. He went down while watching each of his steps on the way down and also looking above at the safety inspector coming down.

After inspecting three of the wind deflectors he was going to the 4th and final one on the west side. The time was almost over for the day and the sun began its slow descent into oblivion over the horizon. He thought this is his last day and just turned around to see the sun go down. He slowly turned and saw the glory of the sun going down leaving streaks of reddish orange all over the sky.

He was very happy to see this and felt a special sense of happiness, never felt before in his entire life. He was happy to have seen the sun like that, happy to see the world from such a vantage point. That's what heights do to you. He was happy and just was enjoying the view when he heard a small sound, the sound of a rope snapping. He had just seconds before he felt the adrenaline rush to his head, the release of the special fluid that happens when body is extremely vulnerable or extremely excited. He was flying through the air and could feel nothing but the wind blowing across his body. At times he was trying to stay calm, but his mind was telling him about his impending death.

He fell on the ground on the evening of 5th March, 2009 and died. While he fell on the ground he could only think about all the unfulfilled dreams of his life. It is absolutely an absurd belief to think that your life flashes in front of your eyes while you're about to die. Ajay didn't feel a thing from his past. All he could imagine were all the unfulfilled dreams of his life; to be a lover, to be a caring husband, to be an affectionate dad, to be an admirable role model for his kids, to be a guiding force for his grand children. All dreams that he'd never dreamt about, but wished he'd the time to see them come true.

For Ajay death came as a unwelcome surprise, and it never made him see the life behind him like a fast forward film. Instead Ajay saw the unfulfilled dreams of his life.

So i tell you, never wait for the right moment, coz you never know what's in store for you the very next moment in life; so if you love someone and haven't got the guts to tell them, do it NOW! If you've been cruel to your friends, accept that in front of them; if you've been rude to your family, tell them you're sorry for it. As they say, life is not measured in the number of breaths you take, but in the moments that take your breath away! So keep it in mind and act accordingly.


Viajero said...

A reflection of your boring,mundane job? ;)
I am feeling bored, but being in Projects there is some variety compared with the maintenance section....

IIMs is still alluring me and you too I believe, one more year of wait I suppose for me :) Hope ;)

Hari Vishnu said...

i hope this is just a story.. cos if it was real... (no words to describe)

anything to do with death is truly depressing for me.. and scary.. yes, its upto us to make the most of what life we have.. i even got a mail forward today that was pretty similar to this.. looking almost ominous to me :-S..

btw, the movie 'Departures' is truly worth a watch.. Oscar nominated Japanese movie.. awesome stuff..

Hari said...

Very well described. I could almost live the life of Ajay as I read through. Nice story!

Although the tragic ending was sort-of guessable, I loved the 'moral' at the end. I guess that applies to me too!

Great way to make a story!! Never expected something so mindblowing when you said you'd be penning a story... hehe. :D

And do blog regularly!

Hari said...

@ Viajero:
His wait is over. :-) You'll know why, soon! :P

Girl With Big Eyes said...

I liked the story - very inspiring. But like Hari said hope it's not real. I had gone through something similar, and it kind of broke me down a long time ago.

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

@ Viajero - Its a story inspired by TRUE events in my plant. One guy did lose his life, not the biological life, but he lost a girl's hand in marriage, he lost his service for 1 year because of an accident. This one's dedicated to him. I wanted to write about the exact incident, but then he didn't allow me, so had to make it fact+fiction. I envy you for your porojects job. Here my job isn't making me bored, its the constant jibes from my always unsatisfied boss that makes me wanna runaway from this place. Plus the location is ultra koothara. Nothing except industry here :(

@ Hari Vishnu - Check the above comment for veracity of the story. I'll check that movie after i download it. Now lotta other movies in my list :)

@ Hari - Thanks man! I'd lotta help from wiki to make this post come alive. I'd wanted to make the end just abrupt without any moral or stuff like that coz i hate preaching, but then couldn't help :D. About the wait being over, well i will have a detailed post on that pretty soon.

@ GWBE - Good to see you here. I'm happy that you enjoyed the story.

manoranjini said...

The story reminded me in parts about someone i know,you!Is this inspired by the nightmare u had ???liked the descriptions though...and finally,cheer up!pls do enlighten up about your wait being over ,wassup on that front ? :-)

I'm said...

He was very happy to see this and felt a special sense of happiness, never felt before in his entire life. ... At times he was trying to stay calm, but his mind was telling him about his impending death.

Loved it! Like, the voice-over from the climax of American Beauty. Lovely. A real movie-quality dialogue. The best part of the story. :-D

Fall Protection Miami Florida said...

Sometimes it's a bit surprising how most Indians would be "the first" in their town or whatever. Look, they are a country of over a billion people. What are the rest doing if one claims the he is only the first to do something? It's bizarre and a bit compelling. But my congratulations to you anyway. I'm sure you make your family really proud.