The Choice

By: ilimow

“Cheers! To all of us for making this day happen! Today all three of us have reached a stage where we can write our own Destiny" - Tushar spoke in his usual confident tone raising his glass to the other two fresh Law graduates who were quietly listening to him.

“Indeed! Now on we will never have to look back." – Nakul shared his thoughts, though less confidently. After a pause he added, “Isn’t it, Hriday?"

Hriday looked at his friends who were half done with there glass of whisky. He raised his glass of soft drink and joined the celebration.

“Indeed! It’s a great day for all of us. We have all the reasons to celebrate. It was almost impossible for orphans like us to emerge as law graduates."

“But today we are the amongst fresh league of law graduates. And the credit goes to you Hriday for making us stick to a strict agenda." - Tushar expressed his gratitude, but his tone didn’t reflect the emotion that his words depicted.

“Very true! If it weren’t for Hriday, I would have surely flunked. Remember how scared I was during the last one month." – Nakul took the opportunity to thank Hriday for the support and guidance He had given them throughout their growing years.

Hriday was touched with the emotions that leaked from Nakul’s eyes as he expressed his gratitude.

“I just have you two as my family! Whatever I did was to see us all happy and successful. But we shouldn’t forget master Solomon’s contribution. His guidance and support made it possible for us to get sponsors for education, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to see this day."

“All that guy did, was to make us parade in front of those crazy guilt-ridden, fame-seeking morons, so that we could impress them and get sponsorship." – Tushar curtly interrupted Hriday.

“Those people you call morons are the ones who sponsored our education." Hriday replied calmly. He was used to Tushar’s attitude.

“And the very people who brought their friends to the orphanage, just to show off their generosity towards an orphan child." – Tushar retaliated with glint of anger in his eyes.

“That’s because you were the only handsome guy in the orphanage!" – Nakul modestly confessed.

“That I am. I can’t help it!" Tushar was pleased with the compliment He received.

Even though he had heard it several time, it made him feel good to hear it again.

Nakul secretly looked at Hriday who was waiting for his glance and both shared a wicked smile.

“So you guys have any plan for your future?" Tushar questioned both Hriday and Nakul. He was least interested to listen to their plans. He actually wanted a chance to share his plans with them and he didn’t have to wait for long.

“I don’t know. I am blank as usual. I guess I will just follow one of you guys. What’s your plan?" Nakul looked towards Hriday for guidance.

But before Hriday could utter anything Tushar spoke – “You better follow me, Mr. Wise Guy will lead you on a path of salvation where you will get nothing but empty praises. But if you follow me, you will play with money.

This world runs on money. Remember how desperate we were at times for even our smallest needs, just because we didn’t have money. Without Money nothing works in this world. We wouldn’t even be able to complete our education if we had not pleased our so-called sponsors."

“But Hriday never took help from any sponsor." – Nakul tried to correct Tushar.

Tushar didn’t like to be corrected. He reverted back immediately with an explanation, “That’s because of his stubbornness. He could have easily got a sponsor. But he rejected and chose to work on part-time basis. And remember while we were playing, this guy was out shedding sweats to earn his education fees. If only he had been smart enough, He could have enjoyed that time with us."

Nakul wasn’t convinced. He had always seen Hriday as an Idol. He considered it his duty to defend Hriday, as Hriday never spoke about himself.

“But in spite of all that today He is with us. There is no difference between him and us except for the marks. He scored better than us even though we had more free time with us." - Nakul pointed out honestly.

Tushar never enjoyed Hriday’s praise. Although he did consider him a friend he was always against the principles Hriday followed. He retaliated angrily

“Ya-Ya. But what is he going to do with those good marks. I challenge you guys. Amongst three of us, I will be the most successful one. Lets decide today to meet every year on this day at this time in this very place to share our success stories."

“Meet? What do you mean by ‘meet’? We will all be together. Aren’t we?“ – Nakul asked without making any attempt to mask his fear. He panicked at the thought of being alone. He always wanted someone by his side, either Hriday or Nakul.

“Tushar is going to Delhi to work for a MNC firm as a legal executive." Hriday informed Nakul about Tushar’s plan.

“And how do you know this?" Nakul asked, surprised at the fact that he was left out.

“That’s because He filled the form for me and got it signed from master Solomon." - Tushar admitted rather unwillingly.

“And what is your plan, Hriday? You too joining somewhere?" – Nakul asked anxiously. He was desperate for ideas.

“I am considering being a public solicitor. Would like to serve the government and fight for the one’s who can’t afford the court fees." Hriday spelled out his plan.

“And he thinks it’s easy to get a government job without reference." – Tushar mocked at Hriday’s plan. “There’s no place for people like you in the government. Even to get in there you have to be smart."

Hriday thought for a while before speaking. He knew very well Tushar didn’t liked to be corrected. But it was important to correct him, he thought, so finally he spoke.

“Tushar, don’t call it smartness. What you do is not smartness. What you call smartness is sheer love for material things. You are compromising on your ideals just to make some quick gains. But in the process of achieving these material luxuries you often compromises on the principles and ideals that make a man worth the respect He gets. Anyone, who is more successful than his other counterparts, considers self as smart. But remember, Success is not the sign of smartness and not always does smartness lead to success."

Tushar got irritated as expected. He interrupted Hriday again.

“OK, Mr. Wise Guy then lets consider it a challenge. We meet again next year same day, same time & same place. Lets see where each of us reach following our ideals."

“Sir! Sir! Should I order you something?" - Hriday was abruptly pulled out of the thoughts from his past by the waiter’s request.

It took him some time to compose himself. He looked around. The restaurant was crowded as usual. Then he looked at his watch. It was 9:00 pm, the time he and his friends had agreed to meet on that day. But this year he was the only one who had turned up. He then looked at the waiter who was patiently waiting for his response. “Yes! A glass of coke would do. Thank you."

“Sure Sir." – the waiter left with the order leaving Hriday alone again to drive into the memory lane.

Hriday continued from where he was interrupted.

“But Guys what am I supposed to do. You two have always been against each other and I had to go through the dilemma of choosing whom I have to follow. Can’t you guys ever agree on any one thing? Why do you have to make it so difficult for me to decide." Nakul grumbled expressing his helplessness.

Hriday pitied Nakul’s plight but didn’t want to show it. He didn’t wanted Nakul to be dependant on anyone for his life’s decision.

He looked at Nakul to give him a piece of advice - “Nakul. It’s time now you make your own decisions. Stop following either of us. Follow your heart."

“And be doomed like him!" Tushar interrupted Hriday again. He never accepted Hriday’s point of view and never allowed to preach his principles.

“But I will go with Hriday’s plan whatever it is. I know He is always right." – Nakul announced his wish.

“Suits you moron. You have never been able to make a right decision." - Tushar ridiculed Nakul’s decision. He was always competitive with Hriday. And Nakul’s favoring Hriday was something he couldn’t accept.

“Sir! Your order." The waiter placed the coke on the table and left without saying anything more. He didn’t want to bother Hriday who seemed to be lost in thoughts. But Hriday was already disturbed.

He picked up the glass of coke and looked across the table. His friends were not there as expected.

Reluctantly his eyes shed tears for the guilt he was experiencing. He had chosen the path that led him away from his friends, forever. He could have changed the situation for his friends too but he was restricted by his principles. It was his belief that all that happens is bound to happen and shouldn’t be interfered. So he let his friends take the path they chose and decide to walk his chosen path alone. And that is the reason his friends were not with him today.

Self Improvement and Motivation

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