Pratik Mainali

Pratik is a high school graduate from Trinity International College, Dilli Bazaar, Kathmandu.

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Published On: September 27, 2017 08:02 AM NPT By: Pratik Mainali

The Great Slacker: Part One

The Great Slacker: Part One

The room where Mahavir spends his days are quiet, but in his head it has its own tune, a tune that has allowed him to find a vague meaning in life, a tune that unlike everything else in his life has remained unchanged a bit over the years, a tune that has helped him persevere through all the hardships the world had hurled in front of him, a tune, his tune.  

He sat on the edge of his bed, his legs dangling, his hands clutching an old Agatha Christie novel tightly, as he was leafing through it. As he finished the book his mind drifted towards the park. He began wondering if some of the kids he knew were still there. His face was firm as he gazed abstractly at the ceiling above.

He began scanning the room back and forth, up and down. There was a strange unnatural silence in the room, the only sound he could hear were the occasional moving of the cockroaches under his bed, and the wind wailing with weak gusts against the window pane.

He decided to let the cool air in. He got up to open the window, the books slid from his hands into the bed. His legs were numb because of sitting unnaturally in the bed for too long. He stretched his legs a bit and felt a faint stab on his back while doing so he got erect and went to the window.
Suddenly, the door flung open.

An old man with a massive frame and a commanding face charged into the room. Mahavir’s eyes turned slowly and they rested in him. Mahavir face started to tense as he watched his father charge into his room. Father gave a stern look to Mahavir.

“Dad…”said Mahavir in a slow, puzzled voice.

There was a momentary awkward silence in the room. “Did you go to the job appointment, Mahavir”
Silence as they stared at each other. Then father said heavily, “Get up you imbecile”.
 Something in his father’s voice chilled Mahavir “dad ….I” Mahavir managed to reply in a weak voice.

 “Listen to me kid, it’s 10 am and all of your friends are out their working, making money, lots of it, and you sit here staring at that table all day. You don’t think if you look at it long enough moneys going to pour out from it do you?”

“I’m tryi..iing”he tried to speak but words stuck in his throat. Mahavir’s face flushed and he looked embarrassed

“You don’t need to tell me anything kid. I want you out of my house in 30 minutes and I don’t want you to return until you find a job.”

”But dad mother won’t let me go.”

“The only reason mother won’t let you go is because she knows you don’t really want to go.”
“I want to, dad I just can’t. I really want to go out.”

“No you don’t sonny. If you really wanted to you would’ve got a job by now “The old man spoke suddenly and explosively. 

“Dad, I really don’t want to g..”

“You’re not fooling anyone sonny. You just don’t have the guts to go out and face the world. You escapist looser. Hiding behind the cover of your comic books.”

It was one of those moments when time stood still.

The words seemed to fill the room and reverberate against the walls. In no time the voice filled his head, stayed there for a while and then fell down his belly. Tying his belly to knots.

 Mahavir listened to the voice first with shock and then with growing anger. This time Mahavir didn’t reply ,his expression completely changed as blood came rushing to his face. Father could see Mahavir’s jaw tighten and his eyes were wide and full of fury. Father was now stung with anger.
“Don’t give me that look kid.”

Gaurav sat their staring at him, his eyes wide.

Suddenly he sprang towards Mahavir and started pounding him furiously, he beat him until there was blood coming out of his ears and nose. The pain was almost unbearable.

His father caught him tightly by the collar with one hand and throat with the other. He then threw him forcefully to the wall. Mahavir landed on the wall on his back. He felt a sudden rush of pain going through his body, and he winced in pain. His heart was pounding and his lungs were bursting. He fell down on the floor with his back touching the wall. He could fell the coolness of the wall on his back. It was the only thing he felt

Father looked at his sons crumpled figure on the floor, shook his head slowly, almost regretfully and they went away.

Mahavir felt a faint relief as he watched his father stroll out of the room. Slowly, he got himself up pressing the wall against his back. He then started to his bed. There was a dull pain in his back which began to spread. Every movement spread excruciating spasms throughout his body.

 He threw himself in the soft bed and landed with his face against the soft pillows. He glanced at the Christie book which had slipped from his hands a while ago. It reminded him of his father.

Escapist looser) the voice kept repeating in his head. He put an alarm in his phone for 3 pm and then sank back on the bed. He had a lot of work to do when he woke up. Pratik is a high school graduate from Trinity Higher Secondary School. 

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