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Al and Me

Al and Me

 

She looked puzzled. “Who are you?”, She asked. Her mind was filled with doubts. She appeared devastated and showed no interest on me. It looked like she completely took me away from her mind. “This wasn’t you whom I had known”, she continued in a soft voice. “You had lost your soul and your true identity which is equivalent to death”, she confronted. I was still, silent. “It’s all over”, she concluded and left. I stood there like a fool without reactions.

***

A year back we started our relationship. I met her in my office and she was a new employee hired for software development. She came as a trainee and I was chosen to equip her with the software skills necessary for the new project. She was vibrant and had the persona of making the environment filled with excitement. Her learning skills were apparently prolific and her grasping power was immense. She was a quick learner and showed good analytical skills. I had put all my efforts to train her and I was glad I produced a good resource ready to meet the market standards. I was spellbound by her beauty and knowledge. There were times when I used to glance at her quite frequently. I had intended to start conversations with her in order to understand her better. She had great respect for me since I was her mentor. We worked day/night to complete our deliverables on time and without defects. We had to be on top of our job to meet the client requirements and despite unclear inputs we were focused to deliver good quality output. We worked together for months, so we understood each other well both technically and personally. Her personality attracted me and my discipline brought myself close to her. Yes, we were in love.

***

I was a true techie graduated from one of the most famous institutions in the country. My life was full of computers and software. I had in-depth knowledge in almost all of the software available in the market. My primary aim was to join the Information technology sector. I wanted to apply all my knowledge and work on innovations. I was the best and was hoping for a growing career. My mind was filled with dreams and was aspiring for exciting prospects. Every person graduating out of the college has goals. I had plenty of them and was waiting for the opportune moment.

Personally I had greater interests in sports, music and movies. Lionel Messi and Roger Federer were my favorite sportsmen. I loved the composing of Danny Elfman. I was mad at watching foreign language films. They expressed the true human emotions and life was better explained by them. The innovative ways of screenplay lured me towards Hollywood. They were the best in adopting the latest technologies and thought provoking filmmaking. Coming from a country which celebrates movies and their heroes, I was greatly encouraged and attracted towards it. My paths crossed with several of the characters from the movies. I was able to relate my life with movies. Love, betrayal, failure, loss, fun – life’s various emotions were on screen taking us away from our normal life. That extraordinary power that movies gave was unforgettable. Getting to know the unseen/unfelt things and becoming an entirely different person were achievable by watching those movies.

***

In the ocean of movies, I was attracted by the method acting of Al Pacino. His movies like Dog Day Afternoon, The Godfather, Serpico, Scarface, And Justice for All impressed me a lot. I was enthralled by his acting prowess and dialogue delivery. He reflected the true emotions of life. Watching him on screen was an absolute delight. Anger, Love, Frustration, Failure – he represented different feelings of life. In most of his movies, he battles for existence in this uncompromising world. In order to stand and live, he has to go through series of hardships. Life’s values were taught in his films. The characters he played brought life on screen. He was magical. I was completely taken down by his performances.

***

Coming from a country with over a billion people and over 1000 languages and castes, life was taught by movies. Many learned life through movies and applied the principles taught over there into their life. From a country which is addicted towards music and movies, it isn’t surprising that I got bowled over by a great actor like Al Pacino. Often life offers severe anxiety and frustration which can be soothed via movies. It offers a platform to vent out our loss and anger. I imagined myself in Al Pacino’s shoes and viewed world through his lens. In short, I wanted to be like him.

***

Slowly absorbed by Al Pacino’s characters I was driven into the reel world. My interactions with my fellow co-workers at office changed drastically. I started to respond to them in a different manner from my usual self. I used to turn over dramatic when confronting any disagreements. I started to turn over emotional in my conversations. Anger sunk into me due to the unfriendly world. I made more enemies due to the different approach I took. I closed down the doors for my family and started to live alone. I happened to love loneliness. I felt someone with more power in this world who can take anything for granted. I started to the life of someone else.

***

One day, we had a team meeting and I was presenting something about Testing and Quality assurance practices in my project. Everyone were astounded by the way I spoke. I imagined myself as Tony Montana of Scarface and my modulation aligned to that character. Everyone started to feel the difference in me and how far I have gone beyond from being myself. Some looked bewildered. Few advised me to change. However I didn’t listen to anyone and started to be in sync with Al.

I had frequent misunderstandings and arguments with my co-workers. I started not to listen to their ideas and rejected their application in the project. I started to create an unhealthy environment in the workplace. Few of them were dejected by my approach. The team’s productivity began to go down. I was no more a good team player. My ideas and their implementation in the projects started to fail. My clients were disappointed by my performance. The results weren’t as good for the company as it was earlier. The higher management started to deprecate my practices and turned me down from working into multiple projects.

***

My love life was affected too. I hardly took any time for my girlfriend. I forgot to be with her when it mattered most. I started to argue with her for silly things. More than love, ego took the better of me. I was finding fault with her for every single reason. I was not with her in her difficult times and did not support her. We weren’t behaving friendly as we were earlier. My persona and our relationship changed by a mile. I had little conversations with her and even while we spoke, I offended her.

Puzzled by the change in my attitude she began avoiding me. She started to accompany other team members during team meetings and outings. The best way she thought to avoid arguments with me was to stay away from me. Occasionally she advised me to behave like my old self but I completely ignored and dismissed her inputs. “You have become an altogether different man. This wasn’t the person whom I loved”, she said. I was not in a position to give into those thoughts.

***

I lost my lovely family. A family that supported me in difficult situations. I completely ignored them. I fought with my friends. Discouraged and de-motivated them. I disapproved my co-workers’ ideas. My perception of this world and life changed enormously. I spread hatred everywhere and was selfish in my thoughts. I lived my life alone and didn’t think about living in harmony. I lost even the person whom I loved most. I lost everybody.

***

My girlfriend came up with an invitation. To my surprise, she moved on from the relationship she had with me. She and my other team mate were getting married. She looked into my eyes and said “you lost it”. I was feeling nothing. I just glanced at the invitation. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I knew I completely lost her. That was the end of my love life. I thought I would never fall in love again.

***

It was a dull rainy day. My employer presented me a paper. It was my termination letter. Due to my reduction in results they took the decision to take off me away from my job. I argued with them for this kind of treatment but they defended their decision. I was a great performer once providing great results for the same organization, but they were unmindful of that and threw me away.

***

Now, I lost everything – Friends, Co-Workers, Well-wishers, Family, Love, Job – All. I woke up to a dizzy morning. I succumbed to depression. I couldn’t change anything. I was hopeless. Few of Al Pacino’s movie dialogues came to my thoughts. His poster image in the movie ‘Scarface’ appeared before me. I stood in the same way. I couldn’t get him out of my mind. At the same time my failures haunted me. I couldn’t take these failures and loss. I had ten sleeping pills in my hand. I wished for a good sleep – In fact a very long one where no one comes back again. I was deeply into sleep. Nothing else was in my mind. All that was left was… Al and Me…

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Al and Me

  • ISBN: 9781370082766
  • Author: Rajesh Ranga Rao
  • Published: 2017-04-15 08:20:10
  • Words: 1640
Al and Me Al and Me