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Posted By Ritesh Chhajer on Friday, April 17, 2009
1462 Views 8 Comments

drifterThis is the story of a software engineer who once decided to take the path of a drifter where he could romanticize with virtually anything thrown at him. A fictional story inspired by real life events. CAUTION: It's written in an eccentric state of mind so read it at your own risk.

As a kid, he was really affable and a very bright student. Everybody around him seemed to be his friends who didn’t really expect anything back in return. But as soon as he came out of school, he realized very quickly that the world he was living in and the world that existed was not the same. Everybody around him now seemed to be a sham with nothing but selfish ulterior motives. Everyone seemed to have aspirations and wanted to reach somewhere either by hook or crook but he had none whatsoever. And that seemed to be his biggest crime.

There was a small railway station nearby his college. He started to skip his classes and spent whole day at that railway station. All he used to do was to see people moving around constantly. He would just observe them and speculate stories about each character. He kept wondering if it was so damn important to have some aim in life. Could he just not enjoy his journey without thinking of where he's heading towards?

Time moved on and he finished his graduation and also managed to get a job of a software programmer. There we go, one more added to the crowd:). After working for a couple of years, he thought he had enough of this pretense. Those silly convoluted sentences written in English (some people call them "code") stopped making any sense. He decided to give himself 1 year to do what he wanted to do. Why 1 year? Coz that was the maximum savings he had accumulated that could help him to survive. He took a map and randomly selected a place to begin with. This is how he started his excursion to wilderness.

On his journey, he met various people, missed his near and dear ones, and experienced wide range of emotions from despair to ecstasy. Very often, drifters are associated with booze and dope but he chose to write and just write in a quest to find his identity.

"As I indite, I wonder what this would turn out to be. Will it be some sort of cliched autobiography where the author suffers from delusions of grandeur but still pretends to be modest or some form of catharsis where honest confessions could be be made without any inhibitions or just few loose thoughts put together to start this eventful journey?"

On his journey, he met a girl and fell in love.

"Love is that ineffable joy that has to be experienced and not expressed in mushy-gushy words. You may love someone very profoundly but it is that sort of need and thirst which never gets quenched. It’s like an errant aroma wafting from place to place, person to person in pursuit of a flower, rather a heart where it will find its niche".

When she was sad, he would console her.

"No matter what happens, always remember that time never remains the same, it keeps changing and so does our moments of joy and grief."

But he was a drifter and he moved on nonchalantly

"Relationships tie you down and like everything else in the world, relations too have their expiry date and either gradually fade away or die their natural death."

Unknowingly, he too became one of those whom he despised the most, a conceited and self centered person.

He went to woods for sometime and did all those things for which he could never find time in his routine life. For hours, he would just meditate, read books on every damn topic. Earlier he used to stay away from reading too many books as he thought it may affect his thoughts and thereby his originality when it came to holding the pen and putting across thoughts. But then he realized how wrong he was. There is so much knowledge lying around and one lifetime is just not enough. He also joined an amateur rock band and played guitar with them for 3 months. Someday he would just go for hiking, get into all sorts of adventurous stuff like bungee jumping et al. He did whatever he wanted to without any inhibitions and without any pretense; unlike his work life where every minute he was being judged by someone and under constant pressure to prove himself and; unlike his personal life where he had to put up a good face all the time in front of his friends and parents.

All the money that he had saved was now coming to an end and he had to go back to his mundane life. The courage he had would suffice only for a year and not for entire life. Responsibilities and obligations took over. He was back to his job of hitting keyboard mercilessly all the time. He had virtually become a mechanical robot who could work for hours without any real purpose. Gradually kept getting promotions and started climbing up the ladder. His peers today think he is successful and has a great vision for the company. But he never had any and the "drifter" inside him is lurking just round the corner, waiting for the slightest of opportunity to take him along. But he is already caught in the web and entangled in this vicious circle where he can longer do what he really wants to do. Age old philosophies were changing and so were his priorities.

"The greatest glory of happiness is not in doing what one likes but in liking what one has to do"

All he can do in his leisure time is to mull over that 1 year. Will the drifter inside ever get his chance?

"Left with the ashes of dry memories
Death has begun but funeral is not over yet"

Disclaimer: All characters in this story are purely fictional and any resemblance with living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.



Rants & Raves Minimize

  • Gravatar
    Sudhi Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 8:21 PM
    Re: The drifter inside
    Real "drifter" indeed.

  • Gravatar
    Piyush Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 11:40 PM
    Re: The drifter inside
    Cool....dude...good flow to the story..nice Siddhartha Herman may like it...kind of similar story...welllllll...not so similar..but conceptually....
    Really read it for sure and let me know how do you like of my favs..

  • Gravatar
    Subodh Friday, May 01, 2009 at 6:55 AM
    Re: The drifter inside
    The drifter should be happy with what he has. So much of day-dreaming? Gah! happy
    1 year is a whole lot of time to waste. Specially if the whole point of biological evolution is to do what the ancestors did -- Evolve and survive. Of all the things that the drifter got for free -- climbing up the ladder, promotions, 1 whole year of God knows doing what not, why is the drifter still looking for an escape? Just to belie everything? *devilish laughter*

    • Gravatar
      Prasanna Friday, May 01, 2009 at 6:54 PM
      Re: The drifter inside
      I totally agree... 1 year is plenty to waste:-P. Have you seen the movie Forrest Gump? Nice try though winking

  • Gravatar
    rana Monday, May 18, 2009 at 10:33 AM
    Re: The drifter inside
    awesome build-up to the take, ritzy. I could see myself and many of us,in at least in the way this "drifter" thinks happy. survival has no meaning unless we really live few days/years in the way we like to live. One needs to experience the joy of waking up in the morning with "nothing to run-after and compete for or complete by EOD".

    I guess that is the joy the "drifter" experienced that year.,

  • Gravatar
    sam Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 6:57 AM
    Re: The drifter inside

  • Gravatar
    rahul Monday, July 05, 2010 at 6:59 AM
    real life a different think
    many people live their life different way

  • Gravatar
    rahul Monday, July 05, 2010 at 7:01 AM
    real life a different think
    many people live their life different way

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