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Fright - Right: Stage to Infirmary

The story portrays an event that happened in the life of two best friends who embarked upon their Start-up journey.

With that sip, I felt my tongue had lost some taste buds. Despite the sharp burn, I was brooding over nothing except the future of “Crown-talk”. Suddenly several thoughts inundated my gray cells.

There is a frenetic effect of ACDC’s highway to hell on my mind when me and Mike (Mitesh is his name, just a pseudonym with which I anointed him) were brainstorming on the idea that we were going to showcase on the “National Entrepreneurship” event. This defines our path, albeit a nebulous one with lots of new problems every day, nevertheless we wanted it as badly as we wanted to breathe.

“I told you, that school children long to express their achievements, their experiences and their learning. It will be a great platform for these budding speakers to share their voice. People want to hear something new.” He made a waving gesture as he adjusted himself on a dingy chair of the local tea shop.

“But Mike don’t you think it is a mainstream thing that you are proposing. I mean, sure events like these are already there, like TeD.” I wanted to keep nudging him as this brings the best out of him. I wanted to hear all out of him. I was being a petulant child who wants to know what is going on in his best friend’s mind. I made quite a good tantrum for him to digest.

“My dear the idea is not a novel one, but the way it can be used definitely is. The possibilities of "Crown-talk" is multifarious. Think of this, approximately 1500000 schools are established in India. The number is so huge that our start-up can sustain for years to come. I mean, why not give it a try. I have already done the feasibility study.” With that statement he made a sly grin.

With each passing moment my heart was palpitating even more fiercely. The competition was going inside the auditorium only in front of the jury while the others waiting outside. “That was the last entry”, I said in an ecstatic tone. The anchor announced that all of the ten participants can now enter the auditorium.

I never doubted Mike’s prowess. He had, from the beginning had this flair to turnaround simple things into captivating ones. The outcome of this competition will create or annihilate the path we tread of our start-up dream.

The moment was there. The anchor was delivering this ceremonial speech of gratitude for the esteemed jury and the participants, albeit I was oblivious to the fact that my palms are sweaty, my heart was pounding and I can feel it. Nothing was audible for a moment. It was a meditative state of mind, which for a moment I can’t even think what I was thinking.

I gave Mike a warm nod. “You know you have some brain and lots of courage. I am sure we will make it to the top." 

Some people around us were eavesdropping on our conversation and then suddenly going to and fro from their conversation to our confabulations. Mike lit a cigarette and as it was burning, the smoke was making the ambience intolerable as I am a non – smoker. I told him to throw it. He said, “Wait a minute, it’s just the first one of the day”.

And the winner for the “First National Entrepreneurship” event is… And suddenly everything was blurred. I was not able to see anything. Lights were flashing and the sound was so shrill that it nearly made me near deaf. I was in the center lying with agony while a cordon of people surrounded me. Still not able to comprehend and suddenly everything was bleak and dark. I woke up and found myself surrounded by two people wearing the turquoise mask. One of them was holding a torch and opening my eyelids with his rubber gloves covered limb. I fainted. My eyes opened again and I saw Mike and my parents apprehensively looking at me. I again closed my eyes and went to this involuntary slumber again. Next time I opened my eyes and I looked towards Mike. He was saying something, but I can hear only partially. “We chhhon... Chee Won…“ It took me a moment to understand that he was telling me something for which my soul was craving for a long time. I smiled and went to my meditative state again, this time on my own.