Sameer was a successful business financier. His field of interest majored the stock market for his company. He had been at this job for nearly five years and life had never been better. Until one day, tragedy hit the stock market and within it, the company he was working for, got the major hit. Sameer lost over 10 Crore rupees of the share. One of the major stocks that he was working hard for over the last year had been plummeted to nothingness. He was now left with a very low bank account and a lot of unhappy and angry customers had been calling him since morning. By early evening, his mobile was switched off. And nobody knew where he went.
Close to midnight that night, Sameer was walking on the lonely streets of Mumbai. He had been drinking for the past six hours. So many people believed in him when he talked them through the shares that they bought and today, the same people were cursing him. He was still baffled that such a strong and secure market could break down to ashes in just a few hours. Well, everything was based on fate when one is in this area of finance. He thought about his few good friends, who no doubt would be trying hard to reach him that night. But a major percentage of people were trying to reach him to throttle him with questions and also maybe to get hold of him and physically threaten him for a mistake he bears no responsibility, and yet has to bear the burden of it. He thought about his girlfriend Julia. Just a few days ago, he had proposed her. He knew her for over a year and she had been a good companion. But Sameer doubted whether she’ll stick with him now, now that he had lost everything and become a total loser. He felt angry on himself for having to put her through all of this.
Depression started to attack Sameer and given the fact that he was drunk, everything around him seemed to have gone doubly dark and grim. He decided not to see Julia again because he would never be able to face her. Sameer always succeeded in everything that he set his sight out for. It was the same way he set out to know more about Julia the first time he laid eyes on her, during a bus ride to Pune. He could now hear her voice like she was standing right beside him, “I like the way you pursue something and not quit until you have acquired it”. Yes, that was what she had told him during their very first date. She liked him because he was a successor in everything that he did in his life. But that night, all of that had come to an end. Life had indeed taken a new leaf towards failure.
He had walked into an empty, dark street. Except for a single light lamp flickering in the middle of the street, the rest of the street was surrounded by darkness. Warily, Sameer walked under the lamp, still thinking about his troubles. Suddenly, he heard a distant sound of footsteps approaching in his direction. He could see a blurry silhouette of a man walking towards him. Though he could not see the man’s face, Sameer wondered where he had seen that walk before. As the man neared him, Sameer eyed the clothes donned on him. A very expensive, dark-blue Armani suit. An equally expensive pair of shoes. And a heavy gold ring on his finger. The light hit the mystery man’s face. On seeing his face, Sameer was taken aback. He was shocked to see himself staring at his own face. The man was an exact replica of Sameer but well-dressed than him. But the man appeared not to notice Sameer as he kept on walking.
“I think I’ve had a little too much to drink”, thought Sameer. He started to feel uncomfortable to be in this eerie silence but, for those constant footsteps behind him, growing distant by the second. He turned around to take another look at the figure that had just passed him. Maybe he mistook what he saw a few seconds ago. The moment he turned, the man stopped walking and turned to face him. Sameer could still make out his face under the partial glow of the street lamp. He was still looking at his own face and what’s worse, the face was grinning at him in a sophisticated manner. Sameer started to run in the opposite direction, his heart beating with fear and apprehension. What he was seeing that night, was unreal. How much more damage could fate bring him? Sameer started to question his own mental stability.
Out of breath, Sameer entered the Mithi River Bridge. He kept glancing back, for the fear of being followed by the ghost of the man, he had just left behind. Nobody was there. The night was as dark and cold as ever. Standing by the railing, Sameer started to go back to his depressed-self. He imagined all the disappointed faces staring at him as he stared at the deep, dark water. It started to drizzle and the drizzle turned into a heavy rain. He could hear millions of droplets, hitting the surface of the river below him. That was when Sameer decided what he must do with his fate. He knew nobody would miss him, if he died. He imagined himself climbing over the railing and falling down into the dark river, just like those rain drops falling all over the river bed and being consumed by it.
Sameer thought about Julia. “Would I be ruining her life by doing this?” he asked himself. “But I’ve already lost everything, she would never be content with a loser like me”, he said out loud into the rain-clad night. Sameer started to climb over the railing, which separated the bridge from that treacherous fall. Standing precariously at the edge of the railing, Sameer stared into the dark water, with fear in his eyes. He could imagine the cold water, hugging his body and gushing down his throat. The Clock started to tick and he was still staring at the dark water below him. He knew fear was clouding his mission to end his life. “Either this, or I have to face all those people tomorrow”, he thought grimly. Tears started to roll down his face but he knew what he must do.
Just when Sameer took a deep breath and was about to jump, a pair of strong hands grabbed his shoulder and pulled him down. Sameer turned around and for the second time that night, he was looking at himself. The Armani– clad self.
“Big mistake my friend, you are going to lose a lot more than you can imagine by going ahead with this ridiculous decision of yours”. This was indeed the strangest situation. First, he was saved by a man who looked just like him and next he could hear his own voice coming out from this man.
“What are you? And why are you following me?” asked Sameer baffled.
“Relax my friend; I’m not here to rip your head apart. If I wanted you dead, I wouldn’t have stopped you from your suicide mission now, would I?” said the man with that sophisticated grin on his face.
“That still doesn’t explain my questions”, said Sameer.
The man released his grip on Sameer’s shoulder and said, “I know this will be hard for you to understand, but I’m a part of you and you are a part of me. We both are the same. And this will be a strange thing for you to hear, but trust me when I say this, I’m your future.”
“Are you kidding me? Who put you up to this? Look, it wasn’t my fault the stocks plunged today alright. I’m just as much at loss as every other person who has lost their share. So if you want money and compensation from me, I got none. I don’t know how you look like me, but please just leave me to deal with my fate”, said Sameer and started to walk away from the clone of a man.
“Have you even considered what will happen to Julia when you are dead?” asked the man. Sameer turned around furiously and said “how the hell do you know about her? If you do anything to her, I swear to god, I’ll kill you!”
The man just laughed loudly before saying, “How will you kill me, when you are killing yourself right now? An excellent way to put Julia under more misery Sameer. I thought you were good at solving problems and now you are trying to run away from all your problems by ending your life. Bravo.”
“Look I don’t know how you know so much about our lives-“
“Sameer, I do not have much time but I want you to listen to me very carefully and also, I demand you to believe me when I say this”, interrupted the man. “I am your future. If you do not end your life today, tomorrow you will be me”, he said pointing to all his expensive clothes.
Sameer was still looking at the man quizzically. The man continued, “My friend, you and I both know that you are very comfortable by all your constant successes. Actually, you have never failed in your life. I can say your life is close to perfection. But today, you met your match. You failed at something. And now you are afraid to tackle this failure because you are terrified to meet further failures in the life. But Sameer, what is a success without a little failure now and then? You and I both know succeeding a failure yields more success than succeeding success itself.”
“So what do you want me to do? You want me to go and face all these people who no doubt, are waiting to pin me down? And Julia? She will never look at me the same. I know I’m going to lose her. And that’s giving me a lot more pain than this entire thing put together”, said Sameer.
“Trust me my friend, go home today and face the troubles awaiting you tomorrow. Be a brave man and see how the fate will turn out for you. Not many people will get a second chance in their lives. And you have met with this privilege. This, my friend is a premonition. And as for Julia, you and I both know that you are lying when you accuse her with this stupid theory of yours as how she would leave you”, smiled the man, imitating Sameer’s once happy smile.
Sameer turned away from the man. He wanted to believe this man, who was claiming to be his future-self but at the same time; he was confused by all of this. He had no idea how to deal with all those people if he went home.
“Okay, I want to trust your judgement-“, said Sameer turning around. But there was no one there. The bridge was wet and empty.
It was three o’ clock in the morning. The lights were still on in Julia’s apartment. Sameer knocked on the door warily. He could here soft footsteps hurrying to answer the door. A tear-clad Julia stood there, still in her formal clothes. She looked as beautiful as ever. She immediately hugged him and cried her eyes out. Sameer hugged her back and felt guilty that he had accused her of deserting him.
“Where the hell were you Sam? I was so worried.” She released herself from Sameer and stared, deep into his eyes. “So you decided that you wouldn’t need me during difficult times is it? Is that what this is? You want me only during meaningless dates and night-outs and you don’t want me to be there for you when you are going through this hell”, said Julia agitatedly.
“Julia, I’m so very sorry for putting you through this. I know I have let you down. You know about all my achievements and you have never seen me fail at anything before. But now I’m going through a major failure in life. I completely understand if you don’t want to be a part of this. Because even I wouldn’t want to see you sad. I just want your happiness Julia”, said Sameer.
Julia stared at him for a while and said, “Yes, you are right. I don’t need this. I don’t need to be with someone who understands me so little. Did you seriously think I accepted you proposal because you were a successful financier and brought home lots of money?”
“I want to be in your life because of you Sameer. Whether you are a successful financier or a complete broke, I want it all”, said Julia, her teary eyes glinting in the light.
“Forgive me for even thinking all this Jules. I love you. I know the coming days would be difficult for both of us, but I’m determined to come out of this mess. It takes a little time, but I’m sure everything will work out well”, said Sameer, smiling for the first time that day as he thought about his little premonition. He did not tell Julia about this earlier incident as he did not want to worry her further. Today, even through all these loss, Sameer felt like a happy man again.
Six months later
He could hear the broadcasting news from the next room: “We have all heard of the infamous stock plunge that the country faced just a few months ago. That indeed put a lot of lives in peril. The suicide rates increased to a higher level and many estranged families came to streets. But today, we are finally past those dark days. In this unique circumstance, the stocks of all of those companies that hit rock-bottom have suddenly tripled over in just two days. The people who had a rough face-off during the plunge and yet held on till today are going to enjoy the rest of their lives being millionaires. Moving on to the sports sector-“
Sameer smiled to himself as he got dressed in a dark-blue Armani suit. As he adjusted his tie, the big gold ring glinted off his ring-finger. He did indeed had a rough face off, days following the stock market plunge, but he had held on. There were many unhappy people, but Sameer had kept his cool and had handled the situation with dignity. He had finally succeeded his failure. Today, when he thought about future possible failures, his mind greeted it with a challenge, rather than fear.
He smiled that sophisticated smile, by looking at himself in the mirror. “My friend, what is a success without a little failure!” he said out loud, while his reflection imitated him. Today he was going to announce his engagement to Julia at the honour party, held for him by his colleagues at his company. Life had never been better.