Short Story: A for Achievement

By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar

…growing a life is an achievement…

The things we have to do in the name of achievement. Sharat and Ritu were fond of each other. They have been in the same college for the past four years. Both being toppers they shared a special bond, the duo would chat offline and online – most of it regarding marks and studies and sometimes about their thoughts and dreams and fears and likes and dislikes.

Campus day was closing in and both were getting weary. They were both eyeing a particular company and a position. Sharat asked Ritu, “How far are you willing to go to get this position?” Ritu was prompt, “I could kill you.” They both had a hearty laugh and yet deep down they knew it was true. It would be the greatest achievement of their lives; the culmination of the four years of battle. One will emerge winner. Sharat said, “I don’t think I’ll be able to talk to you ever again, if you get the job.” Ritu said, “Same here Sharat. I will never forgive you.”

The D-day came; Ritu and Sharat were waiting outside for their turn along with the other candidates.

By the end of the day both had been selected for the next round. Tension was mounting up.

“How was it beta?” Sharat’s mom called at night. “Great mamma! I am sure I’ll ace it in the next round and snatch the job from Ritu. Today we both got selected for the second round,” said an ecstatic Sharat. “I too have achieved something great today baby,” mom was equally enthusiastic. “What?” Sharat was surprised. “I could touch my toe today!” mom sounded like she had bagged a million dollar contract. Sharat felt happy, maa always wanted to touch her toe but could never reach beyond her ankle.

Ritu called later at night. “Did you check aunty’s FB page?” Ritu was laughing out loud. “No… what?” Sharat had not checked his mom’s FB posting. “Aunty could touch her toe today… and that is her greatest achievement she says… and you know what? my parents agree. I mean these guys are above 50, have seen life, have accomplished so much and yet they think… being able to touch your own toe is an achievement?” Ritu was flabbergasted.

The morning was bright and sunny and the two aspirants got on to their best foot. Ritu was looking for Sharat as she waited for her turn outside the auditorium. Sharat appeared and said, “Wish me luck Ritu, am going for an interview which was taken yesterday but they didn’t find the right candidate so there is an opening. I think ‘I am’ what they are looking for!” He winked and scurried off.

Ritu was called just then and she didn’t quite get to react to Sharat. She was eager to meet him and as soon as the interview ended she rushed to the cafeteria and called him. He didn’t answer. Around 5pm Ritu got a call back from Sharat. He asked her to meet immediately and she rushed.

“What happened? Why didn’t you come for the second round? And where did you go instead?” Ritu was impatient.

“Ritu I decided yesterday night that my greatest achievement was not getting this job that we were ready to kill each other for, after all it is just a job, from where we are sure to move on… as such I plan to quit in two years and go for my masters.” Sharat gave a pause. “My achievement is to be able to share the joy of getting a job with you… my friend!”

Ritu could not agree more. An achievement is that happy feeling, which we have gained with sweat and grit and passion and diligence… over a long period of time:

  • the ability to touch your toe! …
  • the ability to understand what to let go!…

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