The Conference hall of Le Meridian, Delhi was packed. Everywhere he turned, Cyrus could see the curious reporters with their microphones, media professionals with their cameras and cheering crowd of crazy fans. Cyrus, tall, extremely fair in his mid twenties will soon be facing this crowd. He adjusted his collar as he let his eyes wander. He felt suffocated, as if the air was too thin to match the gathering.
For such a private person, I sure know how to choose my job, he thought as he pasted a big smile on his face, blinking from the blinding flashe of the cameras assaulted him from all direction. It was his life’s achievement and this day, he was here to be awarded for his passion, but instead of staying here, all he wanted to do was run away and find an exit.
He shook his head at his stupidity. From today onwards, his life would become public and his face would become familiar to all. There was nothing he could do about it. He looked around the hall and found himself staring at his own face on the posters. There were also the posters of the front cover of his best-seller novel, his pride, ‘The Life’s Game – Destiny Vs Desire.’
He adjusted his long legs to become more comfortable, but he couldn’t find the comfort over the huge ruckus around in the conference hall.
“One question at a time, please.” His manager who dealt with PR activities and the advertisement of the book shouted over the din and handed the microphone over to Cyrus. Cyrus hesitated for a moment before he took it from his PR manager and waited for the racket to begin.
"Here goes nothing,"he thought as he saw a man in his mid-forties stand up with a mike.
“Who is the inspiration for your first book?” ,the man asked.
“My daughter,” Cyrus pulled his lips apart in a wide smile as he said that.
He took a deep breath, but before he could let it out, another person shot a question.
“How did you come up with the title?”
“Life is a game. Every one of us is playing our own part in it. And this book,is related to this game of life. The rules, the mishaps, the victories and failures in the game called Life.” he rubbed his little beard on the chin with a thoughtful look.
He looked lost, as if he was in another dimension. After a minute, he continued, “People play their turns with their desires; whether or not their destiny takes them to their desires, that is the result of this game. And that result, let me tell you, is not always fair. Hence, this title ‘The Life’s Game – Desire Vs Destiny.’” He finished with another one of his quick smile.
“Is there a message in the novel that you want to convey to your readers?”
“Yes, of course. This story has a bit of everything that is closely related to life. There is sacrifice, there is betrayal, there is hatred and then there is love. I have tried my best to capture every emotion and nuances of a human mind and heart. It depends on what the readers want to capture.” Cyrus replied and looked around once again.
This is never-ending, he sighed, as he adjusted his big, black framed spectacles which were covering his black eyes and stared at a woman who now stood there like she was in a battlefield rather than an air-conditioned hall, ready to question him.
“Is the story based on your own experiences or on someone you know?”
Women always have troublesome questions, just like my wife’s. He smiled at the thought of his passionate, fiery wife, who reminded him of a firecracker. He brushed his curly hair with one hand to answer this one.
“Every single story that has ever been written, they have some connection with our own life. A bit here, a bit there, but a connection nonetheless. This one, is close to me and my life.”
“Do you see writing as a career?”
“Yes, may be, my next book will show how a stuffy, smart lawyer can become a writer.” He chuckled and the crowd cheered at his reply.
“If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in the story?”
“No. I would not. Somethings are supposed to happen in the way they are meant to and we,should never try to change them,” he replied. He shifted in his chair, twitched his fingers and sighed. He felt as if his lungs were squeezing the air in a hurry.
Where is the damn exit when you desperately need one? He wondered as he stared at the endless sea of people surrounding him.
“While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? Did you find it hard to let go of those characters?”
He shifted in his chair, again. He felt uneasy and edgy. “Umm – no.”
And the questions continued. He answered some, ignored some and finally when he couldn’t bear any more, he waved his lean fingers in front of the people.
“I think I have taken more time than what was planned. Thank you for all your cooperation to make this book a huge success.” He bowed like the gentleman he was and left the conference.
It took him an hour to reach his home, and during that one-hour, he was thinking of this new phase in his life. He was excited and had mixed emotions, happy and fearing at the same time. When he knocked the door, his daughter’s giggles greeted him before the door was unlocked. She hugged him and asked him about his day. When they chatted a little bit more, he left her to play and entered his sanctuary.
The desk was filled with heaps of papers and pens. His wife would tear him like a used page if she saw the state of his desk, but for now, he ignored it as he slumped on the couch and leaned his head against the headrest.
He closed his eyes with a tired breath. He saw a little girl clinging to his leg, crying for her family. He saw a woman patting the little girl, whispering soothing words.
How life changes, within the blink of the eye! And then he was lost in thoughts.
Read the next part of the story here- Life's Game- Chapter 1