A Pauper Meets A Prince-turned-pauper


The sun was on the verge of setting, a young man sat on the beach looking at the waves crashing on to the shore. He looked around to see many happy couples and families, some were walking around, some were siting and enjoying the sight of the waves, there were those who were having their fill at the stalls.

“So much happiness around, yet, look at me, either I am used to being sad or I don’t deserve to be happy. Whatever it is, I lose both ways.” said the man.

A newspaper and a file containing resumes lay beside him, the name of the young man was written in bold letters – ROHAN SHARMA – and the job opportunities page was opened up and some of the sections marked. Another young man walked towards him and stood beside him. Rohan looked at him. At first, he was disinterested, however, he couldn’t help notice the neatly polished shoes. He then looked at the man, and then looked at his attire from top to bottom.

The man was wearing a costly attire – black suit, black trousers, white shirt with a red tie, even the trouser belt and his wrist watch were branded. A beggar came close to the man and asked for alms. The man did not shoo him away, instead he took out his wallet from his pocket, took out all the money he had and put it in his bowl. He then took out all his debit and credit cards, kept them in his pocket and put the wallet in his bowl and finally, he took out his wrist watch, checked it, smiled at it and then put the watch too. The beggar was confused at the man’s antics, he was about to walk away when the man again stopped him.

“Your slippers are torn. Take them out.” saying, the man then took out his shoes and his socks and gave it to the beggar. While the beggar took them and walked away, the man wore those torn slippers and then continued staring at the waves.

“This guy is either insane or he is filthy rich… rich enough to give away everything.” Rohan thought.

The man then looked at Rohan. He walked up and sat down next to him. He looked at the newspaper and took it, saying, “If you don’t mind.”

Rohan responded in a low tone, “No, of course not.”

As the man looked through the pages, Rohan’s interest in him was increasing. He decided to strike a conversation.

“I saw what you did right now. Is there a reason behind it?” Rohan asked.

The man looked at Rohan, he kept the newspaper down, sighed deeply and spoke about his situation, “My name is ARJUN KUMAR, son of the millionaire, Late Mr. GAURAV KUMAR. I was holidaying in Hawaii when I got the news 10 days ago that my father passed away due to a heart attack. I had to come back to perform the last rites and take over the business. I was in for a shock when I realized that the business was going in losses and my father had taken a lot of debts from the banks.

The last thing I know, everything… the office, my house, cars, bikes… everything had to be sold off to repay the debts. Lucky for me, I was left with some amount of money to at least move in to a rented flat and start something new.”

Rohan was surprised listening to Arjun’s plight and felt really bad for him. He looked away from the latter and then stared at the waves again.

“And what about you? I can make out that you are looking for a job or have you found one?” asked Arjun.

Rohan grinned and responded, “I… lost my job today and now, looking for another one.”

“Great! Nice one! What happened?” Arjun asked.

“I was working as a security guard in an MNC. I was tasked with the visitor’s register and of course, checking the ids of the employees. It just happened that some big manager or something had brought his son to see the company… yeah, like it was an amusement park to show your family around.

I was doing my duty and I insisted on the manager’s son to wear the guest ID card and write his name in the register. Where was my fault in this? That manager got angry and started abusing me; he then called my supervisor and started complaining.

My supervisor knew that I was just doing my duty and therefore, tried to calm the manager down. The manager might have been a big shot who was not used to being asked for his identity, he asked me to apologize for it. I was already angry with the way he was abusing me and now, for no fault of mine, he was asking me to apologize.

I don’t know…I don’t know whether I should have controlled my anger but I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy. I took out my id and threw it at my supervisor, changed my clothes and walked out of the company.”

Arjun stared at Rohan; a smile sprouted which meant he was impressed with the man’s bravery.

“Are you regretting it now?” asked Arjun.

“Oh yes, I should have taken my salary and then thrown that stupid id of mine at my supervisor, that is what I am regretting.” Said Rohan.

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. It is an MNC; they pay you even if you are average at work. Call it a bane but that is the biggest advantage of working in an MNC.” commented Arjun.

“Really!! Well, that is satisfying. No more regrets then.” said Rohan, laughing.

The sun had set by then, Arjun got up from his place and yawned.

“I don’t know whether I have the right to ask, but what are you going to do now?” Rohan asked, looking concerned.

“I don’t know, I have no idea, the good thing is that I took my education a bit seriously and completed my graduation, so I should get something for 3 hots and a cot.” Arjun responded.

“Yeah, sure, no wonder my father used to scold me like hell to study well. Things would have been different for me.” commented Rohan.

“Now that you are saying… what are you going to do? I saw your resume, you do seem well educated, yet, you were working as a security guard. What kind of job are you really looking for?” Arjun asked.

“The kind that can help me fulfil mine and my mother’s dreams. I am from a village, my ambitions are… not that high as you people. I just want a stable job.” Rohan replied.

“I see. Well, I couldn’t help but go through your resume. I took down your number, so if I do have something for you, I will contact you.” said Arjun.

Rohan was surprised and stared at Arjun, the latter smiled at him and then walked away.

“That is one weird guy. Well, if he does find something good for me, I should not be complaining.” Rohan commented.

He then got up from his place, dusted the sands from his shirt and trouser and then walked away from the beach. As he got on to a bus to go home, he thought, “Tomorrow is a new day. Let me stay positive. I should definitely get something.”

He reached his destination and started to walk towards his room. As he neared his room, a black van suddenly stopped next to him. Before he could react, 4 guys came out, wrapped him in a rough blanket and threw him inside. He tried to fight them and struggled to get out of the blanket, however, one man hit him hard on his head with a log, and Rohan was out cold. The driver of the car stepped on the gas and escaped from the place.

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