THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK : A SHORT STORY BY ME.
Pranav Sagar had always wanted to be an author. Though he was a Chartered Accountant by profession and having a decent income, he wasn’t happy with his job. He was finding it very strenuous and affecting his physical and mental health. He decided to quit his job and start working towards his goal.
When he conveyed this news to his family, his wife Radhika, yelled at him, ” Are you insane? Why do you want to leave such a lucrative job for writing? Besides, there’s no assurance that you will earn a steady income. Do whatever you want in your spare time, but not at the cost of a regular income.” Pranav was frustrated at her bossy attitude. Radhika was beautiful but very domineering and a compulsive shopper. They had a fourteen-year-old son, Neeraj, who attended Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in Mumbai. They lived in the posh locality of Bandra. Pranav had a healthy bank balance that could take care of their family for 2 years, even if Pranav quit his job.
Pranav lost his temper and slapped her, ” That’s it, Radhika. You have crossed your limits. I never stopped you from your shopping frenzy. You don’t have any rights to stop me from doing what I want. Just go and leave me alone.” Radhika stomped off in fury, ” I have decided not to live with you anymore. I am going to Pune with my son, Neeraj. Do as you please.” Pranav knew it was futile to argue with her. When Neeraj came home, his mother told him about her decision to leave his father alone and that they were going to Pune to stay with his maternal grandparents.
Neeraj replied, ” Sorry, Mom. I don’t want to join you. You are free to go anywhere. Please don’t pressurize me to leave Dad. He has been nothing but very kind and has always satisfied our wishes. Shouldn’t we support him to realize his dream? ” Neeraj loved his dad more than his mom.
Radhika hated Pranav and burst out, ” Are you happy now that you have created a rift between a mother and her son? If you don’t convince Neeraj to come with me, I would end my life and blame you for my suicide.” Pranav was taken aback by her unjust demand. She had been a selfish mother who rarely had time for her son, but was now claiming her rights on him. Nevertheless, Pranav forced Neeraj to leave with his mother to Pune. She agreed to allow him to visit Neeraj on weekends.
Pranav quit his job and started working on his dream novel, “Daddy Dearest”. He remembered his late father, Amarnaath Sagar, and his great sacrifice for the sake of raising a big family. His mother, Anuradha, had breathed her last, the previous year. It took him a couple of months to finish the manuscript. He sent a couple of copies to different editors who turned down his book. His friends and relatives had started jeering and mocking at him. Some had even started questioning his sanity. His only solace was his visit to Pune. Now, Radhika also decided not to allow Pranav to see Neeraj because the latter refused to listen to her anymore. She informed him of her decision to file for a divorce.
Pranav persuaded another publisher by paying him a lumpsum amount of Rs. 1,00,000. The book was a disaster. Pranav felt humiliated because his wife’s prediction turned out to be true. His first attempt was a failure and now Radhika had denied him permission to see their son. He called his lawyer and had a detailed discussion before finally jumping to death from his luxurious apartment in the second floor. His death was a turnaround. His book which was supposed to be a disaster now started selling like hotcakes. It was a bestseller and money started pouring in. As soon as Radhika heard about her deceased husband’s reversal of fortunes, she wasted no time in going back to Mumbai with Neeraj to claim the inheritance.
Pranav’s lawyer, Aniruddh Joshi, contacted Radhika to inform her that Pranav had left his entire estate and bank balance to her and Neeraj. She shed some crocodile tears while Neeraj looked at her with pure hatred. Aniruddh said, ” Besides, these gifts, Your father asked me to give this special notebook and pen to you, Neeraj. Your father’s book is worth a million. Take good care of it.” Neeraj had tears in his eyes as he received the notebook. He turned the pages and was shocked to find that it was completely blank.
Later that night, he took out the notebook and the pen and started writing, ” I miss you, Dad. I wish I could see and talk to you again.” Suddenly, he could see a faint outline of his father and he stopped writing. He was astonished to find his father’s transparent figure, standing before him and grinning. Pranav replied, ” Hi, Neeraj! I desperately wanted to see you before I died. Unfortunately, fate had something else in store for me. Now that you have called me, won’t you speak up? “
Neeraj pinched himself to check whether it was reality or he was dreaming. ” Ouch! It hurts, ” he faced his father, ” This is a miracle, Dad. I never thought I would see a ghost.” Pranav replied, ” My son! The notebook which I gave you, contains my soul. You wished to see me and your wish was fulfilled. Likewise, whatever you write in your notebook will turn out to be true. So be careful with what you wish for! Keep the notebook out of your mother’s reach or I would be forced to fulfill her request.” Neeraj’s excitement knew no bounds, ” Dad, will you come to see me whenever I ask for you in the notebook? ” His father nodded with a pained look on his face.
Neeraj immediately realized that something was bothering his dead father. He asked, ” What’s the matter, dad? Aren’t you happy to see me? Wouldn’t you like to be with me forever? ” Pranav answered, ” I am afraid, son. I would only be with you as long as you are old enough to fend for yourself. As soon as you turn eighteen, you must promise me to relieve me from this bondage and help me cross over to the other world. You will only need to write, Rest in Peace, Dad. Then, I will get salvation. Be a good boy and look after your mother. Once again, I warn you that this notebook could fulfill any kind of desire, good, bad or deadly dangerous. Think twice before writing.”
Neeraj agreed to obey his father whose soul now vanished into thin air. But boys are boys. He wanted to test the effectiveness of the notebook. So, he scribbled, “I want Mom to stay at home tomorrow and spend the entire day, sleeping and waking up only for lunch and dinner.”
Check out the next episode of the Special Notebook and find out whether Neeraj’s wish was fulfilled or not.
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