He books the cab and waits for it, only in a few minutes a white Wagon R arrives. Ashu didn’t realize when he boarded the cab and the driver started driving.
After what he had read the world was reduced to nothing but a buzz of sounds. His mind became suddenly devoid of thoughts. The sentences in the email were like rapid rising water drowning him with each word as it progressed. Like a person stuck in a wave, he took in a big gulp of air then let out a big sigh. The shock had caused a tingling sensation in his palm and fingers. He looked down at his hand for a couple of seconds like a confused toddler and slowly stretched out his fingers. He then rolled down the window next to him and stared aimlessly outside feeling the night breeze on his face. The cab driver glanced at Ashu in his rearview mirror and watched his strange antics.
It was an unusual thing to roll down the windows in an air-conditioned car but he didn’t say a word. He had had enough trips with single drunk men at this time of the night to know that they should be simply left alone. “That’s odd he,” thought to himself, “I have never picked up a drunkard from an office before and they are usually never this well dressed. The world is a strange place. It’s funny, here I was thinking that this poor chap was a good one, burning the midnight oil.”
With his head outside Ashu could see a blurring of colors. He stared at the trees, the streets, the stray dogs and the vehicles whizzing past. As the road merged on the sea link road he recalled a story that has been making the headlines for a few days now.
He could clearly recall the details of the articles. The owner of a major coffee chain went mysteriously missing on Monday night en route to the coastal city of Mangaluru. He got off from the car at a bridge, told his driver he was going for a walk and asked him to wait ahead. He then walked towards the bridge and never returned. The body of the founder-owner was recovered from the Nethravathi river after 30 hours of search. It was suspected that he jumped into the river due to debt woes. He was under pressure from lenders, private equity holders as well as from tax authorities.
Ashu couldn’t help but compare his situation to this. Although he was nowhere near the business mogul, yet he too had a big debt haunting him. He wondered what it would take to finally drive him off the edge and take such drastic action. What is that tipping point that would lead to someone being so crushed under debt that ending their life seems like a reasonable option? Was this email the beginning of a chain of events that would lead to his end? With all these thoughts in his mind, the car pulled up in front of his house.
After a quick shower and a light meal, Ashu grabbed a beer and opened his laptop again. He opened Youtube and searched for an episode of Corporate Whales, his favourite tv series in which aspiring entrepreneurs from all walks of life pitch their business models to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their idea. Watching these episodes and seeing the underdogs achieve their dreams would always fill him with hope. He could really use some hope tonight. He wondered if it would do the trick?
Choose your answer to proceed
Should Ashu watch the episode?