VIEW FROM THE TOP
By Neel Anil Panicker
Raghav loved heights. Always had. Even as a child. Back when still a kid, and when his friends would be busy playing marbles or some other silly games as children are wont to, Rags would slip out in between and wander up the forested pathways that cut to a small summit that overlooked their quaint hillside village.
There, all alone, he reveled in the quietude that was his, surrounded as he were in a thick blanket of forested trees with leaves__all green and so closely entwined together that even the Sun’s rays seemed not to penetrate them.
Hours expended in the lap of Nature nurtured his well being, nourished his mind and heart and supplied him with the fodder of new found ideas. And when the evening dulled and the shadows grew sharper and longer he would get up and gaze one last time at the horizon that lay beyond the mountains.
‘That’s my future. One day I will get there”, he resolved in his mind.
The roar of the motors broke his reverie. Raghav looked down from the hill one last time.
The child in him smiled behind steely grey eyes; eyes that saw and ruled the world from behind the protective shade of his custom designed Lugano gold frames, glares so exclusive that it came adorned with finely chiseled glasses studded with pink lenses from which shimmered carats of a weight and quality that could only have been ordained for a king.
‘That’s me’, Rags said to himself.
‘I am the king.’
And from atop, he looked down at his kingdom. The city, its maddening roads, the majestic eight-door cars, the skyscrapers__ all that dotted the landscape below seemed small, miniscule as if mere random ink jottings over a page full of psychedelic colours.
‘They were his colours; colours had provided the city with__this city which had pulled him away from his village.
‘That skyscraper over there was his. Those set of fancy wheels that circled around the bends and curves of this Big City, he owned them all. And look at that skyscraper, the tallest of the lot, that is also his. All of it.’
Rags loved to indulge in soliloquy.
‘Twenty years. That’s what it had taken to climb the hill_ the hill of success.
As the chopper blades spinned furiously and the small two-seater bird flew into the stratosphere, Rags looked down just in time to see the palace lights glowing.
It was time for the king’s arrival.
The thought gave him a high.