‘This is our life, our shitty life and it's ending o̶n̶e̶ m̶i̶n̶u̶t̶e̶ one cigarette at a time…’ he pondered as he took out his last cigarette from a pack of 10. Marlboro Advanced, his favorite pack. 84mm of poison that we relish and take in. And like our lives, it goes away each puff at a time. This too would go away for him in three puffs. Puffs that would have made Michael Phelps doubt his own inhaling capacity. His musings seemed never ending just like his last pack. His slippers had already fallen 14 floors below and the thud had been clearly audible in the dead of the night. Next to fall had been the bottle of Old Monk Gold Reserve. Still, not a soul had been disturbed or had come to that spot. ‘Damn, no viewers to add to the impact…’ he sighed. The prologue to the act had gone well. What remained was the final act.

He was just 84mm and 3 puffs away from ending his story forever. The fall would make a hell of an impact. The idea was to not stay alive. Otherwise, it would be much more painful than already it was. The last he had heard, the government was keen on taking suicide attempters to court. Go up or go to jail. Up was a better idea. He took his first puff. It hit him well. The cool breeze just added to the mood. Scorching afternoons and breezy nights, even the weather was as whimsical as a woman was during shopping. As it is, the few minutes of pain upon impact before bleeding to death or hemorrhage would be numbed by the litres of Bacardi Black. He took his first full drag.

The administration had failed him. They would never understand what his circuits were capable of. How his circuits would have revolutionized the energy sector in this age of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things was something these myopic, pointer-licking students and dumb professors could not have fathomed. Bloody rats, running the way the world is making them, so he thought. Only if the top 50,000 minds of the country had some visions then India would not have remained the way it has. The panel could not understand the scope of his idea nor would they approve resources to execute it for the second time though the resources were barely enough to run it haphazardly. Some called it an excuse to channel money for his poisons. Some called the project a farce to abstain from attending classes. He wasn’t even given a benefit of doubt. By the time he had been permitted to speak, they had already made up their minds. He could sense that no matter what he said, no matter how much he was crying, he was being given a patient ear by the chairperson of the board because it was a formality. He could sue them, he thought for not giving the projects the money they were granted. He could sue them for setting up a farce called ISDC, in the name of justice. He had thought all of this before too, but he would need support. Sadly, his parents were not exactly what he could call pillars of support. His father, who insisted on being addressed as ‘Sir’ at home, would probably cane him to death. Some misplaced joy out of failing to join the army perhaps. He had never seen his mother except in the photograph that hung on the wall. He had fulfilled all his desires. He got an AIR 369 to satisfy his ambitions. Even then he had been caned for not being AIR 1. No wonder, he thought he would hardly visit home during his college life. Moreover, every time, his declining CGPA would be a cause for more lashes on his back. “No more caning this time. I am ending the fucking story right here, right now,” he thought. He took his penultimate drag.

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