Papa Hemingway wouldn't mind if I lifted the title of his short story.
Nick was breaking up with Marjorie. "It isn't fun anymore", Nick told her.
'Isn't love fun?' Marjorie asked.
'No', Nick said.
In the moonlit night, Marjorie took the boat and paddled away.
'Did she go alright?', asked Bill, Nick's friend later.
'Have a scene?'
'No, there wasn't any scene'.
'How do you feel?'
'Oh, go away, Bill, go away for a while'.
On 28th March 2013, the seven of us in the Alleppey branch had lunch together. 'Dam Biriyani' from a nearby hotel. It was good. Not at all oily, not too spicy and the chicken came off the bone like soft petals. Just before I heaved my backpack over my shoulders, I took a photograph of all of us together. I shook their hands, lifted the backpack up and with a wave of hand, I walked out of the institution I had served for 32 and a half years. No formal farewell speeches, but though I had warned them that I would not accept any parting gifts, I had to give in and accept the mobile phone that my colleagues gave me. I will miss the two young colleagues of mine who were like daughters to me. But surely, I am not walking out of their lives; I will call them once in a while, I will look them up if I pass through Alleppey, I will attend their marriages at any cost.
In the train that took me home, I asked myself if I felt different. I did not. Perhaps it is that I had imagined this moment for the last 12 months, perhaps that I have undergone a sea change in not brooding over the past but look forward to the future, to the innumerable things that I want to do with my life.
There is this immensity of knowledge that the helm of my life is in my hands now. Of course I do not discount fate, the quantum of the unknown, the unpredictable. Yet, the very fact that I can dare to dream, that I can put in my share of effort in realizing them - that is quite heady, you know. It is scary too, at times...
******* Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 28.04,2013