"Life is the price we pay for running away from death "
































































He used to save money in every way that he could, not even a penny would be ignored. He was saving it all up so that one day he could pay Munna, the local rowdy, and get Rajesh beaten up.

Rajesh was the gym instructor who had recently shifted to his area. Several of his friends had seen Rajesh getting too friendly with his wife on several occasions. He hated Rajesh for it, but given Rajesh's good built, he never dared to confront him.
 
It killed him every day not having the courage to face Rajesh, yet he never dared to admit this to his wife. He did not want to make confessions and downgrade his manliness. He had tried vague excuses to stop his wife from going to the gym, but she did not seem to get the hint.
 
At one point, she had even mockingly replied, "Why do you act like you don't like me going to the gym? Are you scared I will run away with someone there?" and she had punched his tummy.
 
He knew his wife only meant it as a joke, and that she was never even thinking of leaving him. He was her "man". He had provided her with everything a woman needed to live a comfortable life. And, with every passing day, he would bask in the feeling of manliness, of being able to "be the man" for his wife. With Rajesh's shifting, the basking had stopped...
 
Every time his wife would ask him what he was saving the money for, he would just quip, "For an important plan I am making honey! I have a dream and I am saving up for it. I will tell you when it's the right time" and he would gently poke her breast to change her mood and distract her mind.
 
He would never mention his actual plan to his wife. Alas, how could he? Who would ever respect a husband that could not himself stand up for his wife, and needed some local rowdy to cover for him? On many nights he would question God why it had to be him. His friends had pretty wives too, and why wouldn't this bloody Rajesh fall for their wives? Never mind God's plans.. Anyway, what mattered to him was how his wife saw him, and with his growing savings and a bit of Munna's help, he was sure to maintain the "manly" stand in his wife's eyes.
 
Then, one day, a spanner was thrown into his plans.
 
His mother-in-law suffered a mild cardiac arrest and needed expensive treatment. Wife broke down and wept profusely. Their insurance policy did not cover the critical treatment. He was in a fix on how to arrange the money. He had a savings stocked up, but it was for Munna's payment. Moreover, how often does a son-in-law spend his life's savings for his in-laws? More so, when the treatment did not even promise successful results.
 
Finally, with a lot of hesitation and anguish, he approached his wife with the offer to fund the treatment with his savings. He had hoped she would reject it. She did not. Rather she just offered a consolatory note, "don't worry about your dream dear. We will earn the money back and still fulfil your dream..."
 
The savings was dismantled and treatment started. Friend and relatives came visiting and were overwhelmed with appreciation for the son-in-law gesture. And every time the wife looked at him with ever more love-filled eyes, he would reciprocate the love, but his heart wept at the thought of having missed the chance to eliminate Rajesh.
 
With anguish building up over time, one evening he excused himself from the wife and relatives and drove to a bar far away to sit alone and drink all night.
 
That very night, Rajesh secretly visited the hospital. "How is your mother?" he asked the wife.
 
"She is doing much better now," replied the wife.
 
"So dear, this time when you mother gets well, tell her everything about us," begged Rajesh, "I left my IT job in the US and became a fake gym instructor just for you. I can't wait like this anymore, my love. You have to leave that coward and marry me. You know he is a coward, don't you?"
 
"Rajesh, please!" she interrupted, "I used to think that way for some time. But over the past few days, he did something for which I can never repay all my life. My husband sacrificed his dream for my happiness.. how much more manliness can I ask for?" she continued sobbing, "Rajesh, it's over between us now. Please don't wait for me anymore. Just leave!"
 
Rajesh turned around, started his bike and drove away.. to some bar far outside the city where he would drink to forget a missed chance to get his love back; the same bar where another man drank and wept over a chance he missed to protect his manliness.
 
One often finds one's destiny in the path one takes to avoid it - Master Oogway.
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