He reads me. He reads me religiously every day. He worships me like the Bhagwad Gita. It is a pious ritual to visit the temple called bank every single morning. He offers me at the desk of the clerk to get similar figures inscribed, literally every day.
“Mahesh babu, zero has no value, was proclaimed by Aryabhatta to add some understanding to your savings’ account. Can’t even have our first cup with this man standing on our head!” Ouch! How he threw me, only to be caught by my beholder. The clerks ridicule his poverty and richness of determination to worship Plutus without fail. The Greek God has his own way of attracting penance from his devotee. Only on the fifth of every month, he without fail answers the zealous fervent prayers.
On the auspicious day, a red tilak adorns my forehead. Ahaa… Shobha prepares special elaichi tea to please Mahesh. Sonu wakes up early to amuse her superman for the day, her Baba. Poor girl is in oblivion, her etiquettes mattered lest over my inscriptions.
“Mahesh babu, zero will make you a hero today! Will you have tea?” the clerical royal treatment begins. Today is the glorious fifth. The day is promising with the same ritual. In the evening, there is a bounce in Mahesh’s gait. Head held high, Mahesh walks without being pulled down by the weight of the plastic bags housing doll, groceries, bangles and roshgulla. With all this, it is hunky dory between me and Mahesh.
Days snail pace into weeks and I am again the pauper’s friend.
One morning as my darling is about to pack me for the temple visit, Shobha struggles to speak. “Ji, our little angel’s tenth birthday is approaching. The dolls no more galore her play. She desires a cycle.” She offers him the cup.
“No masala or elaichi, so bland.” My darling is offended by his matrimonial sweetheart. Bland are my inscriptions incapable of the desired purchase. The cyclic return of fifth this time will be inimical. First time, the equity will not equate happiness. Sniff sniff.
“Mahesh Babu, carry this card. Fits into the pocket and offers freedom beyond your wallet.” The manager’s words are sweeter than roshgulla, echoing like mantra in the sanctum of his cabin.
No my sweetheart don’t merry like this; don’t dance like a bubbling fizzy. Who listens to cries of a threadbare passbook!
All colours of a rainbow reflect in Mahesh’s life. I do not see the daylight.
One day the card visits me, the addiction of frail minds.
“You deceiving crook! You are spoiling my good old fellow in greed.” I start hurling accusations at the glossy piece of cardboard.
“Chill. You are envious of my story with Mahesh.”
“Story? It’s a fleeting scandal!” All in vain.
“Mahesh Babu, you have exceeded your credit limit. Penalty!” The manager’s words churn his bile. Luckily, today is fifth. Mahesh’s quivering hands find balance in me. Yet, credit is always the prefix of CARD.
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