Prabhu looked down the legendary winding staircase. He remembered being in complete awe of it when he visited this place for the first time. Commoners back then, some now famous names walked down this same flight of stairs everyday, just like him. While they treaded towards a promising future, his journey comprised of running errands for and around classes, staff-room and the Principal’s office.
A month away from retirement, nostalgia engulfed him. He fondly reminisced the warm and friendly students who left a mark on his ageing heart. The stammering shy girl was now a pilot. The once latecomer boy was now an investment banker. The college sweethearts who fought all the time were now married and ran a successful enterprise together. How times change!
Sadly, he couldn’t ignore the rut he’d been stuck in for the better part of his life. He had little to show for his years of dedicated service. Faces changed over the years but their attitude remained unchanged. No matter how hard he worked, he was dispensable for them. He didn’t even have enough to pay for his son’s higher education.
So lost was he in his trip down the memory lane that he didn’t notice the harsh buzz of the mobile phone in his pocket. “When did I put it on silent mode?” he wondered just as the screen lit up again. There was a call from an unknown number. He picked it up.
“Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is Abhijit Nanda. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me put my money to some good use.”
Prabhu listened, bewildered. The voice continued, “Generally, I don’t make personal calls but my close friend, an esteemed alumni of your college, knows you and requested me to do this. Our organisation is funding the education of a handful of deserving students. Are you interested, for your son?”
Image prompt and Writing prompt:
“Hello,” said the voice on the phone. “My name is __________. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I’ve been given your name as someone who can help me _______.” (Write a story that follows this line.)