It was as though Ved won the lottery. He got everything he wanted, and all of a sudden. All his life he waited for his uncle’s death. Ved never liked his uncle. He felt that his uncle considered life to be a military parade and wanted everyone to follow strict military rules and lead a simple life. Now, a week after this uncle’s death, he broke free of all the restrictions, spent a lot of money, and indulged in all activities that he was not allowed to consider earlier.
After his parents’ death many years ago, Ved’s uncle took care of Ved and his upbringing. His uncle never shared any details of finances with him. Ved always thought that they were not so rich.
The day after his uncle’s death, Ved came to know that he was a very rich man and inherited a lot of property. His uncle never spent much money and kept everything for Ved. Neither did he include any restrictions in the will.
Though he missed his uncle a bit, Ved felt glad for all the freedom. He wanted to enjoy life like anything.
Ved called all his friends and they decided to party that night. After partying and drinking for nearly three hours, Ved decided to drive back to home on his own. He did not listen to his friends’ advice about taking a cab home.
After a few minutes, he realized he made a huge mistake by deciding to drive while he is so intoxicated. But, he decided to go on as he knew it would be difficult to call for a taxi in the middle of the route.
Ved could not drive straight. A couple of times, he almost hit the divider and almost rammed into trees on the left side of the road.
Suddenly, Ved heard someone shouting and a huge sound as though something big hit his bonnet. Ved stopped the car and got down to check what happened. To his horror, he realized he hit an old man. Ved could see an old man badly bruised lying down on the road. Ved immediately rushed back to his car and grabbed his first aid kit. He rushed back to rescue the old man, but he did not see anyone. Ved was surprised. He was pretty sure that the old man was so badly hurt that he could not move on his own. Ved wondered if there was someone who took the old man away.
Ved drove home carefully after this episode. He almost became sober because of this accident. He felt so angry on himself. He missed his uncle badly for the first time. He apologized to his uncle as he flouted all the rules set by his uncle. Ved was so worried about the old man and he felt very guilty. He decided not to tell anyone and keep it a secret.
The next morning, an old man came and was trying to wake up Ved. When Ved opened his eyes, he noticed that it was the same old man from the previous night’s accident. Ved was frightened to see that old man. Ved started shouting, “How did you come into my house? Who are you? What are you doing here?”
Ved continued shouting but the old man stood there laughing at him. After a few minutes, Ved felt as though someone poured gallons of water on him. He realized that his friend had to pour water on Ved to wake him up from his nightmare. It was a dream and Ved was so frightened of this nightmare.
Ved thought that it will take some time for him to get rid of those thoughts.
However, within a few hours he realized he was hallucinating again. When he and his friend went to the super market, Ved felt as though someone was stalking him. When he looked around, he noticed the same old man standing in the corner and looking at him. When he told his friend about this, his friend told him that he did not see anyone.
Ved continued to feel stalked by the old man even when he buy some clothes in the clothes store. But, his friend denied seeing any old man around them. Ved started getting worried. Ved wondered if it was the ghost of the old man that was haunting him.
When Ved and his friend went to a restaurant to have lunch, Ved noticed the old man sitting across them by a distance. But, his friend told him that those chairs are empty. Ved had different kinds of doubts. He wondered if it was really a ghost or if his friend was playing this dangerous game. He did not know what to do.
Ved decided to let his friend go away that evening. Ved went for a lonely walk along the beach. After some time, just as it was getting dark, Ved noticed a silhouette of an old man walking towards him. Ved was so frightened that this might be a ghost of the old man that he killed in the accident last night. Ved ran away from the beach before the old man could reach him.
Ved decided to stay alone at home that night. He kept on getting nightmares with the old man. Ved felt as though the old man broke into the house and was coming to kill him and torture him. But, when he woke up he realized it was just a nightmare and nothing of that sort happened.
After having a restless night, Ved decided to solve this problem forever.
The next morning, Ved went to the same beach where he saw an old man approaching him. Ved did some walking along the shore. As he expected, he saw an old man walking towards him. This old man seemed to be exactly same as the old man who was run over by Ved’s car two nights ago.
Ved decided not to run away this time. He stood there waiting for the old man to approach him. After walking towards him for some time, the old man stopped in his tracks suddenly. Ved did not like it. Ved went forward to the old man and said, “Who are you? I’m not frightened of you any more. If I did hurt you, let me know. If there is any help that I can do, I will. But stop stalking me like this.”
The old man said, “Your car did not run over me the other night. It was part of a plan. We wanted you to know be brave and own up to your mistakes. We thought it would be better for you to know the pain of making a crime and owning it up. Your uncle taught you everything. But, he was worried about your lack of discipline. But the night when you were drunk, you had control of your car and you were driving better. But, we did not want you to repeat the mistake of driving drunk again. So, we had many goals in our mind and we did this. You did not hurt anyone.”
Ved was bewildered. He asked, “Who are you people? Why should you teach me anything? Am I missing something?”
The old man said, “Your father was our leader. Your uncle was your guardian who was training you to be like your father. He taught you everything. Now, we are happy to have you as our leader. The world needs leaders like you. Please save us. There are so many wrongs that are happening in this world. We need a strong leader like you. I’m pretty sure you do not know your worth, but there is a true leader in you and we look forward to your leadership. We have been waiting for so many decades.”
Just then, his friend came walking from another corner and said, “Yes, Ved. We did it all planned. We want you to be our leader. You passed all the tests designated by your uncle. He is a strategist and he knew in your childhood that you are a born leader. So, please lead us.”
Ved ran away from both of them again.