The annual get together of losers was scheduled for a day on which the members were not really interested in attending. However, by leaving aside all the push and pull, they took part in the function. At around 10 PM, after confirming that all the members had arrived, the association president Mr. Mathayi Chacko began his welcome speech.
“Dear members, we shall now get on with our get-together, as we do every year. As the President of the sole association of all losers inhabiting this globe, I extend a hearty welcome to all of you who are present at this unique event. It is not germane to ask why we are losers. Losers like us, with our hearts filled with the feelings of failure and bouts of weeping, would be laughingstocks in the eyes of others. Never mind. I would like to say something to all those who feel that I am repeating these same words year after year: The intention of this gathering is to remind and reminisce the fact that our feeling for failure has not declined even by an inch. We succumb to it unto death. I am frightened by the sorrows that have accumulated in my heart. I feel like crying, as if my heart is about to stop beating with all the sorrows that bear it down.”
Mathayi swept the audience with sodden eyes and continued: “Dears, I do not wish to spoil the greatness of this night with a long speech. I’ll finish my speech after spelling out two things: firstly, all that happened within our association last year. I regret to inform you of the deaths of three of our members. Mr. Prakash whose business failed and he hanged himself as a result. Mr. Antony who failed in love died in an accident and Mr. Shihab who failed to find a job abroad died in unusual circumstances. Let their souls rest in peace eternally.
Secondly, I want to introduce the new members of the association. We have five new losers here. Ms. Ramya, who failed in her family life; Mr. Shaju who failed in examinations; Ashok who failed to maintain his high-level job; retired school teacher Mr. Damodar who was betrayed by his own children and Ms. Rosamma Varghese who does not wish to disclose her failure right now. It is my pleasure to welcome them all to our association. Now, as an act of consolation, Mr. Valsan Kozhippetta, the failed poet, will read a poem to us.
Thus said, he handed over the mike to Valsan Kozhippetta. At that time, Ashok, who was observing the scene with some uneasiness, was struck at the sight of Ramya. She wore skin-hugging jeans that revealed her well crafted thighs and a T-shirt matching the color of her jeans. She looked so beautiful in that cross-legged position of hers, so he mused in appreciation. When he realized that the retired school teacher Mr. Damodaran caught him avidly scanning the person of Ramya, he turned his face in acute embarrassment.
Valsan read his poem:
We are losers
We build pyramids -
Our souls are filled with
Waves of failure
We are Losers
Hard face covers of
People of failure
We search for faces
To hide ours….
Ashok was getting bored with the poem. He knew now why Valsan remained a failed poet. He ambled towards a corner with a feeling of numbness pervading his system. He observed that the losers were not listening to the poem and were busy discussing things. He reached the corner from where he could find a better view of Ramya. He looked around and heaved a sigh of relief as none else could notice that he was ogling at Ramya from there, in a most lurid manner. Thinking about her failure in married life, he lit a cigarette. Smoke flew out of his nose like the screams of losers.
A sudden silence grabbed the hall when Valsan finished reading his poem. It seemed that the members were desperate with the blackout. Those who were known to each other began discussions where they left off. The new members looked around with the stupefaction that arouse with the insecurity feeling. At that time Mathayi took over the mike and tried to make the atmosphere thin.
“Dear members, now we shall meet the new members one by one. Mr. Damodaran will start with his sad story of failure…. Mr. Damodaran?”
Mr. Damodaran was a man in his seventies. He might be leading a disciplined life, Ashok thought. Other than the difficulties of old age, he did not look like having any health problems. Maybe because of the ongoing tensions in his mind, a hesitant expression arose in his face.
To his surprise, Ramya got up from her seat. Her full anatomy was revealed to him. She was really flourishing in her skinny jeans. Her thighs were beautiful as the creation of evil. Her buttocks were turned with the T-shirt glued to her flat abdomen with tenderness. He could not read anymore from her anatomy. He just judged that she was not a failure in her beautifulness.
She looked around and walked towards Ashok causing him much embarrassment and feeling of guilt.
“You are Mr. Ashok, right?” she asked.
“Yes…and you are Ramya?”
“Yes. Ever since the beginning of this meeting I have been watching you. You look too young to be a loser, so why are you here in this club? Pardon me if you feel that I am peeping into your personal affairs.”
“Nothing like that Ramya. After all, we are here to share everything.”
A dull smile appeared on her visage.
“Why don’t we go out and talk for a while? It is so suffocating in here.”
While talking, he saw her breasts heave up and down making him nervous.
“Why, I was also toying with the idea of going out, for some time.”
Together they went out of the hall. There was a small garden in the premises. The yellow light from the sodium street lamp was spread over the garden. They walked a while through the lawn. The sound from the hall melted down. They stood there embraced like two aliens.
“I wanted to come out because…. if you don’t mind can you give me a cigarette?” Ramya asked.
“Sure…” Ashok offered the cigarette packet to her. She, with her long and thin fingers, picked a cigarette. He helped her to light it. When he lit the lighter, the cigarette came alive between her bow-like beautiful lips.
“Can I ask you something, if you don’t’ mind?” he asked.
“Oh yes, you want to know about my married life, right?”
“Ok. I’ll tell you… I got married two years back. It was a love marriage. A really short love affair, it was fine in the beginning… but after marriage things began to go wrong.”
“It was like he lost his charm after marriage, he was like a lunatic. Always disturbed sort of. To be frank, I felt as if he was even afraid to kiss me.”
“He was shivering like anything as I slept with my body close to his. Even my presence was disturbing him… for how long can I …? Do you know, we never went anywhere after marriage…he was scared…I don’t know what for…. but at the same time he always kept an eye on me…. as if I am going to run away…”
“Yes… I understand.”
“Ok. What about you… failed at this young age?”
“I am an architect. I worked for a big company in a good position. Later I resigned the job to start my own business with a friend as partner. Everything went along smoothly at first. But before long, the business started to decline and he took everything we made and vanished.”
“I see. So what are you doing now?”
“Surviving doing petty jobs. But to tell the truth, that was not my real failure.”
“I was in love with a girl when I had a good job. I wished to marry her and duly proposed to her. She was also interested. Within a few months we became so attached that one could not live without the other.”
As Ashok went on with his story, Mathayi came into the garden, breaking their conversation with a fake seriousness stuck to his face.
“Kids, you may not be aware of it as are you are new here, but as per the regulations of our association, members are not allowed have private chats during get-togethers. You have to share everything with others too, so don’t just stand here all by yourselves but go into the hall, for our friends are sharing their failures of the last year with everyone.”
Shaking her shoulders in response Ramya walked towards the hall. Ashok followed her slowly. She looked so beautiful in the yellow light, he thought. Her wind like hair glittered. Mathayi followed them with his hands behind his back.
Mr. Damodaran was sharing his sorrows there in the hall. Sobbing and wiping his tears, he talked very slowly.
“Oh. If I only knew that we have to do this also…” She said in an anguished tone.
“Why?” Ashok asked.
“I didn’t know that this kind of things went on here. If I’d known I would have come with another story.” She smiled.
“That’s why I made a story of business failure.”
“So, what was the real reason?”
“I told you about my love affair.”
“Okay, okay. Then what happened to her?”
At that time Mathayi approached them, as if he did not want Ramya to know the story of Ashok.
“You guys go and sit there on the chairs. After the sharing of the stories of failure, we can have a buffet dinner in the other room. Now everybody should listen to the failure stories as that is mandatory.”
Ramya and Ashok walked in and sat down on chairs. Mr. Damodaran was obviously fatigued by the profound sorrow from all his tales of failure. At length, he handed over the mike to Mathayi as if he was unable to talk anymore.
“Poor man,” Ashok said. Ramya did not respond. For all he knew, she might be concocting a story to present on stage, so he thought it is better to keep quiet and not disturb her. Still he kept a watchful eye on her. He had a feeling that she had already captured a big chunk of his heart.
When Ramya’s turn came, she walked up the stage and told a trumped up story with a straight face without any loop holes. He followed suit and related his story of business failure with ease. After the last of them had presented her case in the shape of a fat woman, the members moved to the dining hall.
As Ashok continued to keep company with Ramya, Mathayi intervened like the proverbial pain in the neck, reminding of the regulations once again. As she left him for a moment in search of something, he asked Mathayi, “Is it against rules if two members marry each other?”
“But of course and their membership will be cancelled fothwith. Isn’t it a victory for love if they marry? They can come back whenever their married life fails and resume membership.”
“I see, ” Ashok replied seeing nothing.
However, Mathayi’s explanation was not quite genuine. He was worried about the decline of members in the association as well as the sarcastic comments by those who have left the association, whenever they turned out to be a success. He wished everyone to be a failure and the reputation of the association spread across the world.
There was no particular program after dinner. They sat and shared other sorrows and worries and prayed for the losers. It was very late, when Mathayi announced at last that the get-together was over. One by one everybody left the hall.
When Ramya walked to her Scooty, Ashok followed her.
“Ramya, can I ask you something?”
“I like you very much and we both are losers. Why don’t we..?”
“I too was thinking about it Ashok for I like you too. But my first marriage was a failure and right now I am not daring enough to try another one.”
“Now don’t think like that. We will discuss it in detail, some other time."
"Can I offer you a lift?”
He nodded eagerly and she pressed the self-starter of her scooter. He sat behind her as she drove away.
Mathayi, who was watching and listening to everything fell into a deep evacuating feeling of failure. Their decision was something which can break the very foundation of the association.
Ashok was lying on bed. Ramya, toweling her wet hair, emerged from the bathroom. He seemed to be impatient waiting for her. As she paused before him, he pulled her down onto the bed and kissed her. She only had a towel draped around her torso, tried in vain to resist his advances, but not for long. She fell into him, ignoring the towel that slipped down to the floor, she kissed him.
Mathayi woke with a frisson. He tried to keep the dream together, all in one piece A patina of sweat burst forth from his bald head. He started to pray with a broken heart.
He prayed for the eternity of their feeling for failure.
Holy book of losers – 22-33
Oh mother of losers
Take care of your children
Take away all the hindrances in the path of losers
Let failure be the aim of life
Bring back the losers who go away
Don’t fill their mind with the thought of optimism
Let your world happen, let the heaven and hell fill with losers….
After praying, he was in a dilemma as he thought of losing all his cherished goals.
One day Ramya and Ashok came to meet him. They informed him that they had decided to get married and will never forget that night that provided them the occasion to meet each other. Mathayi wished them well with a swollen heart. And he explained to them the predicament of all losers on the earth:
“Once a person becomes a loser, he/she cannot go back to their old life. The world of hope is a gift given by Satan. Satan tries to take all the losers to the world of cheaters and burglars. Once they become losers, they will never wish to go back. Losers love losers. They pray for their failure. Those who win everything will be held in contempt by losers. But, listen to me, only a loser is able to understand life. Winners loose themselves in their victories and they won’t know even when they are dead."
After listening to everything, Ramya and Ashok said good bye to Mathayi.
The next day Ashok came alone to meet Mathayi.
On the following day Ramya also came alone to meet Mathayi.
Ashok told Mathayi, “Sir you were right. If I had married her, it would have made my life a living hell. Now I’d like to live the life of a loser.”
Ramya in turn quoth thus to Mathayi: “I trusted him at first. But his real face is so horrible. Now I want to hug failure close to my chest and live the life of a loser.”
Mathayi’s eyes turned heavenward. “Oh God, you heard my prayers. Your miracles are indeed incredible."
However, it did not end there. In the next very meeting, the members of the general body of the society began to criticize Mathayi mercilessly. They concluded by stating that Mathayi is no more eligible to continue as the president of the association because he refrained from allowing Ashok and Ramya to marry and eventually taste the sourness of life.
Rules & Regulations of losers association – 1:51:A
When a loser prays for another loser’s failure, and the latter fails, it will be considered as a victory and the former will be considered a winner for all intents and purposes and punished for action against the association.