The Tale of Dreaming Big


Gather around, for I have a tale to tell. A tale of bygone days when phones were dumb, not smart. When only one family member had an email address, and that too on, *shudder*, Hotmail. This tale is of the days of yore; before I had won $250,000,000.00 from my dear African friend who mailed me to inform me about this exciting development. This tale is of the days before I was lucky enough to win the BBC Lottery of $1,000,000,000.00, every single day for 1 whole month. This was even before my Sheikh friend had approached me with "an interesting business proposal", which made me "richer by $799,000,000."

In those days, the atmosphere was fired up with news about the new millennium dawning upon us. It was the December of 1999. 30th December, to be precise. Winter vacations were upon us and the sole purpose of life was the warmth that came from snuggling into the razai and munching peanuts. The air was rife with excitement about Y2K. For us kids, it didn't mean much. But, end of the year was just as exciting in those days, as it is now. Everyday there would be heated discussions amongst the adults about the Y2K problem looming upon us. Everyday there would be heated discussions amongst us kids, about what to watch on TV on 31st Dec. The days just flew by.

On that fateful day, the evening fog was just rising, making it impossible to see beyond 200m. We could barely make out the outline of the small white Maruti 800 as it entered our parking spot. My father walked out and dragged his briefcase home. He looked tired and worn out. Something was wrong. He called my Mother into the room and from behind the curtain, we could make out the outlines. Something was definitely happening. He took out a transparent file from his briefcase and showed my Mother a piece of paper. One look at it, a gasp and she clutched it hard. Something was up. We could not hear the conversations that followed.

My father pranced around, worried, wringing his fingers. My Mother sat on the bed, with hands folded. We even saw her walk into the Puja room and do a quick 30 second prayer. It was killing us, kids. Something was brewing.

I saw my father sit beside my mother and gently hold her hand. They looked at each other and smiled. They got up and started walking towards the door. We took our seats on the sofa and pretended to be engrossed in watching Dekh Bhai Dekh on TV.

My Father cleared his throat and gestured towards the remote. We hit the Power off button and waited for the news. The parents sat in front of us and my father began speaking.

"Children, I have news to share. It is entirely possible that our lives may change forever after this. The new millennium is bringing us more than just a new date and a new problem. It is the birth of a new life for us. For the four of us. We may embark on a new journey of our life, even as i speak."

Silence all around.

Then he took out the transparent folder and put it on the table.

As we peered at it, he said, "This came by email today. It is entirely fortuitous that this happened at the beginning of a new millennium. But as God would have it. This came by email today."

After a pause, he announced, "A certain gentleman, from Philippines wishes to become my business partner. And the amount that we stand to gain from this is $255,000,000."

He let the news sink in.

My mother had tears of joy in her eyes. My sister was beaming. I did not understand much, but I knew this was big.

Then my Father sat between us and said, "Do you know what this means? No more Maruti 800. No more standing for school bus. No more Government housing quarters. No more 2 bedroom houses. No more EMIs. We can become millionaires!"

The next few minutes were chaotic. We all started speaking simultaneously. Excited chatter all around. Everyone was making plans about what to do when we become super-rich. I, of course, was debating which Disneyland would be the best to visit at this time of the year. Then my Mother hushed everyone. We sat silently, with gleaming eyes and listened. She said, "I am asking you once again. Is he reliable? What if, all this is a scam? Should we ask someone else too? Why is he giving us all this money? What is the conversion rate? Mail him and ask him details of the business plan."

I felt anger rising up my veins. But. But. But. How does it matter? He is giving us a deal of a lifetime! There were many heated discussions, thereafter. I was not a part of many. But I do remember this. That year, 31st December night was the most exciting ever. We were up, discussing, making plans, thinking of the way forward. 

Kids, you had to be there to understand the excitement.

The first morning of the new millennium dawned. We went to the temple, as a family. On the way back, in our Maruti 800, my father was trying to look through the fog and drive safely. At the next red light, he suddenly started laughing. He laughed and laughed and laughed. Then my Mother joined him. Then we started laughing too. At the end of the hysterical moment, my Father remarked, "So much for millionaires, huh? I can't believe we fell for that."

We never spoke about that incident again. I do remember going back to school the first day after vacation and thinking how much I love my life and how I would rather be here than anywhere else. I am sure, all of us, silently felt that way. But who can stop them dreams?

Years later, after I got my own email address, and got my first spam mail, offering me $800,000,000, I remember how much I laughed. Them dreams.

Kids, since then, I have been recipient of multiple lotteries. Its satisfying. Trust me. But, its not enough. Some day, you will also realize this. Till then, feel free to dream.

Also, if you are looking for a business partner, let me know. I have an interesting proposal. You and I stand to earn $1,999,999,999. Give me a buzz if interested!

Have a fun day, kids!


  1. Ok, I have to seriously as this. This really happened? :O

    1. Hahahaa! :D
      It actually happened! :D

  2. Hahahaa! :D
    It actually happened! :D

  3. ROFL :D if dad gets one now he would still believe it :P

  4. I found the humour in this very dark. I don't feel like laughing at it. Just a sigh, for how things are sometimes.

    - S

  5. Arrey..Light only! There was nothing so serious about the whole thing..Just remembered the incident, so wrote it.. :)

  6. paatiamma@wordpress,comMonday, September 23, 2013

    Interested in being business partner and earn $1,999,999,999.How to give you a buzz ;-)

  7. Hahah..I wasnt sure if it was real or if you were joking, so I had to read the comments also to confirm again. Hilarious. Firstly, I was very tensed what your dad was going to say...Hahaha..Good times, huh!

  8. The Other SIde of LifeTuesday, September 24, 2013

    :D Yeah..Good TImes! :)

  9. Pree, I have always told you... love the humor bit you effortlessly add to most of your write-ups. It's just that..when there's so much happening around, all we can do is.. take things on a lighter context and not get agitated :D

    Keep writing.. :)

  10. I was riveted! But what an ending. Super :)

    1. Thanks DIC! I remember reading your blog long back! :)


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