By Accident

Jaibala/ August 16, 2014/ Short Stories

Rohan walked out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around him. He removed his clothes from the cupboard and started getting dressed. He wore a formal black pant and a white shirt, it was the day of the hearing and his clothes were what were considered as almost a uniform. He looked at the watch and realised he was  late, he walked briskly into the kitchen put two slices of bread in the toaster and poured out his cup of steaming hot tea. As he waited for the bread to toast he went and checked on his brother. He was relieved as he saw the sleeping form of his younger brother. He took care not to disturb him, and walked back to the kitchen. His toast was done and as he buttered it he mentally planned the day ahead.


He quickly had his breakfast and put on his shoes and walked out. As he waited for the lift, the neighbour’s door opened, and Mr. Sharma came and stood next to him. They politely smiled at each other. The lift came and they entered, there was another person in the lift he did not know.  “But then no one knows me here in the apartment complex,” he thought.

It was Rahul whom everyone knew. His brother was the life of the crowd anywhere, any place, with something funny or witty to say every time making  people gravitate towards him. Rohan on the other hand was the quiet one, the one who always stood in the corner; most people that knew would be surprised to know that the two of them were brothers. They belonged to two different worlds, neither comfortable in the other’s role.


As the lift came to a halt on the ground floor, Rohan got off and walked towards the station. He got his regular train, where he sat in his regular seat. “It is funny how you can be invisible in a compartment full of people you travel with every day.”

That did not bother him at all, he liked being invisible and he was looking forward to what lay ahead in the day. Today was the final hearing. He would deliver the final argument and hoped to get a positive judgement. “This is an open and shut case anyway,” he thought, “the driver was drunk, was driving in the wrong lane and had run over a young boy walking on the road.” The story was quite familiar especially to him.


He tried not to get too involved, because getting emotionally involved with a case would lead to disastrous effects. That was his biggest struggle every time he walked in to the building that housed the MACT, the Motor Accident  Claims Tribunal. But that was what he had chosen to do, chosen to specialise in, he had sworn that he would fight for the benefit of every accident victim that came to him. That was his reason for living, that and his brother Rahul. He got off at his destination station, and there was a sudden spring in his step as he walked toward the courthouse. The person who entered the building was a hot shot lawyer. The Peons stood up to salute him and the clerks wished the man a “Good day”.  Everyone knew Advocate Rohan. He entered the locker and as he donned the gown and the band, he got ready to face the court.


The man who entered the court room was a very different one from the man that had left home. The court was his grand opera and he was the star performer. It was where he felt at home being under the spot light. Advocate Rohan was ruthless when it came to going after the perpetrators; he was animated, famous and known to fight for the victim’s rights aggressively. He was known never to lose a case and when he was in court no one could match his style and charisma while making arguments in front of a judge. And this case turned out to be no different. As he spoke, everyone in the court room listened with rapt attention; his clever and precise points had the judge’s undivided attention. His meticulous research and practical arguments won him the case hands down.


After a few meetings and doing some research for a new case Rohan headed home. As he placed his things in the locker, it was as if he shed off a skin. He picked up his bag and started walking to the station. He had a usual evening train, where no one knew him and his commute was nothing special. As he entered his apartment complex, he saw a few people whom he did not know. He took the lift home, and he opened the door with his keys and walked in to see his brother. Rahul was sitting quietly in the corner reading a book. The Rahul that people knew and the Rahul sitting in front of him were different people.  This Rahul was silent, never went out and liked to be left all alone. He did not even respond to his own brother most of the times, living in his own quiet world.


The accident had changed both their lives drastically, and not just by taking away their parents. By accident he had found his calling and learnt to live the new life of Advocate Rohan.  But Rahul on the other hand had changed completely, that was the day his brother stopped being in the spotlight, and faded into complete silence.


Prompt 16 August



This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The Open-prompt for today was ‘When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd?Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?’


About Jaibala

Academically a Microbiologist, I am a Web Columnist for popular magazines and websites, Freelance Writer and a Blogger. Words define me and writing and reading compete to be the love of my life. My biggest belief is that there is something good in everything and I always looks to highlight the best in things. Creative writing is my forte.You can reach me by dropping a mail at