The most easiest of human traits is perhaps our power to connect with people, their emotions and feel. Yet, it is only seldom that we let ourselves do exactly that – feel.
Why is it easier for us to connect over the pains of a complete stranger; raise likes, votes and shares than connecting with the people we meet almost every single day?
I live far away from home. I am one of those who can immerse themselves into solidarity and not care about the world.
“Only two- Coffee beans and Urad dal, then finally we will be able to say Mission Shopping List Accomplished!” Jitendra checked and rechecked the bit of paper his mother had given him.
“Alright, we could buy it from Rao Uncle’s store. Let’s get this done with, I am getting hungry.” Said Aryan and his stomach obediently grumbled in cue.
As they rode their bicycles through the twists and turns of their town, they went over the whole day once again. So much had happened in a single day. The morning had started with all of them anxious about the hurdle race. Aryan had to prepare a consolation speech just in case Prat Praatik somehow won, but it had not come to that thankfully. Jitendra had won. The trophy now hung proudly with other medals and awards in Jitendra’s bedroom. After the race they had headed to Jitendra’s home where they had had a great lunch. Mrs Nath was an exceptional cook. Lalit and Aryan shamelessly jumped at every occasion to visit Jitendra’s house and satiate their gastronomical demons. Jitendra’s parents were a very warm couple and treated Lalit and Aryan almost as their sons. After a delightful lunch they had played a few video games. Jitendra and Aryan had together squashed Lalit much to his annoyance and to cheer him up Aryan and Jitendra destroyed each other’s bots.
Fun and banter had always been their way of life. It still was. However, when Lalit lost his father to a fatal car accident it had been very difficult to draw out Lalit from outside his room. He’d always stayed holed up inside his room. Jitendra and Aryan themselves had taken time to let the fact sink in. They had let Lalit be for a week. But after that they had barged in, broken his door, picked him up and wrapped him in a bag and threatened to throw him off the bridge if he didn’t promise he would get back to his normal life. Death hadn’t been easy on anyone ever. Period. But life moved on and hence one has to move on as well. The departed would forever remain a part of you. They will always remain in your heart. Aryan and Jitendra did not know what Lalit was going through but they knew isolating oneself wasn’t the solution. Slowly, Lalit had come back to his normal self. It had been two years since the night the accident happened. The three boys were just that –boys, but that one experience had matured them up.
They had reached the Azad chowk, Rao Uncle’s shop was two blocks away. They were waiting for the traffic to give way. Unlike some of their peers these respected the traffic rules and obediently waited for the lights to turn green. A black sedan drove up to their side. Aryan – the forever Narcissus of the group – checked his reflection in the mirror. It took him full five seconds to realize that behind the tinted glass peered a familiar face. Alexandria was looking at him with much amusement.
Oh come on! Not her again. He thought. She seemed to be able to hear his thoughts as her face broke into an amused smile at that moment; her white teeth gleamed from behind the tinted windows. He can’t help but smile back sheepishly. All animosity from the morning seemed to dissolve. The lights changed. The sedan moved away. Aryan followed his friends to Rao uncle’s shop. Unbeknownst to both of them something had moved that day.
The crowd was abuzz with excitement. The winner of the 200m Men’s Hurdle race was about to be announced. It had been very close, so close. Jitendra and Pratik, a classmate had crossed the finishing line at almost the same time. The administration was busy going over and over the video loop of the last second.
She was drowning. It was four in the evening. Solid bars of golden sunlight seeped in through the French windows on the left. Endless rows of books were stacked along the right wall- each of them was properly and alphabetically arranged. One could smell the fresh polish on the wooden floor. A huge globe in bronze stood at the far end of the hall. A glass table stood at the center. There on the table rested three cups of tea- each of them left untouched.
I am sitting in front of my laptop and thinking … what to do with my life! Was pursuing engineering the right decision for me? Was my university the right call. Who am I? Whenever someone asks me this question, it still stirs me. I think. I think harder. At this point I even remember what was in my history syllabus in secondary school and I suck at history. I just cant answer who I am. This sometimes offends me. After so many years of nurturing, I still cant recognize myself.
But what if its meant to be? History couldn’t have make a mark in everyone’s life if we knew how its going to be in the end. Our life is like a diary and its pages are being filled as I speak. You are not supposed to know who you are going to be tomorrow. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have ambitions. But what if tomorrow our ambitions change? Today I want to be a writer. Tomorrow I can want to be a “chef”. People change. Society can change. The world is always changing. So ambitions ought to change. At the end of the day you should always do what you like, not what society wants.
So Who Am I? I think I am that person whom you see everyday around you. At your work; At your leisure; At your gym; At your Sunday class; At your home. I am that person who always search for reasons to hold onto this sweet life. Everyday we make sacrifices. We keep on searching our true identity. Some do this by adding titles on their cards and many others do this by stockpiling token of appreciation in their abodes. But do we really care? Do we really understand the meaning of life? Of having a meaningful one? So now if I ask you “Who Are You?” …. “Can you enlighten me?”