She kept looking through the window, letting the mischievous wind caress her hair. A tiny droplet fell on her cheek as the clouds decided to rain pour the city for the night.
She looked around to find the bus crowded with people – young and old, happy and miserable. They all seemed to be ordinary to her. But little did she know, that each of them had their own battles to fight and not just to fight, they had to survive it. Going through battles each day with renewed vigour.
She mused to herself “I’m stuck in an ordinary world with ordinary people. People who get up at 6 in the morning, prepare themselves for the day ahead. Struggle through buses and metros to reach my office, and then it is the same journey back home. But am I as ordinary as others? I do wonder, what differentiates me from the rest of the crowd.”
Before she knew it, it started pouring heavily. Although, she knew she had to wait, she got down at her stop. Unlike others, who were waiting at the bus stop for the rains to calm down, she walked through the muddy roads like she owned it.
After what seemed like eternity, she finally reached the destination.
“Hey!! Sorry, I’m late.”
“And drenched.” he teased looking at her.
“Usually, in such an occasion people offer to say a hi”. she fussed. “But I guess, with you I shouldn’t be demanding much. But you could definetly afford, what don’t i buy a cup of coffee?”
He had a devilish smirk on his face “Well, if it is coffee that you want, you can order one.”
“And your numbers just keep dropping. How do you manage to be so annoying?” she yelled at him displaying her displeasure.
“Well, I need someone to show my annoying side. I’m tired of being the good boy, you see.”
She knew she couldn’t beat him up with it.
He held her hand and said ” I’m sorry. I have missed you. I have missed annoying you. You know, I just cannot afford to be annoying with others. They’d run away looking at my lunatic side.”
“And what makes you think, I won’t run away? “she snapped.
“If you could have, you would have. You wouldn’t have stayed by for so long. I know, I can count on you for bearing my eccentricity.”
“It’s okay.” he said “How was your day?”
“Ordinary” she fussed. “How was yours?”
“Extraordinary. Just like each day, with a new surprise. I have never had such a beautiful day. That probably explains the smile on my face.” his over enthusiastic energy levels could make anyone envious.
“What’s with extraordinary” she enquired.
“You mean how was it extraordinary?” he tried to correct her.
“No, I mean why was it extraordinary?”
He looked puzzled and tried to explain “Well, I did not postpone my alarm. I got up at 6 in the morning, went for my jog. And it’s such a beautiful thing to run in the morning. The sun rays welcome you, the birds are chirping, you feel the fresh air and before you go to the office you feel renewed and refreshed. I never longed for being at work. My office seemed to be very pleasant. Overall I had a pleasant day. But more than that, I am meeting you this evening and I love it. It’s been long since we spent time like this.”
“So, that’s ordinary.” she appeared crossed.
” No – that’s extraordinary. I don’t like sleeping at 3 in the morning, binge watching all the shows on Netflix. Getting up late, running late for office. I don’t want such a life. I like it to be organised and not messy.”
“By organised, what do you mean?”
“Something that is not you.” he tried to get on her nerves.
“I am very well organised, and I do not remember asking for your opinion, actually.” she retorted with renewed anger.
Before he could say anything she added, ” And by the way what makes you say, I am disorganised?”
“You’re a cornucopia of mess, Ahana.”
“Look at you. You are clearly not happy. You feel everyone is ordinary. You have no idea what you are seeking from your life. You think you are left behind. You lock up yourself in your house for days together. I don’t remember you letting sunshine past you. Your house is filled with dark curtains, you rarely open the window. You call it your abode, but it clearly is nothing but darkness. You just surround yourself with darkness, and you talk about everyone being ordinary. There is nothing called as ordinary, Ahana. It’s all in the mind. Every soul out there is different.”
“Well, that’s the thing. Perception. Looking from my eyes, yeah, every day I see the same thing, same people doing the same thing, living the same life, going through the same chores, and the same monotony sets it. People think it is normal. It’s not normal.It’s very depressing. Don’t you think?” she let out a deep sigh.
“No, it is not. It’s about what you do. It’s about loving what you do. It’s about loving life, Ahana. Not everyone is lucky as us.”
“Oh, I know what you mean. The categorical, there are people working on limited wages, people who struggle for basic necessities of life and we should be grateful to the life we live, for what we have, and for as long as it lasts, right. I have heard it like for a zillion times now, Pratyush.” she vented.
There was something restless about her. She was an unhappy soul. Unhappy with her life, with people around her and most importantly herself. She felt let down by herself for having unrealistic expectations.
“What do you think makes you lucky, Ahana?”
“I don’t know. I feel stuck at life. Everyone I know, is getting a job, getting married, going abroad. Day in and day out, I look at my instagram and wonder if I will be able to live such a life. So many hashtags that make you a cringe with anger.
God, I am so tired of it.” she was clearly frustrated.
“Huh!!” he snorted. “You know social networking sites make you connect with your friends and family. You’re supposed to be happy for them and not be envious about what they’re up to in life. It’s like, you are envious about your own friends who are happy in their life. And it’s not always a greener vista. The instagram pictures never tell you the harsh side of their life. People put the happy things out there to spread happiness not to invoke negativity around them. What has gotten into you?”
“I don’t know.” she looked down. ” I don’t even feel myself, anymore. It’s like, I have hit saturation. And there’s a cave with many doors, and I don’t know which door to open. I need to get out of it, please help me Pratyush.”
“Tell you what!! You’ve been shutting yourself down from every bit of emotion that you can ever have. You feel envious looking at people around you. The same people whom you loved. The same people who made you happy. You were the one who preached about love and bliss. You were the one who taught me that to love a person is to be happy with their happiness. That was you, Ahana. Not this callous monster that you claim to be. You just convince yourself that you are a cold monster that cares about no one. Deep down, you want the life others are leading. There’s nothing wrong about it, though. But you can be happy about them. You are constantly comparing yourself with your peers, and that is not going to take you anywhere. That’s also the reason why you feel that that your life has been stuck forever. But that’s not true. It’s just that you are convincing yourself that.”
“What do you mean?” she hit back ” I love being like this. Don’t you mean that? You think I enjoy being this pessimist.”
“No, that’s not what I mean.” he clarified.” But what I mean is that you have found your comfort zone here and you don’t want to let go of that. You feel it’s saturated, but have you tried anything to get out of the saturation? I have known you as a fiesty girl, who is forever ready to take risks, add up new adventures and lead a new day every day. And I had this unfaltering faith that you would never become this. I’m disappointed.”
“People change. It’s inevitable.” she justified.
“You don’t like the change. What’s the point of change, if it doesn’t help you grow in any way.”
“You think, I like my life this way?” she reasoned.
“You do. You just do not know it. If you didn’t like it, you would have gotten out of it, long ago.” he argued. ” You just cannot admit that you like it now, because it makes you comfortable. It’s very difficult for you to let go of the comfort zone that you are in.”
“The problem with you is that you believe in what you feel right now.”
“How does what I feel, affect my life?”
“Do you know your brain is the most powerful thing in the world. And did you know, that it is most feeble and vulnerable thing in this world. Quite fragile. Just like a robot – a machine that anyone can operate. You just have to know the process. Now think of a king who is powerful yet vulnerable. And the entire world knows his weakness. Do you think the world will show him mercy. It will rip him apart, till he is broken into a thousand pieces. Dead. Now imagine, if your brain was that king. What would happen? Don’t let the world rip it apart into a thousand pieces. You have to stop feeding this negativity to it.”
“What crap!!” she rubbished his theory.
“It’s true. Try it out. I was once, in the same phase that you are in, today. Then, I learnt that your mind can be easily controlled. Not just by you, but by anyone. Your emotions are not at all depended on upon you. It’s tested by everyone. It’s manipulated by people. You believe, you stand for things that your brain is manipulated into.”
“Help me change that, please.” she beseeched him. Not for a second did she feel desperate in front of him seeking help. She knew if someone could help it was herself. But Pratyush was known to be with her for all the time.
“You’re the only one who can change that, unfortunately. Remember the Ahana, who stood for things, who believed in what she did, who had nothing but love within her to give to the world. She never learnt what jealously or envy meant. I don’t know this Ahana. But then, neither do you. Call the older version back, I love that spark.”
Both of them giggled.
But then he was right.
You just make your life miserable by comparing yourself to others, being envious about others, being too concerned with someone’s life. Often forgetting to lead our own, we obsess with what is not ours.
Ahana probably knew this earlier. She just needed to hear it out from the right mouth. It was time for her to set things right. The time, when she would be happy.
It was time for her to break the shackles..