Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pause for Effect

Sometimes the world is moving too fast for me.

I stare at that flyover outside my workplace. Between the blinds of those large windows, I see open blue skies, a few lonely trees swaying so lightly in the half-hearted breeze. I see cars, buses, trucks, and bikes rushing past. Like someone’s holding a remote and fast forwarding life.

It’s probably a sense of purpose that’s pushing the pedal. Something that needs to be done. Destinations to be reached, goals to be achieved, dreams to be fulfilled. And then what?

I have always wondered where people are going, what’s their story, why they are, the way they are. Sometimes I make up stories on behalf of all these people I see.

An old lady who drapes her saree in a strange, messy way that it always ends a few inches above her ankle—she never gets a seat in the metro—she’s probably a janitor at one of those commercial establishments that make the once green MG road dull as dust. She has three sons, and a drunkard for a husband. All useless. Or she just wants to be independent.

That god-fearing, youngish chap, orange dots on his forehead, pushes mankind to get a seat. He reads his Hanuman Chalisa off his cellphone, and doesn’t think giving up his place for that old lady, who can barely stand, is serving God. He’s probably an only child, only looking out for himself. Or he has always been the nice guy and is tired of finishing last.

That couple that’s always fighting. The girl’s always shouting. Bickering, mostly. And the guy, he doesn’t want to be there but he’s stuck. She is probably a nag, a controlling bitch. The guy, a repeat offender. Couldn’t care less. Why are they together? Because at the end of the day, love is blind. Bullshit. The need to be in a relationship. Even if it’s this half-ass.

That girl who’s always well-dressed, reading a Murakami or a Dan Brown or Amish Tripathi or anything that you must read to be respected. Just returned from a trip to the US, her Bath and Body Works sanitizer, hanging perilously from her handbag, gives it away. Her husband probably drops her to the bus stop and picks her up.  She is very polite to him—always. She is shy, doesn’t like people much. Or maybe she goes all crazy a few drinks down.

All of these people are part of that mad rush. They travel in those cars, buses, bikes that zoom past. Everyday. They are all moving.

I feel like I am static and the world is in motion. Like I am looking at all of these people going about their lives but I am...still. Not stagnant, but just not moving.

What’s the tearing hurry? Can we slow down? Stop and smell the roses, listen to the birds, hum that song, dream a little. Snatch the remote from that someone and pause for effect. Just be.

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