Its 11 in the morning. I’m casually strolling down the street, plastic bag in my hand, some cash stuffed in my pocket and i’m out to the grocer’s to buy a mix of potatoes, tomatoes, onions, green chillies, coriander, cabbage and whatever else that can be stuffed in my bags with whatever cash I got — I’m going green! Well, maybe not, as I see my classmates in crisp uniforms going to the examination center for writing the math paper that is scheduled at 11:30 in the morning today. As we people exchange smiles and best wishes, I suddenly wonder if it is not but obvious that I too should be on my way to write the exam as well. However, the angel of positivity hovers around my head, like it does in Tom n’ Jerry and tells me to relax as I can still get to the exam center on time and so I continue on my way to the vegetable market. After haggling with vegetable vendors for a fair price — I should have been haggling for marks — I return home at 12:30 in the noon and go off to the examination center by 1 where I get castigated for arriving late and I return the compliments with a smile (why am I so positive and relaxed today?)…………<<fast forward>>…………I have … 30 minutes to go and 80 marks to attempt!!! This is impossible and as I begin the next answer using calculus, my pen crosses off the answer sheet in one huge streak as the examiner politely pulls away my answer sheet.
life resumes, I go to work, the usual canteen grapevine thrives, so do the company profits. All in all, I work, eat, sleep.
But then suddenly, as I am walking my way back home, I feel deceived by the very physics I studied. I am being pulled away from the surface of the earth and as I traverse this forceful drift off the earth’s surface and into deeper space, where my friendly g, is no longer supposed to be 9.8 m/s2, I wonder if this pull out of the earth’s surface is indeed The Big free fall into eternal deep space. What I miss right now is the reassuring expression “you have something to fall back upon”. What will I land upon eventually? Will I ever land upon something? No appears to be the answer……I just passed A1689-zD1, one of the farthest galaxies in the Universe, wished happy dussera to A1689-zD1-oids, left a note mentioning that if Hubble or its cousin-in-the-making Bubble ever discovered me, all my earnings be handed over to Manchow, my cat who is by far, the most innocent and trustworthy being out there, what with simple physics deceiving me!
life resumes, tea is hot when I self-serve it, Manchow has just torn apart the new piece of table-cloth, wool is strewn all around the “innocent” feline and its eyes speak of colossal chaos, just for you!
If chaos was what I went through till now, this is plain old peace. I am off to work. Another day at work, needn’t say more on that….while coming back, I feel a sudden gush of sneeze and promptly pull out my handkerchief to cover my mouth. All done, I proceed, but just as I walked a few steps ahead, I hear someone calling out to me from behind. I ignore and move ahead but I indeed have to turn back when one of the pedestrians tells me to. It happens that my wallet piggybacked its way out of my pocket with my handkerchief and fell on the footpath. To my surprise and all the more surprise, it was a beggar who noticed it and called me . Three jeers to me for terming such a person a beggar. So surprised was I at the honesty of this person that it did not even strike me to hand a note of Rs. 10 in appreciation. I thanked him and that was it.
It is now that I take note of a few lessons in life. What happened at intermissions 1 & 2 was that I pressed ‘exit’ from my dreams and opened my eyes in the thick of night, finding myself in the comfort of my room, changed my sleeping position a little and resumed sleep, only to wake up soundly the next morning and thanking God for it. There was no intermission 3 because it was a real life incident. “Hope is a waking dream” said Aristotle and while we must thank nature that it makes us more aware in life by infusing such dreams from time to time, I hope that we learn to take a moment and thank others and do good to others when they indeed save us from such real life nightmares-to-be.