As we swim through the phases of our life – the exhilarated phase, the drudgery phase, the jumping-up-and-down-happy phase, the heartsick phase, the sad-like-never before phase, among others – we realize that there is a common light whose glimmer can be seen all along. These small events bear no importance to the direction our life takes, but they always form a part of the whole, giving realism to the phantasmagoria of make-believe called life. I would like to recount some of those events that I had to notice hard to see.
As my day begins, I go to the kitchen, and put 4 eggs to boil – two for my flat-mate and two for myself. This routine, ossified in the realms of everydayness, stands by me as a silent spectator, not making even the slightest movement for fear of making me realize its presence. In almost the same way, the guard of our building comes out and stands outside his room to watch me leave as I open the lock of the gate to go out. He has this annoying habit of standing right by you and pretending to be invisible, irrespective of the fact that you might be discussing life and death matters with your postman or your maid.
About a month back, the following incident took place. As I stood at the location where I board the morning bus, and tried to immerse myself in the book in my hand or in the song on my ipod, there is this shared-auto rickshaw that turned right from the crossing where I stood. I had not noticed it for almost a month, when that day I heard a voice followed by a cackling noise which can only either be produced by a mob of excited tiny chickens on a rampage or by a group of small girls poked about 4 inches below their armpits all at the same time. As I looked up at the source of the outburst, I saw some hands waving towards me while some making the tip of their thumb touch the tip of their index finger. It was only the next day when I heard a clear voice saying something to the effect of “Bhaiyya, nice hairstyle!” Caught off-guard as I was, all I could do was smile shyly in return. Since then, I regularly get wide smiles and enthusiastic wave of hands, to which I happily wave back.
The return journey from the office is typically characterised by a sincere effort on my part to make progress in reading whichever book I’m in the middle of. The first fit of drowsiness acting as a signal, I hastily put the book back in my bag, and doze off, before asking somebody close by to make sure that I’m up when my stop comes. After the short nap, which can be best described as head-banging in slow motion, when I get down from the bus, it typically becomes difficult to gather my bearings. The semi-sleepy walk that I have back from the point I alight from the bus to my apartment is something which typifies my everyday life.
These events easily become a part of my routine, and sadly the events which I would have loved to put here as daily occurrences, like a daily workout, or a regular jog, or an evening writing session, followed by some practice on the guitar, could not form a part of this enviable list. It leads me to believe that these daily transactions form the bulwark of our existence, and cannot be controlled, however hard we may try. By giving a sense of regularity to our lives, they make one realize that life is made of these simple things which don’t get much credit, as much as it is made of the highs which we remember fondly in the twilight of our years. We can do well to pause a moment, look around and breathe in these simple pleasures of life.