Coming back from work, one particular Tuesday, time, traffic and thoughts- preoccupied were wearing me out. Haven’t I had visions of better places to be? Daydreams. Wasn’t it supposed to get easier with years? Daydreams. Am I going where I thought I am? Probably not. But not sure either.
While I was playing self-inflicting game spiraling me into feeling of utter uselessness, I heard a sound.
She was singing. On top of honking vehicles, screams of spouses harassing their victim-halfs over phones and useless people, for lack of better things in life, making sorry stories in head and shitting all over their own life.
She, coming back from office, walking on pedestrian’s path over the bridge, was singing! It was so unusual, strange, out of place. For a second I thought she was crazy. Crazy because I have always wanted to do such a thing- to not care, to walk road by road in cities and sing in my tone (imagine!) just to enjoy the moment and live with the thought I am having. I can’t believe many many more people don’t want to do it. The fact that in last 6 years she is only the second person I have seen do it is absolutely crazy!
It did cheer me up. It did lift me up from the pit of despair and gloom. It did make me want to sing (in my tone, imagine!). And I did.
Life becomes so much more interesting if you can weave events into stories (and tell them right) or catch a few words and make them sing.
I don’t know who the women of songs is. But, thank you!
You never miss work. You cannot afford to miss work. It is what brings food to the table. It is what gives you economic value and justification to your skills and qualification.
But you always miss people. You miss not knowing them better. You miss not knowing what they are like, what they think, what makes them happy, what their interests are or what is their view of life.
When it comes to work, most of us are replaceable. This is how good organizations, I think, are supposed to be built. When you leave, tomorrow there be someone else, who might be better at every aspect of work than you were.
But as a person, you are never replaceable. As a friend, you are always special. Doesn’t matter who gets replaced on your seat, they can’t ever replace your presence.
I have begun to value my relationships with people a lot more. It is inevitable that you will keep working for as long as you can but it is not inevitable that you will have many good friends.
Does the fast paced competitive world around you bothers you?
Kolkata is a place with quite a lot of indifferent people. They cannot care to bother. They probably know it doesn’t matter. I have seen the most humblest styles (if you allow me to call that) of living here. Not many worry about the clothes they are wearing or how they are looking. The people on the streets are incredibly real here. The markets are full of noise with people chattering over all kinds of things while buying fish, but with their intent clear and focused on the fish. There are many many retail shops, most of them remain closed in the afternoon. And many don’t even open for days. Still yet most of them seem busy yet content.
Why am I telling all this? Because I think we should all own a corner shop in Kolkata market ( at least I should). A small shop in the middle crowd chattering, watching and moving on to their own lives. A shop that full of oneself. Own thoughts. Own attitudes. Own dreams and own dirt. Not caring what it looks like or how people view at it. The corner shop will remind in times of self-doubt and trouble that most of the chattering doesn’t matter. And once in a while people will come, just to take from you what you’ve got and just to give you what you need. And for much more that exists, you cannot always care to bother. Most of what it seems at first, probably doesn’t even matter.
When was the last time you felt responsible for something?
The road in front of ISI is very busy especially in the evenings. People on vehicles and on foot run in a hurry of movements and steps rushing to places they know better. Often unobservant of anything that lies around. Or simply ignore it. This makes it an effort and a risk to cross the road every time I have to.
Yesterday when I was standing by for the Green light to turn Red, a kid took me by surprise by holding onto my hands. I looked down and he was not looking back at me. Instead he looked worryingly at the cars and trucks rampaging on the street. He looked scared. His grip on my hands tightened and loosened at the intensity of speeding vehicles on the road. I could almost feel his heartbeats and fear. Normally I would not care but I felt a sense of urgency and responsibility for this kid. I held back his hand firmly and carefully crossed the road, noticing the mad chaos of events from sudden brakes of bikes to people running into each other for the first time. And I did feel a little fear too because someone was holding onto me.
When I reached to the other end of the road, I looked at the kid but without a word, expression or, at least I hoped, a look back at me, he ran away. It felt strange at that time. But now it doesn’t.
I rarely engage myself in acts of kindness or responsibility for others. And in days the only opportunity I got, I expected the entire quota of gratitude to fill out of it. Even though I avoid getting involved in these simple acts of responsibility but I did feel the need of such gratitude. Why? Because it felt good.
The kid did not thank me back because I did not do anything great. It was an act expected out of any decent person. It was the kid who reminded me the importance of small acts of kindness and responsibility. And how good they could make you feel.
It all reminds me that I have not done enough. Its time to earn some karma points.
I was editing a pencil art of Division Bell album cover and I ended up with this 🙂