MBA, and then some real solid private job in an MNC
I want to do IAS.
I just want to be happy
I came back to reality as I recalled the last answer. Last year, a couple of friends and I had had a discussion about our future. Majority of them talked about how they would love to get a good job or a good business setup, or a government job and it’s securities etc etc. But one of them just said, ‘I just want to be happy’
Sounds stupid doesn’t it? But for me, right now, it seems like the most valuable lesson of my life. Where is happiness? How does one attain happiness? I turned around and looked at mom. She was fretting over a bill that had not been paid. My mom wasn’t happy.
She was living a life that wasn’t a ‘life’. She woke up each morning, did the routine house management, went to office, came back in the evening, had dinner and went to bed. There was so much to worry about, so much to think about, so much to do all at once, where was the time to be happy?
With each passing day, I felt as though I was losing her to an unknown darkness, and fear that I might not be able to get her back hit me like a ton of bricks. She seemed out of reach, out of contact. I wish I could do something to make her happy. Anything.
Last year, I was determined to choose a similar life for myself – becoming a businesswoman, running an establishment, making money. But now, that determination has started to waver.
I walked towards her and gave her a hug from behind, “Relax mom, it’s gonna be okay. The bill will be paid, okay?”
She smiled at me and said, “I know, it’s just that the due date’s passed and these guys might-”
“We do have candles”, I said sheepishly. She just stared at me for a while, shook her head and started smiling. My suggestion wasn’t practical, but the idea of a candlelight dinner with mom made me happy. And that was enough.
“I love to paint trees in my paintings. They’re just so calm..and serene..and lively at the same time..”
Nandita is still morose. I don’t know how things are at her house. We still haven’t talked about that little fight we had yesterday over Varun. It still bothered me to remember her reaction. She should have been happy.
“..it is a really beautiful song. Have you heard it?”
I don’t get the deal with her parents. They’ve been going around beating the bush since the past two years, and the only thing they’ve done is make Nandita’s life worse.
I jerked back to reality, “What? What?”
“Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”, said Ayush exasperatedly.
I was at his little ‘secret’ place. The place had a certain charm about it. Last time I had spent time here, I knew that it was a place I’d want to come back to. Singing was special to me. This place was full of it. And perhaps it was because I wanted to cherish music again, when I thought of ‘calmness’, this was the only place that came to my mind.
Ayush accepted my request after a little hesitation. This was his hiding place, afterall.
“I’m sorry. I just slipped into some third world for a while. What were you saying?”
He sighed, “I asked – do you like this song?”
He started to pick up an album cover from the floor to show it to me, but then dropped it and said, “Why don’t we just play it?”
I grinned, “Surprise me”
15 seconds into the song and I knew which one it was. Before I could stop myself, I yelled, “Oh I love this song!” It was ‘Maeri’ by Euphoria. I remember dancing to this song years ago when it had come out.
I didn’t realize when I started singing along. It was probably a bad performance, but I didn’t care. Ayush didn’t care. It was the zest that mattered. For a moment, I forgot all about my problems.
When the song came to and end, we were both sitting on the floor and clapping for each other.
“You know what, you sing well”, said Ayush excitedly. I brushed it off, “It’s amateur”
“Yeah, but the talent’s there”, he pressed on. I looked at him for a moment before shrugging it off again, “Forget it. Let’s do this again. What say?”
He played the guitar once and said, “Voila!”
I grinned, “Have you heard of the song..”
It went on for hours. There was homework piled up at home, and yet I was here, spending my Sunday evening in a hidden hut. Usually I would just be running around like a wild goose desperate to get the work done, but today, the physics worksheet was the last of my worries. I thought about how lucky Ayush was to have such a haven-like place tucked away safely behind his house, that too accessible at any point of time.
School was such an obstruction to doing what you wanted. It’s ironic, since education’s essential aim to help one find their way. School pretty much beats the purpose by stopping us from doing just that.
I finally looked at my watch when another song ended, “Crap. It’s 8 in the evening. I have to get going”
Ayush looked slightly perturbed, “Oh..but you can stay for another song?”
I opened my mouth to say something when he cut me off, “C’mon, just one? We were just beginning to drown into these notes”
He was an artist alright. No one spoke like that nowadays. I sighed, “Fine. But just one, okay?”
He bowed his head, “Yes, Senorita”. I narrowed my eyes and gave him a cut-the-crap look, “Shut up”
We ended up singing another five. I don’t think I’ve ever spent this kind of time at the dhaba either. Knowing that it was getting too late, I finally decided to make a move or else I’d end up spending the whole night here, “Thanks for today. It was great”, I said, meaning every word.
He looked up packing up his guitar in it’s case, “Not a problem. Actually, I’m glad to know someone who shares my passion”
I rolled my eyes, “Yeah, and sings like a frog”
Mild laughter ensued. Would anyone believe we used fight like small kids a week back? I got up started to walk towards the door when he said, “Oh and Naina?”
“Good job kicking Varun’s ass yesterday. I’d like to see that again”
The way he said it made me smile, “Sure. I’d love to”. Turning around, I waved my hand and said, “Bye Ayush”, and walked out of the door.