Live for the little things that really matter
In this fast paced world we rarely find those moments, those precious moments of which we read about in novels or watch in movies. I am talking about those moments that really take our breath away.
No, I am not talking about people getting married, having a baby or moving into their new homes. They are huge life changing events. I am talking about much smaller things and those simpler moments, those simple everyday moments wherein kids enjoy the sound of the birds, couples share a bus or train journey together, parents go to the movies with their kids. Its so rare these days. Or may be its just me…..I don’t know…..
Today all I can see are kids running their little angel like fingers across their iPads or PS3 which have become idolatrous doting for them while they are sitting in their homes wherein the grandparents are busy watching their favourite soap operas on television that run stories of deceit, swindling characters, retribution plots in plenty and more such depressing concepts that would do nothing more than cause eternal perdition to the mind and finally the younger couples in the house who are most often found sitting separately in different rooms or much worse in the same room with one working his blackberry and the other working on some work related email on her laptop.
I was traveling back from a meeting, reading a book and as I flipped through the pages on my tablet ebook, I just happened to notice a couple from afar. I was at the backseat of my car. As the vehicle moved at its snail pace safely dodging the city market traffic, I turned back from my seat and watched that couple holding hands, walking on the busy chaotic street while their other hands were busy holding an ice cream that was melting quicker than imaginable with the scorching heat.
The car was almost in a static state in the crowded street of Goregaon in Mumbai and I like a little kid had my eyes still gazing upon the young couple who were so much in love. The only not so odd part about this was that I did not have my hands on the window of the car as I was watching them, now that would have been an epic movie like moment. A grown man, acting like a kid and more strangely staring at some couple on the street. But there was something about them that was both, very sweet and familiar.
It was beautiful and it was just like the movies. It was 13:30 and the noon heat of Mumbai was doing no justice to the money they must have paid to enjoy that ice cream as it had almost melted completely. All I could do was hope for a kinder weather. Still, there they both were, trying to salvage whatever was left running from the sides of their hands and laughing and giggling in the middle of the street completely oblivious to the chaotic surrounding and the blistering heat. I saw them closely and it immediately struck me, they both were old colleagues of mine.
The strange part was, they both were colleagues of mine from different companies where I had worked long ago. I asked the driver to take the car ahead and park it wherever he could find space and I got out of the car.
Blast! The heat of the sun slammed my face as I got out of my vehicle. My eyes twitched with sheer angst from the heat and light. In that humorously semi-blinded comic state I dashed into a lady who was hurriedly walking looking somewhere behind her whilst shouting at a street hawker. She was carrying a huge purse under her arm, with a massive looking bag which looked like to me like she was carrying a years grocery (just exaggerating) in her hands, was screaming on top of her voice onto her mobile phone that was in her other hand and had a look that was seriously menaced. I suddenly felt a sense of compunction running inside of me for having dashed this massive looking lady who was walking the streets with no clue of anyone around and I immediately bent down to pick up few of the rolling potatoes and another vegetable which looked like capsicum and was trying to help her put them back into her bag.
She seemed disinterested as she was still yelling on the phone. As I finished helping her out, she seemed to conveniently end her call and gave me an earful of heated scolding for not watching where I was going. I had half a mind to tell her that she was walking backwards whilst shouting at some road side vendor with a barbaric opulence and at the same time talking on her phone, but the heat had taken most of my energy in these two to three minutes. She had an abominable aura around her or may be it was the heat, pollution and the crowded noisy street, it was just too much. I thought it would be best to express regret and leave.
So I apologized to her again and instantly got up and was looking for my old colleagues. I was blinded by the sun, slapped by the heat, scolded by the nice angry looking lady and the honking on the street was not doing me any good either. I somehow managed to locate them. As I sped towards them in rapid strides, I noticed they were still smiling, laughing and talking to each other in their ears and moving towards a shop that looked like it was selling wind chimes. Well, it was not a shop, it was a street shop selling wind chimes. Just before I approached them, I again looked around to see if I was the only one who seemed to be affected and annoyed with the crowd, noise and heat. But, thankfully every face that I saw around was equally cheesed off and irritated.
This made me more curious and I looked back at this odd couple who were joyfully shopping in the middle of the street.
I tapped both of them at the same time on their shoulders and they both turned in an orchestrated fashion. Their eyes lit up and both shouted at the same time, “Ananth!”
Before I could respond I felt a jab on my back from the right and an elbow from the left on my ribs from two people who were walking with bags and in the same frustrated mood that I too was.
My long lost friends then took me to the side, near the wind chime fellow, who was not very happy that I had interrupted his business and had distracted his prospects from making the purchase of the ghastly looking wind chime that he was holding in his hand. Before I could react to them, they both saw my face and the male friend, Rajeev said, “don’t worry re, I am not buying that. At least not that one for sure” I awkwardly smiled.
Just then, it struck them, as Sheetal asked Rajeev, “How do You know Ananth?” and before he answered I said, “I know I have worked in different companies with both of you as my colleagues, I am just wondering how you two met?”
I was really not wondering that at all. What I was thinking at that point of time was, ‘How the hell are these two standing here in the middle of the road and smiling and laughing’ while everyone around was looking so angry and irritated. I was doing it because I needed answers and wanted to know if there was a camera somewhere being shot of the couple as an advertisement, because it looked so made-up and movie like.
But I thought I will keep that question for later.
After another two to three minutes of their story about how they met and how one thing led to another and now finally it had been 5 years to their love marriage, they asked me what I was doing there.
I told them I was returning back from a meeting and saw them both so thought of saying hello.
“So are you both working here too?” I asked.
Sheetal said, “No. Jaanu works here, he is still” and before she completed Rajeev interrupted, “I am still working in the same company yaar”
“Oh Ok” I smiled.
Sheetal immediately said looking at me, “My God Ananth, it must have been at least six to seven years since we met. You still look the same” and before I could take the compliment, that is assuming it was a compliment and that she had thought that I used to look good back then, I smiled and just before I spoke, Rajeev said, “Areey yaar, now because of you, I will be asked to do some dieting and watch my weight etc.Tu bhi na, meeting me after so many years and getting me into trouble.”
I again tried to say something when Sheetal interrupted as she patted Rajeev’s paunch and then rubbed his glaring almost bald head with eyes that had a simpering piece of gentility in it, “No re, you look perfect”
I was relieved. I did not want to be responsible for an awesome dreamy couple getting into a fight or debate just because I looked the same way I did few years ago, which I am still not sure, of whether it was a compliment. I was so impressed by this couple (by the way, both of them are 3-4 years younger than me) that if they would have got into a childish argument, I would have made an attempt to propitiate with some old tale or fun tidbit to lighten the mood. But, they were so much in love, that nothing else mattered.
Few minutes passed by and I got an official call and in another minute or two I found myself excusing and rushing towards my car looking for my tablet to check some email attachment while I nicely bid goodbye to both of them as I gave my card and contact all the while talking on the phone and gestured to them saying, “call me”. I rushed back to my car and got in and was back at my work.
The fizz had gone in just those few moments, the dream sequence was shadowed by reality of my routine and I was back in the race of daily life as those cute moments slowly brushed off my memory.
It was then refreshed when I got a call from both of them that night on my cell phone and it was doubly engraved into my memory when I found out that Sheetal was a housewife now who had taken her time out that day from her daily schedule to travel from their house in Mulund all the way to Goregaon to his office just to have lunch with him.
I obviously asked the most ridiculous question apparently as Rajeev paused, thought for sometime and then answered it. I asked him “Why? Why did she travel, was there something special like an anniversary moment that I interrupted that day unknowingly or so?”
Sensing my worry he immediately laughed and said, “not at all. She comes to my office once a month for lunch and most of the days she comes all the way from home in the evening to pick me up too.”
In the semi-shock state that I was already after hearing that someone goes all the way just to pick her husband up from work and that too by traveling in Mumbai for two hours one way to reach that place, I asked, “How does she drive in this traffic in the evening?” and he said, “Drive. Arrey yarr, we don’t have a car. She comes in the bus from Mulund to meet me here. Then both of us take the AC bus back home together.”
I paused for what seemed like a million years as Rajeev then broke the silence as he sensed what I was wondering. He said, “We live at my parents house. We are very close, all of us. Its just that she feels and I feel that too, by traveling an hour or two, we get two hours more with each other each day as we reach back home. She left her job a year ago and she has been coming to pick me up almost thrice a week since the last one year.”
It was none of my business so I did not ask anything further. But it was just that I was so surprised to hear that. It has been five days since our conversation that night and I still keep thinking about it, “Why does she go traveling in Mumbai two hours just to come back with him?” I did not understand…. So I let it go, but then I called up my friend and asked him, if I can write about this to which he asked me, “Write about what?Abey likhega kya tu? I did not give you some rocking event or incident. I just told you that this is what we do. What will you write in this he asked?”
I queried again and very sincerely told him, that if he does not want me to write about it, he can openly tell me and I will most obviously understand to which he again said, “Arey yaar, go ahead. Bindas write about it. I also want to read what are you going to write, in fact I always loved what you used to write back then when we were working together.When you used to write in your old personal blog. So go ahead and write about it, but please mail the link to me too.”
So I did write about it and its four to five pages long.
There is no story, it felt like the theme of Seinfeld for me when I was telling him I want to write as he told me, there is nothing in this. It will be a story about nothing and he smiled.
Yes, it’s a story about nothing….for him and for her.
But for me, it was something that I felt is missing in most of the peoples lives these days. Those precious moments of everyday. The little things that matter the most. Money, power, ego, dreams etc come and go. The only thing that we remember are ironically these little things, because they steal your breath away.
I find couples taking these luxurious trips to resorts, retreats, cruise and at times the entire families going abroad across countries for two to three week as a vacation time of being together, but here they were. Two couples straight from the world of Cinemax, whose fun and awesome time was something that was there everyday. Just the two of them, together. Oblivious to the world around.
If only such love and passion could engulf all of us each day, the world would be such a better place to live in.
No expensive gifts, no cruise, no vacation retreats or long drives needed. Just two people who truly are in love and want to make the best of most of it, nothing beats this.
It was simply beautiful and dream like.
God bless those sweet couple for giving me something to write about for these fifteen minutes or so and something to think and remember about for a lifetime.
Life truly is about the little things that make the most impact of all. Those joyous moments, those feelings of oneness and very simply put the desire to be with each other and a part of each other even in this world of numbers, made this story about ‘nothing’ so special.
Do you live such lives or do you know of people who live such lives? Do share your comments and views with me if at all any on this, would love to hear from you.
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