That Familiar Face

                                             On mornings when she wakes up with that amazing feeling that she can move the steepest mountains and cross the wildest rivers, something comes along that reduces those mountains to molehills and rivers to puddles. On some days, it’s rather a someone. In any case, the awesome feeling dies down, absorbed as if by a cruel sponge…gobbling up the soothing fluidity of happiness. Tossing the quilt away, she rubbed her eyes to ward off the sleep bugs and greet the morning sun who kissed her face with a fiery glow. Hair dishevelled and eyes shadowy from lack of sleep, she finally put her feet on the floor and pushed herself out of bed. Sometimes it surprised her as to how quietly she had succumbed to the inevitable. Without putting up a fight. Abandoning the arts and settling for a ‘safe’ job, giving up her dreams of finding true love and getting married to a ‘well-educated well-placed well-mannered’ guy, foregoing her old friends because suddenly all the cheer and jubilation felt a little extravagant, and above all, learning to stay quiet even when her heart belted out a rebellious cadence. Time had taught her well.

          Travelling to work was therapeutic. All the colours, music, sights and sounds gave her tired mind some much-needed cheer. Dreaming was after all everyone’s pastime. The sky was especially beautiful today morning…the fuming sun lay low now as if on cue and beauty took its turn. The breeze whisked past the trees, between conversations and smiles, and made its presence felt. Brought smiles where tired frowns had been. This was what kept her going, what kept her sane. The drug that held her damaged pieces together. Glancing to the right, she saw a familiar face. Though they never spoke, she felt a strange reassurance on holding her gaze. A lake of empathy in a desert of solitude. Sometimes, she thought, people don’t realize the value they have in your life. If a stranger could make such a difference, didn’t the person deserve to know it…and be thanked for? The bus halted to a stop, and the old lady got off. A stark picture, but elegant nevertheless. Maybe I should talk to her someday…that is, if I haven’t forgotten how to make friends.

 

It’s a brand new day. A promise of brand new dreams and opportunities to make them come true. Waking up, she felt an unusual surge of energy. She drew the peach paisley curtains and let in all the morning light. Like a forgotten princess locked in some cursed tower, she saw the world as if for the first time. The blue of the sky, the green of the leaves, the yellow of the sunlight, the white of the tiny remnant mists from last night…all seemed to hold a special meaning. She smiled…I am going to make someone and myself happy today, she thought. Treating herself to a bar of milk chocolate, she trotted along…with the excitement of a child on the first day of school. Climbing atop her usual bus, she spotted an empty seat and quickly took her place. Her eyes searched all over for that familiar kind face. She didn’t find it. As days passed, her excitement died down little by little and she accepted the fact that she may never see her again. Did she move out of town? Did she fall sick? Did she die? She was old…            

                                  The world isn’t a fair place. You don’t always get what you want. Sometimes if you’re lucky enough, you manage to get atleast what you need. But whatever happens, you somehow hang in there. A little happy at times, at times a little sad. And the funny thing is, you’re not alone. We’re all in it. Hanging on to our own personal axis of sanity and happiness. And so she got on…going about her day. Rushing in and out, trotting up and about. Beaten as if by an invisible stick. Isn’t it amazing how elusive time can get? Unmoving as an iceberg at times, at times slippery as a snake.

 

Photo Courtesy: Ahmed Mahin Fayaz

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/skyrim/6518329775/)

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