It was a usual morning, nothing extraordinary about it unless I say that I woke up alive another day with all my beloveds still very much around me, running about their lives just the way I go about mine. In that sense I should rephrase it as a blessed morning. So on this gifted day, I was returning after dropping my little girl to school and was taking in of the morning humdrum on the road when a particular girl of about 22-24 years caught my attention for a fleeting moment. She looked so happy to be there in that moment, going about in that self assured and satisfying gait. There was something to look forward to in her life on that particular day; I could sense that from my car’s rolled up windows. Maybe a date with someone special or a first day at her choicest job or a fat bonus? Or maybe nothing. Is that a possibility, to be happy without an apparent reason? Maybe…
However, after that happy-go-lucky girl’s glimpsing encounter, I got curious for some more people watching on the way. I kept my gaze attentively on the road and observed at least ten more people’s expressions. I wasn’t expecting what I saw. Most of them, read 80%, literally had frowning creases on their forehead be it women standing at the bus stop, men simply ambling around, another one buying a smoke, or someone sweeping his shop front. They all had a very uneasy expression of ennui and boredom. That cheerful girl was an exception. And it didn’t require face reading skills to decipher this. The experience stayed with me throughout the day so I repeated the exercise the next day. And the observation wasn’t any jovial, the same frowning lines on the forehead. For a moment I thought it might be the notorious Chennai heat making them squint and frown in the sun. But it wasn’t so.
The whole picture didn’t sadden me but bothered me. Not that I am bubbling with exuberance all morning or all day but that kind of disenchantment on people’s faces on a fresh bright morning set me to write. Yes, people have real problems in their lives, terrible issues to tackle and several ends to meet. Days are distressed and strife ridden at times which causes grief, anxiety and anger. But what I saw was clearly not these; it was a kind of resignation of life like there was nothing more to be excited about. There is something amiss as basic as the delight of life itself. The very element of being alive is a drudgery heightened by the roles and responsibilities of the world they inhabit.
Life is mundane, surely not about big events because they happen seldom yet it is all about celebration. Celebrating a beautiful book you read, a movie that touched you, a corn you shared with your child at the beach, the cool breeze that stroked you on the morning walk, the flowers you saw blossom in your balcony, a new recipe you tried, an excursion you made… there is so much to look forward to, to feel good about if we wish to. The joys are in the simplest of things which form the very rut of our lives. The saddest or most regrettable thing is that most people don’t even realize that there is something missing from their lives. And unless you know about the ‘missing’ part how do you even set about to find it.
Anita Moorjani, is a cancer survivor who slipped into coma and then had a near death out of body experience. She says this phenomenon changed her life forever for good. Today, she is full of life both literally and metaphorically. I happened to see her online interview and what inspired me the most was when she stated that as a free spirit detached from her body, she could see life in its truest form which is a beautiful gift to be celebrated. And I thought why risk slipping into coma to realize and verify this fact, I might as well take her word for that. Ever since then I have been repeating it to myself every morning. It eases the creases from the forehead.
I sincerely wish that all the people out there despite their struggles will see a reason to restore the lost and missing passion in their lives. Why should anybody be sapped of their most delicious life juices and be left with roughage alone? I mean who would be so crazy to chew on just the fibres of an orange while leaving the luscious segments away. It’s a crime and you cannot commit it unto yourself.