Thursday, January 21, 2016

Delighting Only in the Flight.....



Image Source here


The red light brought his mind and car to a halt. He had been thinking a lot lately. His heart had questions his mind could not answer. He wished for a navigation system that could steer his life towards happiness and fulfillment. He had everything one could wish for in terms of prosperity. Then, why did he feel empty? He looked for answers in books. Eliot's poetry made him ponder over the hollowness inside him.

We are the hollow men
  We are the stuffed men.

 He felt stuffed too - stuffed with satiety. He knew not what to anticipate. Deadlines met, landmarks achieved, milestones reached. What lay ahead? What was it all for? For whom?

He felt hot. The air-conditioner was working fine. He needed to breathe. He inhaled deeply. It did not help. He opened his window. Car honks blared. Impatient glares stared at him. Traffic piled up from all directions. 'Empty men', he murmured quoting Eliot.

"Balloons, colorful balloons - your kids will be happy....Balloons....Sir...Sir...Take a balloon sir....just one sir." The voice startled him. He had heard it in ages - the unfeigned, unrefined voice. He looked around but could see nothing. He sank back in his seat and raised the volume of his radio.

Barely a few seconds passed when he heard the voice again. The peppy music that was playing in the car seemed artificial in comparison to the voice. He shut the music at once and straightened up to look outside. That's when he saw him there - a boy, probably nine or ten year old. He turned around just in time and their eyes met. Thin feet sprang towards him with an unmarked agility.

"Balloon sir - one for your kid. Which color you want sir - blue, green, yellow, red.....?"

"I don't have kids."

"Oh...." The confident gaze fell just for a moment.

"Girl-friend sir? Girls like it sir.....Surprise her sir.....I have heart balloon sir....See...?...."

"No girl-friend."

"Oh....sorry sir...."

He started moving.

"Here, take this money...."

"No Sir....Thank you...."

He moved to the next car.

"Listen. Come back....."

"I don't need it but give me the blue one."

"Blue, Sir? Good color Sir My favorite sir..". A big smile passed as the boy untangled the ribbon of the blue balloon and passed it on to his customer. As he took the money and waved goodbye, the man asked him, " Why are you so happy?"

The boy started laughing. "Sir, you not happy? Big car sir....suited-booted....not happy? Joking sir?"

This stunned the man. "Want a ride?"

The boy jumped up at the thought. "Me Sir? Ye-----yes sir.."

"Come inside. Quick...."

The boy clumsily put the inflated balloons in the car. Then he sat next to the driver.

"Belt...."

"What Sir.....?"

"Nothing." The man leaned forward and buckled up the little fellow.

They waited a few more minutes before the congestion cleared up. Questioning glances from around seemed to agitate the restless driver, but the boy beamed with joy. He even waved in response to some lousy looks.

"My name is Amit. What's yours?"

"Sameer, Sir.....No music in car Sir....?" The boy asked.

"Oh yes.." He turned on the radio.

The boy started tapping to the tunes. He seemed familiar with the song as he was humming too.

"Your car is good sir...very good. But why no girlfriend sir? "

"What do you do the whole day Sameer?"

"I sell balloons Sir."

"No school?"

"Sometimes Sir. Not every day."

"Why are you so happy?"

"You not happy Sir?"

"I don't know."

"No family sir?"

"No."

"Friends?"

Amit didn't answer.

"Girl-friend Sir. You need a girl-friend." Sameer giggled.

Amit managed to smile. "See sir. She will make you happy sir. Why live alone Sir? "

"You have a girl-friend?"

"What Sir? Joking Sir....!" Sameer smiled.

Amit stopped to buy Sameer an ice-cream. As he was about to pay the vendor, Sameer asked, "You not eating sir?"

Amit took one for himself.

Sameer licked the ice-cream greedily, savoring every bit of it. Amit finished his quickly.

"Let me drop you back now." Amit steered through the busy road. They reached the spot they had started from.

"Bye Sir. Thank you Sir."

"Bye Sameer."

"Sir...Girl-friend sir....Then you will be happy Sir..", shouted the boy one last time.

Amit smiled as he watched the boy slowly disappear with his colorful balloons. His prance and his artless smile had impacted upon him like a balm for his smarting soul. He got down from his car, took the blue balloon and released it in the sky. He watched it fly away lazily, unmindful of the destination, delighting only in the flight.



This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


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The Board

14 comments:

  1. Its amazing how simplest of things can take the stress away and make you smile, much like this post...Very beautifully written Sunaina:-)

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    Replies
    1. Those are such encouraging words Amit. Thanks!

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  2. This is such a heartwarming story. Loved it. The dialogues between the 2 characters make it a very interesting read :)

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  3. Little pleasure of life can make such a difference, right?
    Loved reading this one Sunaina... :-)

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  4. The hollowness of post-Eliotean life as well as the remedy... catching story. Happiness is destined to remain elusive for some.

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    Replies
    1. True. Happiness is the most difficult thing to find.

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  5. Loved the post Sunaina, particularly the contrast in the state of mind of the rich, successful man and the poor little boy. Even the best of the things can at times fail to buy happiness.

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    1. You are right Somali. Most of us fail to realize that happiness comes from within.

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  6. Loved the innocence! A very simple and beautiful story. Happiness is not related to affluence. The kid, who didn't own anything seemed happier than the 'Suited-booted' Amit.

    Lovely!

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    1. Thanks Rakesh. I am so glad you liked it.

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  7. We need a brush with pure happiness now and then. A story that says money can't buy happiness and if it can, it will always be in the small things, like a balloon. Loved it to bits.

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