Last evening, I decided that it was time to break the monotony and spend some quality time together with Neerja, my wife. We spend so much time at home staring at our phones. So I searched out a quaint little restaurant nearby for a nice evening dinner.

It was great to finally sit outdoors in breezy, quiet surroundings. And stare at our phones.

Finally she looked up and said – “you ran a big bill on Amazon last month.”   

“Yes, I ordered a few books on Kindle”

“Which books?”

“You wouldn’t know. Books to help me grow on my journey. Books like – The monk who sold his Bajaj Chetak, A hitchhiker’s guide to the taxi, The power of wow, The art of moped maintenance, Buddha in blue bellbottoms”

She thought for a moment and asked – “and what do these books say?”

“That all that matters is in the mind and mind is all that matters”

“Huh? What does that even mean?”

“What you see is not what there is. And what you do not see is all that is. This cup of tea that we both see is not there at all. You and I believe it is. But it is not.”

“Ok. Then I will stop making tea for you from tomorrow. It does not exist anymore”

The waitress was watching us quietly, finally she asked – “should I come back later?”

We had a wonderful dinner although I had to talk about topics like our children, news on Covid, latest movies on Netflix and Amazon, need to get our bathroom fixed – topics that do not help me on my journey at all but I have to get involved in to get along in this materialistic world.    

As we drove home, a driver cut in front of us and braked sharply. I shared my innermost feelings about him at the top of my voice.

“%$#@@%”

 “Isn’t meditation supposed to help you manage your temper better?”

“Yes, didn’t you see how I used just one swear word? That’s all because of my self-control. He deserved a few more. I am now able to separate my thoughts from actions”

She sighed and reached out to switch on the car radio. Govinda-Karishma joined us in our car:

“वॉट इस मोबाइल नंबर

वॉट इस योर स्माइल नंबर”

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Manas Misra

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