I did not get it.

I had planned around it. Dreamt it. Felt, smelt and tasted it. All even before I got it. I was so sure that I would acquire it, that I had already thought of how that would impact my life and had made plans to manage the impact.

I did not get it.

When I heard that I didn’t get it, my mind floated away slowly and I had an out of body experience. I could see myself coming to the realization that it is not going to happen. The TV drowned in its own noise. My hands and feet moved mechanically and I kept my balance on. As the blood slowly came back into my brain, I tried to find one place where I could focus and force my mind to think straight. Just think.

The next part was more difficult. I had to now pick up a sledgehammer and dismantle all the structures I had created in my mind. Each structure with its promise of pleasure and satisfaction. Each blow made me wince. I wondered if I had conned myself into believing something that was not real. How could I be so gullible?

Then the anger kicked in. Anger at being shortchanged. How dare you? This was the most self deprecating phase. It had no link to reality and I kicked around furiously. As everyone stepped back, I was left alone – shadowboxing.

I did not get it.

But the sun still rose and the birds still chirped. And the kids still ran in the streets shouting and waving at each other. The ambulance flashed its lights as it raced to rescue another precious life. Friends still made plans for Friday.  Investors still ploughed money into the stocks.

What was I complaining about? Life has not signed any contract with me. There is no promise for the next moment. None. For all I know, there may be no next moment. I was angry because I believed that a promise has been made to me. By whom?

Right now – this is the only moment that will ever happen to me, with all its promises. Nothing more.

What is my plan for this moment? Am I dreaming it, living it, smelling, tasting and celebrating it? Or thinking about promises of the future?

A group of small birds spots the birdbath in my lawn. They jump in and splash around. Noisy and excited. This very moment.

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Manas Misra

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