Saturday, May 16, 2009

Of Advice-giving Autodrivers and Situational Songs

All of us have had blue days.. Days when yu get up on the wrong side of the bed and EVERYTHING seems to go wrong.. but wat if this treacherous day extends to a week.. Imagine!! A week where everything goes wrong
A week when yu don't get to meet your best friends
A week when yu get stupid assignments dumped on yu
A week when the canteen has nothing good to eat
A week when yu ALWAYS miss an empty bus by a few seconds and need to wait for half an hour in the hot sun for the next one to come.. and when it does, its ALWAYS a jam packed one filled with people who either have too much jasmine in their hair or desperately need deodorant ( or worse, both)
A week when yu cant even take two minutes off to stare at trees
A week when yu've not turned the pages of the book yu've left half read
A week filled with 'bad hair days'
and worst of all
a week when yu never have time to talk to a special someone..
pretty rough huh?
Well as my luck would have it, the planetary positions were such that, i had the troublesome Saturn ( shanni) hovering over my life all of last week..
One thing about me is I'm a very pessimistic person, and on days like these ( or shud i say weeks) my pessimism gets the better of me
So even if the glass is actually half full, I'd see  a glass that was half empty which was cracked at the rim and had dirt at its base.
So there i was, pulling myself down, drowning my 'sorrows' in chocolate ice cream,brooding to every single soul who was patient enough to listen ( well know, lets not be judgemental.. a girl can act like a drama queen every once in a while cant she?!)
And no matter how much my friends tried to get me out of it, i jus kept sinking further..
Mum tried the 'you're-one-in-a-million' talk
Supri tried the ' you-are-an-achiever' talk
Sar tried the ' you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to' talk
Vedha tried cheerin me up and ever so kindly made me a timetable.. but i just kept makin the problem bigger and bigger in my head..

Every time any of my friends felt low, I'd always tell them to search for a silver lining.. but somehow, no matter how much i searched, i couldn't find mine..

And i had come to a conclusion that i was the world's biggest loser who'd never be anything in life, i could almost see the crowd passing me by..

And that's when i met Mr Chakaravarthy..

I'd missed my bus once again and my phone's display had stopped working.. i couldn't possibly
 be in a worse mood.. 
So i decided to take an auto to coll..
I got in without asking how much he'd charge cos i was in no mood to haggle, i turned my mp3 player on and mentally started cursing everyone who i held responsible for the horrible week i was having.. 
So much so that i started cursing Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone, which later developed into the mobile phone (damn technology!)

Nothing i'd planned was goin the way i wanted to!!

And correctly started the lyrics:
I can almost see it,
the dream I'm dreaming
but there's a voice inside my head that's saying,
you'll never reach it

Every step I'm taking,
Every move I'm making
seems lost with no direction
My faith is shaking..

And that was all i needed to break down..i quickly unplugged my earphones and wiped away those tell-tale tears before anyone in the traffic noticed it.. 

'This road is one bumpy one isn't it', said the burly man in front of me and that's when i looked up into the side view mirror and noticed the driver for the first time.

He must have been in his thirties but his eyes held a pain much greater than someone his age.
' this road is one bumpy one.. isn't it', he repeated himself and smiled. I quickly drew my eyes away from the side view mirror and whispered a yes.

'Life is just like this road ma', he said.. I continued fiddling with my ear plugs.. the last thing i wanted was an auto driver preaching me..

'you must've heard people sayin life is a  journey, but remember, the road is not always a smooth one.. there are bumps, there are barriers, but sometimes you need those bumps  to slow down your journey.. sometimes you need those barriers to stop and understand where you're heading'

without realising i looked bak into the mirror and this time he caught my eye..

' you looked depressed.. that's why i'm sharing this with you.. You know, i was a rich business man.. you see that car there, i should've been goin in that car with the ac on, but instead, look at my fate, i'm driving autos for a living' 

and thus he began his story

' i used to make many a thousand every month, i wanted to save and build myself a big house, get married to an educated girl and live a happy life.. i wasn't a very bright student at school you know, but i was smart.. thats wat you need nowdays, one needs to be street smart' 
' i started a garment shops.. there are two businesses which will always prosper.. clothes and food.. people will always have occasions to buy clothes, and people will always celebrate those occasions by eating good food'
' everything was goin on fine, but like in all our tamil movies, the hero is always faced with problems.. My father suddenly passed away and it was after his demise that we found that he'd taken large number of loans. My sister had just got married and we had absolutely no money to repay the loans.. i decided to sell our house and repay the loans using that money.. that's when we discovered that my brother who was a gambler had bet the house during a game and had lost it'

' One bad thing after another kept falling on my head.. my mother fell ill, so there were medical expenses added to the existing financial burden.. i had to sell my business, empty out all my savings and work as a labourer to make ends meet.. and today somehow I've bought my own auto'

he looked into the mirror again

'but you know what ma, i don't regret any of these, for all those incidents have made me as strong as i am today.. had i shyed away from the problems, i would've been on the streets in rags and beggin for a living.. at least this way I'm making my own living without losing my self respect'

i smiled

' And yet i haven't stopped dreaming.. why should i? Just because i lost everything i had years back doesn't mean i cant have it back again.. I drive the auto till 1 in the morning, and start again at 4.. I'm trying my hand at politics and hope someday I'll become an MLA'

he noticed the skeptic look on my face

' oh don't worry ma, i don't intend to become a gold chain adorned, silk dhoti wearing corrupt politician.. i truly want to make a change for my people, i want to voice their needs.. you know when one feels truly liberated ma? not when you have all the money you want, not when you win glory, but when you bring a smile on the face of a less fortunate.. i go to the cancer institute often, and it breaks my heart every time i see all those little children who've fallen victim to such a deadly disease.. i go there and play with them, tell them stories.. i hope to save enough to take them all out for a movie on my birthday'

just then a little girl who sold towels and ear buds at the signal ran to the auto beggin him to buy her wares.. he stroked her head and asked her her name
' julie' said the confused girl..
he dug into his pocket and pulled a five rupee note out.. he placed it on her little palm, closed her fingers over it, blessed her and asked her to run along.. the warmth of the smile that beamed on the girl's face gave me a sense of reassurance  and for those few seconds i basked in the warmth of someone else's good deed.. 

He was right.. somehow my problems seemed insignificant.. i felt liberated..

the auto turned into my college's lane

' Don't forget ma, if you fall and hurt yourself, don't cry. don't blame it on the ground.. simply dust yourself off and run along'

i smiled at him and plugged  my mp3 player again as i dug into my bag for my wallet and there couldn't have been a better song for the moment:

Everything will be alright, yeah
The heart is stronger than you think.
Like it can go through anything.
And even when you think it can't,
It finds a way to still push on though..
Sometimes you want to run away
Ain't got no patience for the pain
And if you don't believe it look into your heart
The beat goes on

I'm telling' you..
Things get better,
Through whatever..
If you fall,
Dust it off.
Don't let up.
Don't you know,
You can go,
Be your own miracle..

You need to know

If the mind keeps thinking you've had enough.
But the heart keeps telling you don't give up.
Who are we to be questioning wondering what is what
Don't give up..
Through it all just stand up..

It's like we've all had better days
Problems getting all up in your face
Just because you go through it, don't mean its got to take control.. no!

You ain't gotta find no hiding place.
Because the heart can beat the hate.
Don't wanna let your mind keep playing you
And saying' you can't go on

I'm telling' you..
Things get better,
Through whatever..
If you fall,
Dust it off.
Don't let up.
Don't you know,
You can go,
Be your own miracle..

You don't gotta be a prisoner in your mind.
If you fall, dust it off and live your life
Let your heart be your guide

And you will know that you're good if you trust in the good

Everything will be alright..

You can light up the dark,
if you follow your heart.
And it will get better
Through whatever

You got it in you
Just find it within..

And that's just it.. sometimes you're so blinded by the monstrous image of your problems, that you fail to find the silver lining.. at times like this, all you need to do is look within, for you are your own silver lining..