In this tale, in this very first tale, let me tell you how this blog started.
It started with that Sunday afternoon when Mom decided to clean up the mess of my bookshelf without even asking me. When I came back to my room, I freaked out. Every book was arranged, but only by size, not by genre. That’s called Mom’s logic. I started rearranging it and after a few shuffles, I realized I’m holding that old book, that old book which we bought together a year ago. That moment, I felt everything stopped for a while. Flashes of the past came in one after another.
I was born very ambitious, very free-spirited, adventurous, careless. But yes, very ambitious. I inherited these qualities from my Mom. She always used to say,” School me competition hai? Stage pe jaake mic me bolna hai? Jaa! Stage pe jaane ka mauka nhi chhodna.”
I had no idea what life is going to bring me, nor what I wanted from my life. But there are these three things that never changed throughout my life. First, although I was very talented and unique from the crowd, I was too occupied by Laziness. And this, besides being great from inside, always made me feel the weakest. Second, I’m very passionate about everything, but not enough. I give up on my Dreams too easily. Either I give in to it more than it takes, or I opt it out to make time for family and friends.
Third, it’s quite personal, but I’ll tell you. It’s a little like first and second one. The third thing that’s common throughout my life is that, I don’t get the girl. Yes, it’s an old saying, I know. But it’s true. I don’t make the right choice. I don’t put much effort. I believe in true love, in soul mates. But this mindset has brought me nowhere else than at the point of being single, till date.
Okay, so now you might be thinking why am I telling you this? Well, I don’t know either. May be you’ll get to know why later.
So, all of the mess was going through my life. I was suffering with depression. Peer pressure. I was getting ditched by friends. I started going to college now. Accepting adulthood was tough. Accepting the fact that I’m not a kid anymore was tough. Accepting that I need to be more social, more mature, was tough. The pressure of getting accepted by the world was high. I never wanted to impress anyone, just wanted to feel loved. I was suffering for my identity. All achievements seemed small and unhappy, hollow. I was searching for real happiness from a really long time. All of this was happening, change was happening, but I didn’t let all of it crush me down. In the darkest times, I stopped, took a deep breath, and ran again. RAN and RAN, towards the light. And reached there, sitting in an auditorium of a very reputed college in Nagpur. I was one among the 180 most ambitious students of India. It was a workshop. But more like a learning, fun and highly competitive experience wrapped around a 12 day workshop. But there was a competition anyway, and it has always been ugly for me when it came to competition. I never liked competition. That pressure, that tension, that urge to prove oneself higher and to forget about the lovely brotherhood one can have with everyone. All of that is ugly. But then, something pretty happened.
It started with the stage. Our mentor came and called upon for volunteers. No one raised their hands. So I took the chance. I didn’t knew what it was for. Then he announced, ”Chalo, inki ragging lete hai”. I was ok with that, zyaada se zyaada kya karwayege? Singing, Dancing, Mimicry, aur kya! Kar lege. But then, he enacted what we had to do. It was Chavanni-Atthanni. Oh My God! After seeing that I just wanted to run away. But it started anyway and I was embarrassed. For you, I can only tell that it was a kind of dance, but of a very embarrassing kind. If it would have been in front of my friends, it would have been ok, but I was in front of total strangers. That’s called real ragging. I mostly avoided any eye contact with audience, but I just ran my eyes once through the crowd. Everyone was giggling, except one. Her solid gaze, poker face and static posture made her stand out from the crowd. It was strange. Finally, my so-called ‘volunteering’ was over. I could not help but keep noticing her now and then throughout the day.
The workshop had something called as Extempore where you have to speak upon the topic written on the chit you pick. And due to large number of students, we were divided in groups of 30 and were shuffled everyday. So the next day, we both were put in the same group. Her chance came to speak upon. She stood up and walked for the chit with confidence. She read her topic in the chit and stood in front of us ready to start her extempore. My curiosity grew. ‘The Stage’, she entitled her topic. Wow! What a sweet voice, I said to myself. I got more drawn to her with her every word as she spoke so nicely. She started by speaking about how Shakespeare has stated ‘Life is a stage’ and that we are here to play our roles. By saying this, she took me completely because if I would be at her place, I’d have said the same thing. What a coincidence! I could still remember some of the lines she said, “I feel that ‘The Stage’ is not just any artificially built platform like this one, but it’s that invisible stage which each one of us is standing on right now. The moment we step out into the world, we are on a stage. Everyone is watching us every time, our performance is observed. If one has to take away the prize, they only need to Express themselves as best as possible. It’s that simple to win. Life is a stage, and it’s meant to express your true self, not to impress others.” After a second, the 2-minute stopwatch ring followed.I was damn impressed by her thoughts and confidence.
Fast forward— we became friends in those 12 days. We met between lectures and spent quality time with evening walks at the tea break. The last night, before the final day, dinner was organized and we both had a custard competition which though I won, but if you ask her, she would tell a lie (Silly girl). Dinner was accompanied by campfire, DJ and a Fire-walk! It was hell a lot of fun. Seriously, It’s a once in a lifetime experience every student/startup should have.
We had built a great friendship. We both knew what we felt for each other, but we had an unspoken understanding that for now we should be Just friends.
Next morning was the toughest. We had to go through corporate level Personal Interviews, Resume building, and Group discussions. We were in our formal dress code finally. The day was quite tensed but it was still fun. And at the end of the day, results were declared. I hoped for at least top 10, but was at 28th. Not bad. Final goodbyes were bid. Numbers were getting exchanged. I was just standing there, trying to capture each moment of it and then she came to me with a tensed face.
I woke up the next morning, I was still at Nagpur. Last night, she asked me to stay there for one extra day as it was a Sunday. We went to parks, lakeside, malls, and bought this book “If it’s not forever, it’s not love”. We bought two of them. We shared our lunch and coffee and had lots and lots of chats.
At the dinner, I asked her, “What do you want to be?”
“I haven’t decided yet, but I like to read and write stories”, she said.
“And what to you want to be, clever boy?”, she asked me after a thought.
“I don’t want anything other than becoming a great Filmmaker, it’s my childhood dream”, I answered.
As all days had to end at some time, that extra day too was about to end. But I had the best of my memories with the most wonderful girl who had a lovely heart. We were standing in front of the train, standing silent, speaking nothing but with eyes. I wanted to tell her something. She wanted me to stay. I had to go. I liked her company, she liked mine. For that moment, we felt we were more than Just friends. But I couldn’t stay. I had to run again for what I want in my life. I definitely could not afford standing still. I still had to build my identity, be rich, live my own luxurious life. Had projects to work on, unit tests, submissions, family time, friend time. I’d no time nor money to spend on a girlfriend. She came forward to hug me, but I ignored her and picked up my bags, gave her a side hug and moved in the train. We waved a silent goodbye.
Fast forward—Now I was holding that book-‘If it’s not forever, it’s not love’, sitting in front of my bookshelf. The last time I opened it was at Nagpur. The flashback in my mind ended and I realized, ‘I’m a fool!’. “How can I be so stupid?!”, I said to myself. I was still running for real happiness but could find it nowhere. I slapped my head, ‘I didn’t put much effort, again’. A year ago, during those 13 days, life was tough, but I could still feel good. Enough! I grabbed my phone, it was weird, but I gave it a try.
Fast forward– We met after a month at Nagpur again, on her birthday. I gifted her portrait to her. She loved it! I can say that because she couldn’t blink for at least 30 sec.
We were in CCD, sipping our hot and cold coffees. But she was still upset from me. At that moment, don’t know why, but suddenly my mind ran through all that had happened through my life. I questioned myself, ‘Who am I?’, ‘What am I in this world?’, ‘Why am I?’ All the past major events of my life, How I felt about them, How I felt about myself? [I was having a patch up date and I was thinking these deep thoughts. Heck! May be it was due to the coffee. But I had no control over it. Nor that I ever gave myself so much thought, so I kept it on, sipping the cold coffee.] I thought about my Dreams which I always wanted from my childhood and how I easily gave up on them. I’d always been lazy. I show that I’m ok, but inside, I’m suffering. I’m caged by the norms and beliefs. I’m always the runner-up. How I try to hide my true self to fit into my friends and in society. At that moment I resolved, ‘I ‘m done with that life now’. I wanted to fly free, because, I was Born Ambitious.
‘Why are you so silent Ayush?’, she interrupted my thoughts.
‘Umm… Nothing. Just…. I was thinking about something.’ I said.
‘Is it very important? You can share it with me.’
At this point, I came to a small conclusion of what I wanted to do next but was alone in that journey. So I asked her.
‘Ok. I was just thinking about the past year and of our 13 days together. I know it was a long time ago. I don’t even know if you have a boyfriend right now. Crap! And we didn’t even bid each other goodbye properly’
‘You’, she interrupted.
‘ Ok, ya, I didn’t bid you properly. But we asked each other about our passions, right?’
‘And you said you love to write.’
‘Thank God! At least you remember something’ she said sarcastically.
‘I remember every single detail about those days sweetheart’. I decreased the tension.
‘Ya, I do like to write, so?’, she tried to be tough.
‘And as a filmmaker, I like to tell stories too. And as you said in your 2 min motivational speech-‘Life is a stage, and it’s meant to express your true self.’
‘Not to impress others’, she followed. ‘Wow! How can you remember so much?!’ she finally cooled down.
‘I told you!’, we laughed.
I continued, ‘You like to write, I like to write, but we need a stage, even if we are ragged upon there, right?!’
‘Yaaa’, she gave a deep affirmation.
‘If we don’t have one, we need to build one for ourselves.’
‘Ya, I know, but how?’, she asked eagerly.
‘Have you thought about making a blog?’
The next hour, we discussed on how we are going to run this blog, and there, I found that bonding back again. We laughed, we teased, we ordered more coffee and pastries. At last, we had a rough idea of how we are gonna make it. And then, I realized one more thing, that though I got attracted to her by her lovely face, it was more because of her pure and brave heart. I still haven’t expressed my feelings to her, but there’s no rush for it, I have a lot of time with this Stage. 🙂
P.S.–We were leaving from the mall. I had to catch my train back to Gondia and she had to catch up with her friends at mall. The lift arrived. It was empty. I stepped in and pressed the ground button. I waved her goodbye but she was standing still.
And she said, ‘Ayush, you were wrong about one thing.’
‘What?’ I asked, the doors started closing, ‘Say fast!’, I said. The doors were about to close now.
She said, ‘I don’t have any boyf….’
So friends, this is the story of how I and my mate started this blog. And to be true, this is not what exactly happened. My partner name is Mohini, and sorry, but we don’t have a love relationship, I just tricked you with that 😉 . If you got inspired by this tale, please let me know it by adding your comments.
It’s a story of everyone today, may be someone could realise their calling like I did, so share this tale with your mates.