I saw him, I dint notice.
I was too absorbed in my thoughts to focus on anything, which most of the times is true for me.Also, he was as insignificant as a struggling dust particle caught in a Brownian motion on this busy bandra flyover.
My rick moved an inch after 12 mins or so... the wait here will be an average 30 mins .Years of travel in this part of the city has conditioned my mind to comfortably float into a state of vaccum and effortlessly do away with all the hurry to reach anywhere , to anyone.
Secretly, I have started to love the silence amidst this commotion and the murder of the obligations “to” (be on time ), “to” (reach somewhere), “to” (work and increase my country’s GDP).
He came closer. A quick analysis gave me the assurance that he will walk past me. The base of analysis being hardcore data and the z.e.r.o. expression face I have become a pro at.
I saw him, I noticed.
A well crafted torso, he wore a painfully bright T epitomizing the Linking road couture. Beads of sweat on his forehead, oceans in his armpit. He stood at the ric , just ahead of mine. A stack of 21 books, from Salman Rushdie to the Kite Runner.
He kept explaining each and every book in detail to the stylish chic , who seemed more interested in her chipping nailpaint than in the literary world.
He was persistent. I was interested. He moved every inch as the potential client moved, every attempt as rigorous as the first….21 heavy books effortlessly placed on the left arm. It seemed to me , God has made such customized job descriptions for almost everyone in this world. The sizzling sheena then picked up her blackberry to dial for sos and put an end to the mutual misery.
I was next. I wanted to be. I wanted to hear all about the 21 books, most of which I have already read . I was amazed at the skill of this dharavi guy , who captured the essence of these book. He spoke about them with passion . I bought a book and my ric moved ahead, he kept walking to me and managed to sell a second. And then a third, at an discounted rate. I did complement him for his amazing selling skill , to which he replied that he has to complete a target of selling 15 books everyday.
I forgot about him. He was inconsequential.
I went to work, I did my targets too. I came back home and did the same. As I looked back at the day, I started wondering about the numeric aspects of this chaotic thing we all call life. The aspect which made us all similar in a way , you , me and the inconsequential dharavi guy.
I thought about the number of petty desires and the hungry obsessions–from showing off branded underwear to increasing the jewelry collections in our lockers.
The want to see the number of “likes” on our face book pics and getting an empty social assurance that we are happy.
The numbers we got in school report cards , then in CAT and now in our appraisals of corporate rat race.
The number of wants in a lifetime and the want of numbers in it.
To earn much more than we need and then increasing the needs much more than we can ever earn. A game with futile efforts to equate the two.
A complicated formula of each number leading to another, every target connected to the next. Every quantitative achievement leading to a qualitative mirage of fulfillment.
Time to sleep and achieve my numbers tomorrow!