Thursday, January 20, 2011

Of Soft Spoken Secrets

The things that we say without saying, secrets that are said with a wink of the eye, the cringe of the forehead, the twitch of the nose, the stories behind a suppressed laughter or a tear not shed. This is an ode to the dark cloud that flew by without bursting into a shower.

Kiran once told me about the face of the girl that comes to his mind even after twelve years of a train journey when he sat across her on a trip from Delhi to Chandigarh - A five hour journey that embedded an image in the mind for an entire lifetime.

Vineeth had passed out of engineering college without a job, while everyone around him somehow seemed to have a job offer from one or the other IT companies. Classes were over in March. In May he got a call from a moderately renowned b-school. He hadn’t expected even that. The first reaction was ecstasy but when that feeling passed in about ten minutes he had decided not to take it up. His dad who was a renowned professor in the engineering college came home that day and told him when he heard of Vineeth’s decision that he was the biggest disappointment in his life.

Srinath ran away from his home with just the clothes he was wearing and his trusted CBZ the day his girlfriend broke up with him. She was his first love and life seemed to be crumbling down in front of him. He drove his bike straight from Nagpur to Mumbai.

These were stories revealed to me at various times during casual conversations about unrelated topics. The subtle reactions that trigger subsided memories have often told me stories that people have just forced themselves to forget.

Today, Srinath runs a boutique café in a posh south Mumbai locality. He has a very loyal customer base in his small café and earns more than he ever could have had he gone the way our elders tell us. Stay at home, complete your degree, get a job.

Vineeth runs an MBA coaching institute which regularly churns out entrants to the top b-schools in the country and is one of the most sought after in Hyderabad.

Kiran still pauses by New Delhi station every once in a while at the time the Shan-e-Punjab is scheduled to pull into the station. He is happily married with a very loving wife and a three year old beautiful little girl.

We don’t realize the moments in life when it’s taking a turn. The turns are apparent only when we look back. Pause a moment and be thankful for all the twists and turns and realize that all bitter pills swallowed need not leave an after taste.