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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Patchy Perfections.

          Mala Bapat Roy was an independent woman in her early forties. Working for a top notch company at the post of Logistics Manager, she was content with her job. She had been married to the love of her life for over 14 years. Her husband, Praneet, considered himself lucky to have such a wonderful life partner in Mala. Their 12-year-old kid, Aryan, was a star student, an athlete and a loving son. They had maids for every thing, from cooking till care-taking of the house. They lived in a 3 bedroom apartment in Juhu. Her life was perfect. Yet, somehow somewhere she always felt incomplete. She felt like her life was a show in which she was merely a puppet, dancing by the strings held by its master. Being happy because of the increment in salary. (A string held by her company.) Being thrilled by her lifestyle. (A string held by the society.) Being a perfect woman. (A string she created for herself.) Just a puppet. Mala was aware that thousands of people craved to live her life. The rich life with a loving family, a huge home and a satisfying job. A life where she bought whatever she pleased. A life where she earned a fortune just in a month's period. A life where her husband loved and respected her. A life where her son idolized her. Such a perfect life.
          Mala's routine had been more or less similar since the past 10 years. She woke up at 6 am. Read the newspaper for an hour. Worked at office from 8 am to 8 pm. Reached home by 9 pm. Had dinner with family. Each one shared their day's events. Then slept. Sundays and holidays were rare but they were spent in corporate parties or relatives' get-together functions. Otherwise, Mala had an uptight schedule. However, due to the unavoidable questions her own self had been asking her, she had finally decided to investigate them. She took a day off from work. It turned out to be a simple favor because she had never taken such a leave. She had discussed it with Praneet and Aryan. They agreed that she deserved a break.
          It was a Wednesday. Mala left at 6 am for her farm house which was just an hour away. From the start of that first hour, her introspection had begun. She became nostalgic. In her school and college days, she had a handful of true friends. She hadn't spoken to them in such a long time that she couldn't remember herself. A girl who loved to cook, now ate the food made by her servants. A girl who loved to run, now raced in a Porsche. A girl who ate all types of junk food, now survived on salads and fruits. A girl who had a gang of BFFs, now had a group of junior staff. A girl who loved rap music, now pretended to like ghazals. A girl who was once a tomboy, was now a classy woman of pride. A girl who used to smile widely, now fake smiled. There was no resemblance between the Mala 20 years ago and the Mala now. She understood what she was missing on. She had to find herself. She didn't hate the life she lived. She just had to add a little bit of her younger self into the picture.
          As she reached her farm house, her servants took her luggage inside. She was offered green tea and fruits for breakfast. Her servants were well-acquainted with her daily food itinerary. This was the point when she knew she had to change things. She dismissed them. She decided to make the best of that day. The first thing she did was reading. Not the usual newspapers, but a book. She re-read her favorite novel 'The Godfather' by Mario Puzo. She was confused how she had almost forgotten the story. But she was also thrilled to take the path of reading. She read for 5 hours straight. Just like the old days, she thought. She had completely lost touch of books and now she felt really guilty for giving up on that hobby.
          By 12, she was hungry. She decided to cook a meal for herself. Enough of risottos and spaghetti. She was going to cook ordinary food, the way her mother taught her. She made chapatis, potato vegetable, dal and rice. Even though she hadn't cooked for a decade, she was glad that she hadn't lost the habit. There was actual gleefulness when her chapatis were a perfect shape of a circle. She experienced similar joy and excitement while cooking as she always had. That feeling gave her the first idea as to how such little things can be so worthy.
          After cooking, the next thing was shopping. It had been years since she went on a shopping spree. Her clothes, shoes, make up etc were taken care of by her personal assistant. Forgetting all the formalities, she went to a nearby mall. Thankfully or not, malls are just everywhere these days. There was no need to think about money or fashion. She was going to shop like she always did. She was very tired of the white, cream and black clothes she wore to office. Even her dresses were either white or similar to what sounds like dullness. It was time to bring color to life. She bought six dresses, which were red, blue, green, black, orange and pink. Since she had the body of a model, she knew she would look amazingly hot in them. Further, she bought office-appropriate shirts. Not too dull, not too bright. Perfect for a Manager. She was starting to enjoy the whole experience tremendously. Shopping is the cure for everything, they say and how true it is! The fun had just begun. Furthermore, she bought a couple of traditional skirts, some kurtis and tops. She bought a pair of 4 inch hot red stilettos and two wedges. Now was the time to splurge on make-up. Starting from foundation until make-up remover, she got it all. She didn't forget to get red lipsticks. Finally when her trolley was over flowing, she realized she had to check out, otherwise there would be no stopping her. So, after 3 hours of shopping therapy and with 5 huge shopping bags in each of her hands, she somehow reached her car. There was a smile on her face the whole time she drove back to her day's nest.
          Around 5 pm, she went to a coffee shop to meet her college friends, Vaibhavi and Nirali. When they agreed to meet her after years of silence, she was quite relieved. They were her friends, at least she hoped that. The first few minutes were spent in saying casual hellos after which there was an awkward silence. Mala asked everything about them. She was delighted to know that their lives were going great. Then, it was time. Mala had to tell them the real reason she wanted to meet them. She conveyed her life story to them. They were glad that she was living a perfect life. But then she confided in them and told them about the many patches in her life. She apologized for not contacting them. Somehow, because of their past bond, they understood. The three of them recollected their college days and shared many laughs. Mala got herself back and also her friends. And soon, she was going to get her life back.
          They talked their hearts out for about 2 hours. After bidding goodbye, she went to a garden. It was another thing which she had been alienated to. It was not a hi-fi park in Juhu. It was a park with ordinary people; walking, jogging and talking. After a run, she felt exhilarated. Real running in a park was much better than that on a treadmill. She sat on a bench, observing the people around her. An old man putting a rose in his wife's hair. A teenage couple lost in each other's eyes. A young girl listening to music. A laughing club. A group of old women gossiping. All these seemed so happy. Real happiness flowed from their faces reaching the other and making them equally happy. Mala was so robotized for fake smiles that she had almost forgotten what it was to laugh. That day she smiled genuinely, laughed incredibly and lived truly. She knew the secret of life lay in your own soul. Unless you don't feel happy inside, then all the outside flattery is worthless. Unless you don't live your life as per your own terms, then you're just a puppet. Unless you fill up the patches of sadness, you're only a patchy perfection.

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful n well said. Now n then we ought to peep within to find the satisfaction of the journey we are treading upon...
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it & thanks for taking time to comment. :)

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  2. Circumstances change us but friends are here in our life to show us the path:) Beautifully written.

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  3. Important message conveyed in a simple manner.. Nicely done!

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  4. This is so beautiful! The last paragraph is the best. "She knew the secret of life lay in your own soul. Unless you don't feel happy inside, then all the outside flattery is worthless. Unless you don't live your life as per your own terms, then you're just a puppet. Unless you fill up the patches of sadness, you're only a patchy perfection."

    You are a very talented writer!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so so much. It means a lot! :)

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  5. What a beautiful story. I loved the read, thank you for posting! It really is the simple things in life that matter most!

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