I was travelling in a crowded bus with a group of my college friends talking about the day, pending submissions, our exams and as always, our crushes. We enjoyed each other's company. I loved to be with them and my family all the time. They made me feel secure. Those were the days when Orkut was popular and some guy named Mark Zuckerberg was busy comparing pics of different people not knowing what it would eventually turn out to be!! We had mp3 players back then, but it was for the "upper" class. We believed in networking with friends - in person.
But that day was different..
Our bus was stuck in a traffic jam. Amidst all the tiring and sweating bodies standing around, I peeked outside. I saw a shiny silver car. It was very beautiful, one that you will admire just by what you see!! The car was Mercedes Benz!! My dream car since I was a little one who couldn't even spell M-e-r-c-e-d-e-s. I tried looking inside the car. I couldn't see the person who was driving it. But thanks to the reflective glass, I saw myself. I wondered how difficult it would be for me to own it. That's what dreams are made of, isn't it? My dream of having a Mercedes grew stronger. And I was determined again!! But how? With my busy college schedule and socializing with friends, I will never find time to develop my skill-sets and become rich and buy a Mercedes. Wish I had two extra hours every day!!
I hate this traffic jam!! It's been there since the time I can remember. Indian economy is growing, and we are producing more cars at a rate which is second only to India's birth rate!! Wish there was a fly-over above the fly-over I am driving on. And its bad for my car too!! How on Earth can a Mercedes wait in a queue with Nano's and other equivalents!! Ohh yes, you guessed it right. I am driving my own Mercedes - and that too an imported one. But how, you might ask. I made my two extra hours a day count!! I worked hard for my graduation, did post-graduation, sacrificed my family time, sacrificed socializing with my friends - my own people who made me - ME!! I had a one point agenda to become rich and drive my Mercedes - which I did. Boy, am I successful now?
But that day was different..
Enjoying my music and breathing out of a cool, temperature showing, costly air-conditioner - I peeked outside. I can see everything that's happening outside - the same cannot be said for people outside though!! I saw a crowded bus. People struggling for space, and quite literally pushing each other to even breathe. I sympathized with their situation and those of my struggling days. This made me feel even more successful!! That's when I saw a group of office going guys talking to each other in the bus. Even they were struggling to find that key element in a crowded bus - breathing space. They appeared to be close friends. They were showing their mobile phones, were sharing something to each other and laughing!! Laughing even in adversity, I thought. I saw one guy closely. He was looking just like me, but behaving much differently than what I would normally behave with people. You see, I am more decent and dignified now while interacting with people. That guy was more outspoken and not concerned what others would think of him. I was like that, you know. He reminded me of someone - ME, back in those days!!
That's when reality slapped me like a girl would do when she's betrayed by her prince. The guy I am observing was actually me - with an alternate timeline. He is exactly what I would have been if I hadn't made my materialistic dream a reality. Had I shared those extra two hours with my family / friends, I would still have them around. I would still be all that guy in the bus was. I kept staring at him, with deep regret and a sudden loss of interest in life. In between his talks, he looked outside the bus. I lowered the window pane and looked at him. Our eyes met. I saw that same passion in his eyes to own a Mercedes. He looked at me and winked. I smiled. And then strangely, he started talking to his friends again and completely ignored me. I pitied myself. That guy, my alternate self, made a decision looking at me that he will never become what I am. I, who was the king of my life, became a peasant again!! Twenty years of hardship suddenly meant nothing to me. My dreams shattered me!! Wish I could get back those two extra hours every day that I spent on climbing the ladder of success!!
I would have been the same person had I utilized my two hours differently back then. I concentrated on career and only career and here I am - with everything I ever needed, but no one to share it with. There, that guy, probably doesn't even have a car, but has friends / close ones who will be with his through the adversity!!
I won the battle of career but lost the war of life!!
Just two hours!! That's all it takes. And the best part is - you already have those two hours with you!! Now It's upto you how / where to find it and, more importantly, to make it count!!