One morning I was walking along the road all alone talking to myself with a million thoughts hovering over my mind. The streets were silent with not a single person around and the color all over was changing from dark to yellow because of the sunrise. There was a strange silence all around and all I could hear was the continuous thumping of my feet on the road while walking, the sound of my own breath & heartbeat and the murmuring I was doing at irregular intervals to myself. There was a light breeze around me but none of these atmospheric elements were successful in distracting me from the arguments I was having with myself in my mind. And there was this one single question that I kept on asking myself continuously which I believe could be the signature question of every young individual in this world. That question was “Why am I here?“
I know that won’t sound innovative or unique but that particular question pondered over my head questioning the very reason of my existence. I was cursing the day when I was born as it was that day when I entered into this dreadful world where the authority of my own life is with everyone except me. I am unable to take any decision in my life because it may affect twenty odd people around me but what nobody bothered was that how much this inability of mine to take any decision for myself is affecting me. I am living a life that I owe to hundred other people without leaving any share of my own life that I can live for myself. Whenever I achieve something, it used to make me feel sadder as now the people around would ask me to achieve even more as that much achievement just may not just be sufficient taking away that little moment of happiness. I used to feel tiny in front of the everyday challenges that life was throwing up to me. In place of facing those challenges upfront and standing up against them, I simply wanted to run away the moment these appear. Such was the amount of negativity filled inside that I used to feel hatred for people who appear to be happy as if how the hell someone can stay happy in this unacceptable world. With a bundle of negative thoughts blasting in my mind every second, I kept on walking alone on the street hoping for a dead end to come soon.
Suddenly there was a moment which took away my attention when I heard the sound of a laughter. I looked around in surprise but didn’t noticed anyone there. I thought it may be an illusion of mine and started walking again till the time I again heard the same sound. I stopped there for sometime to again listen to that sound and started moving in the direction from where this continuous sound was coming from. The sound became even louder as I moved further making me realize that I am getting closer to the source of sound. As I kept on moving further, I realized that there was a man standing far away with his back towards me, spreading his arms and continuously bursting into laughter. I started feeling envy of that person as here am I who is feeling destroyed by the actions imposed by the world upon me and this person is continuously laughing for no reason at all.
As I reached next to him, I told me “Turn around and tell me why the hell are you laughing so much.”
I didn’t realized that I was in for a surprise when that guy turned as I found out that I was talking to my own reflection. I screamed “How can this be true? It’s not possible. You cannot be me.”
The guy in his chuckled voice says “Yes dear! I cannot be you. Just look at you. You are a tired person who is fed up of his life and here I am who is enjoying every single moment of life no matter what comes in my way.”
I immediately reprimanded “Enjoying every moment of life?! Its nothing but bullshit as it is impossible to stay happy and positive in such a dominating environment where everyone is running after your life, people are putting their feet over you in order to achieve something, the parameter of your success is dependent on how bad a loss is faced by others and people feel jealous while seeing someone’s happiness.”
He replied “I guess that is the reason that you are jealous of me on seeing that I am happy and laughing.”
“Stop fooling yourself” I responded. “I just want to know the reason of your happiness.”
“Well in that case,” he replied, “let’s start from you. Can you please share your reason about feeling so upset about life and then I will share mine.”
Annoyed by his actions, I told him “I guess you are hard of hearing. I have just counted numerous reasons right in front of you about me feeling upset about life. If you want I can repeat those again.”
He responded with a smile “No need to because I heard you the first time. But I don’t think there was any reason hidden in your statements. Those were mere excuses that you quoted to hide your issues about life.”
My frustration level started crossing its limit on continuously watching him smile. I asked him “OK Mr. Genius! According to you the reasons I just quoted didn’t even qualify to the answers you expected. Then why don’t you share your words of wisdom about the true reasons for happiness in life.”
“Well it’s a little difficult for me as well to quote my exact reason for happiness but I guess the answer to it lies in the statement you told me a few minutes ago” he responded.
With a confused mindset I asked him again “Which statement did I say to you?”
He replied “Just a few moments ago you told me about stop fooling myself. I guess that is where the answer lies. I am just fooling myself. I know that it is tough to survive in this competitive world but to display my strength I need to stay positive. I need to assure myself that no matter how much difficulties I may face in my life, I need to stay calm and composed. Because time will come when everything will be all right and fall into place. I just look into the positivity around me, look into the goodness that other people has to offer, look into the small happy moments of life & look into the true meaning of life. In short, if I will have to explain you, being optimist is my reason for happiness.”
Unmoved by his opinions I responded “Wow Mr. Genius! You know you would have got a standing ovation if you would have delivered this speech to some college students on their convocation. You know what the sad part of what you said right now is that you are living in a false world where you consider everything to be good & positive and you are merely living with a hope that everything will be all right one day. Its almost like school students singing in the morning assembly – ‘We shall overcome one day.’ You are nothing but a coward who is living inside a self created shell of a lie to hide yourself from the real world. You are nothing but a dream.”
There was again a strange smile on his face with which he replied,” I guess I will have to agree with you on this one as well. I am a dream and you are the reality. But you have to admit that dream is really a positive word and reality has a little bit of negativity hidden inside it. We both have our own set of differences. Our own set of ambitions. Our own ways to perceive life. My way of life may not be successful all the time. Sometimes you have to be cautious in your approach and can’t expect everything to be done because of hope. But this is also true that without hope you cannot reach anywhere in life. Because reality will continuously be telling you that its impossible but it would be the dream that will arise the belief in you that ‘I M POSSIBLE.’ We both are old rivals but we do go hand in hand. Either dreams become reality or dreams should be within the reality. The choice is always there.”
With that thought provoking statement came the sound of the morning bells of the alarm clock making me get up from my bed. I looked around to realize that I was in my room at my home and possibly I was involved in a quarrel with my dream last night. I stood up and went in front of the mirror to see my reflection. There was a smile on my face seeing which my reflection also smiled. Though the real me is still depressed with the way life continues to be and the difficulties in life that continue to prevail but I realized as long as my reflection smiles I can carry the courage to lift those challenges. It may just be a dream and everything may just collapse but the at least it would give me the satisfaction of giving it a try. I may not live up to everyone’s expectation but as long as my reflection stays positive, I can make an effort to make it better next time. My dreams and reality are still and will always remain rivals but they will go hand in hand till the end. And even if I will have to choose one of them, the choice is always there.