It was a hot and tiring day and I had to go to the bank after attending lectures. The bank nearest to the college is a small, old fashioned one, where people still line up by the side of clerks’ desks. Much to my dismay, a long line was already there but I had to enter it. Next to me in the line stood a woman, almost bald, shorter than me, bowed back, heavy glasses and there was a web like pattern on the flimsy skin of her hands and face. In her hands, that kept shaking a little, was a ragged pension card.
As the line moved on a little, she requested to be attended first as she could not stand for long. She was given the way and with a ‘thank you’, she left. It was in her eyes. She seemed miserable, maybe because she was too old and ill, maybe because somehow I had developed a sympathetic corner for her or maybe because I could not imagine myself being in her shoes.
This makes me wonder what kind of person I shall become when old. I have a feeling that as I shall grow old, I’ll behave myself more (yes, there is still a hope!), put an end to my habit of blurting out everything that comes in my mind and learn to smile and ignore the un-tolerable things more often. I shall learn to cook, dress more woman-ishly,sit straight, walk straight and become more religious. I shall do all this because I will have to do all this. I shall have a career, get married, raise kids and as my kids shall grow up to take care of their responsibilities, I might one day end up in a line, requesting to be attended first as I cannot stand for long. And so, I shall die, having lived the most boring and dull life. The end.
So, there is a change of heart. I shall stick to the old plan of actions but adding a little fun to it will do no harm, right? Like, instead of watching 9 pm news bulletin, I’d rather watch simpsons, courage the cowardly dog or looney tunes perhaps. Learn french, pushto and hypnosis. Take up the road trip to Kabul in my thirties. Fly kites, play cards, need for speed and crazy taxi in my forties. Learn to play a guitar in my fifties, and if I’m alive as I enter my sixties, I shall occasionally dance a little on ‘hungama hai kyun barpa’.
I don’t know what the future holds and where it might lead me. Maybe, in a time, less than I can imagine, I might have a change of heart again. Circumstances do effect people and their perspectives after all. But, even if things go as I have a picture of them, right now, I still might end up in a line, requesting to be attended first as i cannot stand for long. But then, I shall know. I shall know, that I have lived!!
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