EPISODE 3: THE SWING KING.
Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with sweaty and smelly sports. Don’t jeopardize your opinion by the word ‘swing’.
It’s not often that I’m able to land on that right decision at one go. Rather, the chances of that happening are so minuscule that even snowfall in Sahara is more likely. (fact update: the snowfall actually happened on February 18, 1979) There’s usually a lot of thought that has to be put in, and it goes through the several layers of that damned scrutinizer that is an invention of my own, right inside my head. Even after exhausting myself to the point that sleep is no more an option, there’s always a possibility that I might not even be near the mirage of decisiveness, let alone the actual oasis.
You see, being confused is an art. You have to be tremendously patient to hang in there at the crossroads. A lazy mind will never strive to get confused. It won’t want to take the brush and wait for hours and hours crafting that brush stroke till the time it is perfect. It won’t sit there in the examination hall, pondering over the correct solution to the problem it had practiced so many times before. It won’t spend time on futile things such as deciding the outfit for the day, when a nice cologne would be sufficient to make it through the week. Instead, it will tend to take those decisions without thinking too much, in a reckless manner, just the way Afridi bats. While a person who is a victim of mood swings, he’ll try and contemplate like a saint whenever possible. Be it choosing the mess for the next month, or deciding whether he’s a library guy or the one who likes it in his room, he’ll spend nights debating with himself, presenting brilliant counter arguments, only to decide that he isn’t able to decide.
The first instance that I can remember when my mood started to swing waywardly was the time when I was having a perfectly amazing time with my friends. Colva, dinner and whatnots, I had started to think that that was gonna be my support group. And the very next day, the most dreadful thing happened-they had left for the mess without me. Not even a missed call. “Every one of them is a douche. How the hell did I even think they’d be my bros? “And I had to eat that night all by myself. With people staring at me through the corners of their eyes, judgmental looks burning me all over, I had to run out of the mess while still chewing on that last piece of chicken. The day after, I heard a loud shout of “Rastogi” downstairs. They hadn’t forgotten to call me for that game of cricket. “We’re gonna be friends for life”, I said with watery eyes, as I held the bat, heavy with emotions.
But that was rather an amusing incident. I had no idea that my indecisiveness would cause me heartache, and I’m not talking about the one people have after having a sumptuous meal, I’m referring to one of those heart-breaking times which Enrique has brought up so often in his lyrics- I just couldn’t decide whether I should just go and tell her about the way I feel, or I should first try and fit in her social circle. But what about those cool looking sophisticated guys who never stutter and always have something captivating to talk about? How am I supposed to go past them? Should I confess in person, or write meaningless poetry on the most sought after page of the campus- the confessions page? She must be occupied with her courses (which, by the way I too should’ve been), should I wait for the exams to end? Maybe next semester? Maybe next year? Next life? What if she says no? Where in the world am I going to hide my face for the next four years? What if she thinks I’m a perv?
The conflict never ended, until she got along with a guy.
Now I have a friend. You just need to catch hold of him and make him realize that you mean no harm. He’ll curse for about a minute or so, with such unique swear words dripping from his mouth that you’d want to write them down for a day when you get yourself in a tiff. He has the most amazing advice for any trouble. Hearing your situation, he’s sure to laugh in the most insolent way, but once past that, he’ll stuff your ears with words of gold. “Da, why do you need to think so much? Why do you care for what they have to say, when you don’t even know them and their words only mean as much to you as the ketchup with pizza- it’s useless. What do you have to lose even if things don’t turn out the way you’d have liked them to be? At least you’ll save that time on thinking and maybe take another shot at it. I’m not saying be rash while taking important decisions: but when stuck at an intersection and both the roads are equally luring, go for the one less travelled. If nothing else, you’ll end up surprising yourself.”
“Hey, isn’t that ….?”
“Yeah, I know, The road not taken. But you didn’t remember it, did ya’? Now, be nice and thank me.”
“Sir, yes sir!”
A beautiful poem, THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, by ROBERT FROST, inspired my friend to give his iconic speech. Both of us are very grateful for that.Check out the entire poetry here.