Short Story: Bliss


Inspired by: RadioLab episode Bliss. Just listen to the first ~10 mins of it and smile.

You can listen to the entire episode if you want, it is one of my favorties.

She didn’t want to look at her scores. She knew she was going to pass her exams. But she didn’t want to look at her scores and be… disappointed.

She has studied hard, everyone has always said she could score at the top of the class if she tried hard enough. She did try hard, every time. And every single time she came up short.

She should be happy with her scores, but she isn’t. Her friends are happier after scraping through the exams. But she was chasing a grade that she hasn’t achieved yet. And nothing below it would ever be sufficient.

She studied in the library to distract herself from everyone else looking at their scores. She had her phone turned off so that no one would message her. She would wait until the school is almost deserted to look at her scores.

She realized, she can’t try to explain it to her friends why her grades aren’t good enough. She doesn’t want to put up a happy face for others.

The day passed excruciatingly. She was restless, her legs fidgeting and her eyes darting to her turned off phone. She was almost there.

It was one hour before the decided time but she goes for it anyway. There are some students in the school but she walks past them in a hurry.

Scoreboard. Her name is alphabetically in the middle.

And…

‘WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!’ she shouts raising her hands in the air and jumps. She whoops some more, throws her bag off and turns her phone on.

‘WOOOOOO!!!!’ she screams again. She doesn’t realize but she is grinning ear to ear. Someone behind her claps.

She typed in her phone.

‘I GOT IT!!!!!’.

This time, all of her friends join in her excitement.

 


 

Holidays!!


They are a benedictions and yet most often a malediction. And expectation come hand in hand with them.

If you have read my previous posts you will know that I absolutely abhor expectations. In fact I’m irreversibly marred by them. The tyranny of expectations breathe down the neck when holidays are descried in the horizon and I know, I have a gut feeling that they will end in tears and heartbreak.

It is like one is not complete without the other. And if I may, it is like they are fraught with sadness. Like expecting a heavenly time and getting, kind of hell. It seems a bad conclusion of Newton’s second law of motion.

Holidays for me are simple: watch movies, read books and eat and sleep. I don’t want to shop, roam pointlessly, just relax. After all I deserve it, working and traveling so much is grudging and I need some time off.

But a upcoming family holiday changes the dynamics. Everyone has expectations and abashed as I am to admit it, no one wants their perceived version of holidays to shatter. Father wants to do something, Mother wants to do something else. Brother, for the matter, just swings with the flow and is ready for every plan.

Unfortunately, not a single one of their plans is compatible with the other. And all of their ideas are resolute without any scope for compromise. Hence the tears and heartbreaks.

So my holidays are an anticlimax. With a heightened enthusiasm at the onset, disappointment comes at the end. And with each person the way to express this disappointment differs. And at the end no one is happy and praying that no such holiday comes again.

Such a scene in a few days of reprieve has been repeated so many times that even if I try, I cannot possibly come up with something new to say or do to lighten the mood. I don’t like the dolorous ambience at home but what can I do?

So when at times of Diwali(Reason for holidays, most auspicious festival in Hindus) when everything is expected to be beatific, nothing really is.

But the holidays this time had a special moment too. See on the first day of the three day family holiday, we all had breakfast. Now we never do that.

With my college, my brother’s and parent’s job schedules we never have viands at the same time. Never.

This time we did. Only once in the three days but we did. And we laughed and talked. All of us sitting in that table together and eating and sharing stories. No sadness, no tension. And to make things better even my dog came along to eat. Yeah, he completed the family picture at that time.

If we all weren’t so disheveled and somnolent I would have clicked a picture. I can’t even believe that the best time was then, when no one was wearing newly brought clothes, no expensive food or sweets. Just tea and some breakfast. And it was perfect.

I later said that after how much time did we all eat together, that now my Diwali is now complete. I probably jinxed the mood.

I hope that in a couple of days or months when I look back I only remember that morning and not the subsequent days. Because that morning was special. What followed was like a over repeated commercial that you are fed up with.

Thanks For Reading
Itsmayurremember