THE PAROCHIAL BLUNDER
– Written by Anant Sharma, Edited by Sharon Singh
You lived through life with nothing on your mind but the prospect of finding your soul mate. You had relationships, you married your college sweetheart, you had kids, and the whole damn circle. Still, in those restless moments in the middle of the night, you wondered. Did I make the right decision? Could it have been something different? Could it be something far more riveting than what I have now? You were close to being happy, yet far from it. This disquiet, which once rested in a faraway place in your mind, slowly started eating its way to the fore. From ambiguity, came affliction. The crisis which began with questioning of the sanity of your heart soon asked questions about your achievements, your savings, and even your kids’ report cards. You shared this with a shrink, he told you to relax, and gave you two things. You found an intricate name for your dubiety, and a prescription for valium.
Deep down in your heart, you knew you had to put an end to this. So you decided to take a day off, then a weekend, then a vacation. It helped, but ever so slightly. So you started wondering if it was already too late, and the malaise, too diffused. You began to yearn for a moment of awakening. And then, as if on cue, it did come. Befitting though your mid-life woe, it was as anti-climatic as you couldn’t have possibly imagined in your youth. You imbibed it, and embraced a life of blunt resignation. A long while later, you actually began to enjoy it, but by that time, senility had begun to knock on the door, and the pursuit of happiness had to take a backseat to let the quest for survival dictate your life. The irony? When you had time to be happy, you hadn’t the nerve. And when you felt the happiness inching in, your darkest hour loomed large.