There was a time when life used to be simple. There were these lists; friends, friend, best friend, friend’s friend, second best friend, enemy, enemy’s best friend, my friend who talks to the enemy; happy lists that kept changing, point being good or bad, you had real people. You slept daily and eleven thirty was really late night. You woke up with the sun even though you moaned and snuggled in bed for a few minutes. You were not aware of a lot of things but thoughts were clear and you never loved the grey rainy sky or the damp air around – life was sunny blue. Then one fine day, you grew up and your list of freedoms became a little too big. You could travel alone to any place you wanted, make friends with any one you wanted. Your life became friends and the clocks corrected to twenty four hour time. Keeping friends became you and you had all the time in the world for that. The lists of friends kept growing and the lists made sense no more, everyone was a friend and all were here to stay.

Life comes at you at neck-breaking speeds and you realize how unaware you are. There comes a time ; and it comes again and again, when you feel the world and all that’s in it conspires to prove you wrong. You become unsure of yourself and assumes your life is a mess. At this point in weakness, your skin becomes thin and every criticism gives you some burns; maybe for the first time you ask your friends for loyalty. Loyalty is a very dangerous word indeed, it is in our best interests to reserve that for the canine kind and not for men. We are but people put by chance in pathetic huddles, with names that do not mean a thing and faces that keep changing. In such crude transitory huddles, the last thing one should search for is loyalty. And at the verge of your self doubt, the lists come back and you are your only judge of people, the blacklist of friends grows as big as the misunderstandings between us and after that as big the our over inflated egos and feelings of self importance.

You have a list of people lined up by your judgement, the list is so big that no one person is irreplaceable. When you cut off a name, you rely on another name. Then one day your puny wit assumes the latter as well is phony. One of these days, the list is not eight mile long anymore, there isn’t anyone left. I have a job that pays well, I have a car that drives well and I do not need people. You have all the freedom in the world to keep yourself unhappy, you have cut off all your friends and there is no baggage from the past. These days you are in the comfort of strangers. You become the cat who cannot stand friendship or love because you’ve been burnt before, you become the cat that survives on admiration. Everything is fake, every smile, every interaction, every single thing is fake and everyone knows that, these pathetic huddles. You like to surprise people and that is your way of getting back at the world which you perceive is phony; and still you crave for admiration from the same phony world. You get a kick when someone hurts you, when another person proves he is phony, and you anxiously wonder why someone is taking time to let you down. There you are, at the verge of the abyss.

Life moves very fast ahead, taking you with it if you are lucky enough. You do not spend a moment to check back on where you started from or who all you met on the way, rather you prefer not to live in the past but in the present and it is of course a good thing to do. When you grip a name, you try real hard to place a face. When you have a face, you feel terrible that you don’t remember those good times you had together – the ones you then thought you’d never forget. You have moved forward in life, but you can’t collect your thoughts anymore. Memory is cluttered, vague, the brain cells are dying. You don’t think anymore, you just live – with false perspectives, without anything to rely on and you call that independence; and then bleed. You thrive on not answering calls and then feeling bad about why no one calls you, defining islands for yourself and believing that super-conscious people do not need sleep. All you want is to be the ancient villager who breathed fresh air, ate sensible food and slept during the night; all you want is to collect your thoughts. At the height of externally induced sleeplessness, you finally cut yourself off from everything, every inch of you is awake, you see things clearly without emotion, without exaggeration you feel extra-terrestrial, you think its super consciousness, you smell like nicotine, feel you are Kurt Cobain. Perhaps the only thing you want is to be that ancient villager who after a good night’s sleep and a nice breakfast is off to the paddy field, while the birds of morning sing. His happy dog following him to the paddy field -with all the loyalty only a dog can give, with all the patience which only a paddy field can give.