It was a mid-summer evening, darkness almost approaching, on a desolate stretch of a Goan beach. A lone dog howled in the distance. 5 of us walked along the shore, in no particular order, with no particular goal in mind. Our duties for the year were fulfilled, the MBA (rather, the PGDM) was done and dusted, a job was in hand, and a 2 month vacation beckoned.
That didn’t stop us from dreaming, nothing ever could stop us from dreaming those days. Because, passion, we had oomphs of it, passion to argue loudly, to fit the world into idealistic frameworks, to aspire for the big, to make a real difference to ourselves. Because, we believed that we weren’t people who went behind the regular Joe’s regular job, that we could truly well awaken our inner selves.
That evening was no different. I don’t remember the idea too clearly today, but it had something to do with collaborating on a book. Yogesh and I were really kicked about it, and the other three, perhaps knowing truly well that these were idle dreams, encouraged us enthusiastically, carefully avoiding any commitment to the collaboration.
The evening came to an end, in a shack filled with random music, much laughter, silly banter, many a photograph and hearts full of happiness.
The trip came to an end too, and so did that vacation, our last vacation.
We moved on to our jobs, one job after another, one year after another – the rut that we had thought belonged to the regular Joe. Because each of us were deigned to be that regular Joe.
The book never happened, collaboration a long distance dream. It has been over six and a half years since that day. More than half a decade.
Yogesh reminded me today, of our “failure”, when I was attempting a wisecrack on Chetan Bhagat’s books. “Who are you, to make fun of that enterprising gentleman, a gentleman who doesn’t care about his detractors and their criticisms, and is at his job of creating a new reading order?”, was the tone of his comment.
I cannot deny him the pleasure, or lack thereof, of my answer. I am a tired regular Joe, who would give up much to go back to that evening, an evening where possibilities abounded, opportunities were innumerable, and the mind was ready to kick down the barriers of a boring, templatized life. I would give up much to go back to having that heart that didn’t know, that didn’t know that passion, if not nurtured, would get washed away by this evil flood called every day life.