The Unintended Ride That Changed Life’s Perspective

It has been another busy morning. Like all the other days, after jolting out from bed quickly, Naira started out her day hastily and gosh, she was again late for the day. Lunch boxes were to be prepared, breakfast to be made; her daughter was waiting to be get ready and God! List was just endless. It had already dawned on her that she had missed her office bus.  Once again she had to take a cab. So standing at the bus stop she signalled all the cabs moving right in front of her eyes. But none stopped for her. After what seemed to be a long wait of fifteen minutes, one of the cabs stopped and she hopped quickly inside it as she was already running late for work.

After telling the destination address to the driver, she thought of relaxing for a while as her destination was long one hour drive from where she was standing.  Sitting comfortably at the back seat of her car, she was watching the traffic manoeuvring on the road. The only thought that crossed her mind at that very moment was that everyone on the road was kind of related to each other in some way. Moving to their different destinations, they all had one thing in common and that was the same road on which they all were moving, thought Naira. Looking quietly at the traffic she did not even realize when she was fast asleep. It was only after the jerk with which car stopped Naira was brought back to reality.

But after waking up, what she saw took her breath away. This was not the place she was supposed to be at. As she was already running late for work she leaned forward to scold the driver and she was gobsmacked. He was nowhere to be found and she was left alone in the cab. She was not able to comprehend what was happening.  The world outside the cab seemed anonymous to her. But left with no option, she gathered all her courage and stepped out of the cab. Everything was indifferent yet appeared familiar. Naira could recognize the fragrance of the place. She could recognize the houses there. Suddenly Naira felt a warm touch on her shoulder. It was her granny. Both of them were very close to each other. Her childhood was happily spent listening to her endless fairy tales. Gently Naira’s grandmother took her inside the house, her house. Each and everything was same. The old table and chair were kept at same place where it used to be.  The wooden almirah which was granny’s favourite (for it was her wedding gift) was still standing there proudly. The earthen pot which she used for drinking water was also kept intact. Everything was so well placed and not even an inch was different from what it used to be. Naira knew that her grandmother was very particular about her things and expected the same from her as well; though she never fulfilled her expectations. She was the careless one in her family, thought she with a smile on her face. So as Naira was looking vacantly at the room, her grandmother came near her and handed her the cup of tea. She was overwhelmed as this was the first time after her marriage that someone handed over a steaming cup of tea to her so lovingly. Otherwise she was always the one running around fulfilling everyone’s’ desires. While sipping the tea, Naira could recognize the same old flavour. The soothing aroma of cardamom and ginger along with perfect blend of sugar and tea leaves took all her lethargy away and refreshed her body and mind.  While Naira was sipping the tea, she was wishing the day to never end. Spending time with her grandmother, having tea with her, talking to her was all she could ask for at that very moment. Resting her head in grandmother’s lap was making her feel like heaven. They both talked a lot. Her grandmother asked her about her family, her life.

Naira started telling everything about her life. She told her that since the day she got married, she can never take out time for herself. How she had to put everyone’s wishes over hers. She told her how at times she felt depressed and frustrated. She told her how desperately she wanted to do things which she desired. She told her how it made her sad every time she failed to pursue her hobbies. She told her how she felt entangled in cobweb of home and work. She complained and complained of everything she could think of.

All this while her grandmother was patiently listening to her. Not even for once, she interrupted her. She also felt light after venting out all her frustration. Without her even noticing, tears started to roll out and she cried hysterically on her grandmother’s shoulder. This time also her grandmother was patient enough with her. She patted her and calmed her down. Naira could notice a slight smile on her face. She was unable to decipher that calm smile. After getting hold of her emotions, she asked her grandmother the reason for her smiling. Her grandmother told her that she was smiling at Naira’s childishness and her habit of taking too much tension for petty issues. Somehow, Naira didn’t like what her grandmother had said. She wanted to argue but chose to keep quite.

Her grandmother started talking:

She told Naira that while she was telling her side of views, never for once did she mention the positive things that happened to her. She only plunged upon her frustration and did not try to consider the happy moments. This made her re-think. Naira kind of realized how negative of a person she had become.

Her grandmother continued further. She reminded how she asked her to tell a story every time she faced a problem and the end of story would have the solution. This was the usual practice they both followed. Her grandmother told her that this time also she will tell her a story.

Her grandmother started her story and Naira gave all her ears to her:

There was a pretty girl Sia who always remained happy and the words like sadness, tears, crying were unknown to her. The only emotion she knew was happiness. She had the capability of finding happiness even in slightest of things or even in the saddest of things. That is why the negative words or emotions never bothered her.  She was living happily with her parents and her little brother. Her parents doted on her and her little brother. Though not very rich, the family of four were contended and satisfied. They never asked for more. They were living a happy life at countryside.

But as wise people say, everyone has its own share of happy and sad moments; sadness knocked their door as well. A wild storm took everything away from them. They were homeless, were forced to spend their day and nights on streets and without food and no-one helped them. Even their relatives stepped back. Sia’s parents were now desperate to find shelter and food for their little children. While her parents were struggling to make ends meet, Sia was taking care of her little brother. Days turned into months and months into years. Though the family did manage to find a shelter, food was still insufficient in their plates. But they were determined to get out of this condition. But all this while Sia never failed to maintain her composure. Her sweet smile never faded from her lovely face. One fine day Sia’s father came back home, devastated. The only job which was supporting the family was lost. Her father’s employer no longer needed him. It was the setback for the entire family. Sia’s father was very upset and was worried to the core. The very thought of becoming homeless and hungry once again was taking a toll on him. Though his family stood like a pillar of strength with him, he was panicking. Considering the gravity of situation, Sia asked her father for a walk. She took her father and showed him different places. First she showed him a small child who was wailing and there was no-one to comfort him. She told her father that she used to see this child daily who wails and wails till someone pities on him and feed him but his parents were never seen. Her father pitied the baby.

They moved further. This time Sia showed him a lonely man sitting in a park and looking sad. Sia’s father asked him the reason for his sorrow. The man told him how he lost his wife and unborn child in a tragedy. On their way, Sia showed her father so many people who are grieving for one or the other reason, major being left alone in the world.

When they both got back home, Sia took her father’s hand in hers and told him that the biggest treasure they have is the love for each other. She told him that together they can sail through any misery and anguish life has to offer and emerge out even stronger. With this small act of hers, her father once again believed in himself. He was now determined to find a better life for himself as well as his family. This way a positive outlook changed everyone’s life.

Naira was contently listening to the story. At the end of the story, her grandmother asked if she had learnt anything. Now Naira had all the answers. She now gave it a thought how she forgot to rejoice and appreciate all the good things that happened and still happening in her life. She could now see life with a new and fresh perspective; this time the positive one. Naira reminisced the lovely moments she had spent with her husband and how they started missing from her life given her monotonous routine and the frustration levels rising in her mind. She remembered the feeling she had when she held her daughter for the first time. She could now determine how big a treasure of happy moments she had. She now very well knew what she had to do and how to change her life for good. She told her grandmother that she will now try and take life in a positive way. She will now try to overlook the minute negativities and will never focus on them. After exchanging more good thoughts and a healthy conversation with her grandmother, Naira decided to take a leave. She promised her grandmother that she will be happy from now onwards. Her grandmother blessed her all the happiness in the world and gave her love.

All of a sudden, Naira felt as if someone is shouting on her head. With a jerk she opened her eyes and found that the cab driver was trying to wake her up since long. For a second she couldn’t figure out what just happened. The smile lit her face when she realized it was a dream she had seen. As she came out of the cab, she looked into the sky and thanked her grandmother from the core of her heart and with a smile on her face, went inside her office wondering how this unusual ride succeeded in changing her outlook towards life.

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Sakshi Bhatnagar

Married for four beautiful years and a mother to two year old, Sakshi is a passionate educator and writing is her newly discovered love. She has a keen interest in sharing her thoughts and emotions through words with everyone and reach out to people.

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