Not every hero is a great man; not every soldier is a brave one; and not every man who smiles is happy. And all of these rather philosophical statements, though the stating of which might perhaps seem quite uncommon for a man of my disposition, were extremely relevant to me.
The wedding reception was going great. It was in fact awesome. My best friend from college was just married to another of my friends. So fun is the straight obvious thing that is bound to spring up in the wedding hall. Old friends, old memories, resurrection of old gossip and all the emotions attached to them were like aromas of different flavors that were engulfing us in an atmosphere of assured pleasure.
Ahana, who looked a charming goddess on that evening in her blue lehenga, and Rishav, her boyfriend, who had transformed to fit the role of a husband just a day ago, were amiably chatting away. And had thus recently become the butt of all our teases. Being college sweethearts it was most natural that one day they had to marry, but the marriage, which had taken place all of a sudden, at an extremely short notice, had actually surprised and excited us all the same, and now all were engaged in making the most of this reception.
I was more than happy, because the couple consisted of great friends of mine, especially Ahana, who had been the closest to me. But somehow, for some reason, I couldn’t enjoy the occasion as much as I should have. I couldn’t just pinpoint what the thing was, but as the hours slipped by, and the mundane gossips slackened, when each friend from the past was obliged to move on to the present and attend their current affairs, the uneasiness started to get a better of grip of my mind and it started to make itself felt significantly.
So when it was time to depart, at the very first opportunity, I left the place. It was past midnight when I was halfway home. And all of a sudden, a little child, barely eight years old, came running in from of my car, waving frantically, for whom I had to literally crush the brakes to prevent a fatal accident.
It was a dilapidated road on the periphery of Mumbai. Already a bit irritated and anxious, I slammed the door of my car angrily and got down to enquire, ready to scold and reprimand. But the sight that met my eyes wrought in me an instant change and panic started to seize my heart.
Another car had swerved off the road and hit a tree, inside which an old man was sitting at the wheel, bleeding unconscious. In a flurry of nervous speech, the little boy told me about how his grandpa was driving him to their house in Matheran from Mumbai, and suddenly the tire burst, throwing the vehicle off balance and off control, ultimately resulting in the crash. His grandpa had dashed his head on the wheel and had been in that position, while luckily the young lad had only had a few bumps on his head and got of the car. At a loss of wits about what to do next, he had been waiting for the past hour for help but no one so far had crossed that way.
Wasting no more time, I immediately called the ambulance, and before it arrived, I, after a lot of frantic efforts, was able to get the old man out of his car, lay him inside mine and treat his wounds with water. And thank heavens, when the ambulance did arrive, the old man had gained consciousness. However, they took him to the hospital for a proper treatment. I took the boy with me in my car and followed the ambulance. Meanwhile the boy’s family members had been informed, and by the time they reached the hospital in the morning, the old man had completely recovered, ready to be discharged and I was ready to leave, after being ladled up with a lot of appreciations and goodwill. But what touched me most was the hug of the small boy and his murmur of “Thank you, uncle”.
All of the previous irritation and uneasiness, causing me unhappiness in turn, had long ago vanished.
And sitting at home at the dining table to lunch in the afternoon, after I had left all the fatigue of the previous night behind, I was at perfect ease to contemplate.
I possessed a well-to-do life, positioned in a good architecture firm. I was also within the prospects of being promoted soon. My best friends had recently celebrated their marriage, the first from our group to be married, and how nice a time we had all had. There was absolutely no reason for me to feel low. In fact, realizing it now, I had actually experienced some of the best moments of my life, which sadly shall never return again.
Instead of Ahana weds Rishav, it should have been Ahana weds Siddharth – this irrational and evil thought had made me so uneasy last night that I couldn’t even cherish the happiness of the moments to the extent that was due. How ashamed I was of myself, then and now.
Yes, Siddharth is my name and I had loved Ahana years back. And had been refused years back, she limiting a relationship that could perhaps have had been exemplary, to just friendship. But we had been the best of friends despite it all, and later Rishav had entered her life. It hurt, yes, but I was happy for both my friends. And it was highly improper of my repressed emotions to have taken hold of me like that last night, for all along I had foolishly been searching for my happiness in Ahana, even after being bold about it to the world and pretending to everybody, including myself that I had moved on.
But it is not always mandatory that you should get the person you love. And God, whoever he is, wherever he is, gives you what you deserve. And acceptance of the fact is the best favor that you can do for yourself. Be happy with what you’ve got and let others be happy with they’ve got. Happiness isn’t found in the surroundings or belongings, but within oneself, just like I had found my happiness within myself when that child had hugged and thanked me.
And another thing I’d learnt was to live in the present, and not bother yourself with the past or future, because things don’t happen twice, so forget the bad ones of the past and cherish the good ones in the present.
Now no more pretensions, I had truly moved on in life, not only emotionally, but spiritually as well. It is strange how some incidents teach you a great lesson in so short a time.
And now I’m sure, Rishav and Ahana deserved each other better than anyone else. I was extremely happy for them.
As for me, I shall soon find the woman who deserves me and who I deserve – that perfect fairytale-like love. Because now that I’d discovered my happiness, I’m sure I can easily share it with someone else, who will be glad to be a part of it.