100% Perfect Lovers

Lovers

While reading yet another book by Haruki MurakamiThe Elephant Vanishes, a collection of short stories; I stumbled onto a simple yet intriguing story that goes like this:

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and a 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.

“And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. It was a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: was it really alright for one’s dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves – just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death, they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 80% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send the special delivery letter, was walking from east to west, both along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in the chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fourteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

Aren’t we all the same? Don’t we all think we don’t deserve good things? We’re forever praying and hoping for a miracle to grace our lives and when it actually does, we can’t believe our luck and try to look for the loopholes. Why is it so bloody difficult for us to accept that we can be happy, that we can actually get what we want, that we can have our cake and eat it too?

This story isn’t just a tell-tale sign of our love lives. It holds equally true for other spheres of our lives.

We reject many things thinking them results of our rose tinted glasses of youth and the naivete that comes along with it; all the while forgetting, we might not get lucky with a second chance.

Maybe we ought to believe in ourselves, have faith in the cosmic power and keep our arms open and embrace the good things that happen to us, no questions asked. THAT, I guess, what happiness is all about.

Don’t you agree?

How To Live Life Doggie Style

A situation you messed up? A result you didn’t expect? Something from your past you wish never happened? Well, kick some grass over that shit and move on.

 

Someone you like but can't confess your feelings to them? Wag your tail and let it show. And if they do not respond, move on to the next one yo!Someone you like but can’t confess your feelings to them? Wag your tail and let it show. And if they do not respond, move on to the next one.

 polls_PuppyDogEyes_5408_380597_poll_xlargeScrewed up real bad? Scared to face the music? Easy. Put on the puppy dog eyes and keep looking at the floor until the music fades.

 dog,funny,postcard,ian,cool,crazy-95be9b05d91e1840c7c0ed6f88435244_hFeeling blue? Life’s too mundane? Get in a car, put your face out and let the wind wash off your worries.

 DaschundDiggingAlways run out of money at the end of the month? Your financial future looks bleak? Dig a hole and save up half of what you get.

 200358462-001Got a difficult interview coming up? Dread the whole grind? Learn a few tricks and repeat them over and over to keep the bosses happy.

 dog-irish-setter-hand-sniffFeel you’re always surrounded by negative people? Sniff and examine thoroughly before you let anyone enter your life.

 d35d5b883ae9923e5af46bd81779585eFeel your life’s a mess? Everything a chaotic distress? Set a routine in place and chaos will run out the window.

 dog-sniffs-grassAngry with someone? Wanna scream your head off? Sniff thoroughly before deciding who deserves your shit.

 dog-enjoying-the-sun-on-the-grass-with-shadesWonder how your life turned out the way it did? Wish to change it for the better? Love unconditionally, live joyfully and it’ll be glorious in no time.

Something…Anything!

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Ever had one of those days when you just want to do something…anything? Well, I woke up to such a feeling that Monday.

All groggy eyed, I checked the bedside clock that promptly displayed 5:00 A.M. Rather early for me; I tried drifting back into the sweet morning slumber. But try as I might, my mind kept running in a million different directions – the kind when you’re thinking about everything at once but then truly thinking of nothing at all. Left with no option, I rubbed my weary eyes, tore off the covers and put my feet firmly on the ground.

After making some freshly brewed tea, I settled myself in the balcony to see the day set itself into motion. There was a soft light breaking through last night’s dark envelope, much like a small plant that rebelliously grows in the middle of the road even though it has no business being there. The air had that pleasant coolness to it and with a long breath I filled my lungs with it – a respite from the stale air I was used to. The roads were quiet, save for a lone jogger or a newspaper vendor; the maddening rush-hour traffic still a few hours away – a precious few hours before the blanket of pollution and noise engulfs the city.

Even though I’d long forgotten what early mornings feel like, I‘ve always believed that they have this uncanny ability to make you think about and contemplate on things you’ve buried deep into the recesses of your mind, things you seldom consciously think of. And well, the incessant chirping of birds (something I hadn’t heard in a long time), the heavenly fresh morning breeze and the stillness of the yet to begin day, silenced the cacophony of random thoughts and put me on the contemplation mode.

I’d come to this wonderful city – the ‘city of dreams’ as it’s fondly called, some 7 years ago. I’d got into the most sought after college with big dreams, high hopes and sky-high expectations of my future. I wanted to be the next-big-thing. But it didn’t take me long to realize, so did everybody else.

It’s amazing to see how all your hopes & dreams, however fiercely guarded, are shoved right through the backdoor once you get stuck in the rut. The dreams, so uniquely you own (or so you thought), start transforming into those of every other student.

All of us were being shown the type of future we must strive for, packages we must aim for and dreams we must aspire to fulfill. Slowly the uniqueness and differences we all had come to revel in and learn from gave way to being content playing our small roles in the rat race.

The shrill shout of the hawker jolted me back to reality. What seemed like eternity had just been a quarter of an hour; 15 minutes of early morning reverie – 15 minutes I’d thoroughly enjoyed. After making myself another pot of tea, I got back to my morning musing.

Fresh out of college, everything looked like a bed of roses. Having accepted the first job offer (recession didn’t exactly help), I thought all my problems in life were behind me. Little did I know, in my naiveté, they’d only begun!

Into the job, the first year seemed to fly by in understanding the job, getting to know the people, grappling with office politics and waiting for the weekend soirees with friends. But as time flew, the job that required understanding became mundane, the people that required knowing needed avoiding, the politics that had me hooked became boring and the weekend getaways that had me waiting became a mere excuse to console myself that life wasn’t as bad as it seemed in my head.

Days became weeks, weeks turned into months and soon I had 5 years to show for corporate slavery on my resume. The fear of ‘what-if’, the fear of the ‘unknown’ kept me chained to my measly 3×3 desk. 5 years that were a mere flashback now were nothing but day after day of drudgery. 5 years of working on something I wasn’t passionate about, working under someone I despised and working for the dream that wasn’t mine.

But deep down in my heart I knew that all the revolution in my mind wasn’t going to manifest itself into reality. Seven years of conditioning – to look for security, to accept boring over passionate, to adjust over rebelling – wasn’t just going to vanish into thin air.

Practicality took over and I delved into the routine I’d been living the past few years; the routine that now defined my life, the routine that I chose to follow. If only I could turn back time.

At the office, all faces seemed to be afflicted with the Monday Blues. The long and drawn faces greeted each other with enthusiasm fit for a funeral, faces that wanted to be anywhere but here.

Another coffee in and I moved to the weekly review meeting. It was the same old story – the same set of people trying to sound intelligent and the same set of people trying to just get by with occasional nodding. The same old words – strategy, growth, numbers, sales, clients, hard work, effort – started floating in the air. Suddenly something snapped inside me, like a switch being turned off. I felt the blood rush to my face, my ears started to ring rendering me unable to hear the high flying jargon – everything became a blur.

I felt myself screaming inside my head. I didn’t have to bear this. This wasn’t my purpose in life. Today was different. Something had to give. Something had to change. I had to make things better, live the life I wanted, seize the dreams I left behind. And just like that, there was sudden calmness, like the jigsaw puzzle finally fit.

Without warning I got up, turned about and walked out. If I would’ve turned around I would’ve seen the stunned and confused look on my boss’ face. Ten minutes later, I walked back in to the meeting, boss fully expecting an apology and an explanation for my blasphemy. Instead, he was left agape as I handed him my resignation letter and left without another word.

And as soon as I exited the doors I often frequented for good, I finally felt that day the satisfaction of doing something…anything!