*Bang Bang* a door banging sound woke Varun up. He was sleeping like a baby, found it hard to open his eyes. He turned to the other side and slept again. *Bang Bang* the sound continued for a while and Varun is now completely lucid. He jumped from his bed and walked down the corridor, he moved the curtain and the light from the living room attacked his pupils making him go blind for a moment. He closed his eyes like it was a flashbang. “What the hell are you guys doing at this time?” he yelled at his two sisters. “Oh! Is it 2 already? We were playing crossword, we lost track of time” Niveda, the eldest sister giggled looking at Harsha, the other sister. Both of them were laughing at their young brother who was making weird faces. “I never thought playing crossword would sound like a canon firing on my head” he complained. “It’s the neighbours!” Harsha said pointing towards the opposite apartment. *Bang Bang* this time the bang was more intense and harsh. “For the love of god, why do these things happen when I finally decide to sleep” Varun whinged “It’s been 37 hours since I last slept”
*Bang Bang Bang*
“What the f….” Varun gasped and peeked out through the peephole. It’s Catherine, her shift completes at 1:30 AM and she’s home by 2:15 AM. Her husband, David, “creepy guy” Varun calls him wasn’t opening the door. “Looks like Miss. Narcissist is learning her lesson” Varun whispered to his sisters. Niveda couldn’t hold her curiosity and pushed Varun aside looking out through the peephole. Catherine is literally trying to break the door. Harsha was laughing at how curious her siblings are “Stop you both! It looks odd, voyeuristic!” she yelled at them. “Shhh! She might hear us” Varun whispered with awkward expression on his face. Varun pushed her sister slowly and peeked out. Catherine burst out in tears was hanging on the door handle shaking the door like a mad woman. “Poor Catherine” Varun said to himself. He turned towards Niveda “Shall we open the door and ask what happened?”. Niveda thought for a moment, “Should we?” she asked with a puzzled face. “Can we?” Harsha yelled from behind. “David must be so drunk” Varun laughed. “I don’t think he drinks.” Harsha said. “Did they fight?” Niveda looked at both her siblings. “So, Creepy Guy is just being creepy because that’s exactly what he’s good at?” Varun asked again. “So should we open the door?” Harsha asked again. “Will it be like…” Varun gulped. “Be like what?” Niveda asked like she was thinking the same. “Interfering in a private matter” Harsha completed their thoughts. The three looked at each other. “What should we do now?” Varun asked. “We’ll play Crossword” Harsha said and went back to the table, sat on the chair and was arranging words. Varun looked at Niveda as if he’s expecting an answer. But she responded with a shrug and went back to join Harsha. Varun looked at both of them, he was helpless, curious and peeked through the hole again. The door was open with a half broken handle. He could hear Catherine crying and David explaining. He couldn’t figure out what they were talking about though. “Just another troubled family in the troubled city” he said to himself. “We didn’t open the door. But what about the others? Why didn’t the other two neighbours open doors?” he continued asking himself and looked at the apartment beside Catherine’s, the door shook a bit, like someone was standing behind it, like someone was peeking through the peephole. He got his answer. He turned towards his sisters and they were not there. The crossword board was on the table with all the alphabets thrown around the board on table. The board has a single word on it, ‘Bang’.Varun looked puzzled, looked around, couldn’t find his sisters around, like they vanished. “Varun !” someone screamed. It sounded like Niveda!
*Bang bang bang*
Varun opened his eyes, the banging continued. Varun looked at his phone, it was 2:30 AM. There were 25 missed calls and a message from Niveda.
“Open the door, Varun!” the message read. Varun jumped out of his bed.
That was a gloomy sunday. Like everyday, Nihan woke up and started his day. Finishing his bath, he stepped out of the home and started wearing his shoes. His neighbour wished him morning and he returned it by saying, “Good morning, Have a happy day!!” He started his walk towards the metro station and took his train to the city garden. After reaching the city garden, he started jogging and most of the people at the garden were greeting him. He responded to them with a smile. A girl who was sitting on the bench at a corner observed all of this. In her own mind, she was talking, ‘How lucky he must be to have that smile on his face and to have so many friends and here I am sitting alone crying on my fate.’ Nihan went jogging around the garden and saw this girl crying. His instinct asked him to speak to the girl but he stopped himself thinking that she would misunderstand him. He walked away from there and continued his jogging. He was finishing the second round and by the time he reached to the place where the girl was sittting, the girl thought of approaching him and called him in doubt, ‘Excuse me! Can I talk to you for few minutes?’ He agreed and sat beside her. ‘With your permission, May I know what is the reason that you are crying?’ Nihan asked. ‘Why does life turn out to be fruits and flowers to only few? Why is that we don’t find reasons to smile? When are people like me going to be happy?’ the girl asked with snivelled face. Nihan chuckled at her words. The girl got angry and asked him what is so funny about her worries. He apologised to her and replied, ‘You sound like me few years ago.’ The girl made a doubtful face hearing to this. Nihan said, ‘Ok, let me tell you my story.’ and started telling his story to her.
Five years back, I was also just a guy sitting in the corner, finding reasons to smile. I was not the one with huge pocket money or high score or amazing looks or many friends. I was definitely not the ‘cool dude’. I was the one who was bullied for his colour and scolded by the teachers for low marks. I used to put lots of effort to score good grades and to look good as well. I strained myself so much that I forgot there is a life beyond this. No one was willing to speak to me, so ultimately I had no friends. Things I would do in my typical day were, going to school and returning to home with tears on my face. These were the only worries I had until I was diagnosed with Cancer. I crumbled after listening to this. Even though my family was taking care of me, I always had a void in my brain that I need something else. My brain was rushed with many questions that how come I am surrounded by only worries and no smiles. I didn’t find find interest in anything. Neither I wanted to go to the school nor I wanted to stay at home. My pillow was always flushed with tears. I circumscribed myself to my room. All I could think was “Iam dying.” Our family friend suggested my parents to join me into ‘MYTHILA FOUNDATION’, home for many cancer patients. I started feeling more lonely after joining there. I could see someone or the other dying there each day. No one there had the hope of living. We all were just walking dead.
One day, we all were asked to assemble at the meeting hall. We were introduced to a person who was a well known yoga instructor. He asked all of us to perform meditation for peace of mind and taught us few asanas which could help us handling our health issues. He also shared about his family and his work with us. We all bid goodbye to him and returned to our rooms. After then, I started meditating every day. His words were true, I was able to feel relaxed after meditation. I even habituated myself to write a diary. One day, I questioned myself, “What is happiness?” Is happiness about having people around you or having good looks or having good grades or being rich or what? I was thinking about this and walking through the corridors. When I was looking around thinking about this, a man at the foundation looked at me and smiled. I replied him with a smile too. I felt so good about it. That day, when I slept, my mind was calm and I slept peacefully. The next day was happy morning for me. I woke up and walked on to the terrace to meditate. I heard birds chirping which brought smile on my face again. I closed my eyes and could hear my blood flowing. Everything was very soothing. This day I smiled at few people and got their smiles in return. Days continued and each day along with the smile my peace grew. With days passed,my friend. I was able to speak to many people, make jokes and had fun. We all ate together, meditated together, played together and many more things. Then I realised, that no matter how many issues we all have, we all can still find reasons to smile. Yes, I agree that we need money, education, name and fame. But they are not the reasons for happiness. They are our way of life. The reason to happiness is actually within. We all compare ourselves with others lives and stop exploring ourselves.We forget the chords of our dreams. We start chasing and mimicking someone else’s life. We stop knowing what makes us “US”. We let the numbers decide our life. We all live in comparisons and confusions. The real happiness is a treasure we buried inside us. If we fell into any problem, that means the solution lies within us. If we fail, we learn, we know what not to do next time we try it. Even if we are dying, we should accept the fact that our term is limited and that is why it is important to “live in each moment” or we shall always fall short on time. It is important to explore self. It is rather better to spend your time with smiles than to cry over the limited moments. “We all are passing clouds but make sure to rain as much as possible until you stay.” We all are worth of every emotion, and the rest of things are just our creations.
The girl wiped her tears after listening this and thanked Nihan for helping her understand her life. She made a phone call to her father, told him how Nihan supported her and asked him to speak to Nihan. “Thank you, Nihan!” said her father. “It is my pleasure. Will see you some time at your yoga class. Bye!” answered Nihan. Nihan left from there by wishing the girl. The girl was confused that how does Nihan knows that her father runs an yoga class. She left to home and spoke to her father about this. Her father smiled and replied, “I was the yoga instructor that went to their foundation and whomever you have seen wishing him in the City Garden were his friends at the foundation and Nihan has not just helped himself but also taught many people around him to live a happy life until they could survive. And that is why I suggested you to spend some time at City garden too.”