It’s been there for over a week now. Everyday it looks on innocently while we glare at our screens and jab at our keys with an unsought vengeance. While we deal with smoothing out the grave, tricky, frustrating, sad, tiresome knots of life or simply lose ourselves in functioning, it’s a mute spectator on the other side of the glass wall. Sometimes we give ourselves a moment to let our eyes wander wistfully towards it before shrugging it off.
After all, it’s not exactly as big or as brightly colorful as our dreams. It’s dusty and drab with dull pinks, whites, yellows and blues towering over a disinterested street. At night, when we pack our mundane grey lives into our bags and carry them back home on slumped shoulders, it faintly glows with empathy. We sit in our respective rides back home and the squeals of the children on it fade out of earshot.
I look outside my boring glass castle and want something to sweep me off my feet. But, I’d rather it was a classic carousel merrily twinkling right out of my fantasies; or a larger than life Ferris wheel dazzling roguishly, armed with the secret power to make me scream in nervousness and exhilaration. This is a small fair come to nudge the grimy street of Behram Baug with its garish charms. The sleepy, stunted giant wheel has tagged along to yawn and look on as we scurry to and fro from rat race to our rat holes.
But today, I marched towards it, determined to give it (or myself?) a chance. As soon as I entered the fair, its garish charms made an excited kid’s squeal escape my lips. The kind lady in the booth handed me and my friend fifteen rounds for a mere thirty rupees. Armed with our ticket, we walked towards it and I silently dared it to fascinate me. Entering our white box and feeling it rock a little, I heard an unexpectedly scared ‘Mummy!’ from my own mouth.
I really don’t know every bit of the next fifteen rounds. All I remember now is winds, one steady pace of going – not too fast, not too slow, some 90’s Bollywood track playing in the background and that big dazed grin stretching my face and often dissolving into laughter and high-pitched exclamations! For those fifteen rounds, I swear the hands of the time wheel slowed down their tick-tock to make way for heart beats on the giant wheel. The tiny kids in the neighboring box waved out to me, giggled with me and asked me if I was scared. Even my stone cold glass prison sparkled in the distance and winked at me! That ride, with all its perfect imperfections, needed to be in a snowglobe. Small Giant moments on the small Giant wheel!
And that is how I see you, world. I look outside my window and wistfully stare at the magical dreams you’ve taught me to see. I wait to live for my own self all the tales of you that I know to be true. And I also frown, not satisfied with the possibilities that you dangle outside my bubble. But you? You’re my hero and my one big love, world! And I know that every time I lose myself in the drabness of existence and functioning, you will gently remind my heart to step out, cross the road and give your gifts a chance. Until the time that I do sprout wings and fly into your arms, you will keep finding small Giant ways to sweep me off my feet, like you did today and make my face stretch into that goofy smile. Until then, my dear world..