“Okay, let’s find out then. Tell me when you celebrated last time?” She emptied her glass and put it on table.
“You know, when my son was born.” I was fondling with the stirrer.
“I was there and you weren’t jumping up and down. That doesn’t count as celebration”
“I had delivered a baby after enduring 11 long hours of labour. You don’t expect me to jump up and down. We threw a party after getting discharged.”
“And in the party you wore a beautiful dress and a fake smile. My definition of celebration is when you aren’t scared to show how happy you are. You jump, you laugh, you run that’s celebration.”
“Being crazy isn’t celebration.”
“But life drives you crazy every day. So, you didn’t celebrate your son’s birth crazily enough. I think that was a good reason. Anyways, your marriage, you married the man you loved and you weren’t in labour then.”
“I didn’t jump up and down but I was happy. I was also worried about adjusting with his orthodox family.” Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered my happy wedding and today’s bitter divorce.
“After your engineering.. I mean four years of endurance to earn that degree. Must have felt like an achievement.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t get college placement. I was mostly worried about finding a decent job.” I took another sip.
“What about 12th class results?”
“What about them?” I picked up the menu to order some snacks.
“You were the topper of our class. You had to sing at the top of your voice, dance like mad, jump up and down. Don’t tell me you didn’t do any of that.” She snatched away the menu and ordered French fries.
“Come on! Being topper isn’t a big deal if you are not sure you are going to get in some good college. And I wasn’t.” I started to look at the scores on screen.
“89% in class X. I hope you didn’t have to worry about college then?”
“I wasn’t the topper and I was busy finding a coaching that will help me live my IIT dream.”
“So, you were too busy to celebrate or probably too scared”
“I celebrated, okay. I went out for dinner with my family each time.”
“Sophisticated dinners at quite restaurants. I will celebrate like that when I develop arthritis and every bone in my body hurts”
“That’s so typical of you. You were lucky to have an amazing life so you can judge others for not being happy enough.”
“I was a mediocre student who ended up in a graduation college. And now I work eight hours a day, six days a week at a pharmacy to make a living. I don’t see my life to be any more amazing than what was yours.”
“But you were always so happy”
“Because I wasn’t scared of celebration or happiness. Can you picture a kid jumping up and down with her hands clapping for a chocolate? That is true celebration. In the process of outgrowing your dresses sometimes, we also outgrow true happiness.”
I was still looking at the scores. We needed five runs in order to beat England.
“Each time we get a chance to be happy we are busy looking at upcoming problems. We are just too busy to take time out for celebration.”
And there was a six.
“Yay!!” I jumped off my chair. People were looking at me. This was just a repeat telecast of some previous match, “It’s not the match. I just got divorced and I am happy that it’s over”
“You don’t need to clarify. I feel like I made an impression on you today.” She smiled.
Yes, I had been happy after a long long time.