Stargazing5 mins 379 5 mins 379
I thought I almost had it… my life figured out. It was middle of February when I was, in my head ticking off all the standards of having a ‘’good life’’. During my usual ‘perfect’ routine that primarily consisted of traveling back and forth from the comforts of my home to the comforts of my office, I had watched and learned a lot. Scoring a seat in AC bus, smooth WiFi, a fast- paced working life, smiling boss, and getting home daily by 8 with food ready on my table- these were my goals, and I had hit the bull's eye.
That wasn’t all that was there. I finally managed to prioritize my work and sync it with a three years old relationship. I thought my life is set. So on the way back home in the bus, I made eye contact with none, and looked out at a distant spot in the sky, visualizing my scattered life years ago and the orderly life I managed to create.
But out of all the people, an old man would somehow end up making eye contact with me. I liked the way his eyes glistened. Perhaps he visualized his past and daily life during his youth.
But as the way of nature is, every one of those tick box faded away with a series of drastic events.
It was March 1st, nine days after my wonderful father made his transition. There was for some reason, unrest at my workplace too, and my three years old partner was suddenly too caught up with his life to be a listener.
So there I was, unable to understand why my ground had been violently shaken. My once- organized life was a scattered mess, where I was mostly struggling to keep at least one of my grounds safe from going under the sea. After all, what is life without an order? What is right if nothing is going the way it should- mold into human-made standards to qualify as a good enough life?
Every day, I tiptoed on the same roads where I once walked with absolute certainty. Now I was convinced life is uncertain. Every day, on the way back home, I would stare point blank at a distant point in the sky to escape what was going on down below in the mortal world. Every day, I would notice the old man looking at me, the same shine in his eye would tell me that he can’t possibly spot a difference in me.
I wondered if he could feel I am no longer the same confident person. To be on the safe side, I would go back to a far less intimidating dark sky, where there was not a single star reading my eyes I could not see a similar shine in any eyes that looked into mine every single day. I was convinced we are isolated in the world below.
By late June, uncertainties of life taught me to walk again. I got on my two feet only to put my white flags up. Friends were strangers, relationships turned sour, masks fell off, and I decided to give up my chair to go where the uncertainties of life want to take me. Every day, on the way back home, the sky felt darker and darker.
One night, I was on my way back home. Unlike every other day, the old man wasn’t there. Strange enough, everyone could feel his absence. I looked around, and there were many odd eye contacts, there were faces I had never noticed, stories painted on everyone’s visage. There was a strange gloom in my heart; hopelessly I looked back at the dark sky. I looked, but I was not looking.
The following day I was again in the same state. Days went past, and I did not see the old man. His absence could be silently felt by everyone around. That day on the way back, there was a power outage in my lane. Exhausted, I looked around and up. And oddly enough, I saw something that was never visible to me before. In my friendly dark sky, I saw a glistening star.
Or was it looking at me?
It was a familiar shine. The next day I was searching for the glistening in the sky again. And it was there. Waves of realization hit my mind one after the other. The more I gazed at the glistening star, the more stars revealed themselves around it. I realized I was looking, but I was not looking. Now I was. And the moment I accepted this, the star was throbbing big in my sight. It came closer and closer and soon, the city lights underneath the sky faded away.
One snap second, and I looked at the place he would sit. I looked at everyone, could they see what I had just seen? Would they believe in what I had just seen? Would they understand if I said we are scattered mess in the sky waiting to be seen? I gazed and gazed at the stars below. I made eyes contact, and I wondered if they can see what I see every day? Many would look at me and ponder and then look back to their familiar dark spot in the sky.
Out of all the stars below, one day I saw a woman sitting on the same spot where the old man would sit. Her graying hair combed back in order, her bag tightly gripped in her hands, exhausted eyes with crushed hopes, starting point blank at something outside. And then she looked at me, and I saw my past in her. I saw she wondered if she was felt when she was seen.
That night, I stargazed for hours. As stars kept coming forth, one by one, I realized I had my life figured out again. Life is meant to be scattered. Without breaking, we cannot see the light that hides behind dark events. We are stars on earth, and the moment we try to force ourselves to structures, we are going against our universal nature, the moment we cage us up, we will burst forth like a comet and that for someone somewhere will be a wake-up call.