*This blog post will have several more edits. Plausible read when extremely sleep deprived or a prominent resident of Stalker-pur.
Sitting in my room, trying to swoop the cowlick back in order unwittingly, I stared at my computer screen.
The keyboard had an inch of dust coating settled deep on the keys. With every keystroke, my calloused fingertips picked up the dust particles, molecule by molecule, and deposited on my hair as I relentlessly tried to flick that stubborn cowlick again.
I looked around my room, momentarily beamed at my school accolades showcased on a glassless window shelf, and almost plucked that cowlick while trying to push back nostalgia the same memory lane it had come through. I opened up Word and typed –
IT’S BEEN A YEAR SINCE YOU LAST WROTE FOR YOURSELF.
That wasn’t right. I swooped up a couple thousand molecules more and edited that statement –
It’s been a year since you’ve turned yourself over to the machines.
I didn’t need uppercase. It was getting too mainstream. People furiously trying to make a point on WhatsApp while fighting in a series of UPPERCASE sentences. Lowercases were just fine. More believable and sturdy.
I realized I needed a prompt to write. And that’s exactly how I remembered about the note I saved that day –
Too tired to dwell on what was the context behind that note. Come back here tomorrow if you feel like.
When I opened the note, it was like a barrage of thoughts broke loose taking me a year and a half back.
If I say that it never occurred to me how the ROUTINE was going to be, I would be lying. I knew exactly how it was going to be.
Hell, during college days, when I was back home from vacation, I used to observe people – cheerful, gloomy drowsy, angry, contemplating, shouting, welcoming the new day in all kinds of energy they could muster. What joined them to the hip was this hollow sense of belonging which I could see in their every move – right from the contagious yawn to side-steppers muttering Sorry furtively under their breath. When a person started talking, the one behind him became an eavesdropper, and the rest began the stare-till-you-care game. And this pattern grew steadily till its collective effect made the Metro announcers’ voice stand out, and became the background itself. Every person’s action had an instant reaction. It was like they were a part of a big family where non-routine people could only be guests.
I envied them at that time. For being so into-the-routine. For being ignorant enough to lose conscious awareness and dive deep into a world routine started growing on you.
From the lens of a carefree college going individual, I used to wonder if they willingly sold themselves to the routine or were bought by it.
Just like a sugar crystal dissolves into a steaming cup of tea by constant stirring, did each one of them also join the routine march to become a part of something bigger, something more significant, just because it was sweeter (and safer)?
These questions used to baffle me throughout the journey.
So I used to tell myself something to encourage the kid in me and discourage the adult.
If I ever did become a part of this routine family, I wanted a chance to quote my price.
I broke out of my reverie with my hands still gathering dust and words pouring out like rain.
I think I will be better able to tell you the rest of the tale tomorrow.