Today the highway outside our windows is clear. I still don’t want to go out anywhere, and don’t need to, but I just breathe a little easier.

First it was the rains. And potholes. Of course, the potholes are there for a reason. They are there to show you how much you really love your friends, your work, your city. They are there to test you, how much effort are you going to make to keep up with your relationships, your hobbies, a life outside of home and work, how passionate are you about life, about living every moment, even if those moments are mostly made up of being jolted out of your body? They are also there to sneakily tell you that no matter how young you feel, you are not.

Then there were the sales. Of course, the sales are there for a reason. They are there to show you that we are a soon-to-be-developed country, are the malls not proof enough of that? For those of us who are still caught in time warps, nostalgic about a world that was less consumerist, the queues outside the mall are reassuring. They remind us of long-forgotten ration queues, electricity bill queues, gas queues, phone queues. The mall queues extend much, much further, kilometers. Because of course, a lot of people go to malls in cars. And those who sanctioned the malls, did not think of the sales, and the cars, and the security checks, which could clog up an entire signal, and many more.

Then there are the festivals. India is a land of festivals. Oh well! Of course, they are there for a reason. They are there to tell us that we are a fun loving race, that we like singing and dancing, specially at loud volumes, specially to songs with sexual connotations, even if we don’t acknowledge the presence of sex otherwise in our daily lives.

And then, flyovers cave in. Even if they have taken 5 years to build, they can cave in 3, or maybe less. A pathetically small team of workers works for days, trying to patch up the flyover. A pathetically small team of traffic policemen re-direct the traffic around it for days. A 10-minute journey transcends into 1 hour. A 30-minute journey into 3 hours. Of course, all of this happens for a reason. It teaches you that all life is transient, time is relative, everything is an illusion.

You can react like Teja with smoldering, sullen anger or explosions of cuss-words. Or like me, by dozing off, because I can, or getting breathless, because I do. Or meditating. Or staying at home, if you have a choice. Or ranting on FB. Or staying at home. Or dreaming of being somewhere else, where there are other things to watch besides highways. Mountains, perhaps, or the sea, trees maybe or birds, or even just a lawn and some flowers. Or staying at home.

But it’s all there for a reason. Your being here. In the end, perhaps you will finally learn how insignificant your passions, your likes, dislikes, your friends, your work, your lives are in relation to the universe. Yes, you lose.

But even so, today, when the highway is clear, still clear after hours of keeping a watch, I just breathe a little easier.

broken red umbrella