It’s odd how people waiting for you stand out far less clearly than people you are waiting for. — Jean Giraudoux
Have you ever waited for someone or something really hard? Waited until either you succeeded or else completely failed, lost, and the waiting brought lifelong tears in your eyes? We all wait consciously or unconsciously, to hear from people who matter or mattered to us, we wait to achieve success in our careers or goals, we wait for a particular TV soap/film, we wait for an article/paper to be published, we wait for a weekend edition, we wait for a loved one to acknowledge our presence, we wait for our bosses in the office, we wait for appreciation, we wait for the seasons/time to change, we wait for exam results, we wait for jobs, in fact we wait for a baby to arrive in 9 months …. If you look around life is a jig-saw puzzle of waiting, achieving, and waiting to achieve …. 🙂
You might ask, why is Anne creating boredom, while we were ‘waiting’ for her weekend post. Precisely, the point is there are a lot of subtle aspects related to everyday lives which go unnoticed. While the great and the grandiose find a place in our conversations, the little things of life slip out like grains of sand.
Let us come to practicalities rather than abstractions.
Recently, one Saturday evening I was getting hell bored sitting in my apartment balcony, sipping tea, watching people going out with their families/ friends to perhaps the nearest market, malls, theater, or meeting some relatives. My aloneness and musings didn’t help and the Gmail and Facebook online buttons also started getting me far more irritated, because I didn’t want to chat with anyone from my side. I was “waiting” that someone might just drop in to say a ‘hi, how are you?’.
When no amount of self-musings helped, I got ready, decided to treat myself in a good restaurant in and around this place, get some Ice-creams while coming back home, curl into bed and watch a movie on my laptop with the bowl of Ice-cream. Found a restaurant, quite close by to the place where i am living in now. As I sat with the menu card and was mumbling some order to the waiter, caught a glimpse of a very young girl sitting in the far corner of the restaurant. She must be around 19 or 20 years. From her dressing up it appeared to me that she was dressed-up for some special occasion — perhaps a birthday, perhaps an anniversary, perhaps a date….
She was particularly striking, large eyes kohled beautifully, a dab of lipstick, and eye shadow, an elegant pink salwar kameez with a tiny bindi, and a very pretty demeanor. She stood out in the entire restaurant, where others had just come with their families to chill-out, or people like me who were there by accident rather than by design. This restaurant has a special thing — whether you are a couple or a family or a lonely hearts club member, the first thing they do is get a small vase with one fresh pink/red rose bud and keep it right in front of you 🙂 . I found the rose on my table quiet ironical :). However, as I observed the girl on the other table, the rose seemed perfect for her — they were made for each other. I could make out from her impatience that she was “waiting” for someone — perhaps a friend, a family member, boyfriend, girl friend…. She kept on playing with the paper tissue, keeping the waiters off, mumbling them to come later, looking out of the glass windows again and again. 10 minutes passed, 15 minutes passed…. I had placed my order by now — noodles and a glass of juice. Couldn’t help myself from observing her actions. She got fidgety — then called the waiter and ordered something for two people. The waiters who were watching her, looked mockingly and were smiling as they took orders from her. She kept on trying someone’s phone from her cell-phone, apparently the phone was busy or it was switched-off I can’t say.
My order was placed in front of me, and thankfully since I had no one to wait for at that point of time, started to enjoy the food. Nearly, 10 minutes later I observed that the girl had tears in her eyes. She was dabbing her eyes with her kerchief. After a while, the waiters couldn’t wait anymore and her order was brought to the table. There was a lot of food, rice, dal, paneer, raiyata. The girl was really worried now — she kept on trying some number but no response. She looked completely flushed, and almost on the verge of tears. Felt really terrible for her. After a few minutes, I saw her paying the bills and walking out of the restaurant. The food remained untouched, everyone around were observing as was I. She walked out in a hurry, with her head bowed, tears streaming down her cheeks. People had enough materials to gossip about after she left the restaurant.
Hmmm… as I walked back home, I kept thinking for a while not just about her but about the person for whom she was waiting. What must have happened that he (I assume from her ways that it was a ‘he’) did not turn up? How could someone be so heartless as not to call up and ask her not to wait…. Anyway, for an individual that one wait is so long that it can form an impression of a life time.
When I think of my own waitings, it seems I have entire basket full. While studying, i had always dreamt of having a beautiful house with a balcony and a nice easy chair where I can sit and look out at the world. That wait is over — but there are so many more things worth waiting for.
International news these days is also all about waiting. I try to keep international news away from this blog because of deliberate reasons. However, couldn’t resist this one — United States has been waiting for years to grab Osama, until suddenly the Abbotabad operation happened and the wait abruptly ended. Waiting to grab an international terror suspect is alright, but the question is how far glorifying violence is appropriate? I was repeatedly getting pictures of a battered, blood-covered dead man on my Facebook page — apparently a spam. However, the picture of it was itself so gory that couldn’t get it rid of my mind’s eye. What kind of world are we forming? Violence engenders violence — one death leads to a series of avenging, a crazy puzzle of revenges and counter-revenges. Life is about living and loving, not about mayhem. When we take a pride in violence, the same violence ‘waits’ to return back to us in some or the other form.
If you have to wait, wait for something positive, something constructive that would make the world a better place to live. There are so many things which are really worth living and waiting for — whether it is to serve the community, or family, or friends, or the world, or even yourself. Let us try to make that wait worthwhile, rather than spoil it with anger and negativity.
At the moment I can’t wait to get out of my office and breathe the air outside….