So…Diwali came and went and all I got was one lousy holiday. Life, it seems, is running faster than I can fathom. A day after Diwali, I got an invitation to view a Picasa album of a friend who is in US of A. She was there with me in Chennai from the last two and a half years and was lured by Uncle Sam at almost the same time when I was being sucked into the whirlpool of Delhi. In the Album, she was performing the evening Diwali Puja with her new friends. Many of my friends who were there in Chennai with me are in USA right now and I am used to watch such Picasa slideshows in which they are standing and laughing with strangers in strange lands, but this Diwali slideshow left me with a slight tinge of envy. 

No, I am not unhappy because I am still waiting for an overseas assignment which seems to be too difficult to grab and which my friends got served on a golden platter AND which, God might just throw at me after sucking and chewing out every ounce of hope from my heart. No, I am not unhappy because I wish to see the world through my own eyes rather than through some bloody Discovery channel AND I know that God might just grant this wish after trampling it under his feet. Yes, I get everything in life….when I don’t want it anymore…when I am done lusting after it. 

Anyways, the point is that, I felt slightly envious(and nostalgic) because I went into flashback when we were all together and had such good time back in Chennai. And now I see them having a good time with strangers. Once I was there in all those slideshows but now I am not there in any of them. Sometimes I feel like a part of those scenes in the movies where the hero is dancing with his servant and thinking about his lady love AND then Voila!! The servant is replaced by the love of hero’s life. Its as if, I am watching a slideshow of the pictures of the great time we had together and then suddenly I start disappearing from the pictures one by one till am not there in any of them. Hoodwinked by God and replaced by strangers. 

But, then come to think of it, isn’t this the story of our life? Just take out all your photographs of past 10 years and have a look at them. You will realise that in all of them, you are standing at one place while the people around you keep on changing. You are the center of your Universe. You are not moving. Its the Earth that is moving around you, bringing new faces to stand besides you. You are hoodwinked out of a slideshow so that you become a part of another one, but the point is that, you are ALWAYS a part of one of them. 

So, yes, I was envious, but then I smiled. Life always come up with its own set of surprises. It never stop amusing you. The way it unfolds is what makes it beautiful. Yes, you can’t get back what just passed you by and you can’t fight the absence of a person or an unfulfilled dream but then you always have those slideshows…the portals to your past and your past’s present.

And GOD, well, I think he is just a child spoilt silly by all of us. 🙂

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

28 Comments

  1. Arpit October 30, 2008 at 12:41 am - Reply

    okay so i am the first one to comment 😀
    thats a really positive outlook towards life 🙂
    we all want to see that picture perfect but actually nothing is perfect in life……and honestly speaking i enjoy imperfection of life 🙂
    and god is really a child spoilt by all of us ….but it is this child who always brings a smile on all our faces no matter we curse him or love him he is always there with us , in our hearts , on our soul 🙂

  2. Ruhi October 30, 2008 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Oh god I know what you mean 🙂 I’ve been in the same spot in reverse! All my friends are still back in India and they often meet each other and keep in touch. I’m the odd one out. I moved out of Calcutta before anyone else did. I moved out of India before anyone else did. All that are left are old memories. 🙂 In fact, my social circle changes so fast…almost every year, I find myself celebrating the same festival with a different set of friends. How sad is that?

  3. Atipriya October 30, 2008 at 5:20 am - Reply

    🙂 You always cribbed about being in chennai and wanted to move to delhi.. now that you’ve got what you desired you are missing chennai…. hahahahahha 🙂

  4. Atipriya October 30, 2008 at 5:22 am - Reply

    or rather must say now you’ve understood that chennai was not that bad… all that matters is company, if you have good company no place is bad and if you dont then even heaven won’t be god…. leaving aside the fact that you always want to spend some time with yourself only 🙂

  5. Ruchika October 30, 2008 at 8:56 am - Reply

    We too feel the same when you send us the slideshows of your outings at Delhi, sometimes with team members and sometimes with old friends… But I fully agree with Atipriya.. thats what you wanted.. but don’t worry.. you will go to a better place – London… and then we will again see some more slideshows with Amit in center surrounded by strangers (for us :))….

  6. abha October 30, 2008 at 10:00 am - Reply

    how true…come to think of it……………..n its the same for you me n i believe all…………………thats what life is!!!!

  7. lallopallo October 30, 2008 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    ” Yes, I get everything in life….when I don’t want it anymore…when I am done lusting after it. ”
    That’s the story of life..you never get things and people when you want them the most. Once you stop chasing, they turn back…but by then you have started chasing other things. So, the moral of the story is dont go after things that badly as if your whole happiness depends upon getting those things or people.

    As for friends changing frequently, you are still in that stage of life where you are gonna move a lot professionally and even perhaps change personally..so, you are bound to be with different people after every year or two..enjoy that freedom of discovering new friends rather than feel bad about friends who are now in different cities/countries…besides, in this age of facebooks and cheap communication, you can always stay in perfect touch with people you really care even after they have moved out to different cities or even countries..
    Once you are more settled professionally and understand yourself more, you will have more constant set of friends..until then explore and take it easy. 🙂

  8. Akshaya Shivkumar October 30, 2008 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, spirited post..
    Enjoying your writing, keep it going! 🙂
    Cheers
    Akshaya
    http://opalodyssey.wordpress.com

  9. Shefaly October 30, 2008 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    @ Amit

    Coming from a young person, this is a remarkably cheerful post! 🙂

    I agree with Dev on many things here.

    Life is not static and accepting ‘change as the only constant’, as cheesy corporate lines remind us and rightly so, is part of living life.

    Also you seem to under-estimate how you change over time and therefore may be a ‘different person’ even as your name and appearance resemble someone called Amit that your Grade 2 friends used to know.

    My set of friends is eclectic. They are all so different from one another that I can never put them together in one room except in homogenous groups such as IIMA friends or College friends or Cambridge friends or lawyer friends. In those groups, the monotony of the conversation is such that I want to run away from my own home where I may be hosting them. I prefer the varied personalities and their differences in life experiences, interests etc. to the monotony and the regression to the time when we used to be teens etc.

    Broadly at some point, we confuse ‘acquaintances’ with ‘friends’. My friends are the ones I have kept in touch with over emails and phone and chat over the years, across continents and countries. That is a much smaller set anyway.

    Stability is an illusion but it is not surprising that many expect and hope to achieve it. It is when routine sets in that you realise that it is the same as stagnating.

    To be sustainable happiness has to come from within a person and not rely on external factors such as US projects or a steady set of friends.

    Cheer up and enjoy your new friends. And as far as seeing the world is concerned, I believe it is much cheaper to travel from India to the ROW than the other way round. I see many times more Indian tourists in London and in the continent than I have ever seen in the last 12 or so years. So go travelling. Who is to stop you?

  10. shivya October 30, 2008 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    You won’t believe this. I read this line, “Hoodwinked by God and replaced by strangers.” and thought to myself, “Story of our lives”, and there, that was your next line! Well well, nostalgia ends up becoming a part of us and we wonder if we’re getting sadder by the day. hopefully, we’re not. im rambling now. my point is, nice post! And happy belated diwali 🙂

  11. Vijaya Bharat October 30, 2008 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Nice way of thinking but u preferred to go to Delhi rather than Onsite when u got the chance. Onsite is not only US of A and I came to know this when I experienced personally 🙂

  12. Dinesh Babu October 30, 2008 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Nice thoughts. Come to think of it, the slideshow does have people changing with you in the photograph. It is Time. Time does everything and I am sure your abroad opportunity will also come as time goes by. A lot of times a thing happens only in the unexpected moments. So live life as it comes.

  13. Amit October 30, 2008 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    @Arpit : I know, I really don’t have any right to crib! 🙂 There is nothing “wrong” in my life right now but sometimes you just miss certain people. And nothing helps. Not even phones, web cams or emails.

    @Ruhi : Even I was in such a situation when I came to Chennai. All my friends back in Delhi used to meet up and I was the only one left out. There have been so many groups that I can easily place all of them in seperate boxes and they are all like apples and oranges.
    Yes, same festivals with different people. Every new year I am with a set of new people. Lets see whom I get this year. 🙂

    @Atipriya : I am not missing Chennai. I am missing all of you!!!! Idiots! 😛 And you know that I was very much interested to go to U.S. but then that was not meant to be. 🙁

    @Ruchika : Atleast you guys still meet there. And who is here with me? Yeah! London! Lets see when that happens!

    @Abha : Yes, thats life. 🙂

    @Lallopallo : We keep running and when we finally stop, the thing lands in our lap. So I have decided to stop running. 🙂 Lets see now what happens. 🙂
    And I am glad that I have met so many different set of people. I was afraid that once my job starts, I won’t be having any circle in office. But then again, I have been very fortunate and I have a set of very constant friends. And, deep in heart, I know that I’ll get what I am craving for. And, you know, I have waited so long for so many things that I am a very patient person now.

    @Akshaya : Thanks and Welcome. 🙂

    @Shefaly : Thanks. 🙂 And you are absolutely right. I have always felt that. And sometimes I smile at the fact that how I myself am a different person with different group of friends. And for me too, my friends are such a different group of people that I hardly share my experiences of one group with another. They don’t even know each other’s names.
    I used to think that atleast once in my life, I’ll bring all the important people together in a big party at my home. But then I realized what I have to go through if that happens. 😉
    And my job is supposed to make me travel. So, I’ll wait for a few more years before I take the rein in my hand. 🙂

    @Shivya : I have very short lived sadness. Its just that I miss certain people at times…specially when I see all the fools having fun together. 🙁

    @Vijaya Bharat : I don’t remember preferring Delhi over onsite. And if you are talking about Colombia, then all those guys already there scared me off. And, yes, onsite is just not USA and believe me, if I go, I won’t be going there either. 🙂

    @Dinesh : Yes, TIME. The Maze. An unexpected turn each second!!

  14. Ruhi October 31, 2008 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Amit- That pic actually made me think that this post is about some movie. 😛 Silly you!

  15. Nikhil October 31, 2008 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Hehe! Don’t worry dude… Just take a month off and go see the world… Vodka in moscow, wine in Rome, scotch in Scotland and beer in Ireland. And if you have some time left, go try the Indian Kingfisher beer in New York! 😀
    Happy Diwali! 😀

  16. Chirag October 31, 2008 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    @”I felt slightly envious”: LOL

  17. Sakhi October 31, 2008 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    “You will realise that in all of them, you are standing at one place while the people around you keep on changing.”

    Simply loved this sentence!! Its very true… somehow, life simply pass us by (though you didnt mean to say when you wrote this one, hai na!!) 🙂

    chill buddy!! 🙂 hope you had a great Diwali!

  18. Rajneesh Goyal October 31, 2008 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    NO COMMENTS>>>>> BUT I CAN SMELL SOME BAD RUBBER BURNING ……. hehehe

  19. Vijaya Bharat October 31, 2008 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    As far as I know u, u r not a fearful person. As u replied to Atipriya, u might be having to go to US by that time. Any way let us hope that u get very good country to go to onsite and ASAP 🙂

  20. Nova October 31, 2008 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Aaaaah!!! Camera only manages to capture the outside pretentious (?) laughter!!! I wish it could capture ones heart too!! 🙂

  21. Amit October 31, 2008 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    @Ruhi : That thought did crossed my mind. But then, thou shalt read when you must read. 😉

    @Nikhil : Nice dream. Wake up!!! Happy Diwali to you too!!

    @Chirag : Ok. So, it was not slight…it was slighty more than that. 🙁

    @Sakhi : Shukriya! 🙂 Yeah! Diwali was great!

    @Rajneesh : Life goes in circles, so stop heheing!

    @Vijaya Bharat : Yes, hope so. Amen!

    @Nova : Yes. Exactly! I know we all miss each other and given a chance we all would spend some time together rather than the new people. 🙂 That thought is all that matters.

  22. Reema November 1, 2008 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    “If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.”
    – Samuel Johnson

    So its ok being moved from one slideshow to another with different set of people. Rest I agree with Dev’s words.

    I have also experienced this several times that we do get what we want but often too late. Its like our application gets lost in the over flowing “in tray” of God and by the time He gets to fulfilling it, we don’t need the thing anymore.

  23. aravind November 2, 2008 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    nothin to worry yar…………………………..still there is a lot of time to see the world yar…………….even i’m waiting for my chance…………

  24. Nita November 2, 2008 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Nice post Amit. Philosophical thoughts that each one of us feel and you have articulated well!
    About change, well I too feel this strongly because I am an emotional person and I miss my old friends. However, I keep making new ones, although as one grows older one finds that it is not easy. Or rather it depends on where one is and what one is doing. The people around change according to that and actually I confess I am used to it as I changed so many schools, 13 to be precise! 🙂 I am used to the change but the main thing is to try and keep in touch. Ofcourse we all change, but even then one can find something with old friends…that is a feeling that can never be replaced.
    And cheer up, but gosh, one day holiday for Diwali!!

  25. Smita November 3, 2008 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Hmmmm….

    You reminded me of my last diwali. It was my 1st after marriage and first without family. Post diwali when my bro shared the snaps of celebration I felt so sad….like every time there was everyone in it but I was missing….

    But that’s life is all about moving on….

    Loved the 2nd last para of the post…so true….

  26. Manoj November 4, 2008 at 11:08 am - Reply

    So well said! :d Itz like you remain fixed..and all others around you get replaced. May you get a plum onsite assignment soooooooon!! 😀

  27. Amit November 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    @Reema : Well Said!! Well Said!!! 🙂 I wonder, why it is always so late??? And we also have this habit of thinking that the other people have such perfect lives, Which they have!! See, again I am going in the wrong direction!! 🙂

    @Aravind : Yeah! Hope we get it soon!! 🙂

    @Nita : Thanks Nita! 🙂 13 Schools?? Wow!! I just had 3! 🙂 Making new friends is not easy because we are too busy now a days. Everyone is busy!! Its hard to retain what you already have!
    And yes, one day! Thankfully my company was not like some others which called the employees on Satrudays to compensate for the holiday!

    @Smita : Yes! That is exactly the feeling I am talking about! Feels bad na? 🙂

    @Manoj : Thanks. 🙂 yeah. ASAP!!! 🙂

  28. Smita November 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Bad is a small word 🙁

    I felt lost…

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