Caught in a dichotomy

Claimer: To say that characters in this piece are purely fictitious would be a big lie. Any resemblence to people living or dead is purely purposeful.
There are times when emotions surge with multiple components in them, such that it often becomes difficult to find out their exact nature. “One feels sad when your best friend fails in an exam. But one feels sad even when he tops the exam” says the voice over of Madhavan in 3 Idiots.
One cannot say if the dialogue holds true verbatim, though any such thought is seen as an anathema to the ideals of friendship. Such emotions are difficult to explain. What will go over your mind when something really nice happens to your friend? You will be glad, to be obvious. But what if you both were vying for the same thing? I too wore the same shoes.
We studied together, ate together and shared the same room. We were the ‘best buddies’ around. We both came from middle-class families, had taken loans for our MBA and slogged thoroughly only with the hope that it would all just last till the placement week. We both were sitting for the same interview, looking forward to the same job. We crossed all elimination rounds, gave the interviews and came out with an apprehensive satisfaction. When the results came out, we both held our breaths in unison with a fearful hope. He was in and I was out. My eyes seemed to have moistened as he hugged me with joy, unable to discern if it was his victory or my failure which jerked this stream. But I was suddenly at sea, as we were swarmed by students who came forward to congratulate him. Should I have celebrated his success at this point or tried to take some time for myself to get over my failure? After all, like suitors in a swayamwar, we both awaited the garlands of the same job. Till a moment ago, you wanted the girl to be your wife and a moment later you are asked to… ahem you know what!

Believe me, it was a tough call. You are at the top of this world as it is ‘your’ friend who has cracked it when the whole college ran behind the job like rats in a mad race. It was a dream company with a dream profile, offering a dream package. You prayed for his success whenever you prayed for yours. God finally heard your prayers, though half in measure.
But I was also a part of that rat race and I lost the coveted job even before getting it, which perhaps could have changed my life in a big way. Loans and family all seemed to emerge like some dragon; I wonder whether it arose from the ashes of my defeat or from the honey of his success. I kissed the dream company and it gushed past me like a breeze. But join the celebrations I did, not just because it would have looked odd when a friend’s victory was being celebrated and I were found missing. I really wanted to celebrate his special day for I had waited for it.
But then in life, you reconcile the differences growing within you. The cake was cut and cola flowed out of the bottles as I cheerfully splashed some of it on him and hug him with joy. These hugs could not have been fake. Could they? Was I hugging him from my heart or was I putting on yet another mask so that my false ego was not found out? But a day which was special for him had to be special for me as well.
Thoughts clogged my mind. I came out to take out a moment for a while. It was yet another game on yet another day, a day which simply was not mine. If half the prayers can be answered so soon, then the picture post interval must be all the more interesting. As Shahrukh said in Om Shanti Om, “Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost”.
QED: The movie post-interval was equally, if not more, interesting. The author got a job in week’s time and there was a joint celebration to mark the completion of the answers to the prayers.
This piece is dedicated to the friend mentioned in the write-up

7 thoughts on “Caught in a dichotomy

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  1. I understand what you say.. I too have experienced this feeling many times, whr u are just not sure of which feeling you shud allow to dominate – happiness or sorrow. We definitely feel good about them, but we just fail to understand that why can't we both have the same happiness at the same time. Its human and its natural 🙂

    Like

  2. An absolutely honest and sincere post. Commendable! Great!

    I can relate to it too..In fact, I had imagined such a situation involving Vini & me but, thankfully, it remained just that… “imagination”!

    Like

  3. it was very honest.
    it does happen.
    somtimes u have such mixed emotions.
    u really dont know whether u r actually happy for a person or u r just pretending it.
    but once again good job!!!!!!!!

    Like

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