A Passing Day

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Someone was playing a known tune on the Harmonium. A few octants into the tune, the Sitar starts to add to the melody. The quick hits by the drummer on the cymbal start to add a gravelly texture to the tone. A slow tirkita on the tabla and the sarangi being played pizzicato starts to add flair to the piece. The lyrics have already teleported me to a different world as I keep writing code in an IPython notebook. I press Ctrl + Enter and wait. I know this will take some time to produce the output.

I keep my headphones on and start to look around. On my right, I see him draw some charts. He had been drawing them for the last 2-3 days. Does he like to make such reports, I wonder. The base guitarist pulling off a masterpiece. No one often notices how much importance he brings to the band. Like always, he turns to me and says, “Dude, this draw.io is amazing. I am actually enjoying doing this”, answering the question I asked him mentally. Then he goes on to share some research articles which he has read and understands too. (Do you get it? Both? Two in one).

The vocalist starts to make an impact. It is probably what most people listening to this piece will take away. I crane my neck further to see another friend. Why is he dancing? He is always so alive! His Samsung phone vibrates which pulsates the entire desk. It gives me shivers too. Probably just a text from his girlfriend but a Samsung phone often makes you rethink what a phone can do. The dance turns into a small celebration. A celebration of his code running perfectly, as always. How many people reside within this one person, I wonder. Seems like I have gotten to know only a few of them yet.

The pianist now gets a solo! Her dwindling fingers over the black and white making a fantastic melody. I turn my head further to the right to see the next person. The headphone wire which is plugged into my Laptop is already taut but I fail to notice. I see her trying to juggle her attention across three screens. I ponder how she manages this. I try to softly call her but she doesn’t seem to respond. Too low? Is she super busy? A train of questions running through my head. Damn! The darker, thicker strand of what I thought was her hair was, in fact, her earphone wire. I try to turn away before anyone notices my embarrassing act. She has now become a puzzle to me, but I probably know why.

The second vocalist starts to add flavor now. She has a high-pitched voice but a confident voice. My chair now at 120 degrees from the initial position. This time I see someone short trying to look at a screen which is about 20 cm higher than her eye level. Always, the best at whatever she has done, keeping her head high might be something that comes naturally to her. Her blue headphones which almost strangled me once, canceling out the noise of the world from her.

The flutist starts playing now. It’s going to be the end of the song probably. I turn more. My headphones pull me back this time. Finally, they gave up. My head now getting pulled backward creating a strenuous situation. I snap out of it with some wild movements to see him right behind me. Rumor has it that he has hundreds of parallel threads running in his head whenever he hears something. The sink node of only of them is known which always ends in a pun. I try to reason if he is one of the purest person and coders I have met.

I realize that it is time to give some momentum to my chair and turn around completely and check the output of my program. Meanwhile, I think why does this group bond well? Probably, everyone is a different kind of weird.

Damn! I forgot to run the previous cells. YouTube in the other window shows play again.

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Somewhere between Yesterday and Tomorrow

carol

“Hi, Tom. I was expecting to meet you. How are you?”, shouted Christian as he saw Tom approaching him. Tall, lean and dressed smartly in business casuals, Tom walked towards him. He was carrying his office bag and another bag containing Christian’s favorite sweets.

“I am so sorry. It has been so long since we’ve met. I have been working twice as harder than you thought I would. No time for anything”, said Tom raising his hands up in the air and giving them a slight twist. The bag in his hand turning a full 360 degrees and then going in the reverse direction. Christian’s head moving laterally along with the bag.  

“Here. I got these for you”, he said as he handed over the sweets box to Christian, his eyes glowing seeing the box. He gulped down a few of them before asking Tom, “Do you like them too?” The puppy-eyed look Christian gave him automatically made him answer in negative.

“So, how is it all going?”, he asked.

“Not much. Too much homework nowadays. I am not getting enough time to play. People might say that school is easy to get through but probably they never studied in my school”, he cribbed. Tom smiled. He realized that a broken nib of the pencil stuck in a sharpener isn’t the biggest worry in his life anymore. Times had changed.

“Yeah. You know, I feel the same about my office work”, he replied mimicking Christian. It is rightly said that every age has its own problems.

“People in school keep asking me what I wanted to become in the future. I don’t think I have a differentiating factor. Did you become what you wanted to?”, asked the ever-inquisitive Christian.

“I don’t know, dude. Goals, plans, everything changes with time. Remember you once told me that you wished to become a teacher? Don’t give up on it easily. You might regret it later. As of now, I am still chasing myself in my dreams. On some days when I get tired of chasing myself, I remember you”, replied Tom.

“So, how is it working out with Susie?”, he enquired. Christian gave a dejected look. “Not very good”, he replied.

“Don’t worry. You will meet someone great in the future”. Christian gave an asymmetric smile. His heart believing what Tom said but not his mind. “Trust me”, he reassured him. Symmetry visible at a glance now.

“What happened to the newspaper?”, queried Christian.

“It was a hit for a while but I couldn’t keep it going. I still blog, though”, Tom answered.

“What do you write about? I love writing editorials too”, his questions never ended.

“I know”, Tom smiled. “Almost anything. Maybe, I’ll blog about our talk today under the moonlight. I did find some of your articles a few days back. They were good.” Christian gave a wide smile. “I think I should value your opinion more than everyone else’s.”

“I think I should value your opinion more than everyone else’s”. “Yeah, you wouldn’t have called yourself ‘Christian’, otherwise”, laughed Tom. Christian simply rolled his eyes.

It was time for Tom to leave. He got up and picked up his briefcase. His eyes trying to see if any sweets were still left in the box he gave Christian. “Here”, Christian held his hand out. “I knew you liked them.”

“Hey, Tom. Remember the vice principal of the school once told us, never give up on what you set your eyes on. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.”

“Not forgetting this anytime soon. If I do, I’ll come back to meet you. Also, you know, whatever differentiating factor you have, you need to keep upgrading it. If it becomes constant, it might become zero”. Tom laughing at his own pun. Christian gave a surprised look. “Don’t worry. You’ll learn soon”, he took off.

“Tom… Tom.. wake up!”, his mom shaking him with all her strength. Tom woke up with a big wide smile.

“What?”, she asked. “Again dreamt meeting yourself 10 years in the future?”

“This time I went in the past!”

Title Courtesy – Aditi Srivastava ( Who else! ).