The One Minute Life

Two sachets of milk powder. One sachet of coffee. One sachet of sugar. Mix it all together and on it, pour hot water heated in an electric kettle lying on the table. Voila! Coffee is made.


Over the years, I have come to live a very comfortable life. From being that girl who would travel in local trains on a free pass issued to girl students, to affording a bus service at a steep rate, to travelling comfortably in a pick up and drop transport, and now, travelling to work and back in company-paid cabs I seem to have come a long way. Also, I’d like to push in a small observation I made in the first class compartment of the local train. (Notice “first class”. It sucks, by the way.) I have come to realise that the travel time in Mumbai is quietly related to the size of our houses. Since we live in small houses and have little personal space, our travel times are longer to allow more time to be with ourselves. Somehow, the universe always makes room for everything. Anyhoo. I could do a similar analysis not just for travel, but for every facet of my lifestyle, except that would be taking my categorization and filtering skills too far. However, a small note on how I have come to eat some really exquisite and expensive food, which I would otherwise never. I was always happy with Fusen gum and Kismi bar. The other day I had the most delicious chocolates which were being carried around in a temperature regulated pouch. The things that happen in this world, I tell you. This gradation has been snail-paced and has been met by some resistance from me. Sometimes I think this was not the dream I had for myself. It surely isn’t.

There’s this boy I know who constantly talks about instant gratification – about how we’re a generation of people wanting to be indulged immediately because we know no other way. How women have a checklist of things men should do and they will defer the next altercation. I haven’t asked him what men want so that they would be instantly satisfied; somehow that never came up during conversation. I wonder why. Although I assume a constant procrastination of commitment would be the answer. Since we’re this alleged generation of must-have-now and I would like to believe we weren’t born this way, I wonder if that’s what we really want or if we’ve become wired this way. Or is all of this mirage of achievement just an illusion.

Without turning this into a post of how I think we lack responsibility and our troubles are not an excess of expectation, I shall move on to why I am writing this in the first place. In the last one week, I have reached the zenith of the comfortable life in my scale of things – there’s a cab waiting, beverages and chips being served when you want, all expenses being taken care of, wi-fi wherever you go, and even the supplication of praises. Some would say that this is all I have ever worked for, so far, but I find it a little unsettling. Not that I am ungrateful, not at all. Nonetheless, when I see big spaces being used as balconies I wonder how many of us really struggle to buy land in this city. When I see so much wonderful food, I think of how many people don’t have access to two square meals. When I see bottles and bottles of packaged water, I think of the people who have pay Rs. 5 for 20 liters of clean water in Rajasthan.

I have realised that I like to build. I keep saying that I hate people. It’s simply because I never have superficial relationships. When I give in, I give my all. And I build on that. I like starting from nothing and watching something grow. That’s also how I imagine my relationship with my life partner to be – I will walk in and build a life around what both of us want. I don’t like walking into anything already made and then conform to it. So, like all of us naively assume everyone is like we are, I believe that as people all of us aim for a better life than the previous. But I don’t understand what it is to arrive. I don’t think that this luxurious life is me arriving – not at all. Maybe, there is no arriving. There is going forth, going back, and creating some meaning. Whatever it might be. I’m not sure. So I will turn all this over in my mind.

Meanwhile, here’s what my Bookhad family thinks I am like. This post just reaffirms their conclusion. (They said, I am the driver in the comic.)

I'm the Driver

There is something horribly unsatisfying about the one minute life; about having everything right within your reach. Just like that one minute coffee. Boy, if you’re reading this, you’re the one who I thought of when I had that coffee. It  did not gratify me.

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