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We All Live in Submarines: The Saga of our Monotonous Lives

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By Kirti Punia:

We all live in submarines.

After handling nerve straining situations at work and managing to convince our partner that we had to cancel the lunch, a good night’s sleep is bliss on a scorching day.

Sometimes, when the day has not been a cakewalk, we choose to hit the cot straight away. I meant to go in the arms of the heavenly saatva mattress which is acclaimed to be the most comfortable of the lot and not to forget, the remedy to some health problems whose existence was alien to you. Clarifications like this are essential. When the unit of time has come down to microseconds, it is silly of anyone to give obscure statements. Moreover, it can be classified as a crime in urban dictionary to harm one’s social status. After all it tops almost everyone’s list of priorities.

We hug our fragrant jelly like pillows and try to achieve tranquillity for the next couple of hours. The smile on our face is an appreciation of our right decision of purchase. In the cosiness of our blankets, we start typing a text to our parents stating how sorry we are for not being able to make a call in the last 2 days and that we love them. We sleep off before our fingers could touch the send button. The consolation is that it has been happening for quite some time now and our parents have adapted well to it. The tiring day is to be blamed. Believe me, no one likes blame games but this is just a fact. If anyone is feeling bad for the unsent text, please don’t do. It is completely safe in the company of its uncountable counterparts anyway. Bless smart phones!

We cannot find a moment to convey what we must, to tell how we feel. When we are in the pool of lies the whole day, cherishing a droplet of truth slowly making its way to the heart is not as easy as it sounds. Showering words of praise on a colleague’s handbag and on boss’s wife’s awful attire was not the theme of the ‘ethics and values’ lecture we all attended in our schools but we all remember more of the marketing elective course we chose and go with the salesman strategy- everything suits you madam till the time we are achieving out sales targets.

Don’t tell me you do not have silent characters trying to scream out to someone how much they mean to you (please exclude the social compulsions for once) or how hurt you were some days back (I am not oblivious to the fact that our emotional quotient is inversely proportional to the time of the day we are “busy” but I like to believe it still exists). I am sorry for a conflicting thought but you are neither the busiest person alive nor are you a robot. Have not you ever wanted to tell someone how much you long for the good old times to be back? Yes you have. You just never got the courage to destroy ‘I am progeny of super cool heartless stud’ image because that is the attitude which is ‘in’ today. Of course you can manage everything with a few drinks, a new boyfriend/girlfriend, a little bit of shopping and who can doubt your abilities to make new friends.

This is the case with me and with many of us. We keep wandering from the main subject. Even sleep fails to provide the much needed serenity sometimes. Anyway, the next day starts with cursing the alarms though we look up to the discovery of snooze button.

We wish to go back to bed or to sip a coffee slowly, listen to our favourite music, not to put on makeup and those fancy pants and just enjoy the pyjamas, not to go to those boring meetings and meet the perfect people. Thinking all this with toothbrush in one hand and mobile phone in other we make the full day plan. While pressing the save button and moving towards kitchen for making breakfast, we regret the decision of moving out of parents’ house for a second. The moment of enlightenment is here. We call up home finally. The conversation with family does not last long in the mornings. There are more important deeds to be done than listening to the importance of healthy diet and hard work.

First thing that needs to be fixed is the boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s mood. Compensation for the cancelled lunch can dig a hole in our pockets. Finding a feasible free time and booking a table for 2 in a restaurant with a romantic setup needs a lot of effort. The ambience has to be perfect. Who knows what the day has in store for us and whether we will be in a mood of sweet nothings by the end of the day or not. Service sector makes life a lot easier. Five precious minutes in the morning are wasted in rectifying yesterday’s mistake. My apologies again- we are too perfect to make mistakes. We have mastered the art of getting ready for the long day in few minutes. At least something does not need an effort.

On our way to work, we succeed to make a practicable plan and the bookings are done with a finger’s touch. Well the day has started well! We keep our fingers crossed for the presentation to go as easily as this went and seniors to be as supportive and understanding as well.

The day goes the same- meeting up few friendly colleagues, cracking up a joke or two, smiling only as a convention of good manners, greeting the most disrespected seniors with utter respect, discussing today’s headlines at lunch in the cafeteria. Most of us don’t really care what Israel or Japan is facing but social conventions tell us to behave extremely concerned and sorry. And if the newspaper fails to provide interesting stories, the evergreen favourites like corruption, politics and of course cricket can keep the lunch time discussions alive.

Some days like today treat us very well. The day at work did not drive us crazy and we have got enough time to get ready for the date tonight as well. We all love Fridays!

On reaching the apartment, we turn on the music, drop all the accessories and get in the shower. The thought of the lovely evening ahead elates us. We get dressed in the best we have but we are never contented. The dress we saw last week or the shirt we picked up and left at the rack in order to take that urgent call comes in front of our eyes again now. Lesson learnt.

We spray up, admire ourselves in the mirror, give the finishing touch, and feel the wallet’s warmth – all set. A few pictures of today will definitely be a matter of envy to our single friends. How we love social sites! As we are ready to leave, the door bell rings. We open it and find a delivery boy with a bouquet of red roses. We sign it in hurry, take it in and place them neatly in the middle of the table. We read the note and here comes the shocker, “I am really sorry. I have got an urgent appointment. Would not be able to miss. I will make it up to you. I love you so much.”

In the midst of reading the message, the bouquet has gone where it should have been- the bin. Here we are — the roses which were supposed to scream out love to us are whispering the story of our hypocrisy to one another. Our cancellation of lunch plan was valid but the other person cannot put work above us. Is it?

You bought a romantic date but she/he should not run behind money. Our feelings matter more. We did not even think of telling him/her how we were waiting for the picture perfect dinner but we can justify the flowers in the bin. We are the invulnerable. We call up few friends, make a plan with one or two of them and enjoy our evening. The music is loud enough to ignore listening to our own feelings. Mission accomplished.

The next thing we remember is getting up by the annoying alarm. We put the cell phone to charge and try to get rid of the hangover in the mean while. Sipping on to lemon water, we plan our day and leave a text to family about last night’s urgent meeting which kept us from calling them.

A new day in the same old fashion has begun and we don’t put any effort to change anything. Don’t we have the time to wonder about events of last night or the courage to face our own actions? We only look at the surface and what lies above it. No one cares to look deep inside and know what is underneath. We are scared to expose ourselves to ourselves, let alone others. We are too busy to make the superficial image of us look perfect that we often forget the real piece of us. The real we lie submerged in the deep waters and the shiny golden coating keeps fooling others and ourselves.

We all live in golden submarines. Keep polishing the shiny surface but don’t forget to repair the machinery. Better be safe than sorry.

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