Losing yourself

The hospital corridor is long. Sterile and sombre. Doctors wearing long insignia-adorned white coats hurry along. Medical students who are perpetually late for their lectures, scurry, mumbling good mornings to me. Patients walk slowly with their companions trying to find their wards. I am not wearing a white coat. So my probability of being stopped and asked, “Sister, where is this ward?” is remote this morning. People talk in whispers, mindful of where they are.

Suddenly the silence is shattered. “Main duniya bhula doonga, teri chaahat mein!” (I will forget the world in my love for you), someone sings loudly. Nadeem-Shravan. Kumar Sanu. Aashiqui. In a hospital.

All eyes turn towards the singer. It is a man in mismatched clothes— brown sweater with holes, dirty white pants which end above his ankles, and a striped monkey cap. Bare feet. He is oblivious of the people looking at him. He continues to sing at the top of his voice — “Tera saath choota, yeh vaada jo toota, main khud ko bhula doonga“.  He is surprisingly in tune.

A colleague who walks past, gives him a sympathetic glance, and then shrugs at me with a smile as if to say— this chap has lost his balance. As I walk to my room, I’m thinking of this singer. Did it matter to him what the world felt about him? He seemed to be happy  in his world of singing. Who were we to judge him?

We walk around the world feigning normalcy. Pretending to be purposeful in our gait. Carrying clutter in our heads. Weighed down by burdens we choose to carry. Some of our own, some of others. And expect everyone else to be like ourselves. Is there happiness in running this rat race? Or will we all end up like this man?

Duniya bhula doonga. Forget the world. Be yourself. Happier. Perhaps blissful.

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