Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Virtual People

virtual people

Another day, don't feel like going to work, but have to.

During the ride to office, I wonder, what this life is all about? As usual, there are no answers.

Reach work, check mail, do the rounds, take a coffee break. Couple of cigarettes and the question is still there at the back of my head. But by this time of the day, the mind has become totally numb to personal quests!

While I wait for the elevator to come, there's another person next to me. 'Some kind of worker', is the thought that's there, at an unconscious level. So, as usual, with people I don't think I know (sometimes even with those whom I do!), I ignore the person.

We get into the elevator, I press the button. Everything just like an automaton. I lean back against the wall. Suddenly, the man says, "Namaskara, sir". I finally look at him. He looks vaguely familiar. "How many years have you been abroad?", he asks. "Quite a few", I say, thinking, 'too many to count'. "I saw you last at the old office", he says, "I work in the canteen, it's been many years".

"Yes, it has. How have you been?"

"I've been fine".

The elevator stops. I've not reached my floor. He has. "See you later", he says, before getting off. I wave, the elevator doors close, and starts moving again.

I wonder about this person. So many years it's been, I wonder what all has happened in his life. Has he been able to marry his daughter off? Has he been able to provide for his son's education? I think that this earth is made of real people. Real people like this guy, who make the world go round. Who work not for the sake of work, but for others. Both in terms of what they do, as well as the money they earn from it.

And then I think about myself. How far away from the world I really am. I wonder about big things like 'job satisfaction'. About complex sounding words like 'vision' and 'quest'.

Do I know how much a kilo of potatoes cost? How about a dozen eggs? Do I know how much it costs to eat at home compared to eating out? When, really, was the last time I sweated? When was the last time I bled? When was the last time I lived?

Suddenly, a phrase comes into my head - "Virtual People".

We're all virtual people. We, who are supposed to be changing the world. We, who're supposed to be the most influential 'voting block'. We, who're supposed to be creating wonders. We're all virtual people.

We don't know the meaning of hunger, of thirst. We define simple words like happiness and sadness in paragraphs. We, day after day, write emails, which don't mean anything, which really doesn't make any difference. We're all virtual people. We have our 'luxuries' but we don't know what to do with them. We have our 'conveniences' but we're always inconvenienced. We suffer from vague problems like 'stress' and 'tension'.

What's happened to us? What's gone wrong where? Why have we forgotten to feel joy? Why have we forgotten to cry?

The day thankfully is over. The ride is the same. Traffic. The mind is riding the bike without thinking about it. 'Virtual People' just spins round and round inside my head.

There must be a way out. There has to be. This bubble has to have an edge somewhere. Somewhere, if I walk through, I'll see the sun and smell the grass.

Someday. Someday.


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