While returning home after dropping her daughter Naina at guitar class, Megha noticed that the area near her society was developing at a fast pace. At a few places, shops have been demolished and the area has been converted into a supermarket. A couple of huge gated communities are also coming up. Her thoughts went back to a day, roughly an year back, when she and her husband Manas were driving through the same marketplace. They had just moved into the neighbourhood and she had looked pensive while looking at those sleepy and outdated grocery shops. Manas could quickly make out what was going on in her mind.
He immediately patted her shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, we’ll watch this area transform and develop too, as we have witnessed Mohanpur developing into a plush suburb.”
Hearing which, Megha had laughed out loud at his optimism. She understood that even though he loved living in outskirts, away from the hustle and bustle that a concrete jungle guarantees, he had said this to cheer her up and establish hope for a brighter future.
Now she thought to herself, “At that time, Manas was not wrong in speculating this…”
She hurriedly came back home as she had to draft a mail to be send to a client immediately. Megha is a freelance graphic designer working from home. After she had sent the mail, she made herself a cup of tea and went to the spot which has become her constant companion for sometime now – the window in her bedroom, with view of the green carpet of the golf course at a distance and a commanding view of the western horizon. While placing the cup on the coffee table which is placed near the window, Megha looked at the sky. The sun was setting down bit by bit into the dense canopy of gulmohar trees. The sun rays, hopping from one cotton like fluffy cloud to the other, creating mesmerising hues on the western sky. At a distance a temple could be seen on a small hill top. While taking a sip of hot tea, Megha made herself comfortable on the chair. The sound of wild and boundless wind made her to feel as if she was sitting near a seashore. She closed her eyes to feel the gushing wind on her face and her entire being was wrapped into its embrace.
Instantly her soul whispered, “What a spectacle. So beautiful, an absolute bliss… It is indeed a blessing to experience this moment.”
Manas’s words came ringing in her ears, “Do we really need to go to a resort, our home is no less than a resort. Isn’t it?” He would say this each time Megha came up with the idea of spending a few days relaxing and rejuvenating in a resort. What she was realizing now, he had understood long before.
Megha was brought back to the present, with the beeping sound of the phone. She stretched her hand towards the bed side table to pick it up. It was a message from Manas, “Left for home”.
Megha got up from the chair and stood near the window. The cowshed which could also be seen from her window caught her attention. She could see busy farm workers; cows and buffaloes munching on fodder. In a corner, piled up cow dung could also be seen. All these months, while Megha admired the view of the distant golf course, the cowshed in the near view (which is destined to fade away in a few months of time as the land has been sold) dampened her spirits every time her eyes went there. Ironically, except for the cowshed all other attributes of the place were quite good but unfortunately Megha either didn’t notice or ignored them till this moment.
Megha looked back at her phone to check the time. It was already 6:45 pm.
“It’s time to pick up Naina from her class”, She thought.
That evening at the dinner table she was quietly having her food, with minimal exchange of words. Years of sharing their lives together made them capable enough to read each other’s silence too. Manas could make out that Megha was in deep thought.
“What’s the matter? What are you thinking so deeply?” he asked.
After a brief silence Megha spoke out, “Why do we complicate life?”
“Why? What happened?”, Manas asked in a confused tone.
“I don’t know… Why in life we always look at the greener pasture on the other side of the fence rather than concentrating on the positives that we have on our side?” Megha said thoughtfully.
Manas looked at her silently, without blinking his eyelids, expecting more to come.
“I was there at the window today evening watching the sunset… taking in the hues on the sky… it felt so good.”, Megha said.
After a pause Megha continued, “All these months I didn’t realize that we have been blessed to live in the lap of nature, but only complained about the cowshed. And that too when I knew from the beginning that it won’t stay for long”.
“ Yeah… if we want to lead a content life, we need to embrace it with all its flaws in the same manner in which we celebrate the perfections in life.” Manas said.
Manas continued to quote Nida Fazli’s famous lines, “Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahan nahi milta, kahin zameen to kahin aasman nahi milta” (No one ever gets the entire universe, somewhere the earth and somewhere the sky is missing).
After around an hour, Megha entered the bedroom with two cups of milk. Manas stood near the same window watching the moonlit sky. Megha went to the same spot and passed on one of the cups and stood beside him. Silently they admired the serenity of the moment.
Manas broke the silence, “Human wants are unlimited, but we can’t get everything in life. We are granted what we need and not what we want”.
Megha smiled and added, “Yeah… true. And we take so much time to realize this simple fact”.
Megha finished her cup and sat on the bed. She could feel soft breeze blowing. The full moon sometimes hiding behind the clouds, its light sneaking in through the window and falling on the bed. In that mystic moment, Megha slowly lay herself down on the bed, adjusting her head comfortably on the pillow and whispered, “Life is beautiful only if we seek to see its beauty. Instead of admiring the greener pasture on the other side of the fence, can’t we focus on the greenery on our side?”
– Aradhana Basu Das