Thursday, 5 February 2015

Over two cups of coffee…

A dejected Aryan roamed the streets, clueless about where he was going or what he was doing.

As he turned around a corner he banged into an old man and knocked him off balance.

Quickly releasing himself from his own wretched thoughts, Aryan helped the old man to his feet.

“I am sorry, sir,” Aryan said apologetically.

“Where are your thoughts taking you young man?” asked the old man rubbing his hurting knees.

Aryan helped the old man gain his composure and took him to a nearby coffee shop.

His guilt got the better of his financial worries as he ordered for the best coffee in the shop.

By now, having regained both his physical and mental balance, the old man started the conversation.

“You don’t have to feel guilty. I am fine now and we can go our way,” he said in a pragmatic tone.

Aryan simply looked through the old man, unable to decide.

The old man chuckled and said, “Though I had a fall, it seems like you are the one who is still struggling to get back your balance!”

Aryan smiled and went ahead with his orders.

“One Espresso and one Cafe Mocha, please,” after placing the order, Aryan waited for the orderly to leave before he continued.

“I am Aryan and I am so sorry that I knocked you down,” he said, a smile stealthily embracing his lips.

“I am Vikram, a retired army man,” said the old man much to the surprise of Aryan.

“Oh…,” Aryan left his sentence unfinished.

“Young man, I can guess what is going on in your mind. An army man knocked down by an ordinary civilian!” Vikram chuckled mildly.

“The difference between the two of us is not in our physical strength, it is more to do with the mind. But let us talk about your current issue and let me see if I can be of any use to you,” Vikram said.

“Until a moment ago I seemed to have had many issues. But your introduction has cleared at least one of them,” said Aryan beaming!

“I never thought I was physically strong. I have been feeling fatigued and thought my wife was pushing me each day without realising that I was growing old and therefore weak,” Aryan said.

“So, is the problem your age or your wife?” asked the old man, with a naughty laugh!

“Both, I would say,” said Aryan looking into his ceramic mug.

“Sometimes she tells me that I am irresponsible and do not behave my age, while at others she tells me that I still young and cannot complain of fatigue as I am a father of two young kids. I am sometimes lost and cannot understand her,” said Aryan pausing to catch a breath.

Vikram smiled peacefully, not letting the agitation of his new-found friend reach him.

“Did you undergo these things too?” a child within Aryan wanted to know.

Vikram could no longer contain his laughter and when he was composed enough to talk, he began slowly, 

“My dear friend, all of us go through these phases. When adolescence hits us we feel all grown up and detest being treated like kids. This is just one part of our conscious mind. The other part yearns to run back to the innocent childhood days. While natural growth pulls us ahead, the mind wants to tread the known zone of childhood. Similarly when middle age knocks at our door, we want to hold on to the health and exuberance of youth, but age is trying to lead us towards heightened awareness!”

Growing up over coffee...
“So, you mean that while I want to keep eating like I did in youth, my body is beginning to protest?” asked Aryan suddenly wanting to know more.

“When the mind is travelling towards higher thoughts, the body remains strong with lesser food. But your taste buds have been trained to take the best. There is a constant war between the part of the mind seeking pleasure and the part seeking higher realization. This is the reason for the fatigue,” Vikram concluded.

“I seem to understand what you say, but I still do not know what I should do,” mused Aryan.

“Spend some time with yourself. You will begin to know yourself better and in a more honest perspective. Have a regimental lifestyle. Begin slowly and keep bettering yourself!” said the old man before getting up to leave.

“Thank you, young man, for the coffee,” he said before parting ways, contented that he had the opportunity to touch the life of the youngster!