A couple of days back, I was returning after catching a teatime movie show at a nearby theatre. The night drew closer as I was reaching home. During the short walk from the bus stop to my apartment, I noticed a star in the sky playing catch-up with the moon. It looked brighter than usual, this star. The eyelid of the otherwise clear skies was drooping. Gradually. And mechanically. The shift in its hues was rapid and had surpassed from a grimy grey to a spotless black in a matter of minutes.
The moon had settled, free from premonitions. As if it were allocated its favourite couch. Irrespective of, and indifferent to the time lapse transpiring in its background. That night, the crater-impacted disc had rented a hammock’s guise. It was propped against the heavens in a curvy stupor. Three-fourths of the moon had sunk under the black horizon, while the rest peeked out cheekily. Lying perpendicularly to the earth, it showed no interest whatsoever. Neither in its whereabouts nor surroundings. At first glance, one could have mistaken it for being lethargic. But its attitude spelt nonchalance. Blithe could have been its mood. There was a lull in the atmosphere that surrounded it. My attention shifted to the glowing limb that was trying to reach the moon. Or so, it appeared. If the star were personified, it would have looked as if it was flailing about its arms and legs. The moon could have been completely unaware of its efforts. The might and luck it was putting in, to come at par with the moon. The star could have believed the defendant to be its destination. Which, to an uninformed onlooker appeared a few inches apart. Near, yet so far.
What do we know.
Mahavir Singh Phogat, an Indian wrestler and Olympics coach, begins his daughters’ – Geeta’s and Babita’s – training in the sport in their school days. Wrestling is the spine of Dangal, the movie I had watched at the theatre that afternoon. Dangal in Hindi means ‘wrestling’ or ‘to wrestle’. Childhood yields when left to self-exploration. If a juvenile mind is refrained from doings, which to any kid sounds luring, it wavers. In the movie, not only does the father step in as the girls’ coach but also abstains them from indulging in spicy, tasty and street food. He introduces chicken in their otherwise vegetarian eating habits to supplement for proteins. He directs the earth is their source of entertainment, and the only television channel they must flick through. And that, the sands of time are their props for playtime. As kids, both girls dislike the ‘boxed’ outlook. They begin to feel that they have lost their free will. Mahavir Singh wants their lifestyles to revolve around his vested interests in wrestling, but tables turn. One day, the quick-witted lasses delay the alarm to abandon their practice. A friend’s pre-wedding celebration gathers significance over another day’s dose of physical exertion. Needless to mention, Mahavir Singh Phogat isn’t pleased.
What if, Geeta and Babita had gotten their way? What if, they had left coaching in an excuse to relish their girlhoods? What if, their father had given in? What if, he had let go and not expressed his displeasure on finding the girls at that social gathering? What if, they had stealthily grabbed edibles they weren’t allowed, even if morsels? What if years later, they had wanted to pursue the same sport they had abandoned in their youth? What if, they had hesitated in the wake of a tomorrow to begin giving wrestling serious thought? Could their father have supported them? Would they have received a similar training from him as they did when they were in school? Could they have achieved all that they had already done by then? What if, after years of education, they had discovered of their interest in wrestling? Would they have swung about their arms and legs to reach out to their moon? Just like that star?
Procrastination is that best friend who never ceases to bring along excuses to cover up our rear. When it deserts us, we continue to exist. And tell tales of how it turned out to be a vicarious villain in the name of companionship. Every. Single. Time.
Each morning, I set the alarm at five o’clock to practice singing and writing. The silence and pale skies help to focus. It’s a boon to hit the snooze button in the mornings. I feel grumpy thinking if it is time already. It turns into a bane when I wake up two hours later. The loss of time fetches a hangover so bad that the day feels drab. Disorientation sets in and works like that snake-charmer humming their listless tunes. You feel like you are left with no options than to dance to them. We led ourselves to it, after all. The silver lining in the horizon peeks out, and you find yourself in the middle of making a resolution. That you’ll no longer be an idle mind in the wild. Finding no one in sight, you bump your fist into the palm of your other hand. You’ve struck a deal. You’ve made a pact. With yourself.
Only that, the instance repeats. The next day.
Margazhi in Chennai, also known as the December Music Season, is a month to hop from one concert to another. To watch live music and dance performances. It brings together artistes drawn and created from sticks long and short, new and old. They are discussed at length. And sorted into the viewers’ files of likes and dislikes. The fine arts fraternity, a person’s journey to make it to the centre stage, and their performing nuances are coffee time banter for many concertgoers. What if, these performers had befriended procrastination every time it had grappled them? What if, they had prioritised a degree, a job and household over years of learning, unlearning and rehearsals? What if, they had not imposed boundaries on their lifestyles to maintain and enhance their modes of expressions? Would we have had examples to cite today? Would we have had inspirations to look up to? Would we have had quotes from who’s who to help us self-drive? The ones we copy on post-its and stick on the inside of our wardrobes. To motivate ourselves.
What if, that star in the sky were personified indeed? What if, it had received just a little help to make it to wherever it wanted to? Could it have done it?
Or, would it have left hope because its help had delayed this time?