Tuesday, January 12, 2016

From Humans to Numbers

They said he was going to make it big. If sitting in a 4 walled room and staring at a pile of work written by others, was what being "big" was all about, then yes he surely had made it big . They said he would be successful, if having  stacks of money accumulated in his account and never having the time to spend even a penny, was what success was all about then yes he had definitely reached its epitome.

At this very thought, Joshua's shoulders drooped further and his body posture indicated to the world that he was exhausted, weak and feeble. To which he took a deep breath; this according to him was the most effective technique that he had mastered by now.

He glanced at the soiled calendar on his office desk. The digits indicated something, it was his birthday. Today Joshua turned 35. Yet another number he had to get use to in his life. All these years he was running and exhausting his time, energy and peace of mind to reach a particular destination in life. People told him it was the greatest place to be .Today at the age of 35, he had reached that place, that destination, the so called "ultimate dream"! And guess what it didn’t feel good, instead it felt as if he was crumbling under truckloads of bricks. This destination was something he never wanted in the first place. In the psychedelic chase of living up to people’s expectations, Joshua forgot that he too had the ability to dream for himself.

"7th January, 2016 at the age of 35, Mr. Joshua Davidson Jr. had lost his inner voice" he smiled and said it aloud, as if he was mocking his own self. This was catchy he thought to himself. The world would get yet another way to define him in terms of numbers.

 Growing up, it was all about not being a human but being an efficient commodity that would mould itself based on the already set stencils. His life was not about the moments spent in the backyard smelling the grass; it was about the profits and losses. His life like most others was about numbers. The numbers on the report card evaluated his success for his parents. By adolescence, his peers viewed him as a culmination of numbers; his height, weight, victories and he was never the so called appropriate number. It was the digits on a piece of paper that were more important to his family than the uncontrollable hurt he felt being bullied in school. At work, it was not about the difference he made in people’s lives but about the amount of money he brought to the company. In the world Joshua lived in people looked up to him because he showed consistent efficiency in the given mechanical mundane task. At home it was always about reaching one milestone after the other. Number game, Number game! He chanted and crushed the papers scattered on his desk.

 "You aren’t supposed to fear things, fear is for cowards. Be a man!" is what his father always told him .Yes! He did exactly that and look where it got him. Somehow the pain and anguish of his childhood never left his adult life. Somehow those shadows of unmet dreams haunted him in broad daylight. Joshua shut his eyes exerting all the strength he had left in him and a painful tear trickled down. I guess he was still human even if the world denied this breathing truth. 

Anam Zaidi
Counselling Psychologist
Seth M.R. Jaipuria School

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