mediocrity or greatness?
boi came home to herself.
boi lived with the coolest people by definition! when we were younger, if asked what our dreams were, most of us would have answered, ¨travel the world, meet a lot of people, speak different languages, do adventure sports and know other cultures¨. that´s what all her students said anyways. well, so people who did all these are supposedly already above the societal mark and hence considered ´cool´ by others who have similar ambitions and yet to take off. so you see, there were those just like boi, sharing the same living space with her. boi liked them. they were friendly, humorous, outgoing, sociable, generous, cool, intelligent, interesting, fun, easy-going and good looking too…! all of them!
within her first few months here in costa rica, she had already seen most of the touristic spots in the country, even more than most of the natives. every weekend was a trip to some exotic land or beach, followed by late-nite parties where you could meet umpteen number of pple. a world without strangers! the world is indeed your friend. anybody could be your friend, seriously! since boi belonged to this group of cool elite privileged lot, she was tagged along most of the time, to most of these places… which gave her the opportunity to see it all! once upon a time, she had dreamt of exactly the same, traveling the world n seeing it all, and yet now she had had enough. boi was saturated. it didn´t excite her anymore, like the first time she had traveled.
everyone was searching for something deeper, something more meaningful because at the end of the day, something was still missing. something felt so empty. boi could see it in all of them, including herself. and yet what was their idea of fun? loads of parties, hordes of people, lots of dancing & drinking games, loud conversations leading nowhere etc. etc. they were all so proud of getting drunk and dancing like crazy and then what at the end of the party?? everyone making out with everybody. seriously! random make-out sessions with random people at every corner of the disc or in their very own house!
such parties happened at the apartment she shared with the other exchange students like herself. the natives mingled with the foreigners who they perceived to be their idols. these pple that she lived with, the coolest lot, everyone looked up to them, esp. the locals. they came in bundles just to be a part of this cool group, this fancy thingy, so they could look cool too. tuesday nights were the tradition, with every week a different theme, for everyone to gather, get sloshed with alcohol, deafening music that could bore a hole inside your ear drums, you know those really loud, blasting music crowded parties that were nothing more than noise to boi, with loud shouts, cheers n jeers and then a few hours into the party, they all hooked up with one another and the party ALWAYS ended with everyone making out with someone at every corner of the house. and then they swore their dying love to one another! that easy?? boi was flabbergasted. is it only me that just doesn´t get it? she couldn´t do it. she didn´t think all this was cool at all. boi was quite a favorite in the crowd though. but boi felt miserable most of the time in those parties. she was surrounded by ´happy´ people all over and yet she felt lonely in their company. she preferred to be alone, but sometimes she couldn´t escape her own apartment. they wouldn´t leave her alone! boi was devastated. she had to invent reasons to avoid them and then felt guilty of lying! although boi loved dancing, this definitely wasn´t her style. she couldn´t fathom their idea of life and they couldn´t hers.
is that it? is that all there is to life? what do you do when you have done it all, lived it all? what else is there to experience? getting so drunk that u had to puke, the bitter taste aftermath leaving you high n dry or you wobble and fall with no control on your body, and making out with just anyone at the end of the day?? boi couldn´t fix her grip on reality anymore. if this is how real life is, then i´m better off in my dream world. and so boi would escape into the landscapes of her mind, where magic would almost immediately envelop her in its warm embrace. coz in that world, impossible was nothing. everything is possible. the impossible just takes longer, boi mused. and so although she lived with other exchange students like herself, boi only felt at home when she was all by herself. she preferred to work her magic in isolation.
boi had been a social butterfly, back then in the university days. boi remembered those days fondly. she was quite popular among the international crowd. at one time she was doing theater n drama, acting in plays, selling tickets all over the country for their production house, doing PR n marketing, competing at dance contests, organizing cultural shows & tours for new international students, and more… now though any kind of social interaction had dulled her senses, even the thought of meeting someone new filled her with dread. they all wanted her attention. even smiling at someone new ached her jaws. every second man she met invariably wanted to make out with her, all in the name of love!
boi was interrupted from her reverie by a loud noise. someone was screaming outside the door to her room. exasperated, she went to the balcony where she found her only respite, to contemplate the stars, shoot a million questions to god the infinite source, about life n love and her own confusion abt existence. it was a particularly cloudy evening, an overcast sky with barely a handful of stars visible. it takes hours of staring at a star-studded sky to see a shooting star. on this nite it was practically impossible to see one, boi thought. at that instant she saw a shooting star! and then a huge owl flew past her head appearing from nowhere and disappearing into nothingness! wow! am i seeing things? the river of life thought to herself. but she had known for sure that this was no imagination. she had seen a shooting star on a starless night in a cloudy sky! quickly she closed her eyes and threw a wish into the universe, the same one she had been making all her life.
to be like a river that flows
silent through the night,
not fearing the darkness and
reflecting any stars high in the sky
and if the sky is filled with clouds,
the clouds are water like the river, so
without remorse reflecting them too
~ extracted from the book magicNine by baisakhi saha
“i was in costa rica during march 2011 to may 2016, on a student exchange program through AIESEC and then I went on to publish my first book and since became a motivational speaker and performer.”