Disclaimer: This is a a work of fiction. If it relates to you or anyone you know or do not know, it is your problem. Not mine.
If you type in personal password for office PC; time to get back to work. If you type in office password for home PC; time to take break from work. If you forget office password;time to look for another job. If you forget home PC password – time to get your life back.
— Ajeya (@ajeyaajeya) August 2, 2018
That moment life stared at me. A blank stare. It has been driven upto this. Who pushed me into it? Myself. None other than me. Frantic, half-meditating, trying to figure that password which never missed my fingertips for over a year. Why would that happen, unless I lost my mind? Why did I forget my password?
Last few days at work has been confusing, frustrating. Outside of work equally vexing. At residence, I have to pick a card with a picture, woes of typical Indian arranged marriage. Personally, I have missed any physical activity leading to escalation of arthritic symptoms and headaches due to inconsistent eating habits. Where shall I start? Or is it easy to end. My solace in songs from internet now marred by this unexpected loss of password.
I should not hide; there have been times, when I punched in my personal PC passwords at office and vice versa. I thought it was completely random. Without reasoning out why. I could easily type in the correct password at least the second time PC offered me with blank space. My work has evolved. It has evolved significantly from being a newbie an engineer. Being an integral part of decision matrices and opinions heard out. This was new world. This world could be taken away anytime. This is not permanent. Colleagues pouring in their random and sometimes unwarranted comments have been commonplace. Making me work, taking happiness out and showering endless tasks. Is this job-security or mismanagement? There is nothing permanent about a corporate job. I am always replaceable. I could be fired anytime. With or without reason. The woes of at-will employment. Do I be diplomatic and fake plastic smiles every time? To add to this are some colleagues who ask unwarranted questions, personal and technical. Is it written on any part of me that they cannot pass me without asking these questions? What does a “What’s up?” mean anymore than a way to distract me. What does “How is it going?” mean if it was only a passing mention. Why are there such robotic conversations? Luckily, most of these stay being nominal and frivolous while some approach and follow it up with more acerbic sequence of words. Unexpected. I have hated social conversations because I could not maintain a conversation without questions. Questions and answers are a definite conversation driver, its justification never requested. In a social context, Q&A should not be a way to take the communication for petty talk or serious. There should be a better option. And I have observed such conversations without Q&A happening when people are already in sync and understanding of each other. Where there are ideas to discuss than questions to be answered, how peaceful, how thoughtful are those moments. Do I just forget password or forget my self. Life-less laughs, soul-less “sorry”-ies and truth-less thanks perpetuated at work. I do not fit well. Not a diplomacy machine. I make mistakes. I am a human.
That I am a human makes me wonder about its possibilities. The immediate possibilities for a man is to get married after having a job. This works through the system of arranged marriage for a typical Indian. The process involves families; the stakeholders have a very large base and includes stack of pictures of potential candidates and equally staggered stack of horoscopes to be checked. With rules and exemptions to rules, astrology itself is an inexact science. The decision matrix involves me in a critical position to decide about my life. To add to my suffering I am unable to find a right person with the potential and willingness to take the game for a lifetime. I tend to be unable, to comprehend those subjective candidates who objectively manage social conversation through light drinks. I cannot concur. The elusive marriage proposal hangs in the air like a dense cloud, not raining, not going away. Just darkening the surroundings and making me feel uncomfortably warm. The decision for a lifetime has its own hurdles. To cope with it takes immense patience. Limited by the option to not grow younger, age becomes another factor to make this happen within time constraints. I believe there are plenty to explore. It be now or in future. I can wait. I have everything to consider and enjoy this moment.
Between discussions on potential life partner and current work-life. I have forgotten the present. The body of the present. I have limited my physical exercise to lifting a cup of coffee thrice a day and chewing on meal bars and fruits. Since, using computer and mouse cannot be classified as exercise, I leave them out of my list. This sedentary lifestyle has made the body of life stiffen up, reminiscential of arthritic symptoms that were in the past a constant friend distanced by systematic treatment. Headaches started their apparently random occurrences. To figure that it needed to be treated with scheduling and executing healthy habits needed some energy and deliberate thought. I have become careless. Careless about the body of mind. I did not mind, and it did matter.
Any possibility has its potential vicissitudes, positives and negatives. It is easy to get tangled in the possibility of losses and never give a thought to the positives. There is future, there is this present. Then there is the life experience that I truly possess, probably the only unique invaluable thing I possess. There is always something more to attain, achieve, enhance and explore. What really remains is the experience. It is already lost case when there is no end to the thought of loss. I may also be losing my mind over imminent future. Among the losses, losing the body movement is akin to losing everything. There will not be any more pondering, with physical pain to take care of. It is a general fact that we do not own anything, or possess anything. The thought of possession can definitely possess me, if I let it. I have to come out of this thought. Absent-mindedness kicked in. And maybe this is another added reason to me losing my password. I lied down. Try to lie to my mind. No more tough thoughts, relax. After a few unsuccessful attempts to potential passwords, I quit. I lay quiet. No lights. No sounds. Thoughts will not let me sleep. Roll over. Thoughts keep coming. Silence. I needed some. Minutes passed. I still lay. This time more quiet. As a the stone that was thrown at the surface of lake causes ripples on the surface, ultimately to sink down, as the ripples subside and die down. My thoughts died. And it struck. My fingers remembered the password that it knew for so long, that I do not remember how to tell the password, but fingers remember it as a pattern. That only fingers knew how to remember. I was logged in.