Thursday, August 1, 2013

One Step Closer….

I have often wondered how great it would be if life remained static.

A life where friends stayed friends, where parents never grew old & where love lasted for a lifetime, I have found it annoying and unfair how life changes every minute, the most dynamic process existent in the world is probably life itself.

Does life ever wait, does time ever stand still? 
Is there a pause button on the remote control of life?


It’s funny how we find answers to some of life’s most complicated questions in the simplest, most basic scenarios from our day to day routines.

I spent a good portion of my morning today at the Jalahalli branch of the State bank of India, this is one of the busiest branches of the bank in the whole city. They have close to a million registered accounts and irrespective of what day of the month it is, or what time of the day you happen to come here, it is perennially busy.

On most days the token allotted to you will be at least a hundred numbers away from the one being attended to. Many of us in fact plan days in advance before visiting the bank, on many occasions I have taken the token in the morning and returned in the afternoon to find my turn yet to come.

I had gotten everything ready yesterday itself, the forms were filled, the letters to the manager were written, the cheques were signed and I was armed with my passbook and a pen waiting for the gates to be opened at the branch early this morning.

Fifty people waited with me, some people tried to put their hands through the gaps in the collapsible gates and windows in frail attempts to reach the token dispensing machine first.

At 10:00 AM the gates were opened, I was right in the middle of the crowd so I didn’t have to move, the people from behind pushed me in.
We stopped still in our shoes, the bank was being renovated. The counters were gone, the token number display and the token dispensers were switched off.

I couldn’t believe it, we now had to form queues and wait in line for our turn.

I had plans, nothing great but something that would keep me occupied for the entire morning.
But now, with the token system gone I had no other choice but to wait in the queue that grew longer by the second.

The problem was that I had three different things to do at the same bank; three different things meant three different officers three different queues, hours and hours of waiting.
And guess what, after spending a good amount of time in one ‘Q’ I was told that I was at the wrong counter.

I sighed heavily and repeatedly looking at the good old worn out token dispensing machine and reminisced the days when I would push the red button on it, take the small piece of paper that came out warm and clean and go about my business.

Oh, how I missed those days.

The young couple waiting in front of me were arguing about the movie show they were about to miss because of the delay at the bank (apparently it was the man’s fault), and the elderly man behind me kept complaining about how important it was to have a line dedicated exclusively to senior citizens.



I yanked my phone out of pocket and plugged in my headphones.

The song that rang out in my ears was ‘Bon Jovi’s-One step closer’.

I have heard this song a thousand times in the past, and just a couple of days ago I was thinking of deleting it from my playlist.In the song Jon talks about a lot of bad experiences he has had in his life, but irrespective of what has already happened to him in the past he finds himself one step closer to his destiny.

As the music played I looked again at the crowd around me, the lyrics started making a lot of sense to me right then.

One step closer, everyone in the room was taking one step closer, some were walking toward the counter, some towards the exit, but no matter how insignificant the purpose of their movement, they were moving forward.

I Broke off from my line and took a seat in the lounge.

Fine, everyone around was moving but I wanted to see what happened if I stopped in my tracks and refused to go with the flow, I wanted to know.

Nothing happened, people went about their business, money exchanged hands, drafts were issued, cheques were cleared, the tea break made way for the lunch break which made way for the second tea break and the time drew nearer for the bank to close for the day.

That’s when I got it.
I realized right then that it didn’t matter whether I moved ahead or not, the world didn’t stop, the clock didn’t stop ticking, and the earth didn’t stop revolving around the sun.

Tomorrow the bank would open again, and it wouldn’t matter if I came around , the work would go on as usual, it was up to me if I wished to get the job done or not.

Everything and everyone was moving……… one step closer.

Closer to what? You may ask.

There’s only one answer to that, like it or not, with every passing minute of every single hour and every single day we are moving closer to our respective destinies.

Life is not going to wait for you, just like everything else in the world it has an expiry date and it’s going to get there whether you are ready or not.

Everything in life changes, and we may not necessarily love these changes that happen from time to time, but I guess it’s always better to step in and seize the day instead of just standing by and watching life pass you by, because, trust me when I say this-life will pass you by, and as I realized it today at the bank it doesn’t wait for anyone.

The Latin phrase ‘Carpe Diem’ now means a lot to me, I hope it will to you as well.




Until Next Time.

TGV