Beyond the Obvious


Navya, who took immense pride in her fashion sense, had gone borderline hysterical trying to decide upon a dress that she wanted to wear at a family wedding. In order to keep up with her reputation, the pressure to look her best in the big fat Indian wedding was overwhelming. After a great deal of contemplation and deliberation, she picked a saree, the color of which was mainly Red and Golden which meant that all her accessories such as earrings, bangles and other jewelry had to be coordinated accordingly in the same colors.

An intricate planner that she was, she made a list of things that were to be bought in order to prepare for the big day, bangles being on top of that list. Just as any craftsman who knows his art, she knew for a fact that her bangles had to be Red.She knew there was just one shop in her vicinity that sold the classic Indian glass bangles.  “Of course they must have plain Red bangles,” she thought to herself, there couldn’t be a color more common after all.

The next day, like a woman on mission, she announced to three bored faces as she stomped inside an otherwise empty shop, “I want Red bangles”. The bored faces sprang to attention, did a quick analysis of her wrist size, looked around and returned wearing an expression suggestive of an impending bad news and a few seconds later, there it was – “Sorry ma’am, we do not have red bangles in your size at the moment, we may have something in Maroon though.”

Navya could not believe this woman standing in front of her. Which Indian bangle store on earth does not stock enough of red? Unable to contain her disappointment, she stormed out of the shop. She lingered around the mall for a while contemplating her next move but the other shops were almost forty minutes away.

When she had almost given up, it suddenly struck her that her blouse has a tinge of sea-green colorbesides the red and maybe, just maybe – it will make more sense if her bangles were sea-green too. Eureka! “But oh, how do I go back now? I literally stormed out of that shop,” she thought. A little voice inside her head told her to suck up her ego and as it turned out that voice was not wrong as the three bored faces were gracious as ever.

Moral of the story: It is admirable to be a go getter but it is prudent to take a step back and reconsider and just sometimes, it is alright to let go of our ego.

In retrospect, God bless that shop for not having red bangles that day and if you think about it, God bless our soul for everything that refused to work out despite our persistent efforts and prayers. The relationships that fell apart, all the partners that cheated on us, all the friends that never called back and all the employers that said we were not good enough; all of this only directed us towards something way better.

Sometimes or maybe most of the times, we are so busy chasing the obvious, the Red of our life, that we forget to pause and reflect. We forget to reflect because we are fed the most obvious since the day we were born – rich is good and clean, poor is bad and dirty;  tall is good and handsome, short is bad and funny; white is good and superior, black is bad and inferior; A-tier college is good and success, anything else is failure. The resultant of this is we all want the rich, the tall, the fair and a direct entry inside the hallowed doors of success, in the process of which we stop comprehending that probably there is a possibility for other alternatives too.  

It would be fair to say that the obvious (equally wanted by one and all) is broadly constituted by money, fame, great body, a love life that ends like a fairy tale etc. but if money is so important then why did the monk sold his Ferrari? If fame is so important then why do celebrities fall into depression? If looks defined relationships then why do supermodels get dumped? And if only A-tier colleges assure success then why do some people of the likes of Bill Gates dropped out of these gates and yet became successful?

At this point, the reader must not infer that the message here is not to be any less competitive or less ambitious or be less driven; the message on the contrary is quite simple – learn to unlearn, dare to question and be bold enough to justify your choices because in the end it’s mainly just you who has to live with the consequences of them. Learn to pause and reflect and if you think you made a wrong decision, be humble enough to admit. Sometimes, the obvious does not suits us the best and at times the obvious can be flawed too. But we are so hell-bent chasing the obvious that we eliminate any shred of possibility for anything else to exist. Do not let the stereotypes taint your head and you will be surprised at how much this world has to offer to you.


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