Modern life is like a treadmill
You keep running,
But the land below you keep drifting back
Despite running all your life,
You reach nowhere,
You keep running in a loop.
And one day,
One day, that treadmill suddenly stops with a jerk
And you fall on your face,
After a few minutes of pain and numbness,
You get up and look around,
And you realize that you are still there,
Where you had started
But now, you cannot go anywhere
You are trapped in your room
And treadmill is not working anymore.
All your life, you learnt nothing new but run,
What will you do without a treadmill?
This inertia of sitting idle and free is new to you,
A discreet idea which you never considered,
You don’t even know what and who is there in your room,
You never sat with them or talked,
You know their names and faces but not them,
And then, a thought pops up in your mind,
Do I even know myself?
Who am I?
What was I doing all these years?
Running for what?
Running for whom?
Your brain can solve the complex economics and matrix
But has no answer to these simple questions.
You look around,
And find all your fellow runners in the same situation
Knees bent, arms clutched and heads down
Everyone around you is as lost as you.
You can’t keep sitting like them
You can’t just sit and watch,
You have always been a fighter
Someone who was better than others
Who used to run faster than most of them,
But how did all of them are here with you?
Didn’t you leave them far behind when you were running faster?
Then your subconscious steps in,
He tells you that all this time,
You were running,
But on a treadmill,
A treadmill which leads to nowhere,
A machine which, you made your life.
Your eyes drift towards the window,
The only window in the room filled with machines,
There is a bird sitting there,
Behind the glass,
Separating the outside world and this room,
Jumping like a ping pong ball and chirping,
As if singing and dancing,
You see further,
You notice that wind is tickling the leaves of trees
And leaves are baffling with the laughter
You notice that flowers are looking at you and smiling
There’s a bunch of children playing under the tree
And a man who is running
Not as fast as people inside the room,
At a slow pace,
Like a jog,
He pauses and plays with the kids,
He smells the flowers and closes his eyes,
He absorbs the fragrance in his heart through his nostrils,
He looks at the birds and smiles,
Then he resumes his jog,
A slow, steady jog.
On any other day,
You would have called him a loser,
A loser who can’t run fast
A loser who is afraid to run in this room
Where speed is the key to win.
Today you call him nothing,
But keep staring at him with numbness.
Suddenly power is back in the room,
Machines rattle with a noise,
There are shining lights,
And expensive marble is reflecting it,
Making people blind,
Covering their eyes with hands,
Your fellow runners stand up,
One by one,
All of them except you,
Everyone is again standing on a treadmill,
They started their race again,
Their speed is increasing gradually but constantly,
They are running in their full speed now,
You loosen your grips,
Straighten your legs,
Raise your head,
Stretch your body,
And take a deep breath,
You are standing now,
Looking at everyone who is busy running,
Running on a machine which they call life,
Which you too used to call life,
But you don’t climb back on your machine,
Your so-called life,
You rather start walking towards the door
Towards the outer world
World, where trees laugh,
Birds dance and flowers smile,
World, where kids play,
World, where there will be no race and no machine.