Machine

“So, how do you do it?” I asked.

He cupped his kulhar and gazed at me, gazed and not looked because it felt like he could see right through me, as if my physical presence ceased to exist. Taking a deep breathe, he tapped his fingers, picking and arranging words out of the countless ones floating around, and answered.

“What I do doesn’t really require talent, on the other hand most of the greats weren’t talented as much as they were determined, though patience and passion do play a role. Think of yourself as a well-oiled machine, one capable of doing anything and everything possible, provided the right instructions are given.”

Slowly sipping, he continued, “Have 3 ground rules – If and when you get stuck, give yourself two choices only, and choose the uncertain one; breathe, feel your pulse, climb one step each day; And once a week walk barefoot on grass, shout out your angst and dance.”

He paused, gulped the rest of his chai, glanced at his watch and got up from the rickety bench. Pursing his lips into a smile, “There, you are set for success. Follow the rules like a machine, don’t rust and when you feel overworked, leave things to sort themselves.”

Shooting a quick wave to the chaiwallah, I watched him walk into the pouring rain. His blue shirt and khaki trousers drenched and turned grey like the clouds, seemingly disappearing into oblivion.

I stay back, devouring my chai and his words.

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