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“As if it means anything.”, I heard my fellow traveler say.

I looked up from my mobile and saw a woman. She would have been more than fifty with more white than black hairs wearing thick black rimmed spectacles. I was a bit confused to find a stranger talking to me, doesn’t usually happen in a Metro.

“Excuse Me”, I said trying to be polite.

She rolled her eyes and remarked, “Really…you don’t believe me!”

“No…no it's not that.” I replied hesitantly, “I don’t know the context, that’s why I can’t say if it means anything or not”. Not sure why I was being defensive.

She stares back and says, “No, no that’s the beauty. You don’t have to know the context” .

“OK”, I replied tentatively, not sure what else to say.

She smiled and said “Don’t worry. You will get it. It takes time but we get it …mostly” and got back to her book.

I just nodded my head and stared back at my screen.

…………………………………………………………………………………

Back at the office, I am sitting at my desk, looking at the screen. There are mails to be replied to and a presentation that needs to be checked before it can be sent to the client. I don’t know where to start from. I take a deep breath and try to focus. I start with the mails. Slowly, I trudge through the mails, trying to figure out what is the best way to respond. Every ten minutes there is a call and I am on my toes every time because the clients are demanding and I have to be careful in what I say, my responses have to be measured.

…………………………………………………………………………………..

By the time I reach home, I am tired. I just want to switch on the TV and watch some action movie. My five year old son doesn’t disturb me but sits on the chair where I can see him. I am intrigued and ask him why is he not talking to me?

He looks at me and says, “I didn’t get the star”.

He looks at me and says, “Trisha and Aarav got it today”. Perhaps his friends getting star him caused this misery.

I look at him and ask slowly “Why do you want it?”.

He is surprised by my question. He thought for a moment said “Ma’am says, good students get the star”

“And why do you want to be a good student?”, I heard myself saying.

“Because, you keep telling me dad, that’s why. You keep reminding me that I should be a good student and a good son”, he says it with a straight face. His eyes fixed at my face.

I bring him closer, gently run my fingers over his hair a few times and say, “But stars don’t matter my son. Just enjoy your school”. I cup his face with my hands, kiss on his forehead and say, “As if it could ever mean anything”.

I enjoy reading, writing and observing the mundane