Rebound effect

Recently, as I was sauntering around a shopping mall, I met a college-mate after some two decades. Impetuously, we dashed towards a nearby coffee house, wherein we began chattering, scanning through miscellaneous topics.

During the course of the conversation, I casually enquired about her elder maternal cousin, who, bubbled with copious confidence, and of course, abundant arrogant attitude too, during those years.

I was staggered to hear the sad news of her cousin succumbing to a strange ailment that had snatched her life away at relatively young age. At that moment, a montage of memories, made its way on my mental screen, with my mind meandering towards the missing soul.

Her cousin was a true-blue go-getter, who never reconciled with failure of any sort. She exuded oodles of saucy over-confidence – a quality in her, which was downright detested by many associated with her. As though dousing fuel to her presumptuous attitude, she had landed a plum job, too, in a foreign company.

Apparently, she had started sailing on a humongous wave of success. Many times, she would snootily utter, “Once you are loaded with power of money, then the world is at your feet, and the happiness at your fingertips!” I still remember the day I had called on my friend, when this cousin, too, had dropped in. 

For some time, all three of us were chatting, reclining against the compound wall. A ragmuffin passed by the road then. Looking at us, he started making funny, contorted faces mischievously.

When my friend’s cousin glowered back at him, the puny pipsqueak of a child playfully pelted a small pebble at her. She, who couldn’t take even these small irritants in her stride, sprinted towards him to slap him hard. The poor chap scampered off with tears streaming down his cheeks.

Both my friend and I stood with pole-axed look, since there was little that we could do. Really, I did feel bad to behold this girl, who had in her a cocktail of callow and callous attitude.

It is said, with age, the cocky brashness is replaced with cool level headedness. But, it seems, she only grew more conceited with greater hubristic airs, as she could get everything she wished for in her hedonistic life. Naturally, all the dreams she wove, were getting translated into reality for her.

When I was jolted back to the present in the coffee house, I began mulling over the famous lines “No person can be called happy, till he breathes his last breath”. Strange, that many times, many of us are under the illusion that good things in life will always remain forever. Hence, with grandiose plans for the future, we endlessly keep fabricating fantasies and eternally keep visualising an even better life ahead. But as the saying goes, “Man proposes, God disposes...”

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