This blog is inspired from an article I read a while ago, called The Purpose of Life Is to Be a Nobody, by Zat Rana, and while he gives a parallel dimension to this very concept, and an extremely interesting read at that, it has been too long that I have been toying with a personal fantasy on the lines of this.
I live in Dubai, a city known for its architectural finesse, its tall buildings, its expensive lifestyle, and like some say, its man-made concrete walls.
I have lived in Mumbai, a city known for chasing big dreams, its scurrying rickshaws, its crazy monsoons and its maddening traffic situation.
I have lived in Jorhat, Assam, a small town known for its beautiful tea gardens, progressive mindsets and a meandering river.
And I have lived in Kolkata, a city of joy, where the air is infected with good food, great conversations and an artistic aura.
I have had plenty of lives to live in these few years.
I have been multiple versions of myself, as if, each version overlapping one another, sometimes in a smooth way, and at other times, competing with each other to come first.
I have lived through love and laughter. I have lived through loss and struggle. I have lived through finding pleasures in buying things for myself. I have lived through finding pleasure in just looking at the people walk by. I have lived through heartbreak, and through conflict.
And when all of this is too much, I have lived through looking at the star-lit sky, fantasizing about My Nobody Fantasy.
Just like Zat Rana says in his article, the single most obvious reason why we love, laugh, lose, struggle, get our hearts broken is because we give too much importance to ourselves.
When you sit under the star-lit sky and imagine the gigantic galaxy and planets and stars making up this whole universe, you begin to realize how little you are in front of this world.
How does your sorrow quantify in the bigger picture?
Why are you so important to yourself?
My Nobody Fantasy starts with me waking up early in the morning.
I wake up without an alarm clock zinging through the cold air, but naturally, as if my body has adjusted to a new, stable environment – I pull my hand-sewn blanket over my head. I switch on the bulb over my head and look for the kettle in my one-room home. It is a pretty neat house, made of bricks, cement and humility. A single room and a little attached bathroom.
The kitchen is dapper too, with all necessities stacked in the wooden shelves. There is no refrigerator, as, where I live in My Nobody Fantasy, it is really cold, and I like to cook fresh and eat fresh anyway.
I drink my cup of tea, looking out of the small window – The fog has still not cleared, and I can feel the droplets of water condensing on the cracked glass of my window.
I wear a simple dress, tie my hair into a non-fussy ponytail and wear no make-up. I leave home without locking it, because where I live, it is completely safe, and robbery is unheard of. I leave home with my bag full of books and some fruit.
I go to my favorite tea-stall – I order my usual breakfast of milk, buns and butter. As I begin eating, my friends from the tea-stall come over for our morning chit chat.
They don’t know me – They don’t know what I do – They don’t know who I was before I moved here, and they don’t even care – But here we are, talking to each other, our relationship with each other, nothing more than having the same address – This Earth.
I go to my school, where I teach all subjects, because where I live, they don’t have too many teachers. They don’t have too much money too. But they all want to learn.
I am surrounded by young children, their eyes red from waking up in the morning, but their mouths spreading into a grin when they see me. I spend all my day with them, chatting, teaching, and eating together. They fight a lot, and I split them up when they do. Some of them feel sleepy, so I let them take a little nap on their desks. There is one really cute boy who drags me to his bench to show me his painting.
Thoughts are free-flowing – Language is no bar.
No one is chained by limitations.
No one is important enough.
No one is special.
It acts as a huge relief, because it lets you lead life without any pressures, frees you from your own expectations.
It truly lets you appreciate the Sublime.
I go back home in the evening to my modest house.
The landlord of my house waves at me, and calls me over. He asks for my help in writing a letter to his son who lives in a far flung city, in another universe.
I make my dinner quietly, a simple dish that I learnt while living here – A stew made with meat and vegetables.
And I eat my dinner quietly, too – Where my company is my own thoughts.
There is no Netflix, no TV, no Internet, no Smartphone.
Because, here, I was a Nobody.
And I don’t need these things to feel good.
I don’t need these things to stay connected.
Because staying connected, which was once a pressure, is no more a priority for a Nobody.
I still watch the stars, not from a sky-rise building, but as I step out of my house, hidden away by trees, behind the mountains, underneath the fog.
But now when I watch the stars, I don’t question how big the universe is, and how small I am in comparison.
I am not crying for attention anymore, screaming at the world about the size of my problems, or my artificial sense of importance.
I don’t question if my sorrows are worth talking about in this huge universe.
Because I already know that I am small – That I am miniscule.
I already know that I am anonymous.
And there is something very powerful about being anonymous – About being a Nobody.
Because when you’re a Nobody, nobody can hurt you, not even you, yourself.