Everyone dreams, and wishes that they might someday become a reality. These dreams, and all we do to make them real and tangible, might be the only force that makes us skip from day to day without noticing the birds twittering or the roses romancing the wind. That there is as much romance in these visions as there is in our painstakingly built sand castles is ironic, strangely wicked and a subject that philosophers will debate for generations to come, but I shall let it pass.
Arun had a dream like everyone else but like no one else’s. He would tell his friends, and everyone else who was willing to hear him, that someday he’d like to travel on a city bus. Those of you who presume that Arun is very poor, that the few rupees needed to travel on a city bus were out of his reach, that he might have six children and one more to come are wrong.
Arun was a bachelor, living in an apartment that can be called comfortable. He owned a car, a TV set, a digital watch-the fad of yesterday and a mobile phone- the fad of today. But Arun wished that he might someday travel in a city bus. When he was once asked if he couldn’t do it today, he said,“no, because today I must work so that tomorrow I may realize my dream.”
Arun wasn’t simplistic. He yearned for every materialistic pleasure that the world had to offer. But someday, he hoped that he would have it all. The digital watch and the mobile phone he already had. He never bothered wishing that he’d own a tower on the moon, or the Great Wall of China. Dreams must be realizable he said. “All I want to do is travel on a city bus one day, and that itself poses such a big problem.”
Arun wanted it all, or wanted to reach a point in his life where he felt that he had it all, except perhaps a ride in the city bus. A ride in the city bus, where he can sit and watch the lady rushing to her work, or that man who’s dreading meeting his superior, or the driver himself yelling obscenities at other drivers yelling the same at him. Arun wanted to look at the squirrel gathering acorns for the cold winter, or the street dog drinking water from a muddy puddle. Arun wanted to smile at the beggar woman carrying a young child in her arms, and smile and give her money along with perhaps the metaphorical fishing rod. Arun wanted to ride in the city bus not in order to get anywhere, or to get away from elsewhere. For once, in his life he wanted to ride the city bus, because he had done everything else, and there was nothing else left to do.
Arun rides a city bus everyday today. Don’t ask me if he became a millionaire or if he actually did buy the Great Wall of China. But my friends, what does it matter, after all we too want to ride the city bus everyday. And I have an extravagant dream – that all of us might travel on the city bus someday.