“This way … 20 yards to the left from the corner of this road, you are almost there, I’m going over there, follow me.” His fingers pointed to the corner as he panted. His face was blood red. I thought he was mad at me for stopping him. But he was in such a hurry, he had no time to even think of showing any particular feeling towards me; he had come running probably from a very long distance. He also carried a heavy backpack and a huge bag in one of his hands.
“He must be lucky” I thought “He must be having a lot of memories”
I was standing there empty handed.
“It’s getting late. Will you not come? I can’t wait longer, see how the queue is growing every second…“
I wished, for a split of a second, our eyes would meet and he would understand all of me.
Alas… he turned, “I’m going …. Have a nice time” he shouted, as he raced, without even looking back!
I guess I wanted to stop him…
But… Everyone else were running towards the corner of the road! He should not miss it!
I took the pass in my hand… It was glittering despite the accumulated dust of long long years.
“It is the ticket to a happier world, you’ll have no worry once you enter it… all you have to do is follow the rules and regulations of the world” somebody had handed the ticket to me in one of those low times of my youthful days.
I had flatly ignored it… Obviously… I never believed happiness is bound to any rules and regulations.
I stepped further...Empty handed…the pass tucked to my waistband…. I had memories too, but I had chosen to leave them behind, anyhow I had dreamt of a happier world, a new world, and so a new me, I dint find a reason to pack my past!
I saw it! It was a golden gate! Walls so high, fresh paints and the view beyond the gate was just awesome… Colors, colors and more colors. I saw people wandering about, everyone seemed happy, everyone smiled!!
The queue was now a maddened crowd… running, shouting, abusing at each other… each of them wanted to be at the other side of the gate, each of them wanted to be more happy!
And… I was going to be one among them. I closed my eyes to let it sink in… “I’ll be happier now on” I sighed!
The shouting, the madness seem to fade, people became silent once they stepped past the golden gate! It was now my turn! I was still closing my eyes. The guard shook me, he snatched my pass, and tucked a paper in my hand and gave me a paper bag.
“Rule: ” the paper said “There’s no going back”
I lifted my chin to thank him… “probably with a wide smile” What I saw was unusual, he had the widest smile and it was the weirdest smile.
I was inside the gate now, I opened the bag, it was a mask, a very stylish mask, and it had the widest smile I ever saw.
Then, I saw it.. Everyone there were smiling .. their masks smiled for them…
The impact of the shock was too cold to bear… nothing really happened to me….. Now, I had to wear the mask too
And the rule said “There’s no going back”!