So you always know that people, well, most of them, are ‘KURSI KO SALAM’ types. They will be nice to you as long as they think you ‘are’ useful to them or ‘will’ be useful to them.
As soon as you drift away from the conventions of silly power play- they just delete you from their self-important lives. And hope that you’ll struggle like crazy to come back on track and hope that you can’t no matter what, and prove them right that disembarking the gravy train is leaving it ‘forever’.
They hope that you will call them ten times in sheer desperation, and they will not take the call and pretend to be in the meeting.
And they will laugh at you over drinks and claim how you were never right in the head anyway and hope that you are able to get some low-end opportunity which will bring you to their thick corner office door once in a while to get humiliated.
After all, you have seen them doing it a billion times to the best of the people and have seen these best people getting demoralised till they doubt their own capabilities.
They hope that you be the example they can quote till they are 80 years old. Example of how the worldly wisdom they live by is the ONLY way to live happily.
You have always known that since these people are almost always the most boring, and mediocre of the lot anyway, you are glad to be rid of them. After all, in today’s highly networked world, being away from ‘everything’ essentially means being away from people in that particular ‘thing.’
Some people surprise you because you naively thought they were your real friends. But the fact that you don’t miss them eventually, and they make you feel like a lost cause, makes you realise that they were just your bunkmates and all they ever wanted was to crib pointlessly as they licked as much gravy as they could.
You jump off the Gravy train a la Harrison Ford and relish the walk. And see the train from afar and see that it is, after all, just 2 tracks and a stupid train. And that it is just going round and round and round. And you realise that you are not missing the pace and you can see that the train is just there to take you forward and that it is not your life but just a stupid locomotive.
And you realise your own power firsthand as you walk, you drift, you bend down to pick up an interesting pebble, you sleep under starry sky, you make love to your dear ones, you drink crystal clear water, you play , you jump, you dive, you fly.
You look in the clear waters and you see your grinning expression and you realise- voila!!! You are a monkey. Not a human. You look around and notice, for the first time, that your loved ones are monkeys as well. The artists you admired- ditto. The people you adored- ditto.
You are a pack of monkeys. Why and how did you ever think you were a ugly,naked, no-fur, no tail human being? Were you suffering from some sort of identity crisis that made you believe you were a totally different species altogether?
And all the negativity, all the boredom, all the expectations, all the disappointments shed from your body as you run in fresh air with your pack, glad to be alive. Shivering happily to have discovered that you are a monkey- free from the burdens of so-called evolution to the hoity toity humanity.
A monkey life. A monkey joy. You are a monkey who likes to jump and clap and eat the juiciest of fruits with the juice running down your wrist just for the fun of it.
You just enjoy being on your feet again and feeling the ground beneath. You sit tight with your loved ones and take deep breaths of pure, fresh, natural air.
You know you might need to ride the train again for a while,and spent some time with the humans- but now you know it is just a stupid locomotive and are cool about it.
And then one day you decide you are ready get back on tracks for a few more years. Maybe, hopefully, so that you can say goodbye to the train forever at the end of the said few years. And gather all the fruits and come back to the tree.
You strut back on the track like a drunken monkey Jackie Chan style, and jump on it fairly easily because you are not ashamed of falling down. You know if you fall, you will just brush the sand off your palms, laugh at yourself and jump again. You are now a monkey- relishing the jumping and not bothering about where you land.
And you land your springy feet on the train and swing on the bars and pick up the banana from your back pocket and sit on the roof munching on it, oh you do.
And then all those humans who wanted you to be the example of deviant failure notice you again. ‘Hey- look at her. How is she back on the train? She didn’t call us. We didn’t get to humiliate her. We didn’t even get that banana.’
When they see you back on track, back on the train, munching your banana- their ugly noses quiver with surprise that is soon replaced by envy which is soon replaced by opportunism.
They shamelessly extend the hand of friendship again. Precisely because you don’t need their freaking hand. And they want a piece of that banana too.
And then you laugh when they clamber all over themselves to get re-connected with you. ‘Hey,’ they think, ‘ she wasn’t lying when she said she wants a break from the gravy train and walk on her feet. She meant it. And now she got a better place on the train. I want to be her friend again. So what if I didn’t give a shit about her during one year when she was doing great interesting things which I have no interest in or comprehension about. So what if I don’t give a shit about her even now. She might be my ticket to the first class bogey of foren country and tax free salary’.
You are surprised that you are not bitter and disappointed in humanity. You are a fully developed monkey now. Willing to take most fellow humans as they are. A dumb species full of useless emotions and goals.
And they wiggle and they joke and smile their fake smiles and try to connect and make plans.
And you.. you just wave at them, bare your teeth in merry monkey smile stained with yummy banana pulp and go back to your compartment.
Knowing fully well that you will be jumping off it again very soon once you have enough gravy in your monkey tummy.