Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Man In The Mirror

I found myself sitting on a bench. I looked around. It was a hot, summer day. I was in the middle of a huge park. My mind felt blank. I had no idea how I had got there. I forced myself to think, but in vain. I felt tired. Disheveled. Weakness coursed through my body. What had happened to me? What was I doing here? I had no answer to those questions. Maybe I was too exhausted to even make an attempt at rational thinking. Soon, I gave up any hope of understanding my current predicament.

Very slowly, I stood up and gazed around. The park was full of other people and seemed to stretch on forever in all directions. The people seemed to be walking around with no particular aim or direction. They dragged their feet, as if somebody had tied lead weights on them. To my surprise, I noticed that almost all of them were suffering in various ways. A few of them coughed and sneezed. A couple of them were on wheelchairs. Some of them were crawling, and a few others were stooped like a hunchback. I was shocked. What kind of the place was this?

Suddenly, I saw something shining, a few yards away from me.I squinted my eyes in an effort to understand the source of this strange light. It was a mirror. It was reflecting the bright sunlight falling on its glass. The strangeness of this situation stumped me. What in the world, is a mirror doing in the middle of a park? Gingerly, I started walking towards it. My thighs ached and my head spun. I realized that I was no different from all the other sufferers in that park. 

While walking, I noticed something even stranger. Nobody apart from me seemed to notice the presence of the mirror. I mean, here was a mirror, bang in the middle of a park, and no one even acknowledged its presence! People just walked by it without even giving it a glance. Painfully, I made my way to the mysterious mirror, and stood in front of it. What I saw made my jaw drop.

In the mirror was a person who looked exactly like me. However, he was smartly dressed in a suit. He was clean-shaven and had a smile on his face. He looked so very fresh, and young too. He waved at me. I was stunned. I just stared with my eyes wide open. He was laughing at me now. It was a hearty laugh. A laugh from someone who didn't seem to have a care in the world. I couldn't move. I could not comprehend the sight before me. This cannot be happening. But yet, it was. I raised my arm and saw him do the same. I touched the mirror, and could see him do the exact same thing. As soon as I made contact with the mirror, I felt a pull. Everything around me started revolving, faster and faster. Terrified, I closed my eyes.

A few seconds later, it all stopped. I mustered enough courage to open my eyes. I was in the same park. The mirror was nowhere to be seen. I saw other people in the park. This time, they all seemed happy. People were talking to each other. A few of them were with their family, having a picnic. Children were running around and playing with each other. Everyone was having fun. I felt better instantly. I looked down and gasped. How can this be? I was now wearing a suit. I stroked my chin. Clean-shaven. What! I seemed to have turned into that man in the mirror!

I walked around. Everyone greeted me with a smile. A few minutes later,  I came across a carousel. I could not believe my eyes. A carousel! I used to love those when I was a kid. Without thinking, I hopped on one of the horses. I did not care about other people noticing a grown man sitting on a carousel. I simply enjoyed the merry-go-round. I felt so relaxed, so much at ease! That is when I noticed the house. It was just a few feet away, and it made me hop off the carousel in an instant. I rubbed my eyes. It was my grandparents' house. The house I practically grew up in. I was overjoyed!

I went inside the house. There didn't seem to be anybody there. I went upstairs to where my room used to be. I was in for another surprise. All my toys were strewn around on the floor, just like I used to leave them. My bed was made. A jar of cookies was placed on the side-table. My happiness knew no limits. For the next half an hour, I busied myself with my toys and my favorite chocolate chip cookies. It was like heaven! I went over to my window and looked outside. I saw people enjoying themselves. A few of them even waved at me. Then, I saw it. The mirror. Bang in the middle of the park.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I went outside again. I approached the mirror with caution and stood in front of it. In the mirror was a person who looked exactly like me. However, he wore a shabby blazer and was staring at me with his mouth open and eyes wide. His appearance made him look older. He had dark circles under his eyes and seemed weak. I smiled at him. He kept looking at me in stunned silence. He didn't move. I started laughing. Laughing at his appearance and his condition.

A few moments later, he raised his arm towards the mirror. It was as if he wanted to pull me. Take me into his world. I frowned. I did not want to leave this beautiful place. I certainly did not want to go to a place where such shabby people lived. No, I prefer to stay here. Where there is joy all around. Where people spread happiness, not disease. A world full of carousels and toys. And cookies, of course! Good people. Smiling faces. Yes, this is where I want to live. Forever.

I saw a rock lying beside me on the grass. Without further deliberation, I picked it up and threw it at the mirror. The glass shattered into a thousand pieces. The man in the mirror disappeared. A sense of relief washed over me. Smiling, I turned around and made my way back to my grandparents' house.


  1. awesome one again...makes us ponder over our life and choices :) :)

  2. You are what you want to be. What a lovely way to express it! Keep it up my son.

  3. Thought provoking! Enjoyed! You write well!!!

  4. Now, this one is my favourite Lash. A welcome transition from the supernatural and such a wonderful story..Deep and meaningful.Prolific stuff buddy..