MIDWAY : Conquering adversity

Tara Bhatta

It is a full moon night and yet I don’t see a moon. The dark clouds are sailing all over the sky. I used to enjoy this silhouetted night from the opposite part of the globe until some months ago. My wonderful friends would be with me, and vicariously albeit, she would be with me planning for a cool moonlight walk. But today I’m alone and exhausted after a day’s wandering. I took the earliest bus to Eastern Avenue this morning. The black lady driver stared curiously at my strange Aryan face as I fed the three and half dollars to the slot machine. To me, I was the only human-like creature in the bus. The others didn’t quite look like me.

I got off the bus where I was told to look for gas stations to find out if they were hiring someone. I had never faced such a cold weather and much to my chagrin, it was windy the whole day. The chill penetrated all the way through my thick woollen cap and my gloves and froze my body. Chugging in vain along the main street, I had a deep sigh of relief when I saw my bus coming. But no sooner had I taken the ticket out of my pocket, a furious gust of wind blew it even before I realised what had happened. I chased it wildly for a while, and then despondently watched it fly beyond my sight, past a wire fence. Above my head, I saw a board written “No Loitering” in red letters. Nothing could have been more distressful. Everything conspired to work against me today. The only option now left for me was to walk the six miles all the way to my apartment fighting a shivering cold of seven degrees below freezing and a mind whirling exhaustion.

Regardless of my so many friends and relatives all over the US, I have deliberately thrown myself here for this intriguing adventure. My desperate effort to conquer the world has indeed helped me to fight frustration. I have been alone to the busiest shopping malls in a 47-storied building. I had to be bold enough to find the dark metro train subways and swift motorboats at the harbour, wary of falling prey to robbers. Whatever the trouble I face, I have learnt to persevere through misery in this hopelessly enormous city. These physical complexities have healed my emotional pains of the tragic betrayal. It’s not always the happiness that wipes away the pains. Sometimes a more severe pain helps dissipate petty sufferings. Indeed, I can say I have discovered the long sought key to be the hero of my own life. It starts snowing outside. The black clouds are gone but the moon is still not there. Perhaps I don’t care about it anymore.