Not Being Sad Doesn't Mean Being Happy

"Hey! How are you?"

The innocuous question, what our parents taught us to ask a new person when we were kids, stares at you through that chat window. For a brief second, you wished you had turned off the chat a couple of minutes ago. But you forgot. Because you were busy running down the news-feed, checking marriage photographs, new-mummies and foreign trips of people you didn't care about while your work was calling. You just weren't interested to answer to that. "Such a vague question!", you thought. "I might be dying here but I got to reply that I am Okay. God, damnit it!" You key your reply, which is duly seen in a couple of seconds. For a second, you wished the conversation ended right there.

Unfortunately, despite you putting almost every little facet about your life online, that person asks - "What are you up to these days?" You feel like snapping back, but then you were also taught to hold on to that temper of yours. So, you politely lie again - "everything's alright, everything's good". "Hmm" comes the reply. But then it's been long since you asked about your friend. He/She must have had a lot of fun lately, being away from social networking altogether? "Too much work!", comes the reply. Slowly, you realize that the conversation is going absolutely nowhere. The work, which you staved off to come online and check on the pathetic lies that your friends fed you, suddenly seems interesting. Hurriedly. you type, "brb",not wanting to return at all. 

The coffee has gone cold. Damnit, you will have to get up from your desk again and fetch another cup. But the ensuing headache and the post-lunch slumber is too much for you. You rustle up the chair and stand up. Across the bay, you see the sun slowly settling behind another building, another building having hundreds of employees wishing to be home early, wishing to be with their family a bit early. But they have deadlines too. The brilliant sky calls you and for a second you're reminded of the bicycle rides back home from the playground, when the only worry would be the semi-yearly exams due next month. 

Life was nice, indeed. You would be with your friends all day, going well into the evening, until it was time for group studies and you'd see them again. Tuitions would be fun, when classes would more often than not be bunked and a movie watched. The cold coffee suddenly takes away the attention and you get back to the impending deadline and the quickly-darkening sky suddenly leaves out the window as quickly as it had arrived. 

Coffee tastes different. May be because of the machine being changed or something, you don't know. Your shrug the thought away, for you have work. Unlocking the desktop, you see the last chat in front of you. The other person is offline. You slowly scroll up while the cacophony of ringing telephones, ruffling papers and loud discussions slowly draw away. 

"Hey! How are you?"

"I am good. I am okay. I am alone. I am lonely. I am not sad. I am not happy. There are thoughts that are bursting through me, and yet I can't speak any. I am worried, I don't give a damn. I need help. I probably could do without help. I am good. I am okay. I am not sad. I am not happy."

I am not sad. Neither am I happy. What a terrible privilege. 


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