The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Greener pastures. Everyone of us has the inherent trait of looking for greener pastures. Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest is maybe the cause of this desire for seeking and attaining the best. Definitely that must be the cause of this never-ending quest. Otherwise how would evolution be possible? Only if man is constantly on the lookout for better opportunities and newer ventures, can he gather new experiences and evolve.
But there is also another side to this story. Sometimes the happiest people are those who are content with their lives and happy to stick to their own pastures. Also, as far as some things are concerned, it’s best not to look for greener pastures. Say, for example your better half or your soul mate. If a guy has a woman in his life who has a good personality and loves him more than life and suddenly the guy is smitten by the Mona Lisa of India, Katrina Kaif. It would be highly unrealistic if he ditched his steady relationship and started stalking Katrina. You might ask me, that’s all very well, but where is the story?
So let me introduce you to Papori, the girl who always sought greener pastures. Well, you couldn’t blame her. Situations compelled her to do so. So, the man I just told you about, the one who is suddenly Katrina’s star-crossed lover? Well, that guy is Papori’s soulmate. Or was. So suddenly she started wishing she was Katrina, the lady who is too beautiful to be true. Beautiful, successful, sought-after. Every man’s dream girl. And lo and behold, out of the blue Papori found her wish come true! Well, at least that’s what the mirror revealed. There she was; doe eyes, lips like the petals of a newly-blossomed rose, perfect nose, and tresses cascading down like a waterfall. The cream and shampoo ad-maker’s delight. And the best part: Salman. What more could a girl ask for?
But then she found she wasn’t so happy after all. Long shoots, day and night; harsh lights, wearing a sari for some silly song in the snow-capped Himalayas. Salman’s mood swings. No real friends in the showbiz business. And then Papori emerged from her dream, or should I say nightmare? Whoops! Thank God this was not her life. So what if Samar ditched her for the on-screen goddess? It’s best to be human after all. Best not to be a star and shine and yet live in darkness. Best to live in your own pasture.
Now Papori had another regret in her life. Being a girl wasn’t easy. Fixed hostel in-time, less freedom (1947 happened for only the guys it seems), being eve-teased, being a second class citizen in your husband’s home (well, she was yet to experience that), having the lion’s share of household responsibilities…The list of miseries is endless.
But one should be careful what one wishes for. One fine day, Papori found she was no longer Papori. She was called Papon. Crazy as it may sound, she had turned into a guy overnight! She almost screamed when she caught ‘herself’ in the mirror. Overnight Papon had a stubble, an Adam’s apple and she strode like a guy. And then her troubles started. Certainly there was no in-time, freedom as endless as the sky, a devil-may-care attitude that naturally comes when you are a man.
But when “Papon” entered his hostel late that night, he got his first dose of real ragging. His first lesson in peer-pressure. Not the snickering, snubbing and bitter back-biting of petty and arrogant girls. Real peer-pressure. “Arre yaar, come on, are you a man or not? Here, take a puff. And yeah, you can’t say no to this wonderful whiskey. This is heaven.”
Rishi, his senior was handing Papon a cigarette and a ‘glass of heaven’. Papon took a whiff of both and sputtered. Nitin, his batchmate was now slurring. Papon ran away. Well, almost. “Arre, you must bring us some more drinks, bhai,” Nitin blabbered.
Papon racked his brain. He excused himself saying he would come back with more drinks. He was running fast. His heartbeat was faster than the smoke twirling up from the cigarettes of his honourable seniors. Worse, he could not cry because boys don’t cry.
Once again the whole event turned out to be another nightmare. Papori was jerked back to reality by her alarm clock. For the first time in her life she was overjoyed on hearing the familiar, irritating alarm tone. Man, what a life. Boys don’t have all the fun for sure. Well, it turned out that being a man was not so cool and great after all.
So, Samar or no Samar, it was best being Papori. So what if he had dumped her? It was not the end of the world. The grass is definitely not greener on the other side of the fence. And who knows, in today’s trying times, one may not even find grass on the other side of the fence. One may have to eat dust, not grass.