Turning unreasonable anxiety into unlikely ideas

Tag: essay

coffee machine


It is a chilling winter evening. The wedding reception is in an open ground. A small tent covers the stage and a few chairs kept in front of it. Food is being served on tables arranged along the perimeter the ground.

Kids are stuffed with enough woolen that they may roll without getting hurt. Old men are wearing just as much but they put on a jacket. They set themselves apart by sporting a cap, some have a monkey cap. They look prepared to survive if were to stay here for the night.

Women are confused. They sit in the covered area unable to decide whether to let that thin shawl cover their elaborate jewelry or not. They may stand a chance to get a compliment from at least one of their husband’s subordinate or his wife. “Oh, that is a lovely necklace!” the wife will say. It means that she is looking forward to the day when she can afford it. Definitely, she would buy something better just like her taste.

An espresso machine stands in a corner. It makes a swoosh sound as it spews coffee in a cup. The cups are thick and save your hands from the heat. They are designed to look big and have less capacity.

You stand in a queue, get yourself a cup. You take a sip and all you get is the taste of cocoa powder and froth. But you are a born explorer who lives life dangerously. You venture into the unknown. You have let yourself be surrounded by strangers. Strangers who, when they question, make you wish they are struck by lightning. Twice. So, you quickly take another sip of that extremely hot coffee that destroys all taste buds. All the taste that ever was and will be.

You feel angry and embarrassed like a kid who is just old enough to realize that bed-wetting is shameful. You have now acquired the power to taste all the food irrespective of its taste.

The food will be declared terrible eventually by the guests. The worst thing that can happen to coffee is that it will run out. The cold is here to stay while everyone waits for the bride and groom. Till then most of the guests would have finished dinner and declared that only the coffee saved them.


Sitting in the crowd, watching people perform, you wonder how it would feel to be onstage. Backstage, you shake uncontrollably as you peep through the edges and a million eyes are glued onto the performers. The fear of making mistakes, appearing silly or going blank overwhelms. You have seen it happen to people. At the height of it all, you don’t dream of applause but wish for a magic wand that can skip time.

Once you step onstage, you see nothing. The bright lights blind you. You say the lines as if no one else is there. Beyond the glow there are no faces or dreaded opinions. Your lines are the truth. You let them go where they belong; in the open. They set you free as they part.

As an introvert, sometimes, I feel uneasy around people. It feels like any moment, I may be invited onstage and the spotlight of attention will be flooded. Perhaps, I fear they will know what I am thinking. Not that I think evil but it is private. It can be hard to open up. It demands trust that the other person will at least listen if not understand.

Try for once to ignore that spotlight of attention. See that you’re uncomfortable and not escape from it. Say what you’re thinking. It is bound to make you feel better, lighter.

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