March 11, 2010
9: 07 PM

Choice

The bus is empty. It is early morning and people rush towards their stops. She gets in first and looks at the array of seats waiting to be taken. She walks gracefully in the aisle, allowing her mood to take over. Let it decide where she should stop. It may be in the beginning or in the middle or in the end. Doesn’t matter for now, really. After a pause, she takes one in the middle, where she now begins to feel comfy. It’s at the window. She feels it could give her an amusing experience; as looking through the glass, especially the rapidly changing view of the outside. More like snapshots of nature put together in a slideshow. Or, she could rest her head on it for a nap. Or, she could open it and let her hair blow in the breeze.

The second person boards the bus. He looks at her and naturally gets drawn towards her seat. The choice is plenty for him too. But, he likes to limit them. Finally, he sits in a place from where he could see her. Somewhere close but not close enough.

The third person jumps in. He looks at both of them and doesn’t like him looking at her. So, he takes a seat that partially walls the second person’s view. But, he masterfully crafts his own view as well.
Now, another girl chips in and looks at the arrangement. She believes there is a rationale behind it. So, she works out her own reason from it and takes a seat to add more puzzle to the growing design.
More people start to get in. And, every time someone gets in, the seat that’s the most appealing as per the current design is being taken. Hence it slowly leads to the perfect design. Meaning, all are apparently happy. The bus is full now.

The next day, she takes the same seat. She likes that seat. Had a lovable experience at the window the previous day. The second guy takes the same seat again because he might have loved the partial view. Maybe that’s his best bet. And as we might expect, the rest of the commuters takes the corresponding seats leading to the exact design as that of yesterday.

The next day, the whole episode gets repeated and all are happy. And this starts happening almost every day; goes on for a month. Everyone inside have gotten used to it. More like a habit now that can’t be taken away. But the design was according to everyone’s choice including the person who takes the last seat. Yes, he took it. So they own their happiness that comes out of this journey.
Suddenly, one day, she gets tired of the view. She has had too much of it lately. She wants to take another one that gives her a fresh perspective. So she does. That’s her choice.

However, the second person is now confused. Where should he sit? He works out his own angle. Then, he somehow settles down with one. As people start rushing in, they become confused too. It is annoying to them. They got so used to the previous design that they had practically laid plans to live with it forever. Their happiness is at check now. They should reinvent another design now, which would surely take its toll on them. Make them insecure.

Annoyance becomes rage. Rage becomes madness. It leads to chaos eventually. The new design removes a meaty fraction of their happiness. They can’t live with it even for a while. So, they try to work out the premise of the entire chaos. They start reasoning and get to the initial point. Someone should have started this chaos. Oh, it’s her! They find that out. She is the reason for our madness. She has to be condemned. Cursed. Driven away. Beaten to death, maybe. And replace her with another one so that it could be started at the same point they wished.

Was anything wrong with what she did? Like everyone else, she made her choice on the first day. And it was her choice. She could change it any day. Why should she be cursed for it? After all, she made another choice.
 

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