Welcome to the ferris wheel of life where the ride is wild, unpredictable and strange. The moment you step onto the wheel, you are left with nothing but an illusion of control and free-will. You grab onto the safety handle, plug in your seat belt and wonder what to expect. You see others settling into their seats and feel comforted by the thought that if things go wrong, you would scream and seek their help.You also convince yourself there must be a rescue crew somewhere or an emergency exit built into the system. Everything will be okay, you say to yourself.
The ferris wheel begins to move. You take a deep breath and for the first time, your leg bumps against something. "What the.." you grumble. And then, out of nowhere and out of everywhere, levers and control boards with bizarre keys start jutting out and invading your space. You start to panic, fidget and your madman frenzy of moving your limbs in fear triggers several sirens. You start hyperventilating and you are just about to start screaming your lungs out when you notice others jabbing at the keys and levers in a specific pattern. You look from one person to the other - they all seem to have inherited a secret code programming them to behave in a singularly similar fashion. You wonder if your code is malfunctioning.
Sooner than later, you realize they are all staring at you as if you are an accomplished madman. Some are frowning and some are mocking. Some shake their heads in disbelief and a few of them urge you to follow their lead and put an end to the wailing sirens. You do as you are told and the brutal shrieking sure enough stops. You lean back, breathe easy and wave at them in a fit of gratitude. The wheel moves on comfortably.
You close your eyes and breathe deep. The wind beating against your face, the light chill in the air, the steady rhythm of the wheel, the music in your head, a special feeling in your heart - you feel in your element and at peace. You think this is the best experience ever and you are just about to get poetic and exercise your vocal cords in the form of a song, when an inexplicably eerie and strange sound drifts through the air. You flinch and cringe, and instinctively your hands go to your ears to shield them from the monstrosity of the atrocious sound.
You look around expecting to see horrified faces and terrified hands furiously clutching at the levers and punching at the keys to put an end to the madness. But the picture you see does not resemble the thought in your mind. You shake your head and rub your eyes. Damn, this noise must be making me delirious, why are they moving their limbs in that uncanny, spooky and disturbing manner? Your dazed eyes, slumped jaw and stunned brain is unable to comprehend and make sense of the noise and the dance. You calm down a bit, close your eyes and take a few breaths with a hope that this was all a surreal nightmare. As you open your eyes, you make an unsettling observation - they are staring at you.
You smile at them but nobody returns the gesture. They initiate a process of communication by controlling a lever and a key. You cluelessly gaze back at them. They intensify their signals and a part of you starts understanding what they need from you. They want you to do their dance and sing their song. Appalled, you say - No, thank you in the most kindest and humane way possible. Their collective ego gets offended, their collective expectations wont take no for an answer. They try different levers and keys to get you to do their bidding.
You shut your eyes and try to block the stifling noise. And, then, out of nowhere and out of the deepest part of you, emerges an idea. Your heart begins to pound, you smile hard, you feel the rush of exhilaration through your veins, and your mind reels under its own brilliance. You have had a eureka moment. You have made a decision. You are going to explore your machine, learn something about it and create something beautiful and harmonious.
Somewhere down the line, you are no longer the starry-eyed, dreamy, naive being that you once were. Their noise and absurd movements, their incessant commands to heed their path has begun to take its toll on you. You have watched them work together as an unbeatable system. They move their controls, arms and legs in the same flawless way. Slowly, you begin to develop doubts about your sanity. Surely, the majority must be right, you begin to think. You are going to try to get in and adapt to their ways, your mind reasons.
Its years later and you are no longer any different than the rest of them. Except that you are different from the rest of them. You have sung their song, you have done their dance but the sense of belonging never existed. You never felt right, you cried your eyes out, let your heart bleed and your soul writhe, you let your mind die a slow death. The misery is darker than anything you have known and yet you keep at it with a martyr's zeal. You know you are going insane. Your tired eyes stare into the blank space and your entire being has begun to shut down. You are bitter and more alone in their company. Still you refuse to not fit in.
One day, one of your lever and a few keys come unplugged and fall into the void. You gasp and scream, they look at you in dismay as if this was your fault. You stare back at them and all of a sudden you are free of them. You feel a certain edge, a certain defiance coming to life. You look at your wrecked console with a curiosity and longing that you have not known for ages. You begin to work your machine. You defy their commands and ignore their existence. You have chosen to stay silent, create very little noise with your machine and never to move your limbs in that ridiculous and godawful manner. You are too cool for that, you tell yourself.
As the years go by, you learned how to work your machine to tune out others and their noise, and you learned a lot about life, the world, others and yourself. You realized your life had started out simple, you had glimpsed a pale vision of your calling, and then you had ended up on their turf. Your life switched gears from simple to complicated. And as the once intense and bright fire of your mind started to dwindle to a flickering flame and eventually threatened to burn out, your life became the epitome of a twisted pursuit.
The ferris wheel keeps moving. This was just the first round of the simple, the complicated and the twisted. You instinctively know there are many more rounds to go. You brace yourself with a deep breath and a bright smile.