Bucle Infinito !

There are only a handful of engineers who try to learn engineering, the rest just read the concepts to pass the end semester exams and somehow end up in a job. The following story is about the latter, who unfortunately are the bigger slice of the pie. Before going into the story, I have to say something. If you already know the meaning of the title, it’s okay. But if not, don’t try and google it’s meaning until you read this story completely. Now without any delay, let’s dive in.

It is half-past five on a Friday evening; the traffic is really heavy. Our guy is on his way back home after his long tiring day at work, driving his car at a relaxed pace. Though it seems like he is pretty relaxed right now, he is extremely frustrated with his job and life. Yeah, you guessed it, HE is a typical middle-class Indian, whose only career option is to either be a doctor or an engineer. But, most of those “guys” aren’t good at biology, so naturally, they end up in an engineering college.

Our guy is making steady progress towards his home and just about when he starts to think that everything is fine, the traffic signal goes haywire. And in the blink of an eye, there is a long queue of trucks, cars, and motorcycles ahead of him. No one has got a clue when this is going to end. Our guy is about to jump out through the roof of the car. Yes, he is extremely pissed off with this whole traffic signal going haywire.

He gets out of his car and takes a good look at the unceasing cavalcade of vehicles. He is pretty sure that this is going to last for hours. So, he decides to get some snacks from the store nearby. He found a cramped parking space nearby, which is just right to fit his car in, so he squeezed his car out of the cavalcade. He parks’ his car there and went to a bakery just across the road and ordered a cup of degree coffee (a native version of coffee) blended with perfection along with milk and sugar, making it an absolute finesse, who’s aroma can be felt even from a mile. Sitting with his cup of coffee, he sees some school kids, across the road in the pavement, on their way back home and takes a dive into his memory lane. Oh, Man! Those days were awesome, he thinks, free of stress, absolutely zero responsibilities, just like every other adult’s thoughts when they see a bunch of kids. He continues to watch the kids, hoping to get those days back which he knows he can’t.

The kids surrounded a tree on the sidewalk; they were engrossed with something on that tree. Our guy got curious and goes near the tree to take a closer look at what the children were so eagerly looking at. That is a cocoon. No surprise that the kids were excited. They seemed so elevated that they were about to witness the butterfly coming out of the cocoon. Oh! Stop this for a second. Come on, what’s so great about a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Well, that’s why the kids are happy. They can find happiness in almost everything and anything. Just as the kids predicted the butterfly came out of the cocoon, which made the kids jump to the sky in joy. Damn! It’s like witnessing a comet, one in a million experience. That butterfly is so beautiful and rich in colors, our guy is pretty sure that he hasn’t seen anything so beautiful in his complete existence.

After the kids went, excited, and with a smile long enough to be seen from the other side of the road, our guy came back to his car. The traffic in the opposite lane is clear now, the vehicles were racing to get out of that hell. Our guy now, badly wanting the traffic in his lane to be cleared too, sees the butterfly struggling to find its way through the cars and trucks, which he saw evolving into a beautiful creature, a few minutes back. Before he could think of anything else, the butterfly dug a path through the traffic and made it to the median and it was about to make a move to cross the other lane too. When it did, it got hit by a racing truck. Our guy is devastated by this horrible incident, crawled his way back home as the traffic started to clear finally.

It’s quarter to seven when he reached his home; he changed into his trousers. In our guy’s home dinner is not served before 8:30 pm. He couldn’t resist himself from thinking of the butterfly, meanwhile, he is also hoping to finish off some works from the office, so that he can be out of the limbo at least for the rest of the weekend. He fires up his laptop and starts working; not even 30 mins into the work, he is already into the subliminal thoughts about the butterfly. Let me ask you to stop here for a minute and guess what might have triggered the nerve in his brain to think about the butterfly and not about the adorable kids or the annoying traffic? If you are an engineer who is infuriated with your job, then you might have guessed it by now.

Our guy is into some deep thoughts about the butterfly. Okay, have you figured out why he is into the butterfly that much? Does it have anything to do with his life? Can we relate the life of the butterfly with ours? Turns out that our guy is relating his life with that of the butterfly’s.

(He is thinking) Life is too short, right? The butterfly’s life ended even before it started. It might have thought of exploring this huge earth, flying high to places which humans couldn’t even think of accessing, during its time inside the cocoon. All the hardships it had to undergo to evolve from a larva to a butterfly, went in vain. If this had been in a forest it would probably be flying happily now and it might have even found a partner so that it could bring even more beautiful butterflies into this world. But now none of that happened, it is dead for something which isn’t its fault. Why does life have to be like this? So unfair. Whom should we blame now? The butterfly? No, we can’t. How it might have known that that tree is in the middle of a busy road, where thousands of vehicles pass by every hour. The truck driver? Hell, NO. He never could have seen the tiny butterfly amongst that chaos. Even if he had seen it, he isn’t going to cause another traffic jam just to save the life of a tiny creature.

On a wider scale, we are similar to the butterfly, aren’t we? Most of us, if not all of us, spent our childhood dreaming about becoming an astronaut, even before knowing what space is or a scientist just because we made the 5v motor to run using a few AA batteries or even a pilot so that we get to operate that giant machine or to shoot bullets from an aircraft and nothing else. We might have even told our parents that we are going to become an actor, which is merely to see ourselves on the big screen. But what happened to all those desires of ours? Yes, we became adults, responsible, focused on getting a 9 to 5 job only to settle down somewhere, find a partner, and raise a family of our own and to continue the cycle. Once we became the so-called “responsible person”, we buried that kid, who dreamt of being an astronaut, a scientist, an actor, an athlete, a writer, or even an archaeologist; somewhere deep inside. Why do we have to do that? Just to continue the cycle? Yes, just to continue this never-ending cycle. Just like the butterfly’s life ended even before it started, most of the “kids” within ourselves die even before coming into this world.

While he is wondering about the never-ending cycle, the smell of his mom’s delicious gravy dragged him back out of his subconsciousness. After having dinner, our guy completed his office work and went to bed; he slept like a baby. The next morning, he woke up as a new person, after completing his routine he decided to find a way out of this limbo. While he was trying to figure a way out, his phone rang. It’s a call from his boss. Our guy was asked to complete some additional top priority work. Swoosh! The magic happened and our guy is back into the limbo. Little does he know that there is absolutely one in a million chance of escaping this perfectly designed cycle.

PS: Congrats to myself, if you have come this far. Now, Google and find the meaning of the title. Also, please type the first four words which pop into your head, right after reading this story, in the comments. Your comments would be really helpful for me to improve. I’m an engineer too, I can handle some criticism. PEACE.

Article by

Sabesan Hari Rajamanikam

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