There is no ease in this life. Dreams are but mirage. In the better sense, they are smoke, rising, departing from the fire. One moment he is motivated, hungry for good deeds. Everything sensible is beautiful, anything complicated is not worth his attention. Ecstasy dancing within his soul. Without any warning, the very next moment he is down casted. His heart is heavy. And a cloud of gloom follows him everywhere he goes. Then it hits him, or misses; Commitment and persistence are what counts.

Joel reread the closing line of the letter for the third time; It is on the above grounds, Sir, that I persuade your office to allow me terminate my studies. He shifted his gaze, aimlessly blank, at the ceiling of his bedsitter, and nervously tapped the table with his left fingers. If he were to send the letter that night through email, chances were higher it would be regarded as unsolicited mails. It had taken three such emails to teach him the lesson, and remote patience. He flipped his laptop closed.

Where did it come from? The irritating anxiousness that now consumes his heart, where once passion possessed. Where did he miss the step? That now it is all steep, rocky and crooked, the path he once was enthusiastic about. His muscles fatigued, his throat dry and aching; he could not bear it any longer. He promised himself that he had to put an end to it the next day. Then what? He had no idea. He did not want to know. Freedom. His suffocated spirit craved for it. His tired mind dreamt of it. He will take the letter physically to the university’s academic registrar office. This time his request must be granted.

It is on the possibility of successfully terminating his studies that his edgy heart rested. And he fell asleep. The field of medicine had been his obsession once. The passion to deal with diseases and unsettling conditions that complicate human life, giving patients hope and sometimes, second chances was ignited by the painful passing on of his dad. Through high school, and up to his second year of campus studies, Joel had willed himself to stay top of his studies. His guiding faith, man makes himself whatever he wills, invigorating him when his laboratory observations were too absurd, even to him. But one day, at the beginning of his third year, he snapped.

The bang at the door pounded in his eardrums. Joel groggily turned in his bed and covered his head with the duvet.
“Since when do Joe miss classes!” A voice from outside the door reached him. Even in his sleepy state he recognized it and dragged himself out of the bed. He fumbled with the doorknob for a few minutes and then finally managed to open the door. Exhaustion wrinkled on his face and sleep bags heavy in his eyes, he barely looked at the elegantly dressed lady.
“Come on in, Clare.” He mumbled on his way back. “If you want to.” He added when Clare did not move a muscle.

“You look pathetic Joe.” Clare said coming in. Joel did not say anything. He simply collapsed in the bed. Clare stood next to the bed looking down at him. There was mutual understanding in the silence between them. Their friendship had been spontaneously forged on concrete grounds of similarities and strengthened by the differences in personality they discovered along the way.
“At least tell me you finalized on the lab report.” She said in a firm voice, but with tiny trails of empathy only Joel could detect.
“I am just tired with everything.”
Clare reached for his laptop on the table and flapped it open.

The subject of the letter captured her interest: APPLICATION FOR TERMINATION OF STUDIES. She did not read further. She went and sat on the edge of the bed, next to Joel, putting her arm over his shoulders.
“Yah, there is no ease in this life.” Her voice was soft and full of understanding. Joel blankly stared at her.

“I joined Medicine because I had good grades and because my parents wanted a doctor in the family. I had no passion for the field. You had the passion. And somehow the universe brought you to me, to show me what marvelous things love can achieve. To show me how love makes things simple and easy. Joel, sometimes we lose our way. But that does not mean that, the way ceases to exist. Sometimes our candle threatens to go out, but the fire within still burns. If you don’t quit, the fire within your soul will never disappoint you. So, pull yourself up and prepare for class.”  

She said with finality. Joel cracked a smile.


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