Of all the seductresses who will lure you all your life, Hope is the cruelest. She plays with your mind endlessly, manifesting herself in dreams and nightmares, ambitions and apathies, serendipity and missed opportunities, successes and failures. She promises you better tomorrows at the end of hopeless days, silver linings to unending grey clouds, healing of past wounds, and exorcism of the demons that threaten to rip apart your spirit and soul. And here’s the scary part. You believe her. You believe her more than the God you worship, the religion you follow, or the master you bow to. You believe her like your life depends on it. You believe her more than yourself.
It is hard not to. While you’re painting a picture of the grand success your life will eventually turn out to be, and writing the eulogies that will be read at your funeral by the who’s who of whomever, you know that the average day is duller than the absolutely inevitable and monotonous passage of a second, signaled by the movement of the second’s hand of a clock. The devil lies in the details. And there are details to be taken care of, if you do wish to complete that picture you so cherish. It is a giant jigsaw puzzle, with pieces after pieces of the same colour, with just a suggestion of a change in shade or hue. But you work at it nevertheless, hoping that the pieces you are putting together are in the correct order as you edge towards completing it. So each day that you work tirelessly towards something, without a hint of progress or achievement, this Hope, this picture pushes you on. So while the ticking of the second’s hand is inconsequential, the change in day, month and year is most certainly not. That’s ‘The Butterfly Effect’ at its purest. She dangles carrots, she whips you with sticks, but she achieves her objective. You are seduced into tomorrow.
And cruel as she may be, that tomorrow is always the best thing that could have ever happened to you, simply because the alternative is to stop existing. And you don’t want to do that. Not while you have Hope seducing you. And that is her saving grace, her exit sign from hell. Because without her, there’s only Time. Hope’s seduction is perhaps the only thing that is keeping you from perpetually fixing your eyes on the clockwork motion of the second’s hand or slitting your wrists open and drain into oblivion. Without her seduction, your life’s graph will only contain a timeline and some semblance of activity running parallel to it. Falling prey to her seduction is what you are wired to do. That is why you pick yourself up and dust yourself off after falling down, you mend your broken heart, and you start again from square one. Granted there are moments when you look beyond the seductive possibilities Hope presents, when you are able to separate the white canvas from the shapes and colours of your picture. And those who make this a sustained habit are the ones who achieve nirvana or wash up dead on the shores. But that is a rarity.
So give in to this seduction. Let Hope lead the way. She may promise you roses, all the while drawing blood with the thorns, but it will be worth it. There will be a moment when she’ll let you smell them and keep them. There will be a moment when the second’s hand will feel proud because it will move in your honour. The pieces of the puzzle will suddenly make sense and a life defining pattern will emerge. You will boast of not being tempted into NOT being seduced. It will be orgasmic. That is when you’ll get to say ‘My Turn’. And don’t worry of Hope ever losing her charm or her moves. Don’t bother of Hope deserting you in pursuit of another suitor. Don’t be afraid of Hope leaving you in the pessimistic depths of your mind’s hell.
Rest assured. Hope springs eternal.