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On the Open Road—About reality and dreams

In Stuti Changle’s On the Open Road, you’ll find Myra, Kabir and Sandy standing on the cusp of making life-changing decisions. The road to their dreams may not be easy, but their spirits remain high.

Here’s an extract to give you a glimpse of Kabir’s life and his desire to make a name for himself and achieve his dreams.

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On the Open Road
On the Open Road || Stuti Changle

The moment my flight lands, I think of Sandy and how I want to meet him. I pick up my Steve Jobs book and a black leather handbag in haste. I comfortably make my way through the aisle. That’s the advantage of travelling business class. Unlike the economy passengers, you don’t have to wait for the queue to move before you can deboard the plane. I am back in India, exhausted and burnt out from another business trip.

‘Nice shoes, sir,’ the stewardess compliments me as I reach the exit. Her name card reads Susan. She has been acting strange throughout the flight.

 

‘Thanks.’

 

She hands me a folded recycled tissue paper. I don’t know what to do with that.

 

‘Is something sticking to my face?’ I quip like a fifth grader.

 

She laughs out loud.

 

A little embarrassed, I walk off. I unfold the tissue paper and read it closely. A mobile number is written on it in pink ink. I flip through the pages of the book and place it randomly between them. I am not part of the mile high club yet. But I can’t keep Sandy waiting any longer! God has been merciful to me in some ways. My body is the biggest gift to me. I can turn heads and make things happen with a meek smile.

 

Just like in a flight, there are three types of people in the world.

 

The aisle-seat passengers are too content to try anything new. The middle-seat passengers are in a constant struggle with the self as they want to break free, but something holds them back. The window-seat passengers take risks and follow their hearts as all that keeps them moving is the view of the infinite.

 

I certainly belong to the middle-seat category.

 

My life is seemingly perfect but I want to know what imperfections feel like. What it feels like to give your everything to something and appreciate its outcome one day. I am proud of my lineage, but I always think about what life would be like if I built something on my own.

 

Life goes on in an endless loop. If it is a weekend, you’ve got to booze. If it is a weekday, you’ve got to watch downloaded TV shows from Pirate Bay. Even if there are thousands on your checklist, there are still a hundred more on the wish list. The hangover of the TV shows stays longer than that of the booze though. For a week you’re Harvey, the next Walter, then Tyrion. When you’re stressed out, you try to act cool like Chandler.

 

But I wish to be like Sandy. He is the one in the window seat. He dropped out of engineering college and developed a series of unconventional apps. He works on his dream, day and night, like a ninja with coding superpowers.

 

He tells me you might not have a penny in your pocket, you might sleep on a hungry stomach, your uncle might not support you, the world surely won’t, but don’t let the spark in you die. When you look into the mirror, you should know that you’re born to reach for the stars.

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Read On the Open Road to find out if Myra, Kabir and Sandy succumb to the obstacles or achiev their dreams.

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