What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised?

What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised?


What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised? Or rather, I should ask myself the question, what would I see if I looked into the mirror of Erised? The mirror of Erised is actually a mirror that brings to light a person's innermost desires. I wish I had with me a mirror of that sort throughout the fifty-two years I have lived on this planet. I wonder what I would have seen if I had peeped into such a mirror at various points in my life. Suddenly I decided, to plant a mirror of Erised deep in my imagination and peep into it retrospectively during the hallmark events of my life. 

Let me begin with my earliest memories. I remember when I was ten years old and the two boys (Mohan and Sriram) who lived in the same apartment as I did, used to gang up on me and leave me out of the games we played. If I had looked into the mirror of Erised at that point in time what would I have seen? I look into the mirror of Erised planted in my imagination. Oh God! That is indeed a nasty site. I did not realize I disliked Mohan and Sriram so much. 

Moving ahead, I look into the mirror of Erised when Srimathi the girl on whom I had a crush in my fifth grade sent me greeting cards for Diwali. I peep into the mirror of Erised. Is that Srimathi dressed as a fairy that I see? Looks like it. Srimathi must have meant a lot more to me than I had realized.

Let us move a little forward in time and peep into the mirror when I got through the IIT joint examination. I am quite sure of what I would see. Probably a kid jumping up and down, flailing his arms in the air with joy. I look into the mirror and lo and behold what do I find? I see the number 1582 written in red. Now, what the hell does that mean? Suddenly I get it. I had set myself a target of securing a rank within the first 200 in IIT JEE but I had only managed a very pathetic 1782. And 200 subtracted from 1782 is 1582. Oh! So I had been disappointed when I got through JEE after all. I had not realized it at that time. Trust the mirror of Erised to tell you the truth.

Then we move on to my first marketing job. What do I expect to see? I guess a brash arrogant, over-confident and immodest young man! I peep and what do I find? A child cowering in fear! So I had known in my heart of hearts that marketing was not really my cup of tea. I guess if I had this mirror with me at that time I would not have taken up that fancy marketing job. Now let me come to the time when I was introduced by mutual friends to the woman who eventually became my wife. I peep and for once I see what I expected. There is a heart symbol with an arrow running through it. So it had been love at first sight, after all.

Next, what do I see when I look in the mirror while listening to my twelve-year-old daughter playing the violin? I peep into the mirror and I see musical notes in a book all vibrating in resonance with my daughter's violin strings. And who is that playing the violin in the mirror? Yes, it is my daughter dressed beautifully in a pink gown. She finishes playing the song and there is thunderous applause from the huge audience seated in the auditorium. 

Now finally I look into the mirror this instant and what do I see? I see a matrix of English alphabets arranged arbitrarily. Slowly the alphabets start dancing. Then they arrange themselves into words. The words arrange themselves into sentences. The sentences become paragraphs and enter into pages. Finally, the pages accumulate become a complete book. On the cover of the book, I see the words "Another bone-chilling thriller by the renowned writer of crime fiction - Sitharaam Jayakumar". Thanks, mirror of Erised, for telling me that my ridiculous innermost and true desire at the age of fifty-two is to become a writer!

Author's Note: Written for the prompt given by Suchita Agarwal. Read more here about Finish the story collaboration.

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