Threads, ready to be tangled.

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There's no TL;DR for this one. Take your time to read. I was on my way one day when I saw many people hopping on to a ground. At first I didn’t notice it but soon I realised that people entered, felt good and hopped out. They were talking about the ground with everyone, asking them to join and meet them there. Next day, I called my friend to come to the park for a soccer match we had planned earlier, but he said he was at the ground and I should come there instead. And so I did. The ground seemed nice. It had walls. People could write on it. My friend said, “Here, this is your wall. Now I’ll write something on it for you”. It seemed fun. Like kindergarten games. But that soon proved to be far away from the truth. The thing is, I already had a wall. A real one. I used to throw tennis ball at it and play for hours. Sometimes my friends and I would draw wickets on the wall to play cricket. There used to be a huge argument when someone got bowled because the wall wouldn’t move when it got it and there wouldn’t be any mark on the wickets we drew – unless the ball was dirty and made a spot on the wall clearly showing if the bats-person was out. But the wall in the ground was odd. It felt real but at the same time, “made up”. Soon, the time I’d spent on this ground increased. People in the ground started talking. It was all very odd. Odd? Yes, because people were talking to no one. They would just come to the ground, say something out loud and go back. Within weeks, there were many who would do the same. Within months, it was like a crowded market. Everyone saying something, but no one listening. There was so much talking that it was impossible to focus on one voice at a time. Sound had become noise. A revolution had come. Outside the ground, many people claimed that this is the greatest thing that has happened in a long time. Oh how wrong they were! Many people started walking in the ground just to listen to what others were saying. If they liked someone they saw from far, they’d try and find a way to get to them, connection by connection. On the way, they’d listen to many other voices as they passed by them. Often, one of those voices would seem interesting and the person walking would turn towards it. They’d soon find other voices in that area that they liked. The person they saw from far, would not mean a thing. Distractions. [Cut to] A decade or so later: People are just walking randomly. They themselves don’t know where. Whoever they reach near to, that’s the voice they hear. Some voices are soft, calm, poetic. Others a bit rude. And then there are voices that don’t make sense, spreading lies. The interesting thing is that people cannot control who they walk towards. They think they do because they are the ones walking, but there’s more to it. It's not known to many, but the ground is alive. It has always been that way. Once tired, people go out of the ground to sleep. Next day the same routine begins. The ground is clever. It keeps changing its terrain, making the knowledgeable people stay on a height as they shout and speak what they have in mind but because walking upwards needs effort, people prefer to walk towards the slope instead. Easier path, just a swipe away. That’s where everyone else, who cannot do hard work, is. These are also the people who have nothing in mind but feel the need to speak, and they do, but because they don’t have anything to, they make it up — they lie. “Trolls” and “IT Cell” are the terms used to define them. Once in a while, the ones on the top part of the ground shout loud enough to call out to the people who were walking down the slope. But the ground favours the masses. It knows that if people start climbing up, its expansion would reduce, and that would mean lesser reach. The ground always had a life. It did subtle terrain changes during the last decade. Often in favour of something that would make it expand. It seems like eventually it wants to take over the whole world. Make everything, the ground! The ground also has rewards. It grows fruits in the path that leads people down. And once people start liking it, the ground charges for it. Some people are uncomfortable in walking as themselves. So they wear masks. Some have many. Throughout the day, they keep switching masks and walking in different areas of the ground. Some people who don’t like other people, pay a few to wear masks and go shout in the ears of someone who is at the top part of the ground. These people have enough wealth to even pay the ground. No one knows how. But the ground is said to “change its algorithms” to favour these powerful people. Some people took the courage to step out of the ground because of so many people wearing masks. They have reclaimed the area on the planet that’s outside of ground’s control. They are back to living a life. The ground has started to notice this. It knows that if it wants to take over the world, it needs EVERYONE. But it also knows that most people that visit it and talk randomly for 16 hours a day, have started to believe that the ground is the only thing that can make them survive. These are the ‘addicts’, as they are called. Because everyone is shouting, no one is listening. And people have started to be convinced that they are not being heard. Paradox much? There’s a lot of distrust among those who are on the ground, especially with all the mask-bearers around. In its early days, the ground had started giving away blue flowers to lure powerful people who had some say outside the ground, so that they will hop in too. These were exclusive people who would become a reason why regular people would hop on to the ground because they thought, it levels the ground for everyone, and who wouldn’t want to be on the same ground as someone they admire? People were so busy admiring that they didn’t look down at their feet to see that the ground wasn’t levelled. Ever. Some people are again hopping off because of all the chaos around. The ground has nothing left to offer. But it sees an opportunity to bring back the ones who left because of mask-bearers and the ones who feel ‘neglected’. The ground is asking people to prove they are really themselves. It’s seeing this as an opportunity to grow its power and so it announced that it will give away blue flowers to ANYONE who pays in return. Instead of removing the ones wearing the mask, the ground has decided to charge the ones who are authentic. Is that stupid? I’d refrain from assuming that for the ground because of how cunning it has proven itself to be. Some of the people who have lost their minds are even making these payments. They feel ‘authentic’ to have the blue flower that until now only the ‘exclusive’ ones had, not realising that the purpose of the blue flower was never to level the ground but to create a divide in the status quo! People have gotten so used to shouting in this ground that they cannot see how easy it is to just hop off. They worry that doing so will leave them alone because nobody is left out there to come to the park to play the match of soccer. So, some people even sleep in the ground. They are always there. In our heads, thoughts can be a clutter. In a crowded room, sound can become noise. On social media, everything is. Threads, is it? Or knots? Is there any ground for improvement? Well, sometime, grounds don’t need improvement. Rather, a boundary, so that there is room for other places to exist. Other places that are real.