Friday, June 23, 2006

Lets go a decade at a time...

This is me, I was born 2 decades & approximately 11 months ago. I still can't believe its been that long. Well it has been a wonderful journey till now. This might sound amazingly close to a suicide note (laughs), but it doesn't even lie in the same zip code as a suicide note. So whats this all about ??

A couple of days ago my cousin asked me how old I was & I replied, “21, but not till next month.” I could have easily said 20 & got away with it but I was preoccupied with my birthday. I was thinking about it at the moment he asked me my age. It was an amazing coincidence that he asked me my age at the very same moment. But 20 it is, for now. This took me back 2 decades ago on a quest to see what my life means to me. What juice can I extract from it ! or is it just another dry fruit, expensive & rare & we eat it occasionally. To get out of metaphors & embrace the real deal, I was actually thinking about how well have I lived my life ! An amazing question crossed my mind, “Is it worth it?”, which was instantaneously & a little bit loudly, answered by me, “HELL YEAH !”

What does it mean to live without booze, smoke, drugs, casual hangouts, expensive dates, love life, taste for your own culture, love for your motherland, religion, GOD.....? It means you are an ideal Indian Kid yet not so patriotic & at the same time your chances of going hell are still high as you refuse to believe in God. I always firmly believed that all the vice addictions make people go to hell, so I didn't go for them, but there was always a Catch-22. Staying good, being good, being kind, staying friendly, being in touch with yourself & the people you know, being compassionate & many, were most of the virtues I followed all this time. This was solely because I was raised in a normal family, who believed like several million other normal families that life is what happens when you believe in what is RIGHT & what is WRONG. I say Life is what happens when you take the wheel, when you take control, when you become your navigator & stop hopelessly depending on the system.

I cherished the time I spent at my school, as I felt I did everything to get a good academic record. I honestly believed that my school was a really great institution & that it taught me whatever I wanted or needed to know. I literally did good at my school & scored well, I read a lot & felt I knew it all, until I was exposed to another reality, the harsher side of life. I found people, many years after my schooling, who were better than me in all aspects. Knowledge, Sports, Attitude, Academics, they were better than me in all of them. I went to them like a child runs to a candy store across the street & tried to realize their ideals, their goals. I tried to see what made them what they are now, I tried to trace their history. To my disbelief, it was the first time I felt like I succeeded. All this time, my belief about my schooling being good, my coaching being impeccable were white lies. I honestly realized how pathetic I could have been at that very moment if I hadn't embraced reading for pleasure back at school. I felt horribly depressed that I had spent 12 years of my life at a place which didn't teach me how to cope up with this simple situation. It was like a huge question mark on my face, nothing made sense for a while. But then I decided to get back in. I gave my best, which wasn't as substantial, but still gave it anyway. I realized I had to toil more to prove my worth & I did. Countless hours on my computer, countless discussions with my friends, countless retrospections all led me to my ultimate aim, to be better than before. Sadly enough, you never know that you are better or not, because the world doesn't sit still when you are growing, it grows too.

That would sum up the first 17 years of my life. Amazingly boring as it may sound, it taught me a great deal about life. I do not know if its correct, but it sounds correct. But it left one giant scar. No time to work on my body. Mind was taken care of but the body, wasn't. So happened college. Life got better staying away from home, hangouts & occasional eatouts. Living like a free bird was what I did. Although in the backdrop was the same primitive urge to prove something. Love happened & so did all the little things that don't matter at all. As a kid i craved for knowledge, as an adult I crave for integrity & credibility. Things suddenly stopped making sense, life paused, I was in the middle of the most important time of my life & yet I couldn't feel it. 1 year, then another & then another just went by. I was 20. 3 years, running with the ghost, chasing a shadow, feeding on zilch.

By the end of these 2 decades, I wonder what substantial things happened. The answer was always out there. People. People happened to come & go out of my life touching a different aspect of me every time. Making me realize another sense, another emotion, another urge, another ego, another me. There is nothing better than deducing logic from all the things that happened to you. Its a huge, time consuming su-do-ku where in you try to equate every event of your life to satisfy a certain benchmark.

Suddenly I know, that there is more than a month left till I turn 21 (numerically), but am I 21 emotionally ? Is this what 2 decades on earth do to you ? After all, its just another birthday, just another cake, just another good time with my cousins & just another day when long lost friends give in a call just like last year, once every year. It will start again, a new chapter, a new year, a new me or not.....

At this month before my 21st Birthday, I quote Robbie Williams, who so easily sings about my 20 years out here:

Song for the moment: Robbie Williams – Strong

My breath smells of a thousand fags
And when I'm drunk I dance like me Dad
I've started to dress a bit like him

Early morning when I wake up
I look like Kiss but without the make up
And that's a good line to take it to
The bridge

And you know and you know
Cos my life's a mess
And I'm trying to grow so before
I'm old I'll confess
You think that I'm strong you're wrong
You're wrong
I'll sing my song my song my song

My bed's full of takeaways and fantasies
Of easy lays
The pause button's broke on my video
And is this real cos I feel fake
Oprah Winfrey Ricki Lake
Teach me things I don't need to know

And you know and you know
Cos my life's a mess
And it's starting to show so before
I'm old I'll confess
You think that I'm strong you're wrong
You're wrong
I'll sing my song my song my song

If I did it all again I'd be a nun
The rain was never cold when I was young
I'm still young we're still young
Life's too short to be afraid
Step inside the sun

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