Story Flavor: A take on the poignant remnants of your childhood swirling silent and lukewarm whirlpools inside you. You are now a proud owner of a distant ache that can’t be erased. But also because you don’t want to, because it comes with a seasoned ecstasy and nostalgia that you just can’t get your heart to purge.
This is the story of Ram, a teenager who’s only just beginning to accept that his an independent adult now and that he needs to grow up and take more responsibilities upon his shoulders.
Ram loves to read story books and he spends all day with The Famous Five and Eragon and whatever he can get his hands on, even though he’s almost eighteen years old. His habits make his father furious, but Ram is oblivious to the storm raging behind him.
Finally, Ram turns eighteen and heads off to college, but he’s not yet ready to leave home and live on his own. He tries to cling on, but every bird must leave its nest. He will certainly miss home and the hearts that come with it.
Soon, he settles into college life and finds another to share his affections with, but she isn’t so happy with him. After he tries to gift her with Maggi for her birthday, she begins to question Ram’s emotional maturity.
Meanwhile, Ram too is beginning to realize that he may not be mature enough to handle college. For the first time in his life, he has to do his own laundry, and he’s only just beginning to realize how hard it is.
Never having had to live by a budget, Ram also begins to realize that cutting down expenses isn’t easy. All too soon, his wallet his empty again and he has to make the embarrassing phone call to his father asking for more money.
To finally attempt to get his life together he attends a career guidance talk. As the speaker parades his own endless list of achievements with an intent to inspire, the seed of doubt is planted Ram’s head. Will he ever achieve his goals? He pauses and wonders if he even has any goals. This realization hits him hard and he freaks out internally.
To make matters worse, his girlfriend finally has had enough of his childishness, and after a huge fight, she leaves him standing there with nothing left. Do you hear it? It’s the sound of an identity crisis brewing in his system.
Now Ram begins to think. Long and hard he introspects, wondering if he really can give up his beloved storybooks. He thinks hard about whether he can really give up his childhood.
Finally he makes his decision. He is done with all of it. No more storybooks, no more shying away from responsibilities. His childhood was a big, big part of him, but Ram finally accepted that it was time to end it and move on to the next phase of life. He lets go of his storybooks, giving them up to the wind and distancing himself from all attachments to them.
He picks up his textbooks with a new light of determination to conquer its contents. He studies with immense focus, trying wipe away any vestiges of that childishness in him that his girlfriend was so upset about.
He realizes that being responsible isn’t a burden at all. It is uplifting.Why? Because of the power of choice.
Sure, childhood was easygoing and carefree with bursts of joy along the way. And that will forever be treasured.
But now he actually has a say in how his life can be led.
And he knows that now he can make it anything he wants it to be.
So, do you know Ram?
Do you ever see him around?
Of course you do. He’s you. And he’s everyone around you.
We’re all fighting our own battles with the concept of growing up.
And we just might find the right people to let that inner child run free sometimes.
Meghana Kumar and Adarsh Salagame
(Story and Photography)
Hitesh Bhagchandani and Ritika Ramchandhani.