“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.”
There comes a time when he wishes to save a delicate, pretty girl from the clutches of thugs and be called a hero (followed by a kiss a la Spiderman perhaps). He buys new superhero sheets. Figurines and costumes. But then he realises how futile his efforts are, and turns towards something more realistic, which makes him feel superior – such as WWE moves on his sibling (Everything except the choke slam, of course).
There comes a time when he longs to build, create, innovate…using Lego blocks. The initiation of the engineering part of his brain. (Which probably led us all the way here. Damn you Mechanix).
There comes a time in every enthusiastic young boy’s life when he realizes that he isn’t ever going to become a professional cricketer or football player, heck not even the school team captain, and his outlook towards sports changes. They’re now put on the side-lines, and priorities are rearranged.
When this reality dawns on him (plus he gets hold of a pirated GTA/NFS CD) he moves on to focus his energy on virtual stuff, and his goal changes to ‘Become a game developer.’
There comes a time when he chances upon American Pie airing on television, and discovers that everything he’s been doing until now is meaningless, and begins ‘Hot’ Pursuit – 2. He yearns to grow up and go to college, where he thinks he’ll bake his own pies.
He embarks on a journey to come across as a ‘kewl dude’, who’ll floor the school chicks with his wit, charm and spiky hair loaded with ounces of Brylcreem. (Every one of us has that wannabe ‘rock star’ picture)
This is the ‘everybody-in-the-house-is-totally-uncool-my-parents-don’t-get-me’ phase, often accompanied by extensive binging of American sitcoms.
There comes a time in every ambitious boy’s life when he becomes a part of the rat race. He thinks college would be the end of this. Some people tend to enjoy it more than they like to admit, to themselves or to others. They like to beat others, to be the ‘best’. In a system based on elimination and competition, he either runs to grab the lead, or escapes it altogether. (Also, this race never ends.)
There comes a time when he wakes up in the wee hours of the morning due to the heavy rains lashing against his window, water seeping in through the nets. The pillow feels cold. Legs popping out of the blanket. No electricity. The laptop lying next to him, battery dead.
Weather’s gloomy, a gentle kind of sadness, with colours in the sky that don’t usually belong there. The last time he saw these skies was one of those ceaseless gaming sessions almost a semester back. Reminiscences about the semesters gone by like a gush of wind.
When you think of it, most of our memories are associated with small incidents/parts of our lives that more than often were meaningless in the long run, rather than conventional milestones. But things that actually stay with us as we grow up.
Binging on TV shows, discussing probable plots for the next season, watching movies until dawn, dancing on fest inaugs, acting in street plays, switching FF on and shooting teammates in Counter Strike (You did this too? chutiya saala), singing off-tune, off-pitch, off-tempo, off-everything songs on karaoke nights, playing poker, and writing shitty articles (which are designed to make you feel good about yourself).
You’ll remember this stuff, and, ten years down the lane it’ll bring a smile to your face.
It’s these little things that bring positivity and that make life grand and beautiful. Yeah, there are milestones that are larger and live on in our memory for years to follow but they are mostly few and far between. Stuff that happens a couple of times in a year or so.
While trying to reach some destination far away on the horizon, in the heat of the tough going, it’s easy to lose sight of the lovely place you’re passing through; and before you know it, you’re tired, worn out. And it doesn’t seem to make any difference whether you’ve reached the goal or not.
(With 2+ years in coaching centers, pretty sure you can make sense of this)
You can just decide that what you have is good enough and put in just enough effort to get by, although this is very hard to do unless you know what it is exactly that drives you and what you plan to do in the future.
“Follow your dreams”, “Chase your hobbies”,
“Reach for the stars”, “They’re in your veins!” blah blah.
Society makes us believe that we are all destined to do something truly extraordinary. Famous people on the TV say it. Business bigwigs say it. Books say it. That lady dressed in white who comes on a spiritual show that my mom watches says it (a lot).
Do I believe each and every one of us deserves greatness and should strive for it? Crap.
You can live an average life. You don’t need to have your shit sorted out from an early stage, and live according to daily/monthly/yearly strategic plans. Spontaneity is fun. True, without plans, you can seem lost. But then like mah homeboy Eminem says, ‘You better lose yourself.’ You only get one shot. So don’t try to get good at doing what you hate. If you do, you will be asked to do more of it. It’s a trap. Be surprised and silly while you still can. Be quiet and listen for your own voice. It’s still there.
Or whatever else lets you sleep at night. *winks*
– Avi Jain