Monthly Archives: May 2011

>Tough Transition…

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It was the last year in school. My grade 10. And I remember my class teacher telling me once how different life after school was going to be like… How different it will be when you have to face the outside world, all by yourself… When you will be on your own, with no one to hold you… Then, it just seemed like something that won’t happen with me. That was the same thought with every of my classmates’ mind too, I am sure. And even everyone who has been in that situation, that time in their lives…

It’s difficult to think ‘how’ life would be different when you are in the complete cove of school life. Protected, nurtured, chiselled to your be who you are. But, two years after getting out of school, here I am. Standing at another crossroads, wondering where I’ll be in 3 months from now. Which city of India, which college, what institution, what degree? Yes. It has been a tough transit.

It’s a different thing for everyone. For some, it’s crazy to imagine that they’re not in school anymore and college is not as serious as school. Or at times, is even more serious. For some, it’s difficult to bear the distance from friends and to get out of contact from them just because they don’t study the same subjects and the lives they’ve chosen for themselves are different… For some, getting in tune with the fact that they face not just themselves and their fellow classmates, but, the whole city, state or nation, in the next important exam, is scary… For some, it’s not being a part of the ‘happening’ and ‘popular’ group, brings them down… Pretty much sums up on the dilemma of everyone. And believe it or not, everyone has experienced it. There’s no way you can get through to living a life without being in a state of transition, sometime in life…

Some go through it easily… Placidly… Like a river flowing down the plains… For others, it’s the rocky terrain that they’re forced to fight…

I have seen it all happening right in front of my eyes. I have seen friends being insecure about their friendship, high-scoring students under-estimating their abilities because of their fears, pain of separated relationships, those ready to lose themselves to become wannabes without realizing it and what not! And I can tell you, that while most of us can’t get through these easily, it takes courage to go up to someone you trust and ask them to help you through it. More of an emotional challenge, than anything else.

And that’s when I realize, it’s no easy job to bring someone back, to accept someone has changed, to accept the fears and to face them…

But, again, that’s a part of the story. A few years down the line, there’s gonna be transition again. When we graduate from our colleges with a Bachelors or Masters degree and step into the competitive world of jobs and opportunities. And there’ll be change again… Our mates from school and college will be lost again and we’d rather spend time with colleagues and business associates.

How difficult will that be? Easier for the one who can acknowledge the change now. Even harder for the one who cannot.

And finally, most of the times, it comes down to keeping in tune our ego, choosing to disbelieve that we have changed, that we are still the same, even when deep inside we do know that we aren’t…

Why is it so difficult to accept the change within ourselves? Why is it so tough to accept that we have changed? May be that’s because we have been of the opinion that no matter what we won’t change… May be because we thought we won’t give up our values… Our opinions won’t be influenced… Our habits, will pertain…

Similarly, why is it so difficult to accept that some of our friends have gone far away from us? May be our paths were meant to be separated… May be our paths crossed once and then they were gonna be all separated, again… May be their priorities now on, didn’t match ours…

Why is it so difficult to accept that we’re not the star-kid of our school anymore and that we’re just another normal college-goer? May be because the attention it brought is not so easy to forgo…

Why is it so tough not to be a part of the ‘it’ crowd? May be because you want to be talked about… You want to be seen, talked about, and felt jealous of…

The time to realization, comes by just then for some. Either you live it from then. Or sit back, cry foul and sit in there repenting and troubling your own self, believing things will never go back to how they were again…

Yes, they surely won’t ever. That’s what life is all about. That’s the rule of time. You can’t be in the same moment twice. The moment once gone, is gone forever. After that, it’s just memories. After that, it’s just being happy about it happening. After that, it’s just about the lessons learnt… And also, the lust for having the same moments again, which won’t ever be realized…

Pretty much the same, for everyone. And I can’t imagine what it’ll be like when life takes me to the next crossroads, the job and post-education, making-my-own-living life… I don’t know what situations will face me and my fellowmates. I don’t know how we’ll come to terms with them, then… I can be so sure about these situations I talked about, given that I have seen, faced and helped many get over… And I’m sure, when it comes by again, everyone will be through the same phase, in a different way, all over again…

Till then, all I can say is, the transition is tough. Accepting the change is tough. And being fine with it is even more. But, in the end I can conclude pretty easily…

It boils down to a simple point. Change, the process of transition, like none other, is an ever-going process… No one of us is the same person that we were a day ago. Either we have learnt something, cultivated a good habit, or let go of a bad one, or forgone our values and felt miserable. In either of all the ways, we are not the same person. We are someone else.

Change is permanent. Sure it is. But, no ascertained changed is permanent. Only the process of change is permanent. Nothing else, ever is.

Adios!


>A Bit Too Grown-Up… A Bit Too Early?

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Note from the blogger: Please, please, please try not being judgemental about me and anything about me from what you read here. It’s purely a result of my numerous thoughts.

It’s always been something I have wondered about… When’s the time when you can finally call someone a grown up? When you can finally say that someone is mature enough to take care of himself and how his life is lead? When’s that independence, that freedom conferred to him? When can he realize for himself that he can? That he will?

Sometimes… The whole concept of English education too, bewilders me. More so because, it uproots the so-called hard-core Indian culture, its tradition and values from the minds of students like me who give themselves the freedom to have contrary views or be cynics to it. May be that’s how we are or the way the double-standard of education has left us with… Either ways, it’s the way it is…

I know most of our parents haven’t studied in English medium schools, but, they wanted all of us to. Why? Some kinda competition, was it? Or the desire to give us the high level of education? The latter, they would suggest. The prior, that seems apparent to me. And, thus, I don’t think I’m to be blamed if I consider a formal handshake and respect in my behaviour is more expressive of the respect I have for someone than me bowing down and touching their feet. The concept of education of the Westerners, has brought their way of life to us. Something that’s probably not easy to accept for our parents and that causes the rift between us. The pub culture, the late night parties, the inter-caste marriages, the “in a relationship” tag, the reaction when you see a boy and a girl alone together, the food we eat, the way we hang out, the way we make friends, the kind of friends, the late night phone calls, these seem completely wrong in their opinion. Pretty much, most of them. Is it them to blame, I wonder…

We feel it is the close-mindedness of theirs, or just stuff that they don’t understand… They think it’s too much independence and freedom that we assume for ourselves… Reality? I think it’s the whole concept of education that has changed, which is to blame.

Predominantly, and basically, English is a language of England. The country where getting divorced has never been a bane, where a guy kissing a girl in public is no offense, where children move out of their parents’ soon after they are in their later teens to set themselves up on their own, where who you are matters more than whose son or daughter you are and the connections you have, where whom you idolize isn’t of as much importance as what you do… Is any of this a part of the so-called close-minded and narrow ideology of our country? Yes, I use those two words on purpose. I, in the process of being educated, have been inculcated with more western values. Not because my parents didn’t want me to learn about India. But, because they, like most others wanted me to get ‘good’ education in an English mediumed school. And then if you expect my views to be different, that means you expect me to be someone I am not. That’s just the way I see it.

Basic difference. Contrary to the points I talked about above, in India, you are in big trouble if you even think about a divorce, and you’re in for a jail term ranging from 1-3 years if you’re seen kissing someone in public, for crying out loud!! It matters more about who your parents are and where you come from than who you are and can and will be… If you want to move out at a decent age, all everyone is concerned about is how will you live over them trusting you with your abilities… All this in a country which is many more times than safe than those which we idolize! USA, UK among other western countries fall high above India in criminal and crime related cases. And even then, their teenagers can lead their life on their terms so much sooner. Here, if you move out of your ‘family home’ even after you marry, you’re bound to have raised eyebrows… If you end up an atheist or agnostic and deny going the religuous establishments and talking against their wrong-doings, you’re not faithful.

It’s confusing and compelling what is asked of me… Is it what I have learnt in the formative years of my life, from the kind of education I have got, or the tradition that holds me shackled? Pretty big a thing to ask for, eh? Doesn’t seem so to me. It’s simple. You want me to be what you wanted me to learn or you want me to be what you want me to be, because both are contradictory. Both are just saying against each other. That they, you wish, wouldn’t or didn’t think it would.

I turn 18 in a few months from now. And like every teenager (I hope!) I do have discords with my parents regarding stuff. Many things, in fact. Many of my friends share with me their experiences with their parents, too. And all such times lead me to thinking and assessing myself and the situations… I ended up writing a previous post, ‘G For Generation, G For Gap.‘ in such a thought, and here I am back to it…

While being a teen, expecting some freedom over what I do, to make my choices of where I hang out, with whom I hang out, the friends I make (even if they are not of the same score or in the same study group as mine) doesn’t bother me, it seems to be a concern for most parents. Mostly dominated by the feeling that friendships, cell phones, relationships, friends who are not pursuing same or similar courses, all deter their children. Some of which may also be a result of the education system that promotes competition. Sometimes I feel it gets too compulsive. Some others, it seems just too much of a concern. Either they think we’re unable to form decisions for ourselves, or it is that they think we’re immature and they need to control our lives.

Let’s face it. I don’t think I’m wrong when I want to have friends who are not from my educational field. I don’t think I’m wrong when I talk to someone late in the night when I want to talk and both of us are awake, and we don’t have to wake up early the next morning. I don’t think I’m wrong to be in a relationship and spend time with alone my girlfriend/boyfriend, even if it’s in a public place. I don’t think it’s wrong to want to want to talk to someone I like for endless hours. I don’t think it’s wrong when I want to go over to a friend’s place when we have a fight, to sort it out, even if she’s a girl or vice versa. I don’t think it’s wrong to spend a lot of time on the internet doing mindless stuff that may not make any sense to my parents. I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to do something they want to, from their heart, even if that won’t fetch them a very high income. I don’t think it’s wrong if a person finds his soulmate in someone who is of a different caste or religion or follows a certain different food habit, if they want to marry each other and spend the rest of their lives together, even if they’re of the same gender. I don’t think it’s wrong to date. I don’t think it’s wrong to want freedom to be out of home late in the night. I don’t think it’s wrong to skip or delay a meal just because you are in a bad mood because of a fight or a misunderstanding you’ve had with someone who matters. I don’t think it’s wrong when I spend more time with my friends who understand me, than my family which would raise questions about every act of mine. I don’t think it’s wrong to… And I can go on and on and on…

There’s a hell of a list! Because, it’s the choices I make for myself that count, in the end.

In the end, it’s about me. My life. And how responsible I can be, for myself. I can have emotional breakdowns, relationship break-ups, fights, misunderstandings. But, I want to sort them, move on and learn from them myself. I don’t want to be told to do something or be advised. That, just stops me from growing as a person, as an individual. That doesn’t teach me from my mistakes, that makes me dependent on you every time I am in trouble. That’s not what I want to be. And I’m sure, that’s not what you meant to be, either… You want to help, but, you don’t realize you’re restricting my growth, you’re not letting me think of the possibilities I can put forth for myself… I’m not saying you don’t advise me or ‘suggest’ me. I’m just saying I hope it doesn’t get compelling on me of the fact that it’s my ‘parents’ who have suggested me a way out. And the fact of the matter, the whole, Parents-have-more-experience-and-have-seen-more-life discussion doesn’t apply here. For reasons I mentioned above. The ideology, the chaning environment and the education which has shaped us is much different than what was for them.

As a teen, right now, I just want to be able to do what I think is right… Contrary to what anyone else thinks… And, yes. I am sure this is the voice of every teen out there. Everyone who has crossed 16 and is nearing adulthood at 18. I know many who won’t speak up even though they think what they’re doing for someone else, probably their parents, is wrong. Fear, anxiety and the anger of their parents that holds them back from doing what they wish to do… But, I just want to tell them now, why not stand up for how you feel and regret later in life about having kept quiet? Though, I won’t say anything else. I don’t want to be blamed for provoking anti-parents actions!!

So, it may seem pretty weird as to how the whole post flows… From educational drawbacks to the restrictions to what I want as a teen growing up in a changing India… Give it a thought and I guess the dots will connect…

Still the same question hovering in my mind… Have we grown-up a bit too much… A bit too soon?

Feel free to comment or e-mail me or tell me, in any form what you feel…

Until the next post…

Adios!