Be yourself!

It’s all a myth…myth of relationships, myth of friendships, myth of heartbreaks and myth of heartaches. Spending our lives trying to strike a balance between emotions and rationality….finding a rationale for our emotional acts and justifying our ruthlessness by placating others!

be-yourself

The human nature is all about whitewashing shades of grey and changing it to black if the need be. We’re all controlled and twisted by this inner need to justify ourselves and align with the given environment.

Why do we need to constantly go with the flow? Why do we need to assign certain norms to our emotions? Why hide behind a mask which is just at the surface? Continue reading

Your Aspirations….Not Truly Yours?

Graduated in 2012, working as an executive and looking forward to achieving my ever growing wish list…I’m sure many of you can relate to my current scenario, exuberant spirits and optimistic outlook towards life.

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Let’s go a step back and analyze how I developed this wish list overtime. Majority of the items were populated based on the societal norms and stereotypes imposed upon me. Exposure to media created this idealistic image of a successful woman of our generation, with a list of pre-requisites. These pre-requisites crept into my mind unconsciously and started creating an agenda of their own. I was too indulged to take notice of what’s happening, till the time these ideas were ingrained in my persona.

As a kid, I aspired to be as cute as Phoebe, as hilarious as Joey, as cool as Hannah Montana, as vivacious as Lindsay and as smart as Sherlock Holmes. My model characteristics and traits were more guided by these fake idols rather than my natural instincts. I desired to achieve popularity, go around the world in 80 days, buy a brand new Mercedes and live in a huge bungalow. Continue reading

Breaking through the classes!

A friend was hesitant in asking his parents to come for his graduation night. When I inquired, though he didn’t state it explicitly but I could sense that he was not comfortable with the idea of his parents coming to the campus in a rikshaw.

I remembered how he used to be like when we met on our first day at college. Modestly dressed, very sober, solely interested in studying and walked his way to the campus every day. Now, four years after our orientation, he was a completely different person. He was dressed in a torn pair of jeans, more interested in attending concerts than classes, cautious about his hairstyle and ashamed of the fact that he belonged to a lower middle class family.

We all talk about poverty and the bourgeoisie enjoying their luxuries at their expense. But we tend to ignore the lower middle class; the class which forms the major chunk of this developing country.

Let me paint a picture of how this class generally looks like. Mostly a man/guardian of the family who is employed on an average below managerial post is the sole bread earner. While they can’t afford the S3s or iPhones, they do embark upon a few recreational spots now and then to appease their enjoyment cravings. They generally lack the capacity to afford a car and a bike so bus or rickshaw is the general mode of transportation. Two or more children, monetary issues, quarrels over food and fight for the TV remote are the general topics of discussion.

Widespread and forming the majority, this class has a pervasive cultural similarity. We identify their men by a shalwar kamiz, non-fancy moustache, a tinge of village accent, not so fluent in English, their religious conservatism and superstitions about norms. Women are simple mostly draped in a chadar and shy especially in cross gender communication .Their lifestyle, problems, rituals and even their ways of expressions are similar to each other.

It’s all settled and happy go lucky until an individual from a middle class background tries to enter the elitist culture or at least vows to mingle in that class? At that time its not only him trying to enter a forbidden territory rather it’s a fight of the two mindsets.

When two mindsets are at war with each other, one is bound to lose. The aam admi (middle class man) initially tries to maintain the decorum and conforms to the values taught by his ambiance. But gradually the glittery, luxurious and seemingly blissful life of the elites attracts him.

He starts comparing; his lifetime ayashi (enjoyment) was to have a chicken piece at dinner while the elites enjoy lavish four course meals every day. He fantasizes about partying, long drives and then comes a point where his values start transforming into inferiority complex. Why can’t he afford to live enjoy lifestyle? Did God prefer them over him? All questions but no answers!

Now, he endeavors to transform his personality to at least partially become a part of the enchanting privileged class. The initial changes begin from changing his dressing; shalwar kamiz to a hip jeans and a levi’s t-shirt even if its exorbitant & unaffordable. Then he works on his accent, from following seasons to practicing alone, he tries to twist and turn his tongue in U.S. mode. This transformation is like at first he crumbled & bogged down to pieces, and now the reconstruction is in process.

With the new persona he tries to be a part of the ‘enchanting ones’. Its out of question whether they accept him or not. They might accept him, he might become a part of ‘the class’. Leaving behind his personal and monetary constraints, he might actually attain a position amongst them.

But the saddening part here is that he lost his individuality. He lost what he actually was, his values, lifestyle and self concept, everything diminished under the peer and class pressure.

To Err Is Human…

When we are young, we believe that mistakes and lessons are only limited to the spark of this age. But unfortunately, we are wrong my friends!

Age is a matter of fact for youngsters and a worthless number for elders. When young, we make a mistake and don’t hesitate if scolded for the same. Then we enter puberty; things like ego and stubbornness, over little issues, is a general problem of this age. Yet we do learn lessons from our mistakes, well most of us at least. It’s the emergence of terms like ‘individuality’ and ‘personality’ marked with the formation of Ego (not Freudian).

Then we all are subjected to reality, we go through the adversities of life in our middle age, which mostly hardens our ego. Slowly and gradually as we reach the old age we have already developed a very clear notion of the society and the norms within it.

What’s practical or not, what is right or wrong, gibberish or amazing? We define these terms psychologically and unconsciously based on our experiences.

Now comes the ‘Old age’; where we have witnessed ‘life’ in its crude form, more than twice the time of a teenager or even a young adult. Good or bad, harsh or benevolent, life has taught us something in every possible way and we believe that ‘our experience’ is far more profound than anyone else especially the youngsters. We believe that our values ought to be treated as sacred or at least superior to youngsters in terms of practicality and righteousness.
But what we forget is that the notions we preach, the beliefs we religiously follow and the critique we present are based on perhaps a wide life span, but a collection of only certain experiences. Its not necessary that what we experienced as a teenager was the legitimate and the only possible way of living through this crucial age.
We dismiss the fact that for someone maybe a single experience is sufficient to teach a lesson of a lifetime, while others take years to inculcate the same. We disregard, that sometimes we were wrong also, as eternal righteousness can’t be claimed by a human. Alas! We in our old age refuse to accept that dynamism & exuberance is necessary to bring a revolutionary change.

Old age; an age filled with experience and worthy of respect, an age deserving reverence and looked upon for guidance, it must not be replaced or confused as an age of sanctified.

Mistakes & errors accompany us till we perish; hence, the demand of sanctity on the basis of age  is a sheer addition to your lifetime mistakes!