There was a time when your world was controlled by two supreme human beings. The time you woke up from bed, the kind of food you ate, your clothes, TV serials, your future, your decisions; everything was taken care of. You had the simplest of tasks. Simply following them. And on occasions when your mind revolted with the notions of independence and self reliance, there would always be one them to set it right. Yes, we all waited for that period to get over. For most of us, the journey from our mother's lap to school, from middle school to high school, from school life to college life and beyond is a series of events marked by one common thread... the scent of independence. But somehow we keep looking at the past and present, savouring the moments from the past that we miss the most and looking forward to the joys that the future holds for us. At school, college seemed exciting. At college, school seemed so much tension free and job meant crossing the last barrier of independence, and at workplace, college meant so much more fun (not that it didnt, while we are stil in college !). All the while our life keeps getting more and more complex, with new relations, new environments, new challenges to deal with and fewer people to guide, new dillemas and of course new hopes.
In college, I was told, almost to the point of shame, by everyone that cared or bothered, that I had the most time to kill. I was a total vella. Somehow I never had anything to do or so was portrayed by the life I lead there. I didnt study, I bunked most classes, I had no girlfriend to look after, I was not particularly a party going fellow (not that there was always one happening around). People always found me in my room doing nothing worthwhile, reading a novel, listening to music, playing guitar at times, gossiping with friends (my room was one of the hot spots for all these gossips!), staring at my computer...
Amazingly, here, I dont find time to do all the things that I want to. I have about a dozen novels lined up to be read, each one bought very thoughtfully, ones that I want to read slowly, allowing them to sink in. I have my new guitar on which I want to play so many things that I cant even start to list them. Yet again I am sitting for a competitive exam in about 3 months time and I want to crack it badly to give my ego a boost. I want to follow the EPL and India's rape by the South Africans. I want to roam around in my new bike and visit new places. I want to eat at all the good joints in Bangalore and become an authority on food. I want to learn cooking and cook delicious meals. I want to be able to watch all the movies in town. I want to buy things before my parents come to visit me in December. I want to plan out a great weekend when some of my college mates come here in December. Yes, I am doing some of this but for the first time in many years, I feel I dont have the time. I am totally on my own, with no responsibilities, no liabilities, free to do whatever I want and its a totally amazing feeling.
The other day I was cleaning up my bike. I had this bucket of water and a piece of cloth. It was a Saturday morning and everything around had an air of calmness to it. The instant I dipped the cloth in the bucket of water, my mind raced back to those days when I would be doing the same thing along with my father. Just that it would be a Sunday morning and the vehicles would be a car and a scooter. It was so much fun. Getting to play with soap and water, at times getting to start the car and just press the accelerator as my father did something under the bonnet or even trying to start the scooter by putting my whole weight on the kick. And suddenly I was missing everything. The joy, the innocence, the look on my father's face as we ended the cleaning up, the sparkle on our white FIAT as it stood in the sun, my mother's cries as we entered the house all soiled and messy.
Life's always about living the small moments. You think too much about the consequences and the moment's gone. Today I read one of my friend's blog about his annual visit to his nani's place. It reminded me of my annual affair. Guess that warrants a post soon.
In the weekend when I rang up home, my father said that he was planning on applying for VRS. In case you dont know what that is, it's the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. He asked for my opinion. I took the safe option of telling him to do whatever pleases him the most. He says he's tired of working, doesnt want to do it anymore, has had enough. It's a strange feeling, frightening at times. Seeing your parents grow old, get tired.
My life's always been pretty predictable. Especially seeing what some of my friends are going through, I think mine is like a bland salad as compared to theirs' which is like a sizzler. Its a different fact that some are loving the sizzler and some are hating it. I have seen people fall out of love and get on the verge of making a mess of themselves and then fortunately recovering, people talking of getting engaged to their soul mate after an in and out relationship for nearly 2 years and some others still who claim I never knew the real them, talking of things which make little sense to me and sadden me. Mine on the contrary has been very calm. There's no turmoil so to speak, not on the outside, not on the inside. I have tried to stop lamenting about the missed opportunities and thinking about the things that could have been. I am more content at capturing the little moments without any inhibitions. I'm sure it's a long road and my share of excitement is bound to come by.