Skip to main content

Rite of passage

In tactful language, it has been suggested that I take a hard look at the rather depressing tone taken by the blog over the last few posts. The words "batty, old man" were used rather forcefully.

I agree with the judgement; while I'm no subscriber to sanguine prose, the melancholy is threatening to capsize the literary raft. There's only so much oddity that can be attributed to creative inspiration before someone loses an ear or drowns themselves, no ? I do have to say this in my defence - it being an autobiographical blog, my moods tend to reflect in my posts. Over the last couple of months I have not exactly channelled any joie de vivre. Partially, this can be put down to my job. For the sake of succinct speech, I'll say that it is sucking the life out of me. My first job, with the NGO, was a retirement home compared to this place. But I like the long hours and the chance to create new content in an atmosphere filled with hidden intrigues and random new developments. Like operating in the Bates Motel, only there are a lot of customers besides myself. And no shower scene.

But that only explains part of it. The rest is taken up with challenges of a more personal kind; the type that force me to think deeply and re-examine a lot of mental bric-a-brac I took for granted. Since it would be unfair to spring most of the above without context on a soporific reader, I won't bother. However, there is one aspect that is probably worth sharing. I've thought long and hard for the last week on the topic of maturity, specifically the mental kind.

From childhood, I have memories of certain people in the family-friends circle being referred to as 'mature' by the elders, always accompanied by a massively approving nod of the head. It was almost like those anointed thus were joining a secret, prestigious club. Even then, I found the idea of maturity complex and mysterious; that there were far deeper waters flowing beneath a simple word. As I grew older, I yearned for the day that approving nod would be directed towards me but it seemed that I managed to steer away from any actions, achievement or behaviour that could be labelled mature. Of course, once I knew better (or thought I did, since we are talking about my early 20s here), I was rather grateful for the miss, since it seemed more a responsibility-laced, behaviour-regulating burden than an inspirational crown.

During recent self-critical phases, I have begun to wonder anew, not whether I will ever be thought of as a mature person, but to what the idea of it means to me personally. About the existence or lack thereof of a crossable invisible barrier decided by age or accumulated actions & behaviour, after which I can have a gratifying moment of music-marked realisation about maturity achieved. You know... the popular cinema kind, roughly 4 minutes before the protagonist gets the girl. Or is seen driving across either the Brooklyn or Golden Gate bridge.

Here's my 2-paise on maturity - publicly it is fostered by our deeds and behaviour. Privately, I don't believe anyone thinks of themselves as a mature individual. The whole deal feels more like a never-ending degree; take a life-class, learn stuff & hopefully clear the paper and move on to the next one. There will be instances where I'll almost be able to taste the change and I will feel better for it. But there is no fixed checklist to tick off, no age to cross and no recognised / approved amount of responsibility to be shouldered.

There are only chances; to change and to accept. And, like all opportunities, these have to be recognised and acted upon.

Song for the moment: Turn! Turn! Turn! - The Byrds

Comments

Piggy Little said…
oh there is something so poignant about this post! :) and that song. :)
girish said…
Yea, the song has a timeless wistfulness about it.

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …