Friday, 31 December 2010

New year, new beginnings. And the same old story

The year's almost come to an end, just seven hours left, to be precise.
Some are getting ready for parties, dinners, night-outs and all the things that people like you and I would like to do on a night so special. It's all perfectly normal.

So, is there a catch? Sadly, if you might say so, there is. There is always a catch.
Of course, this year has been great for so many of us, and for others, not that great. Well, good, bad, and shades of grey apart, the point is, we're so quick to dismiss out misfortunes in the hope of a better tomorrow. Then again, hope is something we all cherish, no matter how dark the times; it gives us a sense of reason, destroys the futility of life, makes us believe that there is a tomorrow, and that it is gonna be better than today, or perhaps yesterday. All that's perfectly normal. I mean, even allow myself that little bit of delusion.

What I have a problem with is the fact that we can never fully come to understand and respect the 'tomorrow', or in today's very special case, 'the new year'.

'End of the World in 2012 Conspiracy' apart, there's a lot that we're just forgetting. Not on purpose; that would be understandable. But by sheer, shameless neglect.
Am I cynical? Of course, I am. You can appreciate the fineness of life only after criticizing and demeaning it.

For example, resolutions. There is no bigger lie on earth that we've invented than New Year Resolutions. It's just to make ourselves feel better (yes, that includes me, too. No matter how much I try, I am human). We feel better for all that we haven't done, and for all that we're not going to do.
Moralistic reasoning apart, some resolutions do work out. Not because it has the auspicious stamp of a 'new year', but for the simple fact that it's a change we accept. We might lose those extra kilos, we might ask the person we like out, we might become super successful, super rich, super intelligent and class toppers. But the truth remains, the world will still be a lousy place. Of course, we'll be liberated from that mess; now that's for someone else to resolve, isn't it?
Sadly, they never quite do get resolved.

Personally, I don't dwell on the past. Nostalgia is one thing; keeping the past half alive, quite another. Actually, the correct phrase is, 'burying the past alive'. Brutally, and in cold-blood.
So, call me cynical or whatever you may, I think you're all murderers. You got away with the murder of your past, and will get away after you murder the future.
People you never cared for, people who receive your mocked pity, they're all buried alive, like the past. Forgotten, uncared for and simply silenced.
That's the price of a 'better' tomorrow. That's the price of your mawkish fantasies.
You can make it stop. Yes, you can. But whether or not you will, now, that is an entirely different question, is it not? The one, perhaps, you may not want to answer.

Well, anyway, happy new year! And have a fantastic 2011!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Those Who (Think They) Know Better

So, I met a friend of mine this morning. Well, he’s not actually a ‘friend’, just some dude who was with me in school. You know, another one of those, ‘oh-I-can-get-anything-done’ types.

So, the conversation goes like this:
Him: So, what’re you doing these days?
Me: I’m doing my BA from St Xavier’s.
Him: What? Why do you have to go that far?! I could get your admission done here in Ulhasnagar!
Me: Um, what makes you think I wanna go to Ulhasnagar?
Him: Arrey! It’s not worth it going that far! That too for a BA! So, what’re you doing after that?
Me: Planning to do an MA.
Him: What!? You wanna become a teacher or what?
Me: Yeah. (He gives a stupefied look; actually, he looks that way, but this was more pronounced) So, what are you doing?
Him: Law, I couldn’t get into computer science.
Me: Great…so, now you’re gonna be attesting documents in front of Esplanade?
Well, I didn’t exactly saw those lines (what! it’s rude, right?) Nevertheless, I meant every word of it. 

I’m pretty sure you guys must’ve met characters like this friend of mine at some point in your life; be it a friend, a cousin, uncle, aunt or even some random acquaintance in the train (yes, even that has happened to me. This particular person tried convincing me to do an MBA then get into finance, ‘cause marketing is ‘too hectic’).
And I am also sure that they’ve managed to test your patience time and again. They never seem to understand, do they? I call this, the ‘I-know-better’ syndrome’ (for the lack of a better name).

These people, as my observations go, are a given in societies. You see them in communities, trains (in plenty, mind you), and among any social group. As irritating as they are, they manage to serve a purpose: annoy you (ok, not a scientific conclusion), and give you a lot to think about. Primarily, the notion that first comes to your mind is: ‘God, I hope I don’t turn out like them.’

They boast about their contacts, relatives, and Heaven knows someone from somewhere, while they, themselves, are stuck in the mediocrities of life. Yes, sometimes I do feel like pitying them, not exactly pity, sorry; but, just sympathize. For all their contacts, they never could make things ok for themselves. Or, perhaps, it’s because of these very contacts that they are where they are—and not on a level worse than that. Because, God help me (and them) if they were.