Knowing Me...

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If I say I'm just a teenager leading a life as normal as it can get, I sort of defy what I stand for. Its not all that easy but it has its moments. I like those moments when they come along and they bring with them a significant amount of emotion, which I only began expressing in words at age 7. Since then, its all about the writing. It gets to certain people and some just don't get it! But I think that its important for me to write because that is maybe the only talent that exists in me [not denying the presence of good enough speech to win a few here and there =P] There is little I know and there is much I simply yap about but I make sure that if its really got to be said, it better be said, however in the wrong or right. I feel much. There are lot of things I plainly observe and those are sort of the things that I adore writing about. I'm inspired by minute details and small things that have a huge impact much later on. There is much more to me that most know and many have bothered not about. Not like I want them to. But I'd like to be known. And that's what I think I stand for, being known beyond what is known. =D

Friday, August 17, 2012

Freedom On A String

"Any plans for the day?"
"we have all the equipment, lets fly kites!"
"Who flies kites on Independence Day?"
"Just about everyone! Its a symbol of freedom, and all that."
"Yeah, Freedom On A String. Makes so much sense!"

"How was the day?"
"Went well. Did you watch the bhaiyajis flying kites outside?"
"Yeah! they looked so cute!"

These two excerpts of conversation made me think. A lot. About a simple idea to fly kites on Independence Day, every year. And it apparently symbolises freedom. But is it just me, or does anyone else see what our definition of freedom has manifested itself into?

Call it over-analysis, but when I think of freedom, I think of a boundless, seamless entity that strengthens our every impulse and fuels our every desire. But when I think of kites, I only see a manipulated structure, based on the whim of one person, and vulnerable to the harm caused by so many others just like it. How can these two concepts merge to celebrate the INDEPENDENCE of a country?

It only leads me to further questioning about our identity and our stance as a nation. Are we strong in our impulse, fueled by our desire, and yet held back by the whims of a manipulative force? And even if our every movement is controlled and structuralised, how are we still so vulnerable to any external harm? Is our love for freedom detrimental to us, hence the need for a structure to control it, or is our control detrimental to our own flight of freedom, that we cannot fully experience?

These are questions I cannot answer, because these pertain to a country of 1.2 billion people, and I am just one individual among so many. And I have yet to experience enough to even think of answers. But I can raise these questions, in hope of answers.

These questions on a nation's stance also make me question individuals in relation to the same concepts that are being used to commemorate a nation's independence. We as people are granted free will. We have the power to go beyond who we are today. We have the means, the desire, the drive, the passion, the freedom! And yet we succumb to the tugs and leeway of the strings that tie us down. These strings could be just about anything. Hell, the kite could be just about anything or anyone! Are we, as people, despite our individualism, and our free will, and all our rights and duties and everything in place, bound by our own strings, regardless of how high we soar or how far we fly? I guess so. But cut the string, and we land flat on our faces, with nothing to lift us again. So we are free, to go as high as we like, touch each milestone we wish to, and dodge our vulnerabilities, only because of the strings that tie us down, and have our back [literally].

This further takes me to a movie I watched a year so ago - Up In The Air [dir. Jason Reitman of Juno]. George Clooney, who plays the central character, is also a motivational speaker who talks about shedding emotional and material baggage. His talk session is called "What's in your backpack?" and he also asks people to let go of the baggage that builds up due to our familial ties and our relationships with other people. [Spoiler Alert] But when he achieves what he wished to, all the way up in the air, his joy falls flat on its face because he has no emotional connect with anyone to be able to share it with them. At the end of the day, or at least this is what I took away from the movie, we need our relationships to keep us afloat. Just like the kite that stays in the air thanks to the string that controls it.

And lastly, I come back to where I began - nations. Maybe it is true. Maybe we can be free because of the strings that hold our nation - the government, the constitution, our cultural heritage, our traditional [and sometimes redundant] values and the feelings of patriotism. Maybe we need that manipulative check on our impulses, to keep us from being eliminated by another nation. And Maybe, just maybe, I will fly kites on 15th August next year..


Sunday, August 5, 2012

I raise my glass

There's enough posts in cyberspace today to describe Friendship Day. Though two people may more often than not express the same sentiments in different ways, the need to express doesn't die and sometimes all the expression in the world doesn't quite match up to the stimulus. This day is one of those stimuli.

They say friends are special and rare, but I somehow have friends everywhere! Its probably because over the years, I have cracked some diamond mine situations that left me rich and replete with this wealth of people.

First off: school. Every year was a new batch of friends and this coupled with the old ones was a happy havoc. Even today, regardless of where they are, how senior or junior they were to me, and how much we speak through the year, the fact that we got each other through the school times is enough to sustain our friendship.

College: its only been a year but my circle of love, as it were, was only further extended with the crazy amount of people I've met! Some of them like me, like people I've known, but so many of them so unlike anyone I ever valued the way I value them today. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and some turbulence has changed things. But despite all of it we still see each other and smile. And that is the maturity that we've gained over the years. I've also moved away from home and I have a group of friends who I can now only see once in 6 months. But one message, one phone call and one small word and we can cross borders to see each other and be there for each other. I don't talk to some of them through the year. But the second i know that none but them can help me or be there for me, i call and we pick up where we left off. To them I owe my life. They know who they are.

Events: I travel enough to various events and I meet a varied set of people who have changed me beyond what i could accomplish by myself. Some stayed in touch, some didn't. But they're friends too. Purely because they created a pace for themselves even if it was within 5 days of our meeting.

Life: neighbours, family friends and people who you just meet. I have a lot of these friends who can't be categorized. And they're people who've been around forever and a day. To them I owe my life because they stuck around. They smiled and listened when I blabber my mouth off! They told me their stories that they've never told anyone. They know me outside in and we go beyond simple things like talking and messaging. These are people who've touched my life beyond anyone else's touch. I won't name them. They know who they are. And their smiles are probably the broadest right now because they're probably going "and there she goes again..."

The reason why i write this is because i know that i value my friends beyond all else. Probably why romantic love eludes me because i have all the love i need! I've just found two friends who've been away for 10 years and yet I feel friends fade away today, despite how long they've been around. Reminding me thus that this too can be terminated. This too is not forever. But while it lasts and while it exists, eternities feel like a small time frame to fill. And to that I raise my glass - the void that engulfs all life and the flood that breaks through all barriers. Those that have been cemented and those that are in shambles. That which is preserved and that which is lost. That which lasts beyond death and that which can kill the living. I raise my glass to friendship.