The Wonder Years

When we were young, carefree, without the restraints and constraints of the real world hanging on top of our heads. When we were free to roam and do as we pleased without a 9-5 or 6 or 7 routine hanging on top of our heads 5 days a week. When the biggest stress points were just exams in our life. When entertainment wasn’t mostly digital or technology based. When we could live with our heads up in the clouds. Those were great years. They were wonder years (yes the statement is a play on the old show which is also on some levels synonymous with the ideology of this post).

True the above outlined is pertinent only to the privileged class – somewhere along the lines of our SECs A to perhaps a little higher side C. So not getting into the division in fortunes over the more spread out SECs. That is better left for another blog post.

So coming back to the premise of this post.  The wonder years. How things can go from that to such a complicated pattern of dealing with different aspects of life and people and real life stresses is unbelievable. And it’s not just any one particular aspect of life. It is more or less in all areas. Work, personal life, professional life, future, operational day to day stuff, commuting for things, social, micro, macro. All. All of a sudden everything becomes pertinent to you which previously wasn’t. I mean let’s be honest, really honest with ourselves. How many of us truly cared about the GDP of the country or the IMF before we joined the ranks of salaried individuals or for some the family business. Or for that matter how much did our local residential body’s governing mechanisms and processes for xyz things matter to us. How many of us were interested in the economic policies that were taken up by the government? How many paid any attention to topics like circular debt? Very few I am sure.

It was a carefree time in our lives and we will always look back and cherish on them. I bet if I did a survey, some of the happiest memories would be of people either in their childhood or perhaps of their early parent-hood from their children’s birth to early growing up years.

But then again one must consider that the wonder years I am referring to were perhaps a better time overall in the context of the world. It was a more secure climate overall. Terrorism wasn’t as spread an evil as it is today. In the generation before me it was even better. I was talking to my aunt yesterday and we both agreed on this – even till my childhood I could at the very least take my bike and ride to my uncle’s place to play cricket with my cousins. During daytime and even at times during late evening. It was ok. And it’s not like I had a cellphone on me in those days. Nor did anyone else my age. Not that I recall. Not the case anymore by a long shot. It was even better for my parent’s generation. In retrospect their life was perhaps even more simpler and less complicated even though it did not have many of the technological conveniences that are present today.

I believe that will be an ongoing thought process for every generation to come. Maybe 50 years from now someone else will be writing a post along the same lines. And 50 years from that someone else.

All we can do is just look back upon our wonder years and reminisce. And smile at the memories.

Memories

I was thinking of various things tonight before starting out on this blog. About how Time is not just the great healer but also well the great almost everything. As everything needs time. About how things that you are born into are unconditional and not just limited to human relationships and families. It is also about the cultures, sub culture and the society in large in which you are born into which is there and inherently very much a part of who you are. About how given enough freedom your mind tends to take you to the most obscure of thoughts and conclusions and coincidences. And I have had moments with that much mental freedom that has come across very …well … let’s just say coincidences which I would rather had not been there. (more on that later….. perhaps this blog or another). About how music and pictures can combine to give some of the best emotionally moving results and trigger one’s memories. 

So yes there were a lot of thoughts going through my mind before I sat down to write this blog. My mind though started getting stuck on one thing, that last bit. Memories. And if you think about it then all the things that I was thinking of did hold this one common factor as well – memories.

Memories are the treasure chest of thoughts that keep safe all the experiences and special moments and even ordinary moments that mean something to you. Memories of events, activities, a particular time in life, a partner, a parent, a job, a friend. Memories of sadness and memories of joy. Memories that make you cry in pain as well as cry in happiness. At times memories are all that one needs to get by. At others memories are what you cherish and treasure once someone close goes away or a good time comes to an end. Memories can keep people alive. They are alive in the stories that are shared with each other. They are alive in the photographs that we go through, the albums of days gone by. Times gone by.

However at times such memories, especially of loved ones who have passed on or are no longer a part of our life can have an adverse effect as well. They may keep a person from ever moving on in life. Of accepting things as they may be. Of rejecting life as it is happening so to speak. Some people are bogged down by their memories. Memories of a trauma. Memories of an emotionally crippling experience. Memories of a tragic death. Memories of a better time in their lives , happier time. Of course circumstances might be such as well and memories may not be alone in bogging someone down. But still. 

We all have our share of good and bad memories. We are all in the process of life and that will have different experiences , different moments , different challenges which are thrown at our way in absolutely differing circumstances. No two people can have the exact same experience ever. But they most definitely can have similar experiences. But we all have them. Good or bad. Hence we all have good and bad memories.

Everyone I suppose has their own way of cherishing these experiences or on the flip dealing with these experiences. We all have our way of remembering or forgetting. Of keeping alive and moving on or simply moving on. Photographs are such a great thing for me. For my memories. I love making photo collages with music and give the whole thing a different emotional appeal all together. It is my way of honoring my past, present, loved ones and experiences.

Here’s to our memories. Let’s pledge to remember the good ones, learn from the bad ones, keep those of our loved ones alive in the best of ways. And let’s move forward and make new ones for the future!

The Reluctant Insomniac

We first started flirting back in college. The late night sessions sprung the perfect situation and circumstance for the two of us to come together. Like all great love affairs the start to this one too was over the top and heads over heels type. All nighters, no sleep days. High points of energy and adoration for each other. Insomnia and me were attracted to each other like a moth to a flame.

I wouldn’t exactly call it insomnia thou. Maybe a distant relative. One which doesn’t exactly qualify as a condition but more of an occasion constantly revisited. My sleep hours were modified around this love affair. Although like most love affairs the same gaga-ness of the early days no longer exists. Over the years I have yearned so much to be away from it, to try and get it out of my system for good. But alas to no joy. It has learned in ways to modify itself so as to assure its ever lasting presence in my world.

Insomnia (or rather it’s distant relative) has learned that it can no longer rely on it’s own to keep itself a deep rooted part of my life. It has learned to feed on other aspects to help this dysfunctional relationship with me going. Sort of like a love triangle. Using emotional content to get to me. It feeds and feeds. Keeping me awake. Some nights restless. Others just plain sleepless. It feeds and it succeeds for most part. On most days I am able to fend it off at a relatively good time. And on others still it stays with me into the wee hours of the morning. Even on weekdays. Weekends are just another story altogether.

Insomnia or rather sleeplessness .. the bad drug that I can’t get rid off. The addiction that lingers on despite me knowing its harms.

And so it has come to me tonight as well. Most fully prepared. Flirting against the edges of my conscience to create a false mystery and illusion. To draw me in. To capture me for the night.