Sunday, September 21, 2014

A little over quarter life and the crisis

When I turned 25, I used to smirk at the posts talking about quarter life crisis. And why not? I had just turned 25, and realised that I could now officially consume all kind of liquor in Mumbai(legal age 25). Why feel sorry about it? Why feel so low-brow about it. Two years down the line, I am not particularly going through a crisis, but I think I understand the exaggerations called the quarter life crisis. Let's talk about some of the points mentioned in the famous and forwarded-many-times e-mail. I promise, I will keep it short.

You hate your job and you wonder why you are doing it:
No sir, I do not hate my job. I have a desk job, agreed. I do not go out like the hosts of discovery channel or MTV into the wilderness or the most happening party in town. I also do not get to travel a lot(forget about earning a living out of it). Neither do I make a living out of tasting the best food around the globe. On the flip side, I am not in a hot industrial warehouse, working on a machine,I am also not cleaning the streets(no disrespect to the ones who do, rather they have my respect), neither am I playing a nanny and cleaning child poop. I love driving, and I am driving my own car, not someone else's car. I have got a lot to complain about my job if I compare, and yet, I have got a lot to thank for, if I compare. I am making a living, I am financially pretty much independent and doing some interesting and challenging work occasionally(Yeah, before you raise your brow, I know I am not a scientist).

"You don't have great friends anymore" paradigm :
Over the years, I have been to various institutes and made a lot of friends. There are the school friends, then the high school friends, college friends and then work place friends. Even at workplace, I made friends in various projects that I worked on. I trained a few people in some college as a part of my company's initiative and I made friends there too. Guess what, I am always in touch with the ones who really mattered. I may not get to meet all of them all the time, but when I do meet them there are no awkward handshakes or nervous 'hellos'. It is generally a tight hug and a volley of curses for how fat I have become or how I didn't get them the birthday present. When I meet my friends from school, with them, I am still the person I was in school, not a 27 something, mid tier corporate employee. Your body ages, friendships don't( Disclaimer: not giving a quote there).

The Dating issues:
While in college, approaching an unknown girl was simple, it's either a hit or a miss. Consequences generally didn't matter in an Engineering college, but in a corporate environment, you are more careful about whom to approach(if at all). The 'Indian' quarter life crisis suggest that, it is a bad time to be a single guy, because the girls your age are all committed or getting married. But hey, are these girls not hooked to guys older than them. So stop scanning your age group and widen the horizon, the dating crisis may just be a figment of imagination of a frustrated soul.

 You compare yourself to your peers and family and be sad about it:
Human mind can never be appeased, I certainly cannot be. That is something which keeps us going. Yes, I compare myself to my peers, my family and sometimes I am sad about it. But the fact of the matter is, I don't do it because I am 25(plus), I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I got really upset when my cousin got an A, and I got A- in kindergarten, but no body said I was going through 1/25th life crisis back then, so why now? Comparison within a peer group is what keeps a human mind to strive for more(again, not giving a quote here), why associate it with an age? And besides, for every more successful 27(or younger) year old person that I meet, I know more than one less successful 27(or older) year old person.

Turning 27: 
Alright, this part of this post has nothing to do with quarter life crisis, but it's important, because this is the reason I wrote this post. I was wondering aloud on Facebook about how singers like Kurt Cobain had done almost everything before they turned 27(and dying), and here I was, only able to talk about them. I also wondered, if it was a devious plan(a-la-Matrix) that some greater force took away all the talented people at 27, which made me more sad, because that meant, I am not talented enough for that greater force. At this point, Shivani, a great friend of mine wrote these beautiful lines.

"You might end up being slow-and-steady and you might end up winning a long long race...

Bottoms-up are not always fun you might end up relishing every drop of life's expensive champagne... u might end up telling loads and loads of awesome fun stories to kids in a neighbourhood park...You might end being the only go-to-guy n know-it-all for guidance on almost any topic related to teenage-quarter-middle-full life crisis situations...coz you know what... you'll see it all...with awesome cinematography, full zoom and in the finest of fine details"

The word quarter life crisis in itself is an improbability. It conveniently assumes that we are all going to live 100 years, for it to be a quarter of live that we have lived. My life will often be in crisis, and I will always be cribbing about it, and at the same time, my life will also be awesome and I will be happy about it. These events, and my age are mutually exclusive.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

So much for love

"Why hasn't he turned up yet?"
I think aloud, sitting in my room all by myself. I have been expecting him today, especially today, but he doesn't show up.
"He must be busy with work, you fool, he has a lot of work, unlike you"
I think aloud again, knowing that there is no one to hear me or my thoughts, not even him. But it is true, he works so hard, I understand, he may not have all the time for me in the world. He is an important executive in a big bank somewhere, I don't know much details, but he is pretty important. Sometimes, he goes to work early in the morning and yet never return at night. Of course, I don't stay with him, but such details don't escape, do they?
"Those times...."
I let out a sigh. I did stay with him for a long time, until one night he came home,

"I got a job, with a big raise" He said with a glitter of happiness in his eye. Of course, that glitter made me happy too.
"Wow, that is amazing, when are we moving then?" I said, a little loud, the prospect of exploring a new city showing up in my voice.
"Uh, ermm, I don't think we can move together, it's an expensive city, and for me to make some money, I need to go alone" He rued.
I won't be a burden, I say, but he simply bends down, kisses my forehead and promises to come back and take me soon. I know he means it, and I don't want to be a hurdle in his career, so I reluctantly agree. He did make it big in the new city. He climbed the corporate ladder very quickly for his age and at least now should be the time, he promised he would come back.

"Hush, I hear some footsteps, it's him, he is finally coming"
I am trying to silence my thoughts to hear the footsteps approaching the door, but my heart is racing, and I can't hear anything but my own heart beats. I cannot stop myself. I get up,open the door and shout out his name in the corridor, only to see a stranger passing by, giving me a look, with his lips forming the word 'crazy'.

Embarrassed, I shut the door, run into the pillow on the couch and lay there for a while. My thoughts again returning to him. It was around a year ago, when he had showed up after a long absence. He looked nervous and little jaded. He started,
"I need to tell you something, I am....I got...married" He finally blurts out. His words hit me, pinch me, but I still love him.
"I still love you" I say with a smile and hug him. "Promise me that you will take me with you, I know you can't stay with me any more, but we can be in the same city." I add, trying to empathetic.
"I will continue visiting you" He says, evading my question with a smile.

Still clutching on to the couch pillow, I realize that it is now warm and wet, probably with my tears. But I was warned.
"I am telling you sister, he doesn't belong to you anymore. He won't come for you. He may visit you sometimes out of guilt, but it's not him anymore. He belongs to another woman, let go of him." My sister had tried to explain to me the situation.
"I still love him." Is all I could mutter.

I have almost given up any hope of seeing him today. I reach out for the refrigerator to get some water, and that is when I hear the door bell. I drop the bottle from my hand and rush for the door. I am panting, but it doesn't matter. I hit the couch on my way to door, but it really doesn't matter. I reach out for the door knob to open it, but my vision is getting blurry, and the door is spinning in front of me. I am trying to hold out for the knob, but it is trying to run away from me. Finally I grab the knob and open the door, to see him standing. But I am being dragged down by something, some invisible force. And now I am lying down, I see a frenzied look on his face, everything is getting dark around me.

"I am sorry, I am late, mother" are the last words I hear from him.

Image Courtesy - 1)

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