Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In Retrospect

Jacob Roshan

Life is a weird thing, isn't it? Very weird if you ask me. Man lives so much in the present that the things we treasured in the past seem trivial after a certain point. Any idea why that happens? It can well be argued that we would go mad if we never forgot anything that we have learned or came across because then we would have too many things to take into consideration whenever we want to make a choice. But this argument-that our ability to forget the past helps us survive the present- how much water does it hold? At the same time, how much do we use it as a crutch, as an excuse to explain away our inability to give due importance to our past?

I have always wondered what happened to my earliest friends, the ones I played with and fought with and grew up with. Why is it that the people you had so much fun with at one point in your life are no longer part of that life of yours? All of us remember the sweet times we had with friends during all those “study” tours in school and where are all those people now? Do you know? Forget the long past. What about those guys and gals who formed your circle of friends in higher secondary? Do you know what is happening in their life now that you are no longer together and see each other in class every day?

Life is a circle of meeting and parting and the longer you live, you have naturally parted with more people but does that explain everything away? Don’t you have a desire to catch up with friends long forgotten? What’s with this process called “growing up” that makes us so damn cold that we don’t feel the need turn back and make that small effort to catch up on their life?

The other day, I had the good fortune of being able to attend the marriage of a classmate of mine and share a momentous occasion her life. It was fun with some of my best friends being around too and the bride kept blushing kept our smiles running. But when I came home and looked back on the day, I realised that not even a fourth of our twelfth class turned up for the wedding which, showing how far apart we had grown after just 2 years of passing out.

I also got to see the other side of the picture through my mom who is completely thrilled at the opportunity to get to see her friends from college after something like 20 years! One of her friends took the initiative and they all agreed to meet up in one of my mom's friend's house on a mutually agreeable date. Seeing my mom's excitement, I couldn't help but feel that I will experience the same joy in being able to meet long forgotten friends. But can there be any better situation? Definitely! That will be keeping in touch with and being present in the life of at least a few of our friends. I bet you that this will be a much more emotionally rewarding experience...
I do realise that even when we are in a class together, it is not possible for us to get to know everyone in our class well enough for us to be lifelong friends. This explains our tendency to form a core group of friends and hang out with them more than with the others. But somewhere along the line, even this group keeps shrinking and we end up restricting ourselves to just one or 2 close friends. Is this because of increasing egocentrism due to very competitive nature of the world or is it because of our inability to adjust with the numerous egos’ present in a larger group, resulting in an increased tendency to argue with or misunderstand each other?

Life is no fun with no one to share your joys and your special moments with. One thing we have to realise before we jump headlong into the speeding river of competition is that life can be pretty lonely at the top. So even if you have to "waste" a bit of time and face a bit of inconvenience, keep your friends close. :) There will be misunderstandings, there will be arguments and there could even be fights between good friends but like I heard in a movie, the bad times in a relationship never make it to the photo-albums but if you don’t tide over these differences, there will be no more pictures of beach trips and weekend tours in the album.

The world in general and IIT in particular keeps you on the knife edge with its cut-throat competition and a lot of times, you are left to fend for yourself. But all is not bad. Even in this neck of the woods there are bright stars whose light guides you through the dark times. Like Frodo held on to the light Galadriel gave and like the globe of light that entered Ron's heart and helped him find his friends again, make sure you hold on tight to these lights. This is one thing a year in IIT has definitely taught me...

Editor's Note : Jacob usually isn't this senti. ;) He's in his second year M.A. and he smiles a lot.

1 comment:

  1. A well recapitulated account of the first year in a MA student's life at the campus.