I wrapped my earphones and paid 19 bucks to the rickshaw and walked towards the main entrance of the complex. It was about 9:30 in the night and every inch of my body ached as I dragged myself towards the gate. “I wish Ma’am would have appreciated my work. All efforts down the drain, this is not fair.” I was still thinking about the bad day at college, too preoccupied to notice the shimmer around the play area of the complex.
I lift my head to see little girls dressed up in their traditional ghagra attire. Vibrant colored clothes, mirror studded jewelry, bright red lipstick with a hint of kajal in the eyes, dupatta covering the little heads, oh god, those days! I could visualize the little me with my sister enjoying the festival to the fullest like we did every year. Nine different sets of clothes for the nine different days with matching necklace and matching bracelets. Despite the exams every year, we would act carefree and get dancing with the crowd. Then as the clock would strike 9:30, mum we would start hiding ourselves in the crowd. And god knows how, mum would find us in a second showing the clock ticking fast. “Go home! You have to get up for school. Remember you have an exam? Play as much as you want on Saturday. Come on now, get running.” And then we would make that puppy face pleading her to allow 5 more minutes.
Someone, get me a time machine. I want to go back to my past! I feel like a senior citizen already! Bloody hell, I it took me five days to realize that half the festival had passed away already. I follow the news every day, don’t I? I know where the gold is heading, I know when Narendra Modi came to Mumbai, I know about the latest facebook app update, when did I miss this?
Probably I was too busy catching up with the “more important” things in life. Probably I was working my ass off to earn that one extra mark on my project. Probably I was preparing myself to become a better a professional. Or should I say probably I was just trying to act adult?
This stage, the nineteen going, the twenty coming; the giving up on the word ‘teen’ from the age; the transition from not giving excuses but taking the blames; the losing out on the childhood forever in every possible manner is not easy. It’s hard. Harder than any physics problem I have tried to crack. Parents, teachers, everyone around expect us to behave like them, as adults. We are expected to meet deadlines, give commitments, not only give but complete them, make the right decisions, erase every chance of a mistake, be perfect in the worst of times and emerge victorious always.
Such circumstances make me hate the process of growing up. All that growing up meant as a kid was wearing high heels, getting my own mobile phone, not study, earn lots of money and spend them on cars. and it’s nowhere close to reality! And what has it given me so far? Apart from testing my patience to things I cannot tolerate, growing up has taught nothing. It has taken away the joy in little things like eating ice-cream and has taken away my liberty to cry because apparently I am big now.
Ask yourself, isn’t it pretence? The act of not getting affected when people call you names, the showing off of how strong you are by being calm when someone provokes you for a fight, the taking up of unwanted responsibilities of work we would hate to do, feeling apprehensive to take help (thanks to the big fat being adult ego), difficulty in accepting mistakes because as adults we never can make any, feeling embarrassed when friends sing a birthday song for you – is it not all fake being?
I fail to understand, what is it that appeals to us in “behaving” like an adult. Bacho jaise mat karo yaar, is what everyone says. Arre! What is the problem in being a kid? Don’t kids do their work efficiently? Don’t they put in their best when it comes to completing a task? Don’t kids finish their homework? Don’t they learn new things every day?
Difference is we, adults take things too seriously. Way more seriously than it needs to be taken. And then we treat its existence as the end of the world. Everything will strictly revolve around it. Sometimes it makes me think: Are we just jealous of their happiness? Is that the reason we restrict them? Is that the reason we ask them to grow up all the time? The reason why they are smiling, laughing and ‘kidding’ around always is because they find joy in what they do. They are show what they are. Basically, they don’t know what the word tension means.
Even we can take our lives easy. Maybe not unnecessarily add stress to what we do. Just be content with what we have and keep doing our work with sincerity and dedication. Not worry about the return but the investment of our heart in what we do. Why can’t other adults around us be like that, make others feel the same and set a new trend? Makes think of saying them in a weird American accent of a dude “Why can’t we just chillax?”
Is growing up really that bad? Will it be full of pretentious days and hiding our true feelings? Will it just be restricted to a bunch of adults who will work like robots to accomplish their dreams? Will we never laugh on a silly joke? Will we never kick a football lying on the wet field again for the fear of clothes getting dirty? Will I ever get a chance to play on the swing freely?