Friday, December 22, 2006

On our present

As humans we love making comparisons. I agree, in a way it does help. Comparison during healthy competition makes the fight worth it. But more often than not, we take it too seriously. It becomes much more than comparison. Competition does not remain healthy too.

I will ‘restrict’ myself comparing what I have grown up watching.

Till the age of 5-6 years, I don’t remember much to talk about. As 7-10 year olds, we would compare our height growing, apparently, almost every week. Between the years 11 to 15, we compared bikes and our hand writing. By the time we were 16, we had reached puberty. A lot of changes had taken place physically, mentally and psychologically. We had a lot of things to compare, ours and some ‘visual’. We compared our growing moustaches although it was like the grass on a cricket pitch. We were comparing baggy trousers to V cuts and we were comparing height, weight and lengths (read sizes) of lot “stuff”, some our own, some of the ‘restricted’ species. During the last years in school and first years of college, we had nothing but our ‘conquests’ as the only topic of our conversation, almost everyday. For people like me, a conquest ranged from a glance by a girl to a “hi, hello, how are you”? conversation. For some it ranged from a glance and ended only with heaving breathing and panting. Those who had similar encounters had hi-fives. Most of us would come out consoling each other that the guy was bluffing. Nothing serious was happening in life. There was nothing serious to compare.

Then came a time when we had to start thinking about life, seriously. We were on the verge of completing college and we still had no idea what did we want to do in life? We started comparing ourselves to people who had got through some engineering, medical or atleast some professional course. Most of my group was oblivious to what lay ahead, pretty clueless on deciding a career and utterly confused. We stood nowhere infront of our peers. This was the time we started comparing our past. Parents suddenly became the best people on earth. We commented on their selfless duty of taking care of each of our needs, substantial or whimsical, with a smile on their face. School years were the best. The place we hated the most, suddenly was haven. The place where teachers were demons and books like leaches, became the utopian sphere of life. There was no thought of future or past during school days, just plain entertainment and fresh living, every day.

Once we decided what to do in life, we started working towards our future. But then again, we compared our future with other peoples’ future. We saw where others had reached. We saw the fruits that others were reaping. We also wanted to have the same. We compared our income to theirs, their lifestyle to ours. We vehemently discussed and criticized everything happening, against us. The biggest problem laid there itself. We never compared our efforts to theirs. We never compared their determination to ours. We never saw the present coming and going right infront of our eyes and become our past.

We never compared their present to ours. We only compared the past and the future.

That’s what we do most of the time, always compare the past. What we had was the best. We then, jump to the future. What we could have is the ultimate. We never pay any attention to what we have in hand. We never appreciate or realize the importance of our present.

Films do affect us. The dialogue that affected me was - one foot in the past, one foot in future. That’s why we are pissing ‘on our present’.


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