My life as a child was always guarded. No going out after dark, following rules related to play time and hours, no going out alone, no travelling on the roads, no going to friends' houses that are more than half a kilometer away, no staying over at any relative's (no matter how close the relation), no school 'counties' or picnics unsupervised by teachers. The fact that I was a book addict, craft lover, and generally loved spending time solving puzzles or drawing and creating things or playing our own version of Legends of the Hidden Temple with G, I grew up a guarded, careful person.
Most of the restrictions vanished when I began college, but the idea of caution was deeply ingrained, and even though I was naturally a super-adventurous soul always looking for action, what seemed on the surface was exactly the opposite. The main reason was that no matter how reckless I felt, there was always an edge of practicality. It seemed like I was missing out on things, but in reality, I was just keeping myself safe. Yes, there are a lot many proponents of the idea that you need to experience everything in order to know things, but I don't believe in it. Why do you need to go through a difficult situation that gives you pain? I believe that when you do encounter a difficult situation, you will anyway face it no matter what you've faced in the past. So if I decide to avoid situations that I feel would make me uncomfortable, then it's my right and well, I am right. :P
In this whole manner of growing up, I developed an idea, or rather, a way of thinking that made people say that I 'live in the clouds'. I was always optimistic for the most part, believed that whatever view I have of the world, it would be just like that, thought that good things happened to good people, that I will be all right if I did everything right. Most of all, I fought with the idea that I cannot live my life happily if I always stayed 'in the clouds'. It was a safe place, and I wanted to stay there. It was a good way to live life. I did encounter my own share of sorrows, but I was always hopeful.
Nearly a year after completing formal education, I still believe in all those things. After all, isn't it difficult to start thinking along different lines than what you've always been used to? But this time, it is slightly different. Even though I believe in all those things, I now also know the 'whys', I've also witnessed and understood things I never wanted to believe existed, and I've developed an even bigger need to stay closer to God. Thankfully, my core beliefs remain the same, but I will not hide the fact that living in 'real life' made me very sad. It showed me that the things I thought were so bad they shouldn't exist, would not just exist, but also exist eerily close to me. It's really strange how different everything becomes once you get really independent, and that in this city, is when you start working.
What made me sad?
- Looking at people making a living by fooling other people, and supporting all the wrong kind of things. The really worrying thing is, there seem to be so many people living along these lines, and what they wear as a facade is so convincing, that unless you have great observation and are not easily moved by marketing efforts (that is, if you are someone like me), you wouldn't even realize what kind of lies people live with. When you are used to being ethical and honest, you feel suffocated if you are put in an environment that thrives on lies.
If lying wasn't bad enough, there's this whole idea of showbiz, and by God, it is something I can NEVER like or appreciate, no matter how people might think it to be 'entertaining'. It is not entertainment to me, it's being vile and idiotic and making fun of people who don't know any better. And I loathe people who pull off lies as acts, not knowing how stupid they look to those who know the truth, and how they're being marked by God as mere idiots who are spoiling His world. Besides, people (businesses, politicians, marketers) who make it a business of cheating people, not only cheat those outside the organization, but also their own employees.
- Looking at people who are just so delusional. I cannot stress on the gravity of delusion so many people seem to be living in. One category is that of the super-rich who believe they can buy their way into anything. And the sad fact is that they usually can, and then they believe that they're the winners. Another category belongs to the self-obsessed people. But then, what can we say about the common people if the head of the country is the biggest of them all?
- Realizing that good can happen to people who are good and also to the vicious ones. The same goes for difficulties. God made us all equal and he treats us equally. Karma takes its own role, but for the most part, what happens to us depends on our own selves - are we a minority caste in a bigoted country? Are we poor? Do we have 'contacts'? How you enjoy the good and avoid the bad are basically based on these factors, not God.
- Witnessing alarming amounts of mindless, idiotic acts every day. People seem to have lost all faculties of mental reasoning. Life seems artificial when you look around and feel that so many young people prefer parties over spending time with family, prefer cricket matches and stupid movies over spiritual or intellectual talks, prefer spending thousands in one restaurant meal over giving a small bit of money to the homeless. Then there are events and acts that make no sense whatsoever. And let's not even begin talking about the differences in men and women. I cannot keep on harping about those, so I'll stop now and keep this post short.
In between all this lies the happy world of a family and loved ones, best friends and of course, so many books waiting to be read. I've read such a vast variety of genres and themes, authors and writing styles in the past one year, that it makes me feel scared that I would die before I got to read them all! :P All this offers a constant assurance that one person can make a difference, and if you stay true to yourself and ignoring the negativity, try to spread the good things as much as you can, it will be all right. :)