There are strange things I thank God for. Like the longish commute I loudly curse – internally, I’m really thankful for it. It helps me be quiet (as opposed to being have-mouth-will-blabber), and get a think. It is mandatory for that transit from home to work. On such a commute – yesterday or the day before, who knows? – I traced back a significant part of my life. I think I got to 1999. In between, I met the person who always wore Fab India kurtis with weird-shape bottoms. I also brushed past emotionally charged geek, and I was really embarrassed to meet her. But then I got to the person in 1999. The person in 1999 thought she had a lot of secrets. Secrets of immediate family. And those of extended family. Of boys and girls who she had to pretend were her friends. Of those who were friends. And those she imagined she knew. And those she knew she imagined. Looking back, I could really scoff at this person, because really, 16 isn’t an age to pretend to be all mystical. 24 is. But the person at 16 had an air of precocity that makes it harder for the person in 2010 to really mock her. For precocity, if pierced, is really like breaking someone’s heart. And in this case, she was all heart.

She intrigues me. This ability to listen endlessly without saying much, and still have the gall to go ahead and do whatever the hell she knew was right. To get to a point where she knows she was incorrigibly wrong. To shrug. To live again. Her clarity, even in the most immature of life’s plans, makes me envious – I almost insist she comes back with me, and nothankyou, we won’t want to take the emo-geek with us at all. The person at 16 was a school girl dealing with images, woes, joys, ambitions, perceptions, crushes and the correct length of socks. Little else. Yet, each one of those was so clearly laid out. She knew the image she portrayed – she was aware of every element of her carefully-visualized unawareness. She cried for things most people laughed at. She was happy with very little; back then, materialism was neither a choice nor a craving. Ambitions were so many and so bizarre; she would almost disrespect the person in 2010. If she had a crush on someone, he would get the royal ignore – it works. And the correct length of socks is really subjective – except short is for losers.

I’d like to think that weird-shape bottoms phase really messed her up. But no. She chose that. She chose everything. She hardly regretted. She was who they were proud of. They said they never needed to tell her what to do – she knew better. The emo geek phase? She always knew that wasn’t her. She and I can almost look at THAT one as the anomaly in the scheme of things. How then did she get to this person in 2010? Is life really so gradual that even a train-wreck seems like a no big deal in its slow progression? Girl in 1999, in hindsight, you could have done one thing better – you could have prepared the nerd in 2005 or the woman in 2008 to survive this train-wreck without letting go of the precocity.

Atleast, the one in 2010 still does whatever the hell she wants. Without the precocity, though.


13 thoughts on “Redux

  1. It is important to do this, you have been enterprising enough to do it! I hope that, someday, I would be able to start looking back at the ‘me’s of yesteryears and.. introspect, if that is the right word.

  2. Hey that is a very interesting account of connecting with the person you were and the person you now are !!your commuting does give you the time and space to reflect and introspect !!

  3. Loved this post, and could connect with it on so many levels from someone I knew way back in 1999 too πŸ™‚
    And for your weird shaped bottoms she had long dangling hoops in her ears to match πŸ˜€

  4. Wow! Now that you say it, I miss my long commutes too. It was really that time of the day when I’d be quiet because of lack of choices. And how much it helped! I don’t think I am quiet even for 5 minutes otherwise.

    And really, sometimes I look back and wonder about my emo phases (I can’t be given credit for being a geek ever!) and wonder who that person really was. That said, the clarity with which my plans were chalked out then is amazing. Now I only know things I DON’T want to do in life, and otherwise I guess after a while all of us start going with the flow.

    You write so, so well girl!

  5. This post spurred me to think about my school days in retrospect and do an introspection of my psyche. Big changes we find in ourselves which build up gradually and sometimes insidiously. We become so different from the person we were. Sometimes it feels like the world has ceased to be the world and I’ve ceased to be me. But then, as they say – Change is the only constant. * Kuch jyada philosophy ho gaya I think πŸ™‚ *

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