On my way to work this morning, I was struck by the sheer magnitude of loss that comes with time. Really. Where, for example, is the joy with which I hopped onto my school bus each morning? Where is the laughter and chatter about the day’s time-table, especially the coveted PT class? With time, our reactions are flattened, our enthusiasm dampened – sometimes for the sake of being appropriate, at other times to avoid being labelled “childish”. And, as is conventional for our ever conforming self, we agree to the terms of adulthood, proper behaviour and maturity, without giving a thought to the price we are paying for the same.
Pray, what is wrong with wearing a raincoat? It is easier to manage than an umbrella and runs no risk of being blown away. “Doesn’t that thing look shoddy?” “Won’t your hair go for a toss?” Oh yes. An umbrella would of course seal me from all sides.
Lunch is no longer an exciting affair. We hardly scan other lunchboxes and if we do, we are far too subtle. “Oh, I avoid a heavy lunch.” “I am on a working lunch.” “Maybe just a little bite, thank you.” I miss the run-up to the lunch bell when the world would break into people happily running around helter-skelter.
What’s more, we barely express enthusiasm even about hard-earned success. Ah, don’t tell me a crazy party is the adult way to celebrate. Where did the pats on the back, the crazy hugs, the smiles from end to end, and the jumping all the way home disappear? I hardly think the modern version of partying does justice to all of that.
Nevertheless, while I have little control over the travesty that is life, there is one situation I sacredly and expressly exempt from compliance. When the sky turns grey, the wind howls and thunder claps away in the distance, I walk up to my balcony. There, with the pitter patter of raindrops that begin to fall, I travel several years ago in time. I am back to splashing puddles, wearing a polka-dotted raincoat and nibbling away at onion pakoras. Time is good to me like that.