To say that my 17 years old cousin Joy (who lives with me) is a fun-loving youngster is putting it rather mildly… it is more like making the under statement of the year!
He is blissfully unaware of the kind of hard knocks
that Fate can mete out and
hence considers life an eternal picnic.
A very short-sighted way of viewing life, no doubt, but I guess his youth has something to do with it and once youth deserts him, maturity will step in to take
its place. I know that one day
he will mellow down,
shoulder his responsibilities and get a more balanced
perspective. Because that is
the way things are meant to
be in God’s scheme of things.
And this I know from
hindsight. So obviously my cousin doesn’t. He thinks that he and I are cut from two different cloths— he believes in living from moment to moment and enjoying every bit of it while I, the staid mater, puts his faith in caution and pragmatism. It goes without saying that he finds me oh-so-boring, one who doesn’t believe in doing some fun things, or just freak out and have a ball.
If only he knew how way off the mark he is! It is true that we all change with the passing of years and while most of these changes are physical and hence
apparent to the world at large, there are also definite changes in our mindset, temperament, attitude etc.
Dreams are either realized or replaced by harsh realities, romance is less heady and more meaningful, relationships are reviewed and redefined and so on. There is a definite metamorphosis of sorts.
Life’s like that, to be
precise. But you know what, there is inside each of us a child who refuses to grow up, who keeps lurking in some corner of our soul, in whose innocence we unwittingly seek refuge when life’s stresses bog us down. That child is who we really are.
Don’t we love it when
somebody from our childhood tells us, “You haven’t changed at all ! You are still the same person that you were back then.” The world sees what it
chooses to see, or what we let it see, about us—gray hair, broadened waist, dull skin, slow gait or whatever.
These are but manifestations of the
aging process— they do not
represent who we are at
heart nor do they mirror our dreams and aspirations.
Likewise, worldly norms
dictate that we behave in a
certain way—congruent with
our calendar years—but why
should that automatically
suggest that once we are no longe painfully young, we
become, or atleast should
become, averse to having a
little fun now and then? We
behave with discretion not
only ‘coz it is the right thing to do, but often ‘coz it is the proper thing to do.
Custom demands something, we do it —it’s as simple as that. But in the process we sometimes stifle the voice of the child in us. For instance, I would definitely love to play cricket once in a while(won’t my cousin throw a fit?), or shake a leg to Cliff Richards’ “Someone else is in your arms tonight…”, or just splurge on a dress simply ‘coz I fancy it and to hell with keeping business matters in mind… the list is quite formidable I have to admit! But can I do any of the above without shocking the daylights out of my family, friends, neighbours? You tell me.
So what do we do when we are overcome by the urge to
be a child again and do
insensible things once in a
while, to just let our hair
down and consequences be damned?
Well, do we give into the impulse or don’t we?
Difficult question beyond doubt. If I were to ask you to cast your votes on the options(a) Yes (b) No and (c) Don’t know, most of you are likely to play safe and opt for option #3. You’d do that also because of the obvious reason, and that is, that you are genuinely confused— you want to let yourself go but are held back by years of conditioning to “be have maturely”, right?
Well then, we have to think of a way to keep everyone happy— ourselves as well as others. How about keeping a fragment of your daily /
monthly / yearly routine for
time” as it is popularly known as—and in that period totally freaking out just as you want to?
For instance, if you are sure that no one’s looking, you can do that little jig to the tune of an old favourite romantic number (and even revel in some associated
memories, if any), or cuddle up in your bed with a dog-eared copy of “Noddy Goes To-School” which someone gifted to you on your fifth birthday(and you still have it !!), or play that pocket video game(which you had bartered with your best friend for four
Diamond comics) with your feet propped up on the table (against all etiquette), or even pull out that one-eyed Teddy Bear which had once been privy to all your childhood secrets but has been lying hidden in the attic for the last so many years and tweak its ears or give it a big “bear” hug………
there are endless ways of resurrecting the child in you, and it is entertaining and refreshing as hell.
This way you have your fun
without losing your dignity,
don’t you think? You may
have your own interesting as well as practical ideas of remaining young at heart, ‘coz that is really what this is all about.
I implore you to keep in touch with that kid inside you—communicate with him / her, indulge him / her every now and then. It’ll do you a world of good, believe me. Sometimes, when your mind is befuddled, that naïve child may surprisingly give you valuable insight or a fresh new approach to your problems— giving meaning to your wistful thinking “Things would’ve been so easy if I were a child.”
You see, our adult perspective often
complicates matters while a
child’s simplistic thinking may solve the problem in a jiffy. Allow yourself the leeway to act out the child in your mindspace—you owe yourself that bliss.