Jun 7, 2011

Some things never change...

Long, long ago, a young boy refused to go to school. The place scared him. It was filled with strange kids, some who bit him and some who pulled his hair. He felt lonely, surrounded by so many strangers. He told his mom that he hated the place and didn't want to go there.

She explained to him, patiently, that it is actually a nice place. That he will learn new things. And make new friends. And will soon grow to like that place. Like it enough to spend more and more time there. She told him that she would always be around, waiting under the big tree in the playground. And the moment the bell rings, she would come and take him away from there. And so, he would wait, patiently, much after all the other kids had left, all by himself, for the one familiar face to appear by the window. Some days, the face would be late. And he would sit there and think to himself, "I don't want to be here."

His mom tried harder. She explained that there was no choice. Everybody goes to school. Everybody had to. Only then could he become a 'big man', and go to office like his father. And be able to earn money to buy chocolates. He didn't understand what money was, but he liked the idea of getting chocolates any time he wanted.

And so, he tried to like the place. Until one day, he did potty in his pants. All the students laughed at him. The teacher made him stand outside the class. And then, at that very moment, he decided that come what may, he would not go to school anymore.

So, the next morning, when his mom laid out the neatly ironed uniform and the nicely polished black shoes, he refused to wear them. He ran away and hid under the cot. But he was no match for his mom. Moms are always smarter. All she had to do was say "I see a cockroach in there" and he came scurrying out like the creature she had just mentioned does when you spray insecticide in a hole in the floor.

And then he fell back on the only weapon that young kids have. He bawled. And bawled. Loudly enough to alarm the neighbours. But his mom was having none of it. And so he was dragged, kicking and screaming and wriggling in her arms, and was deposited in the classroom.

Over time, he came to like the place. He made friends. He played catch-catch and hide and seek with them. And even learnt to pluck boogers from his nose and happily put them in his mouth. They tasted weird, but it was nice because everyone on his bench was doing it. And he did well in his studies too, which pleased his mom.

Many years went by, and he grew older. And older. But he never grew up. People want him to face his responsibilities, get married and 'settle down'. He has already decided that he hates this 'settling down'. But he knows that he has no option. He knows he can't run away from it forever.

Deep in his heart, he knows he should resign himself to mediocre 'maturity' and only hope that things will go well. And he'll do at least half as well as he did in that other school.

But he is a fighter. While Time keeps dragging him along, he refuses to go quietly. And so, he is being dragged, kicking and screaming and wriggling in its hands, into this school called 'maturity'. One year at a time. And Time is winning, since it has made him cross one more year. Little does Time know that this time, he has made up his mind much more fiercely. And he is no longer afraid of cockroaches and can't be tricked out of his hiding place. And thus, he will not grow up and face his responsibilities.

PS1: Little does he know that Time always wins this battle. But he lives again, to fight another day. And another year. He'll live some more, and then merely exist. But till such time, cheers folks. And wish me a not-so-Happy Birthday


  1. Everyone prefers elementary school over maturity. If only we could pause life. I feel you completely over not being a big fan of maturity.

    Wish you a very very happy birthday. Don't be matured over the birthday party. Just have a blast ! :)

  2. Just when I thought Snehasis's 31st Dec deadline for you will be met, comes your rejoinder in the end... Bah !

  3. Anonymous10:42 PM

    happy birthday.

    *unfamiliar places are always scary*
    some day you might want to experience life from the other side of the fence.

    live life the way you want,suck out it's last juice.yet even ulysses turned homewards in his twilight...

    just a thought.

  4. Anonymous10:43 PM

    its last juice...
    pardon the typo.

  5. @ Harini:
    If only we could pause life... yeah...

    @ Shilpi:
    The deadline might still be met... who knows what the future holds ;)

    @ Anon:
    Unfamiliar places were scary. No longer. and what makes you think I am not living life the way I want?

  6. here after forever!! happy birthday dude!

  7. Happy b'day SRK...

  8. @ Anjana:
    yeah, your cryptic comments were missed! and thanks for the birthday wishes :)

    @ Mad:
    Thank you... :)

  9. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Hope you had a wonderful bday..

    The imp question..is this the last single bday? :P


  10. @ Anon S:
    and unless I meet someone who can drag my kicking and screaming self to that phase, this won't be the last single birthday...

  11. @SRK: You write very well. I am going through your posts, one after the other.

    I was writing a post, very similar to this one - commemorating 24 years of my living.