Monday, May 03, 2004

Bitter Sweet Symphony

As I sit facing my computer screen, listening to the Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve, the outside world slowly descends into darkness. The low level stratocumulus clouds are posing a challenge to the mighty sun. I step outside for a glimpse of the sky and feel the first drops of rain on my palms. Just then U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name begins in the background. Nostalgia takes over and lulls me into a deep hypnotic trance. This place, these people will just become memories in a few days. The golden years of my life have just slipped by and all that remains are memories. Vanessa Mae’s rendition of Bach’s Street Prelude has just started in the background and gives me hope, short-lived though it is, it is enough.

It has started raining very heavily now. My friends who were playing football till now have switched over to rugby (or some very weird form of it) in the mud. Half the guys have taken their shirts off to differentiate between the two teams. The game is just an excuse for them. An excuse to remember all the good times spent together. They are just running and passing and tackling and having fun. This is what life is all about: semi nude men playing in the mud? No. Life is about young boys living together and sharing an adventure, a dream and going out into the big world as men. The game of rugby was just an excuse to tell the rest of the world: We are on our way. Get ready.

In a few days it will be time for goodbyes and farewells. I might not see these people again, ever and this thought saddens me. I am too old to make new friends now. I have been doing it for the last 21 years with great ease and have always looked forward to meeting new people and making friends. When you have studied in nine different educational institutions and lived all over the country, making new friends becomes detrimental to your survival. But I was always good at it. Now I am not sure whether I’ll be able to do the whole charade all over again. Judging peoples’ characters, finding the right set of people who are emotionally and mentally compatible with you, I don’t think I can do it now. Perhaps I can still do it, but I don’t have the energy or the inclination to do it. I think I have become a little too secure in my life and don’t want to leave this comfort zone.

Life seems to be following a predetermined course and I feel like a mere spectator, seeing my own life pass by. My reserve of stored optimism is slowly drying out. I just hope that my decision to take a year off will be helpful in the long run. Shocking as it may sound to most of my friends and well wishers, I have never been more convinced about anything in my entire life. There are these very small, trivial things which I want to pursue in this one year. Trivial they may sound, but they are very important to me. I don’t want to turn forty and regret not having done all these things. It’s now or never. Every day I sit and add to this ever growing list of things to be done in the next one year. If I am able to accomplish even half of them, I’ll die a very happy man. Top of my list is getting myself educated: educated in the study of life, something which cannot be taught in any school or college. There is writing, music, books, travel, cooking, French, philosophy, religion and a host of other things in this list. Bungee jumping! How could I forget that?

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Try to make ends meet
Your a slave to money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you
to the places where all the things meet yeah

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