Growing Up Is Losing Some Illusions, In Order To Acquire Others

Food for Thought



                I remember how during winter afternoons reading Russian fairytales in Bengali translation was a bliss. The wheat dough that rolls by itself, or a dutiful sister like Ivanushuka or a tolerant little girl who bears the stinging chill of Moscow and is thus rewarded at the end aided me in weaving a world as bright and colourful as the movies of Walt Disney. Well as time gradually passed by..things weren't exactly the same..when I realised that the story of Little Red Riding Hood visiting her granny and meeting the wolf each day that she passed through the forest, had innumerable innuendos attached to it. 

           What my childhood gave me, what it made me see, the playful days amidst the summer trees, the innocent talks of blissful frenzy ,when hurting one another meant snatching a candy, transformed to simple illusions. The thoughts and ideas of childhood years gradually changed to grey phantoms, meaningless, absurd, at times intangible, those that gradually turn to smoke and vaporise! This is what we adults prefer calling 'illusions'. Its more like, there is a cockroach on the floor, but you view it to be a lizard- now that my friend is an illusion. As strange as it might sound, but speaking for myself, what I had perceived life to be when I was a kid, the picture that I had painted in my mind, has been distorted totally. Forming a base or a foundation for a better future ahead, forms the base of human civilisation, culture and progress. It is constantly imbibed in the minds of the children that they need to focus, not on what life can teach them, but on the colourfully designed text books, that hardly attract them and thats when they start creating their castles of candies or cheese. Academics teaches a child to dream of the mechanical, to dream like iron and steel and to dream in monotony. Interestingly,  a child gradually learns to draw a line of control between his ideas of touching the stars and NASA. When reality gives him the feeling of a frost bite  and immense pain, he realises that he cannot just fly with the birds, sail to different countries, fall in love; that these never happen technically, that these were images created by his mind to make life beautiful for him, to teach him to live, and that is when he comes across the term 'illusion'. When we are asked about our future plans, where we see ourselves after five years or when we dream of these things, we often tend to become illusional, slightly slinged away from reality. Why? Well, because we all love to see ourselves as billionaires don't we? We sway away from the present, from the reality, for that makes us happy, living a life in our dreams because an illusion is perfect and naked reality is hoarse.


Growing up

          She always wanted to be one of those glittering gems of tinsel town, walking amidst crores of her followers. She always saw herself as the diva of her era, wearing the best of clothes, a Gucci, a Burberry, a Mac or Chambor, a Dolce and Gabbana and all those she read of in Harper's Bazaar, and having known about the Victoria's Secret, she would be gaining fame, being looked upon as a fashion icon, as an artist par excellence. Years later she was seated in the green room, decking herself up, wearing identical clothes as few other girls; seated as a background dancer. No, her dreams weren't wrong. Her idea of the real, the present, her idea of life was not honest enough. She never knew, that to fulfil her childhood ambition, she needs to sacrifice her morales. No, that was definitely not the view of her version of 'life'.

           Music has always been a passion, probably because it runs in my family, and they participate in this field of culture pretty often. To see the crowd sway to your voice, your singing, is priceless. To hear that how your voice acts as the healer can probably be the best gift. These things, these feelings, I've always wanted to feel. To lend music to your pain, your happiness, your anger; to play with the tunes, twisting them, turning them, tossing and chewing, bringing in any toppings and cooking it the way you want to- you can speak for thousands. The crowd at 'Someplace Else' was pretty amazing,  very cooperative; cheered me and the band, throughout when we took up Clapton. The carriage of my dreams took a great start; no bumpers or speed breakers, and I was ready to toss my tunes, my creations, life was about to become perfect, when I realised that I had left outside the cage, a major organ of my dreams - the reality. Things struck me quite hard, no they weren't supposed to be like this! Not the way I had planned. To achieve my dreams do I really need to lose my identity?

            Five years and it has been a journey of peace, happiness, ups and downs. We both stood strong, stood hand in hand, faced the difficulties. Therefore, what went wrong after five years? The fact that we don't talk anymore. We don't speak. Our hearts lie numb. I had told you how amazing the coming years would be; I imagined both of us together. Imagined 'us' as a whole. This wasn't a dream; for I remember lying against your shoulders and narrating my plans to you. And now you turn your gaze away. The frame I had constructed turned grey and broke to pieces. I cried inside. I didn't dream our future, I travelled to the future to live the moments with you; how blissful it would be to wake up beside you. Yet again I was wronged and people laughed. They preferred calling my ideas as dreams and imagination; they called me immature. Why aren't love stories supposed to end in the fashion one wants them to? 

            As we grow, we mature and we start to age; we experience and learn. We learn about life. We learn that how innocently, we as kids had knit a beautiful world for ourselves filled with the things we love. The innocence falls and we realise that we simply created a veil- a curtain to cover the stark truth, the reasons that gave us nightmares- a palette consisting of several colours, colours of happiness, sadness, isolation, depression, love, trust, hatred, loyalty, disloyalty, lust, sex passion, demand, hunger, poverty and wants. We dream of illusions, of what can never happen. We accept our failures, leaving behind the illusions, but humans are social animals, hence while walking down the same road we are still moved by the rain and the sunrise, we still write, we still compose poetry thereby moving away from reality. We still dream and never lose hope, as that makes our present life happy, once again helping us to create castles, this time trying to make sure that they don't fall. We still dream of the long forgotten histories, of those stories---we still dream of our past.

Sketch By: Anshul Dora