Friday, 23 May 2014

100*

It seemed a tacky decision to finally settle onto one theme for writing down the 100th post on the blog. The blog's not corornated or celebrated that well for the 100th one to be looked upon with anticipation, but this has been a special place as I stumble upon every event of my life. It's like a set of annals defining my mood and defining that one odd feeling. So finally, on the question of what to write for the 100th post, I settled on to a recurrent theme. It's a little to hard to get away from that idea and those eidetic applications. So, Hope it is, but this time, not from a generic or oversimplified angle. This time, I got a rather startling firsthand view of it.

It's been a good few days since my 2 year odd nephew started visiting his prep. He is one of those idiosyncratic, heretic babies just like I would have been. Spreads clamor and tumult and has a penchant for burlesque on what goes around. As a result, he and I are a coven of sorts. For people like us, institutions are like a purgatory, ready to burn down all our uniqueness, ready to turn us into a part of the normal brigade. Our institutions are setup to extract all the distinguishing factors and inundate you with a sense of fear on treading different paths. Codes, serious ones, are used to coop you up, and now my innocent nephew's turn for induction in the ablution camp.

For someone who priced freedom, for someone who despised restrain, a prep like atmosphere with eyes peeping onto each and every activity of yours, regulated meals, not so familiar faces and the missing comfort of your family and an awesome uncle like me, and all of this on the very first day you step into this mad world, it would have been a little too much. The very first day you move out, you're bamboozled with a barrage of expectations. You've all sorts of classes and all sorts of reports. You're made a subject of instruction comprehension where every other teacher looks at you with anticipation and so do your parents upon the teachers themselves. A myriad of experiments are carried out to test your mettle.

How you eat, whether you eat on time, how well you fare up in socializing, how well you fare in grasping the alphabet, every observation is made with meticulous intent and progress recorded in your diary. You're made to go through class, play and even Taekwondo! Don't worry, just a stripped down caricature of it. But whatever you do, you've eyes agglutinated at you like the world's success depends on you alone. And all of this in one day. While it's true you need to be prepared to face a world full of filth, you're expected to strap up and accede to the overwhelming process on day one itself. From your natural abode to the world the world thinks is right for you, all in one day when you become a part of the fray. 

I curiously waited for the nephew to walk out of the school foyer where his teachers waited with all paraphernalia, waiting to hand off the ward and get their aplomb of spending one more day in the cacophony at the training camps. I didn't bother to leave him to school in the morning because I knew he'd cry and spread din. What would have been worth observing, was to see him walk out after the first day. An eerie sense of emotional outburst is ushered in that moment when a parent collects their child from schools. While some like to act as poseurs, pretending to care much more than they normally do, which is pretty much evident from the grimace on the kid's face, some are actually concerned and consider the school as an obligation of ours being born a little too ahead in time where human life is fostered on the assembly lines of the education system. I, with bated breath, waited for his name to be called out, to see how he fared on the harrowing day, and finally he was there. 

He walked out, holding the hand of who looked like a concierge, hovering his eyes around, witnessing the chaos. Parents and guardians making repeated inquiries on when their kinsfolk would be called, teachers inexorably exhausted but still holding on, shouting names to other teachers upstairs near the classes, revved up engines and all the intermingled conversations and futile discussions on why a boy couldn't speak out the 'C' properly and that the vermicelli had enough salt to cause hypertension! He walked out with his bag on his side, peeping through the sordid pallidness and people all around, scouring for something, maybe his own people, maybe more madness so that he could take the week's dose in a day, but he kept walking in as silent a manner as possible. He wasn't virulent and his steady, stout walk lasted a good 40 seconds before he reached me and mom, who were ready to grab him up.

The look on his face was rather ineffable, quelling all that I knew of human reaction. He was seemingly perturbed but yet he had a determination of sorts written all over the face. He was appalled by the sight of his future for 2 decades, but yet he seemed content with it, ready to take it on. He simply walked out, no squiggles in the path, no pestering, no supplicating at all. He came out, saw all that was happening, gulped it like normal and didn't at all seem addled. His face, free of usual emotions, was embossed with a new one. That of hope, that of surreal foresight. He didn't know what to expect when he went in but he knew that when he came out. It was all too esoteric to understand in a day but he got some ideas, it seemed. All of it showed up as that hope on his face. He didn't seem febrile, didn't seem queasy and was not at all angry. That was the exact opposite of what we thought. Bereft of the usual demeanor, he looked very different in those 40 seconds. His first interaction with the massive world, his first stroll into his own future. He could sense it all. He could have felt dejected, but he didn't. He could have relished it if he were the wraith out of a reincarnated human, but he isn't. He simply decided to take it head on, not showing how he felt, keeping his true emotions hidden beneath the veil of his placidity, not knowing when to let the true self come out, or whether to let it out or not. In one single day, he experienced the change. Something he needs to experience for the next 20 years in line to be one of us, another mercenary! Life is amazing and maybe hope's the only thing left worth living for, except of course for the gluttony and the somnolence.