Most of the exciting stories in my life begins with ‘when I was a kid’, and justifiably so. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, add to it a bit of genuine innocent curiosity, and what you have is a heady mix of a drug called childhood. Though my kinder years were not silver-laced to say the least, I somehow found some beautiful corners, within me. Through sun-soaked afternoons in a small town, through volumes of books and inspiration from the boob tube. Yes, mine were the happy days. Because happiness came from within me, I didn’t need people or material things to make myself happy. Just some white paper, a 6B graphite pencil, and some comic books did the trick. Rest was taken care of by the fact that there was nothing to distract me, no TV at all times, no computers, no gadgets and definitely no social media. My social life started at school, paused in the afternoon, and started back at the playground around the evening. In between, there was just me hunched over the latest edition of Reader’s Digest. We all did something to keep us busy back then, some slept, some read and others scratched their heads trying to invent a water heater with nothing more than some chicken wire, a metal blade and a slab of wood. There was no alcohol, no weed or the Internet. My friends knew ‘How I was feeling’, not based on a status message shared to the world as a plea of help, but by who answered the landline when they called. Our blogs were mental notes; maybe that is why we still remember so much of it, even after this long. Or maybe, because we had enough mind-space to spare for things around us, we could hold the attention when someone was telling us long irrelevant details of the day. There was an opportunity to spend time with yourself, which we don’t anymore. Now we just have too many things to distract us from ourselves. Maybe it is our inherent desire to be in denial, or stay on the surface, but whatever the reasons be, we are rolling with it.
We don’t seem to peep over our walls anymore. We sit, and we let the walls around us grow higher, making us inapproachable. We have found solace in anonymity. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for personal space and individual choices. But that is not the reason. It’s not that we have grown more self-aware, or have asked more questions. We have simply turned down the blinds, and closed ourselves up.