I have written about this before. As a child, I had been used to standing on the shore, at times dipping my feet into the water that spilled onto the beach while my mother firmly held on to my hand. This time it was me who had the death grip on a colleague’s hand, as she guided me into deeper waters. As a large wave approached, I lost my grip and went under. Breathing brought water into my nose and ears and for two seconds I was more scared than I had ever been before. The wave subsided, and somebody found my hand. I was safe again, but this time less scared of any oncoming wave.
Very frequently this year, I cribbed, I bitched, I was unhappy.
But this was by far, the most interesting year of my life. It was my first year as a real adult, and I think I found my way through, armed with some deep insight into growing up.
There was Goa.
Then there was the first visit to Bhutan, the trek to Tiger’s Nest. That point in the trek, when for the first time I didn’t second guess myself. I absolutely knew what I wanted to do, and did just that. The first time I wasn’t just happy, I was in bliss.
It was also the first time I was at my unhappiest, and alone. I didn’t have friends to cheer me up, I didn’t have my parents fussing over me, my sister telling me it would be okay. But I managed to pick myself up. I broke down on the way, but I wasn’t embarrassed about it. Alone wasn’t the same thing as lonely.
There was the first visit to the Maldives where I learnt that binge-watching MTV could be incredible fun. And that Sidhharth Malhotra was hot. And that I was capable of washing bed-sheets and scrubbing denims clean.
There were the second visits to the two countries when I realised I felt safer there than in India. Where I realised I was capable of random conversations with strangers. When I realised that I was more parochial than I thought. But I was still less parochial than others. Floating lights can lift your mood. Old people do not find happiness in the small pleasures of life. They crib more. I might revel in being alone, but want my parents to be with me the next time I go to the Buddha Statue in Thimphu.
And along the way, in Delhi, in Bombay, in Shirdi, in Nasik, in Kolkata, there were a host of other things I learnt, about me and the world.
I oscillate between naiveté and shrewdness. (When did I forget the difference between having fun conversations and being friends?)
The average woman matures faster than the average man. It’s true, not a sexist conspiracy.
There is no person in the world I love more than my sister. But I don’t want to be like her.
As people grow up, they make compromises in their lives, which were unimaginable when they were younger.
The most unlikely people can surprise you. The auntyji-ish colleague can be a tennis aficionado and Agatha Christie groupie. The quiet, mousy colleague could have had a love-life that could be the stuff of movies.
It’s important to say no.
Manoeuvring social obligations is a bitch.
I can’t spell ‘manoeuvring’ without the help of a word-processor.
I look back at my Hindu college days through rose-tinted glasses. I realised this by watching a video of old photos which ironically, was designed to make me feel nostalgic. Or maybe I am emotionally stunted.
I can go to great lengths, sometimes stupidly, to save 700 bucks.
We often allow people to hurt us, and don’t hit back.
I can write soppy blog-posts.