Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nostalgia on my plate**


Nostalgia is an odd thing. It garbles your hindsight and does weird things to your mind's eye. So that no matter how heinous a time you've had back in the sulky past, all you remember is a warm glow of contentment, bathed in a soft golden-yellow twilight. 
Look at the past through sepia-tinted glasses and you don't see the jagged edges that ripped your emotions back then. You don't hear the false notes that ran fingernails down the chalkboard of your soul. You start forgiving people for minor personality flaws.
All you remember is the good times, the cheer, the frolic. You remember how this one time, so-and-so said this-and-that to whats her name and how you all laughed together.
You remember that prank you guys played on Professor A, how that one and this one were caught and oh, the times you all passed out shit-faced after a night of binge studying.
Good times, good times, you think.

The problem is that nostalgia is a lot like alcohol. It can only make the world a better place for a few hours tops. And when the effects wear off, it all comes screaming back to you.You remember what he said about you, what she did to you, what they all made you feel like and the really tacky clothes you wore through all of it.

And then you feel a little ashamed of yourself. For thinking well of people you've studiously avoided these past years. Of actually missing that period in your life where freinds were predominant, not as a lifestyle choice, but as a cushion against the hard bits of reality. You feel a little disgusted frankly, now that the sepia has faded from your vision. And you're left muttering to yourself those oft-repeated words, usually uttered after realising the far-reaching consequences of poison-fuelled decisions: "What was I thinking?"

Nostalgia always tends to get overwhelming. I for one love to live in those sepia tinted memories. It has taught me a lot. A lot. the most life learning lessons are gathered when you are nostalgic. In the middle of one my most amusing conversations of life, my bedrock buddy said something very interesting. Each one of us, he slurred, has one thing in life that we're meant to do. And everything that happens to us before that is just experience we need to make that one thing happen.

Nostalgia of every bad job teaches us what we need to know to be brilliant at our dream job. Every failed relationship is a lesson we need to learn before we can settle down in the perfect one. Every dead dream needs to have died for that one big dream to come alive. We cling on to our regrets and tell ourselves to never, ever do it again, so help us god.

"Why do we fall, sir?" Alfred says in Batman Begins, "So we may learn to pick ourselves up."

I can't believe I'm quoting from a Batman movie at this hour, but the man's got a point. Perhaps it's time we stopped beating ourselves over the head with our mistakes. Perhaps we make them for a reason bigger than the fact that we were stupid, young, heartbroken or drunk.

Perhaps we need to take a deep breath and look back through the sepia tinted glasses and learn from the oh-so amusing past.


*this post was supposed to be printed at a local youth newspaper, but I guess they stopped publishing till the time I leave the town rather than publish my horrendous pieces. So bear with it if you see anywhere in print.*

**The post's title credits goes to the uber cool magazine team of SEMCOM (for those who don't know; this is from where I'll graduate). Pooja, Rucha, Heena and Parth. I miss the magazine making days.

1 comment:

  1. A nicely written article; however I would like to disagree with one stance of yours...nostalgia s exactly like alcohol; it gives you a ephemeral contorted pleasant perspective of things that used to exist, but dont have any existence in the contemporary; and when it fades away , it leaves you with nothing more than a terrible hangover..

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Why I write this ?

so you finally want to know. Well very often I have a writer's block. I am over burdened by my own thoughts. Sometimes i do take the pain of puttin them up, mostly i do not. This is a peek-a-Boo of what i see, what i feel and what i want you to know. Bear with me! Happy reading!