Sunday, July 12, 2015

To be or not to be Child, is an Important Question

Will you still love me
When I’m no longer young and beautiful?
Will you still love me
When I got nothing but my aching soul?
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I’m no longer beautiful?
 ~ Lana Del Ray, Soundtrack - The Great Gatsby (Lyrics)
Think about someone you love, think about the precise moment you fell in love with them or realised how important they were to you. That moment of lucidity, when you knew there they are and nothing can take the moment away from you. We go through our lives rarely experiencing such moments of clarity & pure elation. A moment of childlike naivety & deeply ingrained sense of faith that things are just going to be perfect. A moment when judgement, the future and survival did not matter. Then you see children who live in a similar state of lucidity, always about constantly moving forward & always in love - giving without reason, and getting attached without reason. And then you are jealous of them & cannot help but reminisce - if I could just turn back time! So, the question for me was, can we live like them?

For children, play never requires a spot, happiness does not require an object of a specific measure, gratification in just the doing of anything is enough.
For children, play never requires a spot, happiness does not require an object of a specific measure, gratification in just the doing of anything is enough. Who would not wish to live that bit again, but then why can you not be like a child now? Why not love someone because you feel like it and not fear what the world thinks of your kind of love & also not fear the judgement that comes associated. Why not be a child - when you take the wrong road and not be annoyed that you made a mistake. Why not be a child - when you find that it's raining and not be worried that you could be late to work & just get drenched.
Then I think, how can I keep living in that moment of childlike lucidity, where there is no pain and no haste?
I was a weirdly content kid with no real friends to talk about. Looking back, I was well off without any friends, no regrets. As a child, I had two such moments of lucidity. The first was the times when I used to go for random walks that became sprints, with no target distance on an empty road, for the love of it. The second was the times I used to just sit in the middle of a playground and there was no one for long distances, munching on my favourite piece of material pleasure - A Snickers bar. Coming back to adulthood, "state defined", I felt this childlike sense in writing and completing a writing piece - one that was not defined by any literary structures, construct or refinement but coming out the desire to let it be. I started typing this piece and could not stop for hours together until I completed what I wanted to write. I haven’t written like this for 4 years now and let me tell you I am really enjoying this. Then I think, how can I keep living in that moment of childlike lucidity, where there is no pain and no haste?

If you noticed, in my exploration of what being childlike meant, I have not used happiness. I have realised that happiness is an adult construct, for good or bad- you decide. An attempt to control the status quo - forcibly adhering to rules, defining objectives or a path that will lead to some state of happiness. There, I believe, exists our biggest misconception of adult life, that the pursuit of happiness towards a day when the absence of pain is our purpose in life. Then you look at children, again, and realise that they are not distressed about the absence or the mere possibility of pain. They run without the fear of tripping or even engage with complete ease with a stranger & have fun in it. They engage in these tasks with insatiable craving & unquestionable focus. If you Watch Master Chef Australia Kids, you get what I am saying; there is a near absence of doubt. And then I ask myself, is it even possible to reach there?
I have realised that, like children look at the world, there only is the now & a hopeful ROI - return on investment, on doing things worth the pain to obtain a result.
Just like there is no darkness and only a lack of light, quite similarly, I feel there can never be too much happiness or too much pain. I have realised that, like children look at the world, there only is the now & a hopeful ROI - return on investment, on doing things worth the pain to obtain a result. It would have been apt if like children we could move without fear of potential pain, but we can at least try. And so like the song by Lana Del Ray that I started with, the naivety and blind faith that the girl hopes for, the unconditional love she gives in hope of return, is how we should all be - Childlike!


So, close your eyes & go back to the time when you played, not because someone told you to or when you had to ask for it. Go back to the time when there was no fear of pain & yearning for comfort in the status quo. Do something like a Child, why not be naive & content for your own sake! I am sure going to.

2 comments:

Himani said...

Awesome.......simply b'ful....pure and genuine...
Don't feel like writing sentences....these adjectives describe what I felt after reading this....Keep it up....:)

दर्शन said...

There is this connect or a bond I have always felt with you ..I remember we used to have hours long discussion @noida depot chowk after our prayas stint over the weekend ..we used to discuss our favroite topic i.e. Life :) ..I remember that we used to always tease u that when will u grow up as u are younger than us ..But Honestly speaking I have learnt a lot from those discussions including what happens (very few though) over tbe phone now ..Your clarity of thought makes me envy most of the times ..This is simply beautiful expression ..I was just thinking that I am reading some classic novel ..Somehow we have to always keep the child inside us alive to have a contented life and I believe we have tht child yet within us .
Loved it..

PS:अब उड़ना मत ,मैं तेरी उतनी ही बुराई भी कर सकता हूँ जितनी तारीफ़ ..;)