The Story of a Boy

This is the story of a boy and a girl. More than one girl, actually. Many girls. It doesn’t matter really. There were girls. Period. This is the story of a boy going through life not shackled, but wanting to break free. It’s the worst kind of bondage. Like when you need to fight for your freedom, there is always a sense of purpose but not when you are free. That is always tough. You have to constantly dig up this buried purpose. This is the story of this boy finding this purpose and then always handing it over to someone else. A girlfriend, a classroom, a first job, a dream job, the future of a friend, the future of this moment right now, a birthday party, a new beginning and then again, another purpose gone.

This is not every story. Not the same story, but kind of similar. It’s the story of that boy who finds meaning in a movie but rarely from real life. Not one of those day dreaming or waking up with a purpose or falling asleep with satisfaction. It’s that story of the boy who always finds inspiration renewed at the slightest mention of what he loves. It’s also the story of him not completely knowing what is that he truly loves. Because it is the story of him falling in love with a girl under a tree while his friends were peeking from every corner waiting for his next move. The same story where while he saw her cry he felt that strange need to reach out and make her feel loved like she had never before and in the process help her find the true meaning to love again. It begins and ends with that one moment during a loud birthday party that he decided to truly connect for might just be the only time in his life. Truly connect.

It’s the story of small ambitions and big achievements, of mediocrity hidden in silent celebrations dancing in a dark room or of complete abject despair on a terrace looking at airplane after airplane land in front of his eyes. It’s of sitting in offices in the middle of the night staring at a screen, at the view, at the time, at his phone, at that moment, when it all goes vacant. When it all begins to construct itself in a symmetric plot of wilful derelictions. The kind of story that demands the boy to always make decisions, small or big, but bigger than him or that’s what he convinces himself always. Always, throwing away the moment just before that decision, which was his moment. It was his moment, the moment he had created for himself, the one he wanted to live and things he wanted to say and tears he wanted to cry. That precise moment in the story when every memory meets with everything you are doing right now and it all pieces together. The kind of story that prompts you to question every decision you have taken, including emails written in the past that have brought you to this moment. Including coffee shops walked out off early, flirtatious gazes he shied away from at pubs, an extra dribble he stopped at, the few extra metres he could have run faster or the time he could have just never stopped running.

The story of that boy who would go back, change about three sentences in one email to resurrect or destroy his life forever. Wind back the clocks, throw away everything he has to just once see how different, how difficult and just how fulfilling it could have all been.

This is the story of that boy. Any boy. This boy.

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The Story of a Boy

Re-engaging

Another philosophical dive commences on a day of a few highs and many significant internal lows. Which takes me back to a thought that has always been a bother. It’s about ‘re-engaging’ with the world and people in it. Truly and fully becoming a part of your surroundings. I love movies and there are a few examples that can help you understand what I’m saying. And I promise to not judge you in case you don’t know these movies. 

Remember that moment in Top Gun, the final dogfight, when Maverick is not engaging the Russian MiG because he is covering his partner. In that moment, a set of memories possibly flash through his head as he sees the picture of Goose and something clicks and after spending the previous 40 minutes of the movie in mourning, he snaps out and ‘re-engages’. 

In Jab We Met when Aditya finally returns to Mumbai after leaving Geet with her lover, he finds his mojo, his purpose and a path to move on from his broken heart. He, ‘re-engages’. 

When, in Swades, Mohan returns to the US and gets beautifully enveloped by Rahman’s, ‘Yeh jo des hain mera’, he remembers moments vividly spent in India. The faces he helped and the ones he will never forget and the one he loves. In that moment, he ‘re-engages’. 

I can go on but one last one would be the moment in My Cousin Vinny, where Vinny finally comes into his own, forgets the lack of sleep and the judge and the bickering and just becomes the lawyer he was meant to be. In that hilarious moment, he ‘re-engages’. 

Every day, every minute, someone across the world is putting the pieces together, packing up the memories or just smartly using them to re-engage. They are building roads back into their lives to feel and live again, to love and have their hearts broken again. There is a Tom in 500 Days of Summer who is finding his Autumn and there is also a Bruce Wayne who needs a threatened Gotham to get back in the game. 

It either comes in a moment, a series of moments or from a dreamlike run of months where everyone around you thinks you are the best you can be. Think again. No background score, no crescendos, no butlers or judges and no trigger of a Russian MiG chasing you down. 

It’s the silence and deafening sound in your head and you. Time to find a way to ‘re-engage’..

Re-engaging