So they call me a Hippie. They say that in a very obvious way, I somehow represent today’s popular understanding of the term. Is it a term or is it someone’s reality somewhere? The fact that a Hippie originally was someone who rejected the America of the 60s and became this counterculture spewing manifestation of the simplicity of life and complexity of the mind, begins to make me wonder of the most real question every Hippie must ask himself; Does he belong? To anything, anyone or anywhere..
The established definition of a hippie circulates in the realm of being unsettled, unhappy, alternate and possibly at war with oneself. There is the subset which is the unrefined figurative of being pretentious and wanting to ape a hippie existence but let’s keep the pretenders aside and focus on the mind and not the material of a hippie. We are keeping aside the big black artist glasses or the eco-friendly ride or even the food from the earth diatribe that some of us ramble on. Let’s just focus on the mind; the counter-balanced, the lack of comprehension of the normal, the disbelief in his current circumstances and a constancy of being unsettled. On these trains of thought, as I depart, if they call me a hippie, maybe I must accept. Many years of consistent change either leaves you fed up or possibly craving for it all the time. And that hippie mind starts asking you those questions about the people that surround you, the ideas that engulf you and the stability that threatens you. Maybe there isn’t a way forward but that only sideways and along the grid without ever completely falling off it is your path. That maybe your love for very few things, like true obsessive love, is symbolic of a greater need to find permanence in something that can be equated to a feeling and not necessarily a person or a tangible reality. Like they say I love coffee. There is also a suggestion that the feeling for it borders on true love. But maybe it’s more about the need to find something that is permanent irrespective of where I am. My obsession to find and brew the perfect cup is that little part craving for some sense of belonging, even if it is restricted to a cup of coffee. Strange thought? Let’s break it down. We all have attachments. Some of them are people we refuse to let go, some are cities they refuse to leave, some are jobs they refuse to quit and some are habits that refuse to change. In its entirety, we are just clinging on to a sense of belonging desperately at times. Maybe the hippie looks for the bottom of the pyramid amongst all of that, if there is a pyramid. Maybe the hippie choose the option easiest to hold on to and least capable of upsetting his equilibrium. Because in his equilibrium lies this freedom from all the attachments further up that pyramid. And in that lies his peace with the world he has to live in until he finds a departure more suitable to his mind.
So when they call me a hippie, I say, yes maybe I am. Maybe I will be one in Soho or Koramangala or a suburb in Buenos Aires and maybe my choices in life will seem nearly as random as the places I chose there but there is a hippie only in some of us. There is a part in some of us bursting to be let out or fighting to stay within. Within a line that we drew ourselves while we walk along the grid until, we are ready to fall off it. For good. Until then, the hippie sustains on his imagination, his hopeful material longings, the relationships he cherishes and the few bonds he fights to stay relevant in. He continues to question, he irrevocably loves and fights, he is all out there with his emotions, he is also careful in his submissions and most importantly, he is irretrievably on the verge of constant disillusionment. That is his reality and his only hope. So let the hippie live, let him love, let him enquire and let him run wild. In return he will allow the jokes and all the questions.
He will also let you continue to call him a hippie..