Tuesday, April 05, 2011
The process of growing older is a process of moving from worm’s eye view to acquire bird’s eye view.
Of seeing the panorama, in which boulders appear not like mountains, but sand-grains.
Of seeing the larger context. In which the once rough, threatening edges now seem harmless lines.
The once sharp heterogeneity of people gradually softens into homogeneity.
Therefore, I am sure, my friend, distances will gradually diminish, differences will dissolve and most of those things will cease to matter.
Differences that appear significant now will become small then.
Gaps that seem wide now will become narrow then as we look down from above.
Sooner or later we will see that we were saying the same thing, after all. We are not so dissimilar after all.
Which is why I know, we will be comfortable with each other. And eventually move closer.
You and I. Who now think, we are so different.
It’s just a matter of time.
‘Our ideologies are so different!’, we’d exclaimed.
How we drifted apart because our views were conflicting.
I cannot stand people with such mentality, I thought.
I am uncomfortable around people who have such opinions, you said.
‘“How did she become your friend”, my friends ask me’, you said.
And how did you stand her? My friends asked me.
You, who have table manners. I, who is clumsy at the table.
You, who wear matching accessories. I, who is too lazy to change handbags every day.
You, who wear the sunscreen. I, who carry that big unfashionable umbrella everywhere I go.
You who love the drag race. I, who think them violent, reckless and annoying.
You who believe porn is creative. I, who believe, voyeurism is a sign of backwardness of civilization.
You who think women actually look good in low cut dresses. I, who think, it does not make sense then, to complain about lecherous men; you provoked them after all.
You who will choose Las Vegas if you were allowed only one vacation before you die the next minute. I, who will choose the Grand Canyon.
You who pity vegetarians for not knowing the real flavor of food.
I, who wonder how you slaughter and butcher every day.
You, who do not believe in saving money. I, who do not believe in wasting.
You, who called that businessman smart. I, who called him cunning.
You who do not like templates. I, who do not want to reinvent the wheel.
You, who asked why we need a common civil code. I, who was infuriated that you asked such a question.
You, who like rock music in the mountains. I, who like the silence.
You, who smoked marijuana in the hills. I, who filled my lungs with the fragrance of the Devdar.
You, who dipped your tired feet in the cool waters of Ganges. I, who, first poured a few drops on my head and touched them to my eyes in reverence.
You, who hate to judge. I, who is proud to be a good judge.
You who think ‘To each, his own’. I who think ‘it’ eliminates the necessity for debate.
You who have divorced religion. I, who think religion is the foundation of society.
You, an individualist. I, a collectivist.
You, for capitalism. I, for socialism.
You modern, westernized. I, traditional and conservative.
You and I. Aloud we proclaim ‘we are so different!’, even as resentment is building up.
We shrug, sigh in exasperation, give up and shake our head, each amazed by the disagreeability of the other.
But it’s alright. I will become quiet for now.
I am in no hurry.
Because as we drift away from this moment that looms large before us now, as years pass, moments like these, on a cosmic scale – that measures time in years and decades – will become tiny specs.
And then, our positions of today, two points at the ends of a longish diameter will seem, in the bird’s eye view, like two comfortable neighbours with hardly a screen to separate them.
The reconciliation of all those contradictions was ever present - in the many things that we had in common; in the commonality of the very ground on which we stood and argued. In our common belongingness to the same generation.
But we took all that common for granted. Our worm's eye view of that present magnified only our differences.
But it’s alright. In retrospection when we will look back, it will be with a bird's eye. And we will realize that those differences were mere molehills that appeared like mountains on that vast plain smooth ground on which we both stood sharing a common space and more importantly a common time of existence.
Sooner or later, my friend, we will see that we were saying the same thing, after all. We were not so dissimilar, after all.
For the process of growing older and wiser, is a process of zooming out; of beginning with the worm’s eye view and finishing with the bird’s eye.
Moreover, the bigger reconciliation awaits us both.
After all the wanderings of our groping identities to fashionable opinions and stylish views, we will at last come home to our truths. Simple, basic, humble, naked truths. And I know, many of my truths will be yours too.