When Eric Burdon of The Animals lamented in his gritty rocker voice of the blues of lost youth he was not just creating a pioneering grunge metal number but voicing the cynicism which adulthood brings.
I am not yet a quarter century old on Terra Firma and yet the relative vacuousness of existence bothers me. I am aware there are so many sights to see and so many things to do, essentially how Robert Frost wraps up his Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. But to what avail?
Time travel a decade back and I was probably in the 8th standard, struggling to comprehend the, what at that time looked, abnormal characteristics of a trapezium or even worse, Hindi grammar. My biggest worry was why my first pair of spectacles had a power of -3.5 in the right and the plain glass in the left. Acne too had mysterious qualm creating qualities. The delights were plenty. Cycling down MG Road at 7 AM without a single soul honking at you was highly pleasurable. My Avon Montage was indeed a faithful velocipede, having safely carried me to and from the first Deep Purple show in Palace Grounds circa 2001. Cricket Sundays at the corporation ground, by 2 (sometimes 3 and 4 also)chat after school at Om Sai Ram, 2 month summer holidays, returning home to see the latest issue of Target or Tinkle in the mail earlier that day, ah sweet bliss.
A half decade further back and we used to have forceful afternoon siestas post lunch in school. Teachers, long wooden rulers in hand would patrol around heads resting on tables ensuring we were indeed sleeping. The only solace for them probably being the fact that 60 odd hyperactive boys and girls had finally decided to seal their mouths and limbs, not to mention scheming minds. But not for long, or we would not now know that "Seven sevens are forty nine"! Summer nights will never be the same like then. Tales from the Mahabharatha and Ramayana, local wits including Nadulpad and Muttasa Namboodiri, demons bearing a a single to hundreds of eyes and a multitude of other deformed organs sprung like an ever gushing stream from my grandfather's bottomless story well. Watering the gardens with him and checking every day if a rose had blossomed. Entering a toy shop and staking claim on all its wares, he gently dissuading me on my mental monopoly.
Somewhere a click happened and the next moment logic, reason and finally cynicism took over. It is of course a natural process to happen, as set a fact as that George w. Bush had evolved from a piece of rock. Escapist routes apart, I enjoy a most genuine sense of happiness in these memories. Maybe I over analyse things or just plain fret on the whole existentialism bit, but I cant agree more with good ole Eric when he wrote
"When I was young, IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT
Pain more painful
Laughter much louder
Yeah, when I was young
When I was young
My faith was so much stronger then
I believed in fellow men
And I was so much older then
When I was young"