Living – Every cloud has a silver lining or, so we are told. Whether it is true or not I am not aware of it. But I do know that it’s important to look for the positive aspects of life considering we already have a lot of negativity on our plate. As an Indian student, you do not have many choices; you either choose this or that. By birth, Indian students have a total of four options. I don’t know what’s next thing is. I don’t know the bigger picture because I was never told that there is a bigger picture. On days, I sit and wonder, Who said that it’s my only option? Why do I need to follow someone’s else steps? We follow the steps, created for us by someone who is an entirely different human with different wants.
There is a path, which is not my path. It is the road not taken, but what if the road not taken is the most beautiful one. The common road seems like an option, a good one. We all already crave a safety net. Everyone told us that we cannot survive without a safety net. On some level the safety net is important. It helps us through the rough time. But between the safety net and struggles, we forget life. Ask yourself are you surviving or are you living? Surviving and living are two different concepts, they might be synonyms but deep down we know that it’s not the same. Living means being alive, growing, and aspiring while surviving means continuing to exist after you are broken. Most of us are surviving, and it pains me to think that we are not living.
STEPS: A PATH CREATED
There are exactly thirteen steps to my room. Those thirteen fixed steps are important for my journey to my room, and as human beings, our life too is divided into steps, as I have been told. First step class 10th then, the second step class 12th comes, then you graduate and step by step complete the circle of life. On each step you are told, that do not fall because in case you do, you might be too broke to climb those steps again. But what if I fall? What if I fail? Should I just admit defeat because society created those steps for me and I’m supposed to follow them too or should I pick a brick and create my steps? The idea of picking a brick seems scary but isn’t it better, because it’s my journey and my final destination.
How can we let someone else decide our journey? Why can’t we look for our stage? We all are different and cannot be categorized under one category. Our upbringing, our past, and our thoughts differentiate us. A simple object can light up different feelings for everyone, that’s the beauty of the brain. Our sky can be of any colour, it’s our sky at the end of the day. At an early age, we are supposed to decide our streams. Science if you are intelligent, commerce for survival, and humanities is straight away death bed. With these titles, how do you expect them to choose? It makes me furious because our education system doesn’t think for us. It doesn’t teach me, it teaches our memory.
THE SAFETY NET
Our brain is the most powerful thing in the world, yet we misuse it. We count on four options, and as different humans with different brains, you cannot expect all of us to stay the same. Most of us don’t know the destination and it’s okay. Why are we expected to know everything? I don’t even know what to eat the next day. How can you expect me to know what career I want? I haven’t even been out of the cocoon of my parents, how do I know what exists. You fail one step and people who did not even see you struggle question you. Student suicide is the second-highest, we don’t have anyone to blame, but us. The feeling of being unworthy eats us. From the time we open our eyes we push ourselves, to be better only for others.
It’s a rat race out there but I’m a lion. With my safety net, I might be safe, but I’ll never be happy. As an Indian kid, we are hardly dreamers, we don’t have time to dream. We follow the path taken. It is okay to choose a path taken, but it’s not okay to choose it because it seems like the only option. Each day you will feel claustrophobic because you are in an enclosed place and you cannot run. Life is like an elevator ride, this is your elevator, and it’s stuck and you have no clue what to do. Why do we feel that? Why are we claustrophobic? None of us knows the alternative, we were never told that the alternative exists.
THE SCARY ALTERNATIVE
When you think of an alternative, you come across this weird feeling. The feeling which says that you are going to fail. We all fail, all the time, but here failing is different. You see before you start, you are told that you are going to fail, so you feel that it’s not an option. We are so scared of failing that we just let go, and not fight. The comfort is amazing, blaming someone else is easy. But this cannot be the end of our journey. We need to look around for an alternative. It would probably be scary but it won’t make us claustrophobic.
I want to go to places and not feel claustrophobic. I want to visit places where I’m celebrated, not tolerated. It’s our life and it’s more than just four streams, ready to suck all our blood. It’s a celebration and one cannot make choices for us. The memory world is going to end, learn. Be chaos and a ray of sunshine for yourself. You are more than a Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, and Chartered Accountant. You are a human, be a dreamer. The sky is not the limit, you are the limit, you can start and stop.