Sunlight Wings

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It really has been a long time.

Every wannabe blogger is going to say these words once in a while, after they’ve failed to meet their own expectations about regular posting, and their platform, like Meru Cabs or KFC, has faded into irrelevancy. Really, though, I haven’t posted in months. This post isn’t going to make up for my lack of content, but it might have a few ideas and abstractions that you like.

Since I last posted, I got my board exam results and joined a college, then left that, and joined another one – I’m now happy where I am, but of course there’s this pervading cognizance that I don’t really intellectually connect with many of the people who surround me yet. This isn’t a complaint; getting out of my comfort zone and talking to new people with enriching pasts and pretty futures is always lovely, but it takes time to develop a bond. More importantly, it takes time to find the right people to develop a stronger bond, known as friendship. It takes time to find the people who share the same taste in music or poetry or accounts as you do; it takes time to find like-minded people who prefer McDonalds to Burger King; it takes time to find that one person whose words mean more to you, just because it’s coming from them.

That’s quite a startling remark, to say that friendship is the result of a perceptible choice. Almost as if we choose at which moment we get to say, “hey, we’re friends now.” It’s like an entrance test that needs to be passed. [‘Friendship JEE’ coaching classes, now open in Vile Parle, Bhandup and Dadar!]. In my case, the first few days of college, where no one knows anyone and Jaipur is just as popular a place to come from as Thane, the entire paradigm revolves around meeting people for a few minutes, finding something interesting about them, and evaluating the situation from there. I usually ask simple, easy questions like where they’re from or how does one spell their name, before moving on to the harder stuff like “which has more power, love or fear?” or “do human beings have free will, or are we so enamoured with our own solipsism that we don’t get to express our thoughts and values to the rest of the world?”

Floydian

It took me close to five months to get the courage to write a few more words, but today that changed when I was sitting in the first class compartment of the Western Railway, inhumed in the noise of steel and speed, watching an ant-like procession of commuters heading off for the day’s toil in the middle of the afternoon. A few Pink Floyd lyrics came back to me and I was reminded of what I should have done a while back; it’s not to interact with random people or score marks in exams or try to make bad jokes on the internet. It’s to write. I’m a writer, whether I like it or not. A lot of people reading this will have honed skills ‘accidentally’ – some of you will be really good at sports despite not wanting to go pro, some of you will be great at engineering despite wanting to be musicians, or the other way around (actually, that’s not possible, no one wants to be an engineer). Some of you read so many books it makes me wonder why you haven’t written any yourself. Everyone has a unique talent that they have yet to discover. Embrace that talent; embrace that skill, and one day you might have the chance to say you have hobbies other than “sports”.

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Upamanyu Acharya is a writer who doesn't write. Sometimes he's an artist, musician, photographer, physicist or lazy student. His hobbies include being vague, bending rules, time-travel, and embellishment of words. This is his personal blog where he writes on topics ranging from leadership skills to the consistency of jam.

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