As an annoying, ugly kid, I was stereotypically obsessed with wild animals.
You could fathom the depths of my fascination if only you saw my exotic collection of plastic animal figurines that served no purpose but that of satisfying 9 year old egos and choking 3 year old idiots.
I used to sit with my sister, who was then young enough to be easily bullied into anything, to skim through encyclopedias that exclusively featured animals, trying to decide which one I would like to be.
Because when you are 9, you are absolutely convinced that being an animal is far more exciting and fortunate than being your dull, average human self.
I blame The Lion King for this gross misconception (or is it?) which I watched almost everyday until I figured out that Mufasa wasn’t sent to a hospital for treatment (my dad is a liar) and that I, shockingly enough, wasn’t Simba.
Apart from the jungle cats, I was particularly partial to being an armadillo because they could scrunch themselves up into balls and roll around. That daydream lasted a long while. I also loved tapirs simply because I knew of them, unlike my amateur, inexperienced friends who just weren’t cool enough, you know. Giraffes and Walruses intrigued me way more than Zebras and Sea lions ever could. I knew of albatrosses before the song. I had a brief obsession with the idea of theatrical friendships in Wolf packs.
My childhood was fun.
Water sources seemed to be very important when it came to animal settlements.
Wherever there is water, there are cool creatures frolicking around in the Savannahs. This was almost a rule.
I didn’t think much of this until yesterday, when I felt like one of those animals.
For the past few days, I have loafed around next to my dad’s office because the wifi there is what dreams are made of (720p with no buffering, come on). My family noticed this and promptly shifted the router to the dining room so that I would at least indirectly spend time with them.
They were successful.
Which brings me to quite grandly claim that urban humans will most likely be found around lush wifi zones and charger points. This, my friends, is almost a rule too.
Don’t worry. I am not going to talk about the technological doom that the internet brought about to our social lives. I am too addicted to my phone to ever talk of such things with a straight face. Frankly, my social life was hardly ever as fun as all the manga, fan-fiction and short stories that the internet brings me anyway so I am not sure if I regret anything.
I have my excuse for being the way I am: The bubble of fiction I live in has so many layers now, that it has become a metal shield from reality. I cannot survive a day without it. Its animal encyclopedias all over again.
But what can I say, I was always one with phases.
I thrive around wifi zones, on account of being an escapist that refuses to exist stranded in real life. You might need it for your own reasons.
Just like Lions who come to the river to drink water and Hippos who must soak in it.
And armadillos who just go to the river to roll around like total badasses solely because they can.
Our species is always being weird, sometimes for the better, most times for the worse.But our behaviour is, strangely enough, as predicatble as ever.
I am glad my childhood obsession still has manifestations.
To conclude, let me just say that man used to be a social animal. Now, man is a dense, irritable ape with social anxiety. And a profound, inexplicable love for cat videos.
It is a bit of a problem guys. I am terrified I will de-evolve into a more monkey creature. I don’t like bananas.