The Stranded Alien

I find it incredibly difficult to introduce myself. When ambushed by the vague curiosity that fuels all acquaintanceship,   I never know what I am expected to say, what I am supposed to include and, more importantly, if I even know myself correctly. All it takes for me to spiral off into an existential void of philosophical frustration is a harmless, well-meaning stranger who, out of sheer politeness, bothers to ask me who I am and what my interests are.

Now, I meet people all the time so an introduction is a fairly common social situation I find myself stranded in. And yet, whenever I stand before someone I have never met before, prompted to talk out of common curtsy,  my heart inexplicably thumps faster, my brain explosively short circuits and all that comes out of my pathetically mumbly mouth is “I…uh..like…lots of stuff….yeah…books and stuff.”

Because really now,  who the hell am I?

There are too many things I cannot convey about my little lost iceberg self. There is very little that you, a complete stranger, would even want to know. All that I like is fictional  and all  the qualities I think I have are based on subjective conclusions people around me have drawn based on episodic interactions.

Am I funny?  Am I smart? Am I creative? Do I really know any of those things about myselfAm I all or any of those things?  Because this new person in front of me, awkwardly smiling in his good-natured uneasiness as I take too long to answer, knows absolutely nothing about me in this amazingly oblivious  moment and I have the golden chance to truly express myself as essentially as I can, with the  purest essence of my personality and the most exact explanation of what I really think of the world and myself. The thrill catches up to my confusion but here I always stutter and I here I always fail because you see, I don’t know anything about myself, at all, in that one heated, critical moment.

Let me try and explain.

When I was in 9th grade, I used to wonder  about aliens. It is still amusing to see how familiar the extraterrestrials are in science fiction stories. They eat from a strange mouth, they occasionally express emotions, they see through distorted eyes, they touch with finger-like projections and they sniff through, well, questionable organs, but they sniff nonetheless. It is fairly evident how conceptions of ‘alive’ and ‘weird’  that we hold so deeply in our brains plague our clumsy imaginations.

I think it is very close-minded of us to imagine the otherworldly on our skeletons. The aliens might be stones, stars, mattresses, thoughts, burps, cosmic handkerchiefs for all we know, and they could still be more “alive” then we could ever claim to be. Who the heck knows? How can we be so blinded by our own stereotypes? Why are we so cocky?

It also fascinates me that these carelessly fantasized, unknown creatures from outer space are repeatedly conjured up to baffle us humans when, objectively speaking, we are pretty peculiar  creatures ourselves.

See yourselves from the perspective of an alien and tell me you are not odd. I mean, you have millions of antennae sprouting from the peak of your body, all cropped and colored. Moist, squishy balls rotate freakishly in two sunken  sockets on your  front, reflecting light and squirting salty water once in a while. There is an odd nob at the centre of your face that you scrunch up in disgust. You have calcium bricks lining the inside of a cavity that has a monstrous, pink mound of wriggly flesh you use to communicate and taste with. There are twisted, semi-circular projections on both sides of your head through which you perceive noises and this,  my friend, is just your head.

The world is a lot weirder than we think it is and once we get rid of all the prejudices and notions that govern our heavily influenced minds, everything seems absolutely bonkers.  And it is amusing  and funny and overwhelming all at the same time.

To think of all the things we have made up about this world is a delight in waiting rooms and boring lectures.

I came up with the idea of these things when I was just a kid, but now as a technical adult, I have trouble identifying with anything in particular as a part of my being. There is a weird paranoia settled in my heart that I am failing to see something frighteningly obvious because I have been blinded by the life I have lived. Things are hardly ever how they seem. But they are only what I see of them.

And so, who am I but the sum of all the man-made assumptions and interpretations created by delusional creatures like myself? I am a boring bystander to the man sitting next to me at the airport and I am the smartest of the lot in the loving eyes of my parents. I am a great friend  and I am a terrible friend. I am cold and aloof and I am warm and enthusiastic. I am never any of those things at the same time, but in the eyes of everyone around me, I am always a version of myself. So then, I ask again, who am I? 

I think it would take an alien to really know me, or anyone else for that matter. I need to be adducted by a UFO in a cornfield and given a complete psychological and physical analysis by the ever-obliging friendly neighborhood extraterrestrials in their ultra high-tech space ships to learn the truths that swirl within me in ferris wheels of conundrum. Because only the absolutely strange can judge my normalcy objectively.

Oh well.

I am frequently humbled by all of these creepy revelations I tend to have and thus made consistently more socially retarded. When I am asked questions about things as basic as my introduction, I am  embarrassingly tongue-tied owing to the speeding of a thousand pointless thoughts through my mind. The answer is way too scattered and stupid and far-fetched to articulate in my undependable head.

It is a pain but, ultimately, it hardly warrants any inconvenience to the rest of the waiting world.

So, to the man, who was only trying to be nice and hardly cares about my existential dilemmas, I want to say-  I know I am being a fumbling idiot when you’ve  asked me something so simple and I know I am failing at this social situation terribly. I sincerely apologize, dear polite stranger, for disappointing  you so utterly, but consider aliens and know how utterly ridiculous your question is in the first place.

To anyone I am forced to seek an introduction of, I say don’t worry if you think you made a fool of yourself as you grasped at straws of yourself, I only understand too well.

The Day I Became an Adult a Little Bit

 

Bhopal is not, in any sense of the word, a happening place. It is a pleasantly silent city with not many things to do and an overpowering atmosphere of general drowsiness- a combination so perfectly dull that it inevitably breeds the kind of lethargy no 18 year old on a vacation can escape.There is good food, no chores, great Wi-Fi and absolutely no reason to leave the perfectly air conditioned room.

Since I moved houses, I struggled deeply to be productive in this city of indefinitely delayed dreams and failed as miserably as Italy did in World War II. Maybe more miserably. I went days without actually walking to another room. I frustrated my sister by taking over her bed and refusing to budge. I did nothing at all and I did it all day. I almost rolled my eyes and gave up on the pathetic excuse of a kid that was myself.

Until one day, a small, withered car arrived at my door with a small, smiley man who insisted on teaching me the frighteningly adult act of driving. I took a moment to comprehend this new development. My parents are scarily vague beings, I thought. But I had to do what I had to do.

And so I had to leave my room.

I had to leave behind my blanket cocoon with all its lazy daydreams and get into the driver’s seat that felt horrifyingly symbolic of future responsibilities. . I had to jam my foot down on the clutch, change the gears with wobbly hands, and turn the keys of the car that roared to life a few seconds before I was expecting it to.

 The moment the engine ignited, a thousand thoughts fleeted through my cluttered brain, ranging from the predictable plot progression of a romance anime I follow to the ominous surety that I was definitely going to kill someone today. As twisted as it may sound, the idea of the latter gave me an odd thrill and the bullet speed of my train of thought made me unnaturally alert. I felt like I was doing something that required a certain level of competence, a sense of urgency I hadn’t felt for a long, long while overwhelmed me. I was finally learning a life skill and I could kill if I wasn’t careful.

I got so excited.

The numbness that had begun to characterize my personality faded away in an instant and with a glint in my eye, I pressed hard on the accelerator, welcoming all the adventures the rickety vehicle would bring to me. The car jerked forward and died, just like all of my hopes and dreams as I realized that it takes more than optimism and zeal to make a car move.

Lesson number one: Calm down kid. Take it slow.

So I did one of the two things you can do when you fail this pathetically- I looked at the little instructor and laughed apologetically while ruffling the back of my head- the perfect picture of a good natured fool.

He was unperturbed, almost as if he was expecting my wild, impatient, unwarranted confidence. Youth must be insanely predictable to the experienced, I wondered while he checked all the controls. As he methodically guided my movements, the car slowly, timidly whimpered to life.

This sound wasn’t nearly the roar of an alpha lion- the effect my sensationalized brain so desired. It was in fact a tiny splash- a baby duck going for its first swim.

I sighed. Oh well.

 As the car slowly stuttered forward, my heart fluttered and my breath hitched. For the first time in my life, I was completely in control. Nothing was holding me back. I was maneuvering this vehicle all on my own and the sense of purpose this revelation gave me made my chest swell and my eyes shine. I enjoyed it deeply until I noticed the break and clutch near my instructor’s feet and realized how idiotic it was of me to presume that all the reigns were in my hands. Who the hell was I? Just a naïve student a bit too enthusiastic to actually learn anything.

Lesson number two: Don’t forget your place.

 And so I began to learn driving.

 After a day or two of hopeless flailing, in spite of my pitiful hand-eye coordination, I learned to go forward without any perceptible jerks. I changed gears from neutral to first to second with hesitant and careful movements. I tried so hard to smoothly manipulate the clutch and the break.

There were too many things to keep track of. Mirror for the back, mirror on the side. Depth perception. Calculated distances. Steering wheel. Pot holes. Speed breakers. Blind turns. Impatient drivers and honk, honk, HONK.

 I wasn’t excited anymore. I was concentrating too hard to be emotionally aware of anything. My mind was entirely focused on the road and the controls in my hand. I was completely  in “the zone”.

That’s why I didn’t notice when the instructor stopped guiding me. I didn’t acknowledge his smiles of approval each time I slowed down before a speed breaker or honked when we reached a blind turn. It took me a long time to see that the little man beside me barely touched the break and clutch at his feet anymore.

Four days later, as we were cruising down a relatively empty road, the instructor directed me with two simple words that brought the old me came back for a moment with a pleasant jolt of surprise.

“Fourth gear,” he said, as naturally as if he was telling me to turn on the indicator before a turn.

I looked at him puzzled, momentarily unaware of what this sudden development meant. I pushed the gear forward as I pressed the clutch and in that one smooth movement, it hit me. I snapped out of my trance and noticed how different everything had been in this very seat a mere few days ago.

I realized that for a while now, I had been on my own and I smiled realizing how ridiculous it was that I hadn’t even noticed.

Lesson number three: Don’t think too much, kid. Just do what it takes.

 When I got out from the car on the fifth day, I knew I was different. I knew something now. Even if that something was as trivial as driving a small, stupid car.

Some part of me grew up along the road (get it? Because driving? No? Okay.) And even if it exists deep, deep, deep beneath layers of stubborn childishness, I know now that it is there.

…..and that sort of makes me uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth in Our Tropes 

In the past year, I have arguably wasted a lot of my precious time (that could have been spent dancing and socializing in lively, youthful parties or, alternatively, researching and discussing intellectual legal matters) on things that are generally perceived as being utterly pointless – if not completely juvenile – by most people my age and older.

To summarize – I read a few too many story books, I discovered crazy strange fan fiction, and I watched way, way too much anime.

The funny thing is, I can’t bring myself to believe that I wasted all of that time –the time that so many claim is forever lost, down the drain of persistent procrastination. I had quite a lot of fun on all of my many simulated adventures and I learnt a lot about several useless things.  I absorbed multiple stories and explored numerous avenues of flamboyant creativity. I had a great time.

And fun does not warrant regret.

Incidentally, I also became accustomed to all the strange elements that hazily, clumsily, frustratingly separate fiction from reality. I have always been one of those sad, gullible geeks that fall for fantastical explanations far too willingly, instinctively weighing how exciting and creative a prospect is far above how pragmatic it is in real life circumstances.

Fun fact: I switched from 11th grade science in a month. 

My flawed judgement and illogical decision-making are results of that misleading, deceptive border that divides the real from the unreal. If you tell me Atlantis exists, I will convince myself to believe it, even if the evidence is shady at best. Why you ask? Because I know too many stories where reluctance to believe was the root of all conflict, and because I like to hope for the mythical and the otherworldly. I am a product of everything I’ve read, watched and experienced. As a result, I am pretty damn easy to fool.

But even a fool learns to recognize patterns over time.

Which brings me to the point of this blog- TROPES. For those you who don’t know what they are, consider them popular plot devices. Frameworks along which stories pan out. Gimmicks and tricks that a writer employs to lure in crowds.

The art of identifying tropes deeply intrigues me. 

When you trope, you learn the psychology behind fiction. You understand the algorithms of creating good and evil and everything in between and you know when you are being played. You appreciate patterns, you embrace ridiculous concepts and you capitalize on imagination. You learn the ways of the fictional worlds.

I have a lot of favorites.

One of the many popular tropes that I’ve come across in my recent fantastical endeavors is what I like to call “The Sakura Haircut”. If any of you have embarked on the emotional hell of a journey that Naruto is, you know what I am talking about.

The meek, helpless heroine with no apparent skills or distinguished personality traits cuts off her long beautiful hair with a fierce slash of a sword and emerges strong, independent and decidedly badass. She becomes worthy of being acknowledged by her one true love and, after a deep monologue or two, goes ahead to take the enemy head on, armed with her strength of character and a bunch of awed comrades.

Haircuts are quite the craze in fiction. Real women are known to do something drastic to their hair after a bad breakup or a bad job, but they are scarcely seen reclaiming thrones and defeating villainous adversaries in battles unto death. Unrealistic, clichéd and pointlessly dramatic, you might say.

But that’s not the point. Forget the setting and the bright character constructs, and focus on the sentiment behind the haircut. It’s worth noting how it stays essentially the same, fiction or reality:

A deep, almost desperate longing for change.

The message always remains constant – that contexts may change, but fierce female protagonists will continue to kick ass in their own versions of reality. If it takes a haircut for them to get their game on, then so be it. Bring out the scissors and the fussy hairstylists. Or, alternatively, a sharp majestic sword that stands for your father’s warrior legacy. Whichever works better.

So you see, much as I hate being deceived by crazy exaggerations, I also love the sliver of reality in what these bizarre tropes symbolize. There is a deep seated emotion that pulsates through the veins of every hackneyed concept. Understand that. 

The creativity of an artist cannot be accurately mapped, but nothing prevents us from examining the formulas. There are countless fictional worlds with sleek, fearless or socially awkward, Average-Joe heroes and megalomaniac villains, all advocating the same old, deeply comforting belief that evil always perishes.

You might object but clichés sell, my friend.  They tell you exactly what you’d like to hear- and their credibility as dependable tricks is evident because they have been used with success for years before you even came into the picture. This is what earns them the title of a cliché in the first place. Humans need a few delusions to take on the world with confidence. How can you ever believe in never giving up if your favourite character loses the ridiculously overpowered battle in the end? Why would you dream up a romance if the ordinary hero doesn’t end up with the enigma of a heroine he fatefully encounters? What would chill you to the bone if the terrible villain refuses to be creepy?

Cut the writers some slack, man.

Sure, you will get bored of all these repetitive ideas eventually and crave more from the story than just a feeling, but you will still secretly watch cheesy romantic comedies after a long day of work. You need your classic, feel-good tropes once in a while.

However, no one can deny that things constantly change. Now subverted clichés sell more in this modern world of hipster glasses and compulsive cringing. We crave new in the face of the old. We roll eyes at happy endings and we seek edgy novelty in our stories. We want to rise above the classics and so we strive for greatness.

But here is the thing. As fiction ages with the spastic swings of perpetually erratic fan preferences, so do tropes. They don’t die out. They evolve, turn in on themselves and breed new clichés.

So sometimes the bad guy saves the day, the hero reveals dark chinks in his personality and the damsel chooses to love the dragon over the prince. New tropes are born. Stories twist and turn and evolve and recycle into beautiful things over and over again, while still remaining oddly similar at the core of all things. 

Nothing excites me more. The thrill of the unknown from the roots of the only too well known. 

This is why I stay loyal to fiction. No matter what all the “mature” readers from the fancy bookstores say, I strongly believe that you can never get bored of the unreal, even when you know the tricks. New ones are always right around the corner. Waiting to be thrown at you by a mad writer who dares to venture beyond the obviously pleasing. Slowly merging into the mainstream of growing ideas and increasing acceptance. Sneaking their way into your preferences and hoping, with a thousand fingers crossed, to amuse you. 

They are for you, you see. Embrace them.

 

Canine Hope

‘Friendship’ is a universe worth a word; shifting slowly with its own set of stars and black holes, satellites and meteors, dimensions and paradoxes. It has infinite reaches and equally complex layers while it remains ridiculously, mysteriously simple at its core.

But, as always a plot has a twist, this core is seemingly impossible to understand when our self-centered human minds get to work.

Men have attempted to fathom the depths of ‘friendship’ for generations, twisting and turning it’s meaning to serve their own needs and to achieve their own selfish ends.

What is in it for me if I choose to trust you? Why should I buy you an expensive Christmas gift if you do not possess the means to get me one in return? Why should I care? Why should I be your friend?

Genuine feelings of selfless love, respect, gratitude and empathy are as forgotten as the silly looking Dodo bird.

We overthink, we consider pros and cons, we try to take the beneficial routes, we manipulate. And in the end, we utterly fail to understand what it means to have a true friend. Of course, this isn’t always the case and once in a while stories of true bravado and camaraderie arise to baffle me; but in our constantly evolving world of personal benefits and business meetings, one cannot deny that man continues to grow extremely lonely and incredibly dense.

All of us fail, as a species, to genuinely care. To be perfectly loyal to our companions. To do whatever it takes for someone else’s sake.

 It sounds hopeless, really.

But it isn’t as bad as you think. There IS real love out there tangled in this mess of murky emotions. Because when I say humans don’t understand friendship, I don’t mean that no other creature on this planet doesn’t either.

Some things in this world are so simple that it takes a dog to comprehend them, because a man’s critical eye sails right over them to gaze at the void looming far into the horizons.

I believe that when a dog finds his master and falls in his own version of love, no human conceptions of the feeling can dare compete with the resolute devotion and boundless affection that the simple brute offers. A dog chooses a master as a wand chooses a wizard and once the two journey unto the great adventure that is life, there is no separating them. They became eternal in their love for each other. Man and dog, best friends since beasts could be befriended.

These creatures are much like humans when they choose their soul mates, but once they chance upon the One, there are no hesitations, no second thoughts, and no fears. There is only love to give and no expectations of returns.

I feel grateful for having the opportunity of owning dogs at every stage of my life thus far. Of being chosen by these magical beings to be loved in that fierce, instinctive way that they have.

Here is what I must convey to you after experiencing all of my pets.

Canine companionship will help you in ways you cannot imagine. When you get your dog, genuine love will greet you at your doorstep after terrifyingly lonely days in the form of a generous lick, a wagging tail and a perpetually wet nose. It will instantly make you feel better because you will know that even if the whole world decides to give up on you, there will always be your dog waiting back home. Your dog, and no one else’s. Your friend, no matter what.

You may not know how to receive all this love initially, but over time, you will accept it. You will grow to become a better version of yourself with your friend’s nudges to bring out the best in you. You will develop a new threshold of tolerance and forget to groan when confronted with endless barking and oddly timed walks. You will stop minding the shed hair on all your clothes and walk on with pride, wearing the shedding like a medal for being the proud owner of a beautiful creature. You will succumb to big, watery eyes and soft, throaty whines and give up the last piece of meat on your plate for the expectant eyes below. You will find yourself telling your dog things you’ve never told a human soul before and you will unconsciously make silly songs about it when nobody is around. You will tackle and pounce and laugh and learn. You will make a friend that will change your life and color it pink for all the grey days to come.

You will also know, after years of overwhelming joy, what it feels like to lose a friend like that. You will learn of pain that comes with death and you will question the very essence of life. You will shatter. You will be angry. You will object. But you will learn how to cherish memories and you will smile about what used to be. You will learn to appreciate the beauty of a life lived innocently. You will cry, but you will not regret your decision of accepting all that love for even a second.

You will grow. And this journey will be beautiful.

I write this to commemorate everything my dogs have meant to me over the years and for all the dog lovers out there. I’ve learnt a lot from these odd, little creatures and I know I will continue to.

 

 

Lazy Bones and Exhausted Resolves

Some days I wake up and don’t understand myself. I stare at the ceiling without my glasses on and try to articulate my thoughts that seem as blurry as the vaguely shaped blotches above me. These are the days when clouds look like sinister fire breathing dragons and not ice-creams and cute ducks. These are the days I zone out of every conversation I gingerly encourage myself to get into. These are the days I take long, hot showers and forced, unnecessary naps.

These are the days I feel utterly lost within myself. Stuck endlessly in the labyrinth of my own scrambled thoughts and uncoordinated movements.

This confusion does not stem from an unruly subconscious with unexpectedly dark thoughts or suppressed sentiments. No, I am fairly liberal about how I feel. The root of my recurring frustration is my own ability of shrugging off seemingly important troubles in the blink of an eye. My tendency to deadpan relentlessly when I encounter towering adversity.

I find myself questioning the walls: Why am I so aloof? Why don’t real things matter to me? Am I a cyborg?

These days, I feel like I want to hammer my personality into shape, tightening the lose screws and oiling the rusty parts. To develop talents for exploring the world with a resolve far greater than that needed to finish boring homework. To build strength required for discovering and wondering and laughing recklessly in the face of danger. To learn beyond my years. To care about myself and the people I love.

But then I sigh and snap back to my own little world of unrealized potential and inferiority complexes. I realize my lack of basic life skills required to even mildly take on the world. I feel deeply the lack of faith my closest friends experience as they contemplate entrusting important tasks to my absent-minded, careless self. I feel all the unconditional love I am given tainted with black marks of hesitation and worry as people think thrice before asking somethings of me.

I feel hopeless and lose all my confidence instantly. So much so that I convince myself there is no point in even trying. 

And thus I interlace my world with colorful fiction and dream for fearless protagonists, not my clumsy little self. I build little worlds and lose myself in them.

I make myself forget.

Until I wake up somedays and don’t understand myself. 

Dr. Seuss Is My Hero 

I have always adored the odd, little books Dr. Seuss gifted to our complex, grey world that takes itself a tad bit too seriously. He made me fall in love with rhymes as he set records straight about green eggs and ham and small persons being persons. He encouraged children, and eventually adults, to think beyond the letter Z and to try and move mountains, while being unapologetically simple in his word-weaving. He inspired the world with his creative absurdity. He taught me that The Bizarre can be its own kind of charming.

He showed me how poems aren’t always supposed to be profound and thought provoking.

Sometimes they exist just for fun.

And that, to me, has always been beautiful.

So, as a token of respect to the great rhyming genius, here is a silly poem I wrote when I was, yet again, absolutely done with the world.

Little birds don’t remember 

He smiled a sad curve as he ambled down the street
Her “no” more scalding than the summer heat
Why had he done it? What had he been thinking?
All he remembered were her eyes- beckoning, twinkling

And before he had known he was making such a mess
He had worn his heart on his sleeve and gone on to confess
It sure was a bad idea, that much was true
His failure in love made him brood a special blue

The bitter rejection of his fragile heart
Maybe what would help is a fresh, new start?

Away from her hair, her eyes, her glare,
Her ways of the world, sans a single care
Maybe she wasn’t worth it, maybe it was all in his brain
Sincere effort and persistence- gone right down the drain

All was for nothing, it always seems so in the end
To think it all started just because he wanted a girlfriend
Life hardly cut him slack, it just wasn’t fair
He might never be the half of a perfect pair

Well at least he had an answer, at least he could move on
Perhaps get a new beginning at the break of dawn?
But even as he wondered, his shoulders slumped low
Still contemplating that devastating no.

If he died tomorrow, if he was stabbed with a knife
Would anyone honor his fruitless strife?
He wiped his brow in a gesture of surrender
And wondered if the little birds would remember

Of his fearlessness in the battlefield of love
He sighed sadly, staring at the sky above.

Oh grief, loss, such lack of hope
Love, the emotional kaleidoscope
Nothing seems to matter, nothing makes sense
He felt like he would cross over sanity’s fence.

When he heard a soft voice, calling from afar
He turned around to find a pretty girl with a scar
She said, with her eyes glinting a strange, mellow bright,
“You are in Class 12-B, if I am right?

He gulped and he stared as he managed a nervous nod
Damn, this girl was seriously hot.

She smiled as he answered and that’s when he knew
There was going to be a change in his romantic point of view
He felt a familiar feeling bubble up in his broken heart
And he laughed because he knew what comes in the next part

He watched her talk and grudgingly thought
Well, maybe love was worth another shot…
He shrugged, blinked twice and smiled at the girl
Ready for a new friendship to unfurl.

As she talked about being new to the suburban neighborhood
And not wanting her forwardness to be misunderstood
He flushed and felt a spark in his heart’s last ember
Now then, did he really want the little birds to remember?

Because now that he thought of it, that girl was all right,
But nothing as amazing as the girl in his sight
He had never understood love’s rose-tinted  glasses
But it seemed like this girl was in all of his classes

So he ignored his exhaustion, stifled a lazy yawn
And offered to walk with the girl from here on
A small tension built as they went ahead walking
Blushing and smiling and excitedly talking

And thus his passionate love became a stray afterthought
That all the amused little birds… promptly forgot.

Just like Animals 

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.