A few more days and I turn thirty. Although I have never been bothered (not entirely) about getting older I am strangely mulling over the reality that I will be thirty in a week’s time! In another decade I shall be forty and in two, fifty. I should stop! Lord! Thirty! Thirty whole years in this planet and have I lived well? If I were to die at this very moment, will the life of thirty years flash before my eyes and will I smile at the frozen memories? Or will melancholy overtake my senses? Will I be miffed at not wholly realizing the mental plan, invisible to everybody, of achieving all that I had desired before I turn thirty? More of the latter and little of the former!
I do not have an apartment of my own yet, a little yellow apartment, corners filled with books, adorned with posters, sheer curtains, paintings, a warm rug, a golden retriever, may be a fat fluffy cat, a balcony, filled with potted plants and creepers trailing over the balustrade, overlooking the shimmering city! I have not been to Paris, dream destination that Paris has been ever since my senses allow me to remember, nor have I been to Dublin or the isolated and vast moorlands of Britain! I have not been on a solo trip to a remote hill town, far from civilization, I did not get myself inked yet, ideas galore although, I have loved and lost, I am yet to learn oil painting, yet to play a musical instrument while a doctoral degree seems elusive every passing year. Have I learnt enough? Will I ever publish? Is my job my dream job? Have I read enough books? Have I done something absolutely crazy and unthinkable or have I been tediously careful? Have I ‘lived’ the life bestowed upon me, the doubt accentuated by the constant reminder of ‘you do not live your life’ that some ‘friends’, cousins throw at me!
But don’t I have my own room, don’t I have a little terrace garden, zinnias and marigolds and cosmos, didn’t I get my passport stamped, haven’t I been to Dalhousie and walked all evening lost in the shadows of gaunt pines and grim deodars? I did get my hair coloured purple, crazy and unthinkable! I have loved, at the least. I have read about two hundred books, I have a job that, if not through and through dreamy, is exciting. I have the most amazing set of friends from school to college to work (yes work!). I try, in whatsoever capacity permissible, to live by my own set of rules to an extent that I am christened weird. So what if I indulge in a cheesecake all by myself, so what if I spend a quiet afternoon at a coffee shop, so what if I head out for a movie by myself, so what if I walk through the city wrapped in my thoughts? These titbits, material that these are, make me happy!
However still, at the threshold of thirty, rowing through a river of thoughts over the past few months, I am, rather, annoyed at myself for conforming to the whims and fancy of everybody around me. Contradicts to my claim of living by my own set of rules? In my defence, the perfect hashtag that I am inherently associated with, incapable of letting anybody down, the first one to wish on birthdays, cleaning up after their mess, never rebelling, never revolting, always resigning, letting go, severely gets onto my nerves. Why have I allowed it over the years? I am no Hercules. I am yet another human with my own set of mistakes, my own set of whims and ideas. No it is not completely the notions they have about me, their perceptions, expectations; I am rather tethered by the shackles of their belief system and my convoluted ideas. Come thirty, should I break free, break away, be a complete rebel? Can I, as romantic as it sounds, be free body and soul, a nonconformist by all means, but not an outlier? I do not know. But of one thing I am certain, the day I turn thirty I shall treat myself to a caramel cheesecake and hazelnut coffee, a book may be and steamed dumplings!
Image Source: F.R.I.E.N.D.S.