Toh Zinda Ho Tum

The first time I saw the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was in 2011. The last time I saw it was yesterday. What watching the film meant to me this time was way different than what it was like watching it before. It is just a part of growing up I suppose. When I watched it in 2011, I did not understand the importance of being a part of a three boy group, because I was a part of one. I did not think travelling was life changing, because I had not travelled much, let alone by myself. Maybe I related more to the money-minded Arjun in 2011 than the poet Imran, which was clearly not the case yesterday. I admit to pausing and rewinding the movie a few times just to listen to the Javed Akhtar written, Farhan Akhtar recited poems playing in the background. And getting lost in my own thoughts with a smile on my face.

I celebrated my 23rd birthday more than a month back. That is five years since I have officially attained adulthood. Even if I consider this adult life of mine, like everyone, I have attached importance to a lot of things, and people more so. To give you an example, I am extremely attached to the college where I spent five years and completed my undergraduate. What, or who,  I am more attached to, are the people I met there. My friends, who I thought will be there for life, my teachers who are a huge part of who I am right now and everyone else from the admin staff, the peons and even the guards. All those faces and voices have been constant for five years. Of course, not to mention, a few of my friends were special to me, and have remained so. A few others, unfortunately, have not. But life, as usual, goes on.

My experience with people has severely altered me and my behaviour towards them. Especially because of this habit of attaching certain importance to people, or values to relations. With what I grew up seeing, I felt maintaining relations is a very important part of leading a good life. Now, honestly, I don’t think I completely agree to that thought. In this year and a half of my masters journey and the much fantasized hostel experience, I could only understand that making friends gets difficult as you grow up. I am sceptical of people like never before, and I have serious issues trusting anyone and everyone. One thing here or there and you’re easily on the other side of the line. Maybe deep inside I know I may sound unreasonable, but my everyday experiences help prove my devilish thoughts to be right.

Losing people has become a part of life. I may slowly be coming to terms with this fact. Yes, things go wrong in the most unimaginable ways possible. And for the social person I am, I do not mind making more and more acquaintances but really hesitate to make close friends. I have successfully abandoned my old ideas of friendships and relations and the new ones are very close to setting in stone. I am still in dilemma as to what is right and what isn’t. It is difficult to gulp down the fact that change is becoming the more important part of life, something that you were never prepared for. The number of constants in your life falls day by day.

In comes 2016 and the two most memorable trips of my life. One with my school buddies and the other alone. One on the coast of the Indian ocean and the other on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. One full of partying and casinos and the other one, self-introspection and meditation. It is only at such times do you really challenge your thoughts and try to think the other way around. I think that is how travelling makes you better and staying at the same place for your entire life doesn’t. Apart from meeting new and fundamentally different people, you get to meet yourself, outside all the chaos of life, beneath a blanket of stars with the sound of waves crashing on the beach, and for that moment, life changes.

ZNMD talks a lot about commitment and dealing with the problems of your life like an adult. Life has changed in these five years. I don’t have my three boy group intact. I do not wish to stay in the city of my birth and constantly feel like leaving a footprint in different parts of the world as I grow up for the next two-thirds of my life. I do not think the same way about money, about relations, about marriage. Maybe it would help to think about everything as the variables x, y and z. And as circumstances change, give those variables values. I think change becomes more acceptable that way. Changing friends, relations, or even your home may not be so difficult. Maybe, it does not matter what the value of the variable is, till the variable is there. I can’t judge if I have dealt with my life like a responsible adult. I don’t think anyone can do that for me or for themselves. Only time will tell if I get to do my Spain adventure trip ten years down the line with my now-broken guy group, or it’ll be me with two new guys.

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