The Old Monk

I feel like a child. Every time I speak to one of my friends, they always counter my view with some high sounding moral logic that I can’t quite answer to. Well, moral as in ‘fitting in with society’. Already, people have started sounding and behaving like professionals. As far back as my second year, I was summarily told to ‘think like an engineer, not as a student’. Ever tried to enter a conversation with adults as a 5 year old? You get the gist, I hope.

I cannot answer to all of my critics as to why I choose somethings, and why I eschew others. To put it in the words of Ramanujam’s biographer, Robert Kanigel, I ‘just do/don’t’. There needs to be no logical reason to my actions, because, over time, some things have been ingrained into me as second nature. The crowd be damned. Why can’t I not care about them? Why is it necessary that I give a damn about what their opinion on the subject is, even if it counters mine? The crowd is a sad entity, in which we fit and adjust to social requirements because someone told us, ‘we have to’. Some of my habits are taken from a social structure of the past century. Some are yet to make headway into Indian society. Either way, these are taboo. And when the misfit is berated for voicing his own concerns as to the loss of his individuality, then society shudders and starts a cleansing ritual.

My individuality demands openness. It calls for lightness and the sole social obligation of doing good. I am not too good at meeting new people on a formal level, and in general avoid it unless absolutely necessary. Plus, for me, friendship is not an agreement signed upon by blood, in which you state you are willing to do anything to please your friends, and not to hurt their feelings. It is more of an honour code by which you stand to do the good and the rational, in that order. It requires no proof other than mere signs of caring, and yet need not infringe on what you are. For eventually, the only reason you are friends with someone is because there is a mutual admiration and affection rather than just the chemistry clicking between you. Friends need not finish each others jokes, people.

And yet, with all my own logic, I stand corrected, nay, bulldozed by my own friends who disagree with me. And at the end of this all, you feel emotionally inadequate, unable to cope with what people think you need to face, and missing out what you really need to face. Sigh. I wish I was 5 again. It would explain so much.


3 thoughts on “The Old Monk

  1. Ahuja says:

    Whoa.. Someone’s irritated..
    I have to agree that your logic about individuality vis-a-vis ‘fitting in with the society’ is flawless. However, you cannot ignore that it is indeed the society that you have to live in and interact with, so some amount of ‘fitting-in’ is necessary.
    The ‘sad’ section of the society that you refer to seem to be the ones who feel fitting-in to be way easier than standing up and making their individuality count.
    Nice read. And everybody wants to be Peter Pan.

  2. ramya says:

    Very well written! Nice blog here.

  3. Saagar says:

    Another of those moments which generally end with “It’s all about perception”?
    Was it you vs. Rest of the World?

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