Family reunions happen few and far between, and in this day and age when distances have been bridged through mobile phones, highways, Twitter, Facebook and e-mail on the go, one has this feeling that they are never far from friends and family. But yet, nothing can take away the feeling of meeting your near and dear ones in the flesh. It’s always nice to hear them talk in person than to read their email or status updates. But in this fast paced world where everything happens at a maniacal speed and when our calendars are crammed with exams, meetings and office trips, we seldom get time to meet and greet each other.
So after ages when the family decided to come together for the festive season it was decided that we would catch up far away from the maddening crowd than in the hustle and bustle of the Big Bad Mad city. We landed up in the heart of the hills where even the sun had gone for a quick vacation. There was greenery as far as our eyes could see, the fresh mountain air energized our bones, the flowing stream took all our worries along with it and time crawled at a leisurely pace. Diwali was celebrated in a much simpler way than it usually was, but this time we had more people to share the joy with.
I was born in the mid 80’s while my cousins had their birth dates scattered all over the 90’s. I had a conflict within me as to which group did I belong to now, was I still a boy or have I grown into an adult? (No matter how much I hated it). I preferred to hang out with the kids more because I could relate myself to what they have been through - with exams, friends and the banter on boyfriends and girlfriends. Being the eldest amongst the cousins came with its own share of responsibilities such as keeping them entertained with clean humor, coming up with games to keep them occupied and to ensure that it was played fair and square (something which I am not associated with) and to watch out that they did not get into any sort of trouble while going about their monkey business. It also involved playing the role of a censor board although the kids showed immense maturity while viewing Kill Bill, which I later realized was a bad idea. Their ages ranged from 9 to 19. A few of them were in school, a few of them in college, some had just reached their teens and some were on the verge of completing it. They had their own opinion on everything that ranged from the existence of God to that of Friendship and Love. Their level headed opinion on these subjects could only make me wonder on why I was trying to be the “Big Brother” who told them what was right and what was wrong? Was it because I felt like the senior statesman among these young dynamic characters? Or was I convinced that they were not capable of handling themselves? Or is it because I felt that I had been brought up in a different time? Or was it my bearded look that made me feel old and wizened. Twenty-four is not old you know…... Or is it?
Or is it because that I have started going to a job that I have been injected with this false sense of adulthood? I have a bank account and an ATM card, I have meetings at the office, I invest in mutual funds, I can watch “A” rated movies at the theatre, I use my own money to buy the things that I want, I wear American Khakis instead of jeans, I can put off plans with others using excuses such as “office work” and not “home work”. So does all this make me an adult? While I spent time with these kids or should I say ‘adolescents’, I realized that adulthood is not about the job I do, the cards I own, the bank accounts I have, the clothes I wear, the people I know. These are just those adulterated ingredients that make us feel like an adult
. In all honesty, I still could not define "an adult". Is it the ability to think for oneself while making decisions? If that is the case then haven’t we all leaned on our friends and family for their advice? Maybe adulthood is a lengthy process that has no full stop, there are no limits to growing up and we have to go through a lot and learn a lot before we can be termed as "an adult". Till then we are just a bunch of men and women trying to grow up and be young at the same time.