Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lime o'clock

We used to laugh a lot,
But only because we thought
That everything good always would remain
Nothing's gonna change, there's no need to complain...
- Jack Johnson (Mudfootball)

I know, too much Jack Johnson too often in my posts. But, can't really help it... Jack get's it...

I had a few old college friends over yesterday. All married now, happily enough. As the afternoon passed, people started sharing old stories, and those story-sharing moments have always been special to me... We exaggerate a little every now and then -- but that's what makes it such a great story to tell.

As everyone left, Munch and I put away a few dishes, watched a bit of NatGeo, and then went to bed. We weren't super sleepy, so, the stories continued. They went further back now, as I started remembering snap-shots from my child, and she talked about hers. I talked about being in my first home as a kid, sleeping in between my mom and my sister. My sister's side of the bed touched the wall, and although I probably didn't watch any scary movies when I was 4 or 5, I always preferred that she slept on that side as I, for some odd reason, always imagined a ghost coming out from under the bed to be projected on the wall... Till date I wonder, how did she ever survive those spooky attacks!

My mom would only sleep near me to put us to sleep, after which she would have dinner with Dad once he'd return from work. And my mom didn't know any other rhyme, except for a few Hindu mythological ones. I am not sure where mother's pick the idea of singing their child to sleep, but it seems that so many of them do it. So, my mom would often start humming 'Jai Santoshi mata...'

As Munch started sharing similar stories from her childhood, it all just took me back. I started thinking about how different Dubai used to be and how it used to feel to be a kid being brought up in Dubai. Just the other day a friend with a 1 year old daughter mentioned about wanting to move to Canada because he couldn't see bringing up his daughter in Dubai... even though he was brought up here himself...

But, that's not just really Dubai. Everything, everywhere in the world, was a lot different 25-odd years ago. Time went by slower, things felt a bit simpler. We have a lot of convenience today and it surely speeds things up, but our mind has evolved with that. Our perception of time and space now is so different. Back then, Bur Dubai to Jumeirah 3 felt like MILES away -- and today, there are people who travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi within that same time it feels.

Then we go even further back, when my dad was a kid, and things seem even more simpler. Time moved even slower.

When you think about that time and wonder what makes things so different today, it's really quite overwhelming. Humans have evolved. We have changed a lot of rusty old pipes with new hi-tech ones... but, the drain gets clogged somewhere else now. Our solutions have led to other problems. Our problems have changed, and we laugh at the problems people had back then, because how could that solution not be so obvious to them? How could inventing a wheel not be obvious to that cave-man carrying 350kg of rocks?

Idiots remain, but send those idiots back in time and they would be worshiped, possibly. Or, probably still mocked for being way too futuristic.

As I lay down, trying to fall asleep, thinking about my childhood, then my college, then my PhD days, and now where I am. I would say there was not really any regret. Sure, I hate somethings about today, and I always seem to wish time would stand still back when I was 4, or when I was 15, or 18, or 21... But, if time stood still when I was 4, there would be no 21. The stories my friends shared yesterday would not have happened, and I wouldn't have had them over yesterday to go through the exaggerated versions of those stories all over again. 

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