I am one of the ‘bhalo meyes’. I do well in studies, I write and read. I sing too, and dance (in the bathroom!). I haven’t done anything ‘socially’ unacceptable yet, but what is the acceptable standard? Noticed, how the first thing I stated about being a bhalo meye, was academics? Is that the first parameter one should be judged on? It is a universal acceptance in this country, that a child good in academics should be forgiven most, if not all the sins (read: goof ups).
Let us now shift gears: I see my colony today as I had seen it 5 years ago and the only thing that has really changed is the ‘group’ that rules the playgrounds and the group that holds the bottles. When I had walked into the green centred fort surrounded by the 4 blocks of cement, I had no idea what life would turn out to be. A lot of it was a huge question mark, including my choice of stream in education, my friend circle, my life at school and at home; my new home. I knew a few people here, already, before I shifted in, so I never had to one of the awkward ‘new girl’ moments. I have had many of those, before so I was adept at making myself at ease, but thankfully (?) i did not have to apply my prowess at the vast knowledge I had in the field of bein The New Girl. I was in the age group which ruled the building. I use the word ‘ruled’ with a fair bit of leeway here. There was no Queen and there were not followers but there this group of friends, MY group of friends, who would usually make the calls and form the rules. Rules, yes. Where we sat, what we did, who we spoke to and why not, how things turned out, we discussed a lot of things which seemed important then but are actually, as we all know, unimportant justifications of our shallow existence. We had nothing to do, so we discussed people.
Now, i see that the baton has passed over, from us to the babies who used to surround us then. We were always kind to them, therefore, the favour is returned. The rule the green centred fortress, they decide the time, the place. But when the ‘seniors’ (?) show up, they graciously open their arms wide and play pool with us. HA! I see how the dynamics of a place changes, when one large chunk of the childrens’-group graduates from being in school to being in college. A lot changes, not just at home but also around it. I’ve seen it a million times before and I see it happening again. The friends I had/ have are all in college now and the ones in school are the only ones who actually ‘stay’ in the colony. Since we are all temporary guests in their constant, we bide by their beliefs.
This continuous relay of the baton will continue, forever. People come and go,as this is life. But the rules are here to stay. The rules that govern the dynamics of a group everywhere in the world. And this is what I see happening all around me, right now. The saddest part of it all is, that while my friends move over to colleges in other cities, I am here, in the same city and in the same colony; caught in a limbo between transgressing from one ‘group’ to another. Who am I? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an identity crisis. But, who am I, when in a group? Who are you, when you aren’t with the people who you think define you?
Do you let people define you? because people, make up the world and everything in it. If you believe in Marxism, you believe in a person. If you believe in literature, you believe in the people who created it. People, people, people.