It was a gloomy afternoon, dark clouds took up space in the sky as if to carry out a demonstration against the sun which had been shining in all its glory. The sun was now nowhere to be seen as if there was a quick mutiny in the sky with all its inhabitants unanimously voting to get it out of office, and a new ruler was in town. The power plays and the politics of the territory in the stratosphere and all the subsequent layers are always cyclical, dynamic, but predictable.
I wasn’t a fan of the big dark clouds and the weeping that comes along with them. It’s like your friend who has just gone through a messy breakup. You don’t mind listening to them once or even on a few occasions, rant about how life doesn’t have any meaning and everything seems bleak and tell them it’s all going to be okay, but tolerating it for 3 months at a stretch, I don’t think I have it in me to handle that. The initial few days of rain are romanticized, signalling a change in season and also in life. For me, rains are somehow associated with starting a new year in school. Buying new books, a new bag, new stationery, everything was new! It meant a clean slate and still feels like that when rains first hit the city.
Although this time, it’s a little bit different. Google Photos is there to make sure that no memory is forgotten or even remotely stashed away in the corner of your brain until you choose to retrieve it again. The notification blurted out, “This week, last year” trying to get me to evaluate myself where I was last year and where I am now. And obviously, I did that. There were mostly fun memories, pictures of the sky, cats and my friends doing weird shit, things which make life worth living.
Although, thanks to a lot of storage and great camera quality, there were a lot of jpgs with people who weren’t in my life anymore, and people who passed away and now I feel at a loss that I wasn’t there for them when they needed me, and bad times which weren’t really pleasant to live through. My initial assessment whenever I look back is, “Oh God I was so cringe I can’t believe I did this/said this”. It was the same this time around but with a small change.
For once in my life, I was proud of something. This isn’t really an exaggeration but looking back on the past whole year, there are multiple instances where I did things which I never thought I would or could for that matter. This was something different, a new feeling of self-worth I had experienced. No one really came up to me and congratulated me for doing that, it was such an intrinsic emotion I felt in my being, unbreakable by any outside force.
I did considerably well in school, which was unexpected. I got a lot of praise, even when I graduated this past month, a lot of people were there to tell me how big an achievement that was, but when I ask myself does it feel like an achievement, it doesn’t when compared to a few other things. A lot of things which not many people know feel so much more valuable in front of my supposed academic achievements.
Going back to Google Photos, it took me down a rabbit hole to see what people, I had long lost connection with were doing in their lives. I was literally stalking people which is never my thing but to my discovery one of the said people had actually blocked me. Maybe the Shantanu a year back would care about this and feel somehow he was responsible for it, but at that moment I felt powerful, extremely powerful of being able to make a decision a stick to it even if it was painful.
In hindsight, I will always be embarrassed for my actions, and my choices, that's just never going to change, but this time I felt in control of life, in control of what I had around me and it felt empowering. All my life up until this point felt like a freefall where the wind was taking me as it pleased without any prior warning but when I look behind now, it feels as if maybe there are things I am good at, things which are in my control and I might have a bearable life after all.
Having said all of this, the monsoon in Mumbai sucks ass!