The Heavy Gift of Life

What are we if not a product of somebody’s creation? Did we ask to be born? Did we desire this “gift” of life? What really is the meaning of our existence?

So much had to happen exactly the way it did, for you and I to be alive this very moment. The odds we beat to be here surpass an extraordinary amount of what-ifs and could-have-beens. Alas! Our victories don’t conclude with our first cries outside of our mother’s womb. Instead, a rather strenuous journey begins immediately after.

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*Captured on Lodhi Road, New Delhi; Bloody tears flow down the eyes of a young bird, as her mother bestows upon her an unbroken, wholesome heart. It’s a gift (burden) she would now have to take care of, until its last beat. ©V

As infants and toddlers, most of us are taken care of by our families. Our primary cries are met with familiar hands either feeding us, changing us or simply holding us close. It’s a rather content bubble we’re enclosed within. This, however, doesn’t last long. Before we can even begin to comprehend life, we’re pushed out of the comfort of these nests into a world waiting to devour newly formed younglings.

Children absorb information from the surroundings they grow in, shaping their future adult personas. More often than not, they are pushed into the pre-existing moulds of societies to occupy places in distorted visions of an idealistic way of living. The inverse proportionality between number of younglings and these empty places result in mass production of competition among people to perfect the same idealized vision of life. As this cycle goes on, some young adults stem into unconventional directions of being. They question the redundancy of monotonous education institutions, the capitalist prospects of job-seeking and the existence of this hierarchal, classist world.

The brutal truth about pondering over these questions is the sheer lack of satisfactory answers. Thinking about my own experiences of 22 years, I have come to a point where Jacques’s speech on All the world’s a stage resonates deeply with growing “modernity”. Perhaps Shakespeare had foreseen a continual of this cycle whist writing his play. Most people, young and old, seem to be fading into a chase of comfort that comes at the cost of creativity, poignant thoughts and genuineness of human emotions. Friendships are formed with a prior knowledge of their short run time. Relationships are carefully calculated in accordance to personal gains. With greater resources, you attract greater number of people, most of whom are bound to turn around and walk away once your resources deplete.

For the longest part of my life, I’ve wondered if holding on to relationships actually ever made a difference. I’ve wondered about the casual tone with which people threw promises around. The subjectivity of a relationship surely must have a common base, right? Or does it run so deep that their emotions are akin to parallel lines with no commonality? Who is a true friend? What makes an individual your friend? Is it mere words? A couple of phone calls? Or is it when someone helps brush off your stigmatized past and holds you tight when you hit rock bottom? Is there a threshold of expectations attached to friendships? Because I’m unsure of all my relationships at the moment and I know you might feel the same way.

To be honest, I did not sign up for this. Owing to my naivety or stubbornness (however you’d like to see it), I did not expect friends turning into strangers with passage of time. The positive connotation attached to a gift doesn’t really fit in with this essence of life. Perhaps it wasn’t a gift afterall. While they say that hopelessness is a part of growing up, what then constitutes a “grown up”, if times of despair never cease to exist? I have a beating heart, but it’s been scarred and broken too many times now. Every person who chose to leave, left behind a part of themselves that delves in the blood that keeps me breathing.

The beauty of hurt is strangely addictive. The shadow of hopelessness, even more so. Maybe this heart beats on hurt to feel alive. 

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