h1

boy, interrupted

July 10, 2005

1.

Today over coffee (which, for me, remains only a figure of speech, since I detest coffee and can never drink it) I finally admitted that my proper social circle has shrunk to about 4 or so. Interesting that the nett effect of conscription has been to transform me into some sort of hermit, so different from the ultra-social, love-or-hate-him kind of person I was back in school.

I can barely remember school now; whatever memories I have are fond. But then again that is merely time and its tricks, and as we grow older and life becomes curiously more pointless surely we will turn to the past and find minute pleasures. I used to think that in college we had terrible, infantilising, useless rules: then I got enlisted. And then suddenly college seemed okay, good even. Multiply this regression ad infinitum and a true picture of life emerges.

Perhaps I have gone into one of my pessimist modes again: perhaps not. I have put two years – now three, for I shall miss matriculation next September and will have to wait until September after – of my life on hold to serve this chimerical notion of hte nation; I shall flush more years away doing things I wish not to do. And when this occurs what else is left but to look back in horror at the past and gasp at what has come and gone so fast.

2.

In the bus that day I overheard a conversation between two mothers: they were speaking of some motivational talks and camps for children. One of the mothers was very impressed by the effect that an attendance of one such talk or camp or other had on her son: in her words, he became ‘more serious’ and would ‘spend the holidays studying instead of playing’, important since he will be taking the Primary School Leaving Examination in two years. Mental sums yielded the conclusion that presently this son is only ten years old. Apparently the camp was so successful that the son himself began lecturing other friends on the importance of studying and working hard and being focused.

Dystopic nightmare or nation state? Where else on earth does the mad rush set in so early, that even children, who have barely had enough time to be children, are brainwashed into giving up their childhood for the good principles of Hard Work and Being Focused?

Holidays are meant for leisure: I take it as a personal triumph that I spent most of my holidays having fun and doing the things I wanted to do. I spit in the faces of these women who sacrifice their children for some greater good. After all, if we can give up our youth for something imperceptible, we can give any other thing – democracy, free speech, basic welfare – up, especially when the thing received in return is a Stable Economy and Investor Confidence.

I spit in the face of those who made this country.

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