One quarter please.

Courtesy: Ankita Shreeram
If I asked you to describe yourself first thing in the morning, before anything had befallen you, you'd still do it without skipping a beat. You'd probably give me the same answer every single morning. Perhaps you'd say "I'm a friendly, amiable person who likes going out and meeting new people. I like black and I love jazz. I like to dress comfortably and my favourite travel destination is Ibiza. My idea of a holiday is to relax on the beach with a beer by my side." In this vein, you could probably go on until I asked you to stop.

On the eve of my 24th birthday, I ask, what makes us such great authorities on who we are? Is there any law that stipulates that one's likes and dislikes must remain constant all through one's life? Why do we wake up every dawn with the burden of our memories - with voices of a dead past telling us who we are, what to do and what to wear? I don't want to get into a relationship because memory tells me that I have difficulty communicating and sharing my life beyond a point. Memory tells me that true intimacy scares the living daylights out of me. But what if I chose to discount all of that and make a decision based on instinct alone? Instinct comes from the heart, perhaps even a primitive knowledge of the soul. It does not come from colourless knowledge of facts that have long since breathed their last.

Memory is grossly overrated in our nostalgic, reflective times. We go over events and statements with a mental microscope like detectives seeking clues to an unsolved mystery. We ignore the present and choose to stay cloaked in a secret world built upon the pillars of things we've seen, heard, smelt, touched and experienced already. Sometimes, we shake off the cloak to find more fodder for this world. But we always go back. Always.

On 13th September, I shall celebrate Independence Day. Independence from the shackles of my own memory; from that strange soulless identity that tries to teach me what my fabric is made of. My fabric is a mutating, magical thing. It never remains constant and it is certainly no slave to yesterday's events. My fabric can be sewn into a different pattern every single moment of my life. And I can change the colour of the threads with a single thought; with the simple flick of a switch called intent.

I am completing nearly a quarter of the century that most humans these days seem to live and I'm still bound by memories of childhood, of innocent fears and baseless reservations. Hiding in a dark corner is a scared little girl who refuses to leave the safe confines of my head. This birthday, I must release her. I must let her walk away into the sunset of my past. While I stride forth into the sparkling future. Adulthood, unlike memory, is sadly underrated. Adulthood is confidence, freedom and the sensibility to absorb and appreciate art. Adulthood is indeed a doorway into everything that's miraculous and beautiful.