How I let my dream balloon fly away  

When we were kids, most of us had aspirations, some known and others; well a bit of a mystery. We inflated these balloons of dreams as we grew older each year. There was a ridiculous amount of energy that we possessed that got us to believe that our dreams are great and that these will manifest into reality soon.

We blazed with positivity and went on with our lives.

Then, reality happened… This is from my perspective, from a viewpoint that is derived from observing, family, close friends, some acquaintances and well strangers too, from India. Some of us wanted to become writers; some cooks, some pilots, some teachers and the list went on. But this was not merely a career path. It was an interest; a deep fascination and intuitively, even a skill for such things.

However, as we bloomed to teenage, it was education, percentages, scores, comparisons, tuitions, lesser play, more television, and those balloons started to float somewhere in the sky slowly losing track from us.

Then it was adulthood, where the thought of going outside of the country to educate ourselves/work and became more charming. It was all in good spirit, seeking a ‘better’ lifestyle etc.

And some of us did make that work. We set foot in other parts of the world.

Then—young adulthood. We ran behind getting our status in order, (we still are in so many ways), we tried to find a relationship that could be named that – a relationship, we did not heed to the heart, but more to the social drama. We tuned our bodies into 9-5 slogging machines, feeding our mind and body lesser nutrition, more cardboard boxes derived food, lesser passion and more schedules. And life…went on.

And now we all feel the ‘mid-life crisis’…Ha!

It seems like no matter where we take ourselves, geographically, we are always chasing a mirage. We have bred a constant angst in our souls that no matter what we achieve, we believe that the next milestone, or pit stop is the better one, so we keep going, even without considering, if what we are chasing is what we truly want.

Our balloons have begun deflating! We have almost forgotten what our dreams were, how they were structured when we were the purest! We have scraped away our positivity to all kinds of competitions, even those that don’t matter to us.

And finally, we have begun grooming our minds and bodies to fit into appropriate social media norms so that we are forever liked by people near and far. I often meet people who have managed to acquire a decent amount of wealth and status in this country. But there is a strange emptiness. It is not sadness; it is a strange sense of loss of hope. It seems like some of us have trained ourselves to feel this is it and this is all we can do.

The conversations can’t go beyond, what I do for work, cellphone checking, my kids are doing abc, quick cellphone checking, I love to eat at that place, I bought a property at xyz place, cellphone checking, this person is like this and that one is like that, and that is ALL!

Remember the excitement when we were kids? We would be excited about just everything; even getting ourselves dirty by jumping in puddles! When did the clothes become more important than the grin on our faces?

It is the human brain apocalypse – chasing. We have made such a habit of it that when we don’t chase, we feel bored or depressed! We have lost the ability to just stay without the noise of TV or the beep of our cellphones. This seems more uprooting than leaving one’s country for another. We have uprooted the hope in us and traded it for goods we accumulate.

I hope we all find our dreams back, our happy thoughts back, to live the way we feel it worthy for us. We owe this to ourselves as human beings!

I still seek my little balloon; it waves at me, from far away. I know you do as well, otherwise we wouldn’t talk about old times whenever we meet. I hope to run and bring my balloon back, I hope you do too.

Jyothi Shetty is a guest writer at The Brown Desi. In her optimum habitat, she would concoct meals and tales all day. She hopes to build a 'wordcatcher' and wishes to be buried in a book.