Times change, people change is an oft repeated statement. Its inherent obviousness was not always so very clear to me. At one point of time, which now seems aeons ago, I believed myself to be invulnerable and unaffected by issues as petty as the attention of another person, or of things like public acclaim and acceptance. But those were days when my primary involvement lay in myself, with little or no concern for the world at large. But, mortal as I am, the craving for social acceptance sets in as slowly and quietly as a silent assassin. This can be attributed in part, at least, to the phenomenon of realisation that we are dependent on our fellow humans for our daily existence, and that without them or their support, life becomes arduous, if not downright impossible.

This feeling, or understanding and realisation as we would like to call it, is given an apt name, maturity, which is in its most basic definition, synonymous to aging. It is true that at some age we, more often than not, become dependent on fellow beings, but that comes at a much later time than the time when we want more attention and importance of others, in the name of maturity, in the name of need. But do we really need to have all that attention. Because all this attention and acceptannce comes at the cost of a lot of compromise on our parts. We have to follow the norms set down by God-knows-who, just because the rest of our “SOCIETY” is following it, and it expects us to do the same without question. We are denied rights as basic as the freedom of thought, with our brains getting stereotypically set into the same rut for ages, with plans of innovation and adventure actively discouraged as childish or even as plain madness. We are reduced to the very structures we despise as unfeeling, the machines.

It is true that adventure of the body suits not all, but that should not deny us the right to adventure of thought. We could then find, at least in part, happiness within ourselves, in our own actions, our own achievements and our own little world, devoid of the trappings of the social passport of blandness, we call maturity with mistaken pride. Maybe, on that day, we finally would, in the true sense of the term, stop existing and start living.

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