Thursday, April 12, 2007

Defining Youth

The setting was indeed idyllic. Sun God raced in his chariot towards the end of the day and my parents, bhaiya and I were seated in a Maruti Omni which was taking us back to our native village. Bhaiya and I had occupied the side positions on the rear seat and emboldened by the sparsely populated Gujarat countryside, both of us had opted to keep the sliding doors open.

I cannot say about the others, but I quite enjoyed taking in the sweltering heat, the dust that was being kicked up by the tyres and the quietness of the surroundings. It didn’t take long for John Denver to start singing ‘Country roads, take me home…’ in the mind’s stereo-system.

I am pretty sure, though, that the setting sun was having a magical effect on others as well since all of us had suddenly gone silent and were perhaps meditating on some day gone by.

It was then that the stream of thoughts was translated into words and bhaiya and I started speaking about youth and their ways. The discussion came to a point where we needed to clearly define what ‘youth’ was.

It is here where bhaiya’s wisdom shone through.

“All those who always keep thinking or speaking about the future are children or immature beings. And those who crib about the past or keep living in the glories of the day gone by have weathered minds – no matter what their physical age, they’ve already decided to live in the past and are hence, old.”

“And what about the youth?” I asked.

“Simple. Those who live in the present and think about changing their present circumstances rather than choosing to keep building castles in the air or boasting about their past are youth. They, indeed, are the ones who shape the environment around them and to them goes the title of being ‘youthful’.”

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