Long Copy Ad – Product: Writing

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*Written for the Introduction to Writing Course held at Northpoint, Khandala for advertising students.*

“Aww! He’s learned to walk!”
“Oh my god! He’s grown so tall!”
“If I would have met you in the streets, I would not have recognized you at all! The last I saw you, you were a baby!”

Time and again, as we grow from a child to a teenager to a young adult, people around us, of course, except immediate family, notice how we have grown, how much we have changed. As a person standing inside the gigantic footprint of Godzilla, we keep looking at the ground and around, failing to see where it is.

“I want to get into client servicing!”
“I am so good at drawing, I will become an artist!”
“I can’t do maths! I am not going to take science!”

As we grow up, along the path, we keep stepping into chewing gum. Chewing gum of who we think we are, who others think we are, who we should be.

“But, boys should not wear nail paint!”
“All girls are mean!”
“I am who I am!”

And you know what happens when you step into chewing gum. It doesn’t go off! Imagine your entire body being covered in the chewing gum of what you think you are. And now imagine all sorts of dirty things sticking on to that. Runaway hair, flying sticky wrappers, dust, pebbles…eww! I wouldn’t want to be you!

Yet, we keep insisting we are what we are. By the time we are just about exiting our teen ages, most of our ideas have been formed for life. What you like, what you dislike, what you think you are capable of, how you think the world and people function. These ideas also shape how open we are to learning new things. And barring a few lucky individuals who go through ‘life changing’ incidences, we take these young ideas to our graves.

Except, when you leave markers all along your life path. Like photographs of the inside you. When you write. Maybe a poem. Maybe a story. Maybe just a daily or weekly diary. Something that pegs you down to who you were when you did that. Because writing is like that. A blog, a notebook, the back of your bus ticket, the notes on your phone, wherever you are writing, you are leaving an imprint of you for you to look back at 2, 10, 20, 40 years down the line.

And when you look back, you would be amazed to see how much you have grown, how much you have changed! You might even be embarrassed about how immature you were! This is true even of when you are writing as a 40 year old and reading 20 years later as a 60 year old!

But don’t be embarrassed. See the chewing gum for what it was. Get into the habit of cleaning it off regularly. Fall in love with the you who wrote what you are reading now. Because really, you are not who you are. You are much more. Just leave some milestones in writing to look back at. Because nothing else can capture the real you. The changing you.

Writing-writing-31277215-579-612

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26 things that happen on the other side of 25

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1 – Too many people around you are married.

2 – Nobody asks you what college you are in, anymore. You look older.

3 – That college chick in the mini-skirt doesn’t look sexy anymore. She looks like a kid.

4 – You are horrified that college kids are already drinking with their other kid friends at only 18!

5 – 18 year olds have started calling you Uncle.

6 – You thought you couldn’t grow any new hair on the body after 20. You realise you were wrong.

7 – You thought that the body you had at 22 was going to stay with you forever. It is still with you, but with a little extra paunch.

8 – Sports can no longer be indulged in without the preparatory warm-up.

9 – Carpal tunnel and spondylitis have started looking more real.

10 – Those 20 hour long sleep sessions that used to be once-a-week? The last one I think was 3 months ago.

11 – 8am actually seems late when you automatically get up at 6am everyday! No matter what time you sleep.

12 – Women in your friend list have become symbiotic organisms. Every social media post starts with, “Me and (spouse name) wish/think/congratulate…”

13 – Parties, road trips, dates no longer have the same zing and colour that they had at 21.

14 – The learning curve of the new phone is noticeably steeper. Yet, your younger siblings seem to take to it like monkeys to trees.

15 – Winning an fb argument or getting a friend request doesn’t light up the reward areas of the brain anymore.

16 – Relationships become functional. Hurt becomes the given. Happiness becomes the bonus. Total flip from 5 years ago.

17 – Personal and professional merge. That promise to yourself to not use friends for work? Guess what. Friends are now because of work.

18 – School friends, college friends, colony friends all have their own lives now. Meeting them becomes rarer but sweeter.

19 – You actually miss your teachers from school and college. Especially the ones that took the time to give you a hard time.

20 – You understand why family is so important. It is the only thing that remains constant while everything else changes.

21 – Making money takes up all of your time. But if that was taken away, there is nothing else to do.

22 – Your superb skin you had after college? It has a become a whole new palette. Age marks are real and now.

23 – You don’t feel like using your writing/art from days gone by. It seems like plagiarising from someone else.

24 – You realise you no longer are ok with shady hotels, cheap motels and plastic cups for alcohol. It comes as a shock.

25 – Your dreams and ideals become a luxury to indulge in when you have the time. You try and pass some of them onto the next generation.

26 – You realise that the world has changed a lot since you were a kid. You feel grown up not because of your paunch, your beard, your marriage, your promotion. You feel old because you no longer relate to the younger ones.

 

Follow me on twitter @squareandfair