A Few Years Later

20 Aug

I remember my English Literature classes for reasons that have more to do with just reading novels of every kind. I never wanted to study literature because classics of any kind intimidated me and still do. I would never pick one up and still do not. But it so happened that the course I wanted to study had EL and I had no other choice but to make a compromise and actually study it. It’s been one of those decisions I was so happy to be coerced into. Really. Compulsion is excellent sometimes. Because people like me who generally are rigid about what they like and do not like would never cross over to sides unknown, otherwise. Anyway, I remember my EL classes not because I encountered forays that opened new doors and pathways in the way I perceived language and expression but because, again, it was mandatory to study philosophies and the innumerable isms that make a person who they are and their work what it is.

I wasn’t fond of that subject at all. I didn’t care about rationalism. Or liberalism. Or existentialism. Or any other ism for that matter. I was after all, a young thing out there who just cared about the plots of books and stories I had to read, forget interpret and write essays about in my exams. I cared only about Mr. Darcy, to be very, very and brutally frank. Especially, since I avoided the book like the plague all my life only to discover the magic that lay within. Which girl/woman wouldn’t ever get magnetized by the enigmatic Mr. Darcy, pray tell me? And yes, I did care very much about poetry. One would be insane not to. So, my point being that this was all I really bothered about. Philosophies of eras gone by flew out of the window and since I considered myself to be liberal (read: does not give a crap about what anyone else thinks. Live and let live, bro!), I daydreamed endlessly during the never ending lectures.

And then I aged. A little bit.

I remembered my EL classes again today because I found myself picking people I just did not want to associate with purely because our ideologies clashed like, erm, chalk and cheese would. I’ve noticed this change over the past few years as I’ve begun to assimilate the values, philosophies and ideologies that make me who I am. I still do fall under the rather loose bracket of the live and let live category because I do not believe in enforcement or in extremism, for that matter. I find it increasingly difficult to interact with people who enforce their ideologies on to me or other people because not only is it stifling, it’s just plain disrespectful. And today, our social interaction being the way it is (read: social networks), I find myself craving the need to define my circles more clearly.

Philosophy, politics, ideologies and religion really are powerful phenomena. Something I never cared about has slowly but surely started to become a part of my identity. It’s not something that happened overnight or compulsorily. It just happened. I know what I’m okay with and what I’m not okay with. I know where my values are and what I’m willing to compromise on. I have the faculties to discern right from wrong most often and not let that become the end of the world where decisions are concerned. It’s really quite strange how things eventually do pan out. I reckon all these concepts have made it this far because they go beyond just written and spoken words I cared two hoots about a few years back.

I decided to write about it because the need to define my spaces, my identity and my beliefs require me to be more than just complacent. I do care now. I don’t know how. It’s just one of those things that age throws your way, I suppose.

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