This is an excerpt from my essay titled 'Growing Up' that will be featured in a book called 'Strangers' by Ahmed Faiyaz:
The frivolous, carefree time in one's early years eventually turns into an enigmatic, tumultuous process that you live out. That process is commonly known as 'growing up'. Becoming an adult is not something everyone looks forward to, tempting as it may sound. You are sitting alone in a corner in your verandah, holding a drink in one hand and your lover in the other arm. The falling rain is only a distant sound because you are deep in thought about how this is what you had always hoped for - love, money, happiness. Or is it just a part and parcel of the bigger picture?
There is an inwardly laugh and you realize that though this may be THE ultimate life, your mind as a child had painted a completely different painting of what these terms would mean. For a boy, it might have meant that he would be a top cricketer, earning plenty of money, and having a wide choice of good looking girls (probably his own female fan following) to pick his girlfriend (not wife) from. For a girl, it might have been that she would be a respected businesswoman and be financially independent and loaded, with a 'cute' boyfriend who loved her. Such were the silly dreams, while the reality then was that the two genders hated each other.
The I-Hate-Boys phase came when we read the books that told us that boys ate snails. Eventually, you grew up and realized that though each boy was worse than the other in terms of the number of snails consumed, that number could not prevent you from having feelings for some of those snail-eaters. The game, Ghar Ghar (role-playing of being in a married household) that one would play with their family friends only turned out to be an enactment of what you hoped would reflect in your future. The dressing up, cooking for the one you love, the pretend babies that you looked after with your fake husbands... It is all too embarrassing when one truly realizes the potential of his or her imagination. The wastefulness of your resources would now make you cringe.
Read the rest of the essay here.