When I was a child, I did not know much about individuality. I was attracted to friends who were like me. There was definitely no conscious effort behind these pairings. It was just that it seemed to be a comfortable choice to make. And then I grew up to realize that my closest friends and I had nothing in common and that was exactly what I loved about their company. They offered such fresh perspectives on almost everything that I enjoyed seeing things from their lens and shared my reflections with them.

By the time I got to college, individuality had been established as a prominent cornerstone of my persona. I realized how life was going to get tougher as I proceed on this route. I was always the fish that swam against the crowds. And needless to mention, I also got into trouble because of that. But that is who I was and I was not going to change myself.

Then I came to the US. Luckily for me I found the society that I was most comfortable in. It is woven with diverse threads of individualism. Each thread is so strong and so unique, that the resulting fabric is par excellence. That was when the rubber met the road for me. And I have been enjoying this solitary road trip, ever since.

In between all this, I fell in love with a man who was a perfect match to my complete self. Let me elaborate. I have read those romantic novels that talked about the notions of “love completes us” and other such BS. But now these themes disturb me. When books and movies profess this notion of one completing the other, they are diverting the attention of the future generation from individuality. We are all complete in our own self. We don’t need someone else to complete us. And therefore statements like –“what a lovely couple, they complement each other” are baseless. And if you disagree with me then you are admitting that you are incomplete. Now how does that feel?

We are all complete humans with our flaws and our qualities and all other attributes that make us unique. Our life partners are people who match us in spirit, intellect and values. We are both complete in our own selves and together we are not ONE, but TWO strong individuals.

I digressed. We all live by certain strong principles – the key tenets of all our decisions, the value pillars on which we build our lives. And I believe that individualism is one such tenet that I inherited. I did not have any other influence in my childhood other than my parents, and both my parents have a role to play in who I am today. They harbored in me the spirit of inquiry, and the strength to form my own opinions and take my own decisions and live by them through thick and thin. Thus my individuality is something that I cherish and cannot do without.

But lately I have observed a couple of patterns. The first one being that people consider individuality as a taboo and seek shelter in community. To comply is by far the simplest thing I have come across in life. What takes courage is to create. Create yourself, your values, your relations, your opinions and your perspectives. When you create the framework of logical thinking from your own experiences and knowledge, reasoning becomes extremely simplified. When you borrow the framework from the society, it takes time to get the nuts and bolts in place and those cracks result in the gaps in your reasoning.

In the end, just make sure your actions are yours, and not those influenced by the world around you, because after all we are simply a sum total of our actions. And if your actions were not yours, then whose lives have you been living?

My second observation is -what we seek from our friends when we are 8 is different from what we seek from them when we are 12 and that is different from what we seek from them when we are 16. But somehow for me, the counter is stuck at 16, and I am still seeking the same elements from my social circle that I sought back then. I am still hungry for those fresh perspectives and that ability to reflect on things with one’s own lens.

You are ripe with your own experiences. You have your very own light within you, throw your own light on the object and tell me what you see. I can guarantee you; no two people see the same thing even when they are seeing the same object. Share your reflections with me and I will share mine. Look deep, find the new, and tell me, and I will also reveal. Don’t see the world with the eyes with sore eyes, and report back what I can find on the news channels. Intrigue me, and I will reciprocate.

I want you to show me worlds that I cannot see. I want you to be YOU. And I want you to let me be ME

Just one of those ramblings, that I will revisit when I am 40.


4 thoughts on “Individuality

  1. this post reminds me of one of my fav songs is the title song of u, me aur hum which is also about the fact that to be a couple you don't have to loose your individuality….. Regarding individuality… I have been guilty of being on both sides tried to stand out and swim against the current, and tried to blend in the crowds and not care about my individuality. ultimately i have realized that the journey was always more fun and rewarding when i was just being myself…. isn't that why people love handicraft that each piece is unique in its own, has its own imperfections and features 🙂


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