The Pokemon Generation

Flashback a decade back.

Year 2006

Some random day.

4:50 pm: I just snatched the TV remote from my grandfather’s hands. Didn’t really have to snatch it though. He kind of offered me the remote himself. And why not. It had become our daily routine since a time both of us couldn’t remember. I quickly change the channel to Cartoon Network, channel number 23 (I still remember that!). We had cable TV back then.

Swinging my feet, I am giving anxious glances to the clock every 10 seconds waiting for it to strike 5. These used to be longest 10 minutes of my day.

The clock strikes 5. AND THE MOMENT HAS COME!

Sabse behtar banoonga main, jaisa koi aur naa tha………ek safar par nikla hu main, ghoomoonga  chaaro disha……..Pokemon, karne hai haasil………..Pokemon, karne hai haasil, Pokemon.

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It’s 5:30 now. Another exciting episode has come to an end. Jigglypuff has just put everyone to sleep and Team Rocket firse haar gayi.

 For many of my generation Pokemon was not just a cartoon. Dare you ever say that! It was a phenomenon our daily lives revolved around. From discussing the latest episode to predicting the next episode, from playing Pokemon trump cards to flaunting our knowledge of the Pokedex and from collecting Tazos to placing bets on them, we seemed to have no other purpose in life. Everything was Pokemon. I don’t think we get enough credit for sky-rocketing the sales of Cheetos and Uncle Chips. Our Tazo collection was a source of pride for us. Gradually, as technology advanced we starting getting hooked on to our computers. Doing what? Playing Pokemon of course! Red, Gold, Emarald, Ruby and all sorts of colors and gems. I still play them sometimes, just like old times.

As for my family, they would repeatedly ask me just one question- “ Pikachu Raichu kaise banta hai?” Grinning widely at their lack of such basic knowledge I would reply “Viksit( evolve ) hokar.” Hearing this they would laugh uncontrollably every time. 10 years down the line I still don’t understand why they would laugh so much whenever I used the word Viksit. Pokemon evolution still makes much more sense to me than Darwin’s Theory of Evolution ever has.

There is no hiding the fact that we have always wanted to lead a life like Ash Ketchum (or Ash Ketchup as I used to call him back then ).  Being able to live those thrilling adventures of catching and battling Pokemon has been one of the biggest childhood dreams.

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The dream of millions like me of becoming a Pokemon trainer came true with the release of Pokemon GO. Hence, the worldwide craze. To all those thinking that people who going nuts behind a game are stupid, you are right. It’s the rage, the fever of the realization of a childhood dream. And to those who think people playing the game are kids, you are right again. It gives us the platform to relive our childhood. It brings back those millions of memories our generation has shared. It reminds us of the times when the biggest challenge we faced was to convince the other person that our favorite Pokemon was better than their. And just to let you know, Squirtle is the best. It leads the way in attacks, swag and cuteness.

For me and many of my generation, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that a major chunk  of our childhood can be defined by this very beautiful word, POKEMON.

P.S. You say that you love Pokemon, we are friends automatically 😀

The Wallflower Chapter

It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.

I was a wallflower.
I was an introvert.
I was not one of those kids people notice immediately.
I was a “nobody”.
I was one of those kids in school that almost no one spoke to because I always kept to myself.
I was insecure.
I was scared that if I try to talk no one would listen.

I recently read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and never has a book resonated with me more. It’s a book that touches your deepest cores.

Contrary to the book’s synopsis, this is not the story about a teenage boy Charlie. Or a Sam. Or a Patrick. This is my story. And probably yours. The feelings we could never find words to recite. The thoughts we dismissed as our overthinking. The words that were left unspoken. The times we lost ourselves. The times we doubted ourselves. The battles we fought secretly. The days when “you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist.” This book captures all of them beautifully.

There are times in life when the sensation of being a spectator of life, rather than a participant in it becomes all too relevant. There were times when I have felt like an outsider with no sense of belonging. Sam and Patrick were the friends that pulled Charlie off the wall. If we have a good friend(s), we can overcome almost anything. We just need to keep the faith and try pushing ourselves forward. Gradually, we do come of age.

We are who we are for a lot of reasons. We cannot change someone’s past no matter how hard it may be for us to digest. If we love a person in our life all we can do is to accept what he/she has done or been through. After all, it’s our past that has shaped the present us. We cannot control that. What we choose to do with our lives, where we choose to lead ourselves. That is paramount.

This is a book that moved me miles. Miles that brought me closer to myself. Miles that made me understand that I am not the only one. That everyone has his/her “sob story.” That it’s perfectly fine to break down once in a while but, to give up ,that would be wrong.

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

Quote of the day #5

Sometimes, I look outside, and I think that a lot of other people have seen this snow before. Just like I think that a lot of other people have read those books before. And listened to those songs.
I wonder how they feel tonight.

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Quote of the day #4

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.

-John Green

On the Footpath

Walking down this familiar path,
I catch how much life has changed.
From racing together to school,
To solving those maths sums,
To sharing our daily stories;

What went wrong?
What did I do to be left
Marooned in this black burrow.
What made you take me up the hill;
And then leave me there stranded.
You were my guiding light,
What made you just walk away?
Was it my stupid actions?
Was it my taking you for granted?
Perhaps we may never fathom.

Seasons back little did we imagine,
This perennial spring shaping into
the excruciating autumn of unknowingness.
We talk but no more converse,
We know but do not understand.
The cemented walls separating us
seem too thick for emotions
We have learned to exist singly,
even in each other’s company.

The voids left within us
have healed
And all that remain are
emotionless memories.

Going Antisocial, on full throttle.

Caution: This piece is aimed solely towards you.

 

Beep. Buzz. Repeat.

Well, that’s the recursion most of our lives are stuck in. The constant notifications never leave us in peace. But then, peace of mind is too overrated, ain’t it. I have to know what’s going on in my classmate’s life whom I otherwise wouldn’t talk to or I have to find out why is everyone sending those laughing emojis in Some_Random group; something really funny must have happened. I can’t afford to be left behind. What’s the use of technology if I do not have the latest updates about anything and everything?

The fact is we have let ourselves become so habituated to technology especially the social media that without them we feel vulnerable.Youre-doing-it-wrong-the-anti-social-media

No wonder social media “addiction” is now regarded as a psychological disorder. I wonder sometimes as to why it so. Why are we so attached to our phones and laptops? Why is there an urge inside us to always be online? Why do we get fidgety without a certain minimum “screen time” each day? Why have we started to give more value to people’s opinion about our very own lives? Why do we tend to measure a person’s worth with the number of likes he/she is able to gather?

Pondering upon these questions one realises that technology is seductive when what it offers, meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed. We are lonely but, at the same time fearful of intimacy. Digital connections and the social media may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other. We’d rather text than talk. Texting offers just the right amount of access. It puts people not too close, not too far, but at just the right distance. People take comfort in being in touch with a lot of people whom they also keep at bay. There is absolutely nothing wrong in this. Still, things don’t seem right, do they?

31eea3aWith the fascination to connect with ‘friends’ online comes the risk of disconnection with friends waiting for us to be present in the offline world. Give it a thought. When we are actually going downhill in our lives who will be there to pull us back, the real friends or the virtual ones? We on the other hand sometimes tend to give more importance to connections over relationships. Taken that we are lonely sometimes and the network seems fascinating. But if we are always on, we may deny ourselves the rewards of solitude. We expect more from technology and less from each other.

“As we distribute ourselves, we may abandon ourselves.”

Have we not recently put too much stock in others’ awareness and approval of our very own lives and faces. A picture may say a thousand words, but most of them today just plead, “Please Like Me.” The truth is, the like we earn from a picture we post on the internet is only a like of our physical image. Not all those who click “like” truly know  us, even if we title the photo “soul.jpg.” Only a few people actually care about us, the rest are just curious. And it is not their flaw. We humans cannot care and treat everyone in the same manner. Some are friends and some are just connections. Accepting the difference between them and treating them accordingly is of utmost importance for a smooth and peaceful life. It doesn’t matter how many people we have on a social networking site. What matters is how we benefited them and how we benefited from them.

We are more than our body. We are more than the person we try to portray ourselves as in front of people we meet virtually. Is our existence just defined by an username and password? It’s as if it is the password to one’s soul. We are definitely more complex than that. No ones like matter more than our own opinions and our own memories.

“The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.”  ― Shannon L. Alder