Sarbani Chakravarti

Revisiting Ourselves: A Journey Backwards

(An Ode to Nostalgia)


Once there was a little girl with dreams in her eyes,

She thought she could make it, whatever she wanted in her life.

As time flew by and the world arrived

She found herself falling far behind.

Once there was a little boy with dreams in his eyes,

He thought he could do it and make life arrive.

With his zest and grit he made it there

Only to realise that he was nowhere.

Such is life! Often an incomplete tale of ourselves where we sport multiple personae eventually failing to reconcile them and reconnect with our inner self. We begin with dreams and desires, find the purest form of love in most relationships as nothing is expected from us as children. The world is perfect- an ideal place to be- just the right canvas to paint our lives with the myriad hues of hopes and aspirations. Time, the best teacher and the worst tyrant carries us in its arms to raise us into becoming the person that we eventually become for the most part of our adult life, never realizing that a part of ourselves has disappeared from the realm of our consciousness. The resultant sadness, the emptiness of our heart is never fully understood- often stress is cited as the reason and universally accepted to be so as it is undoubtedly the biggest trigger for anxiety. We grow and evolve, shaped by our life experiences, emerging into an entity who in extreme cases, we fail to recognize in the reflection that we see in the mirror. This brings us to a pertinent question- how do we rediscover ourselves?

How will a man who is constantly chasing targets and meeting deadlines, burdened with the responsibility of providing for his family reconnect with himself? How will a woman living a life of mundane chores rediscover the carefree little girl in herself? What is the magic formula, if there is any at all? Why does the sight of a baby throwing tantrums or a child running across a muddy field chasing butterflies bring a smile on our lips, though it is unbecoming of adults to engage in such frivolous activities? Don’t we get a glimpse of our lost childhood in them? Don’t we travel back in time and regress into the younger versions of ourselves when we still knew how to laugh and behave silly without inhibitions? Oh! What shall life be without such nostalgic journeys?

As adults we are never one person but different people all at the same time- performing different roles and living up to each role’s expectations- battered and bruised by the challenges- broken by the tiredness- bottled up due to the inability to communicate – heartbroken for not having even one friend in whose presence we can let our guard down and talk- simply talk because that is what we desire the most, we realise with immense sadness that we have lost ourselves in the cacophony of life.

There can be several action points or coping mechanisms which will be determined by our choices- whether we decide to rely on the external locus of control, thereby assigning the task of making matters right for us on people and circumstances which are always beyond our control, or take matters into our own hands by focusing on the internal locus of control, thereby allowing ourselves to walk down the memory lane to visit the long-forgotten avenues of simplicity and joy. Undertaking the nostalgic journey into our past will soothe our troubled souls.

As the mind travels faster than anything else, this will be the shortest route to reconnection and rejuvenation.