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One time of the year that we cherish deeply and wait for eagerly is the time of festivities and Diwali. It is perhaps the only time of the year when darkness paves way for all the lights to thrive. Everything just seems to come to life all around and the feeling of warmth in the cold month of November is a novelty peculiar only to this festival of lights. Why then does it make me question the nature of existence? What could it possibly be that sends me down a philosophical spiral? In my understanding, it is the feeling of loneliness that a lot of people harbor during the time of festivities. The hustle bustle and the ardent blithe that is so prevalent in these days makes the hearts of many feel like empty vessels. This perhaps is not a testament to individual flaws but to the collective feeling of melancholia of many , induced by the very lights that supposedly bring everything to life.

This year, the question I had for myself was, ‘Does moving on and leaving people behind make me a bad person?’ And I mulled over the answer for quite a few days to say the least. Leaving people, for many of us, is an arduous task. It is one of the most difficult things that we can think of and it just doesn’t feel right to leave things and people that gave us so many moments to cherish for a lifetime. At times, it feels more draining than lugging a heavy bag uphill. But not leaving when you’re supposed to can seem like lugging the very same bag uphill for an extended period of time; only prolonging your own suffering.

The world of social media makes it seem like keeping lifelong friendships is some sort of a virtue. Like if you do not have one friend to guide you through all phases of life, you’ve missed out. And maybe in an ideal world, that’s how things ought to be. But the world that we live in is neither ideal nor perfect. The permanence of anything is not promised and thus, the expectation to have something or someone forever is a little whimsical. Although humans are nothing if not a little whimsical, it must be noted that the reality most of the times sadly does not cater to these whims. A believer at heart, I love to think about the forever-ness of everything. And it is indeed wonderful to have the same person by your side for your whole life but it’s not a standard that all of us must compete with. The glorification of lifelong friendships isn’t just a celebration of continuity but it is also a gutting reminder for the people who’ve had to bury the very same continuity and familiarity in the past. And not to mention, the kind of strain it puts on people when they are forced to remain true to the roots that they are no longer truly invested in. It runs the risk of ruining the few good memories that people have and keep so close to their hearts. No matter the kind of attachment we have, there are certain things we must let go of, simply because we have outgrown them.

Sometimes, it is essential to leave people and things and maybe even hobbies in the past in order to achieve the kind of growth you’ve been dreaming about. But just because we are doing this, does not mean that these things or people are at fault in any way. As children, we see the world in so many colors. The blues and reds and yellows of the world baffle and excite us to no limit. But as we grow up, form our own opinions and look at the world through spectacles that are fit for only and only us, we come to realize that the people who were scarlet and crimson are still just as beautifully scarlet and crimson today, too. It’s just that maybe the blues and purples entice us more now. In that sense, nobody really is at fault.

Another thing that we have been taught since a very young age is to appreciate other people and their company more than our own. Whereas, as adults we understand the importance of the silence and begin to treasure the much needed space. When the humdrum of words is perhaps too much for the most of us to handle, the ellipsis save the day and if it weren’t for the interstices, the world would have been a mess of collision. We all bear testimony to the fact that sometimes the nothingness of things can give us the comfort that the foreverness of everything could never. 

So, the final argument is, does growth always look like leaving everything and everyone behind? And the answer to that is very, very subjective. To each their own. But, must one feel guilty about leaving when it is time for them to leave? The answer to that is, of course, no. Absolutely not. Because to stay at one place forever that does not make you feel happy or fulfilled is an atrocity to the human mind that was meant to wander, to witness change and to make new memories. And maybe, people sometimes are not meant to leave for their own benefit but for ours. In any case, change is inevitable and maybe frightening at the same time. But that is what makes it so interesting. 

After all, the allure of lights does fade away . It might getsreplaced by newfound love for darkness or vice versa. At any rate, the human tendency to outgrow remains the only thing that is unchanged. 

Anjalika Tiwari

Delhi South '23

Anjalika is a student of Kamala Nehru College. She is an ardent believer of the fact that inspiration can be drawn from anything and everything. A dreamer at heart, forced into the pragmatic world, she encompasses an adequate amount of research as well as personal opinions in her articles.
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