I’m one of those insanely proud people. I believe being human is the greatest thing and that we get to rule the world because of the exceptional creatures we are. Yes, you’re right. I’m a very serious feminist as well; Serious enough to boycott anything that’s sexist; well, anti-feminist to be precise. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said: maintaining my attitude at all times is my life’s goal. Although, I fail miserably almost all the time. One of the things I have the highest level of faith in would be that we are very lets say “shrewd” for lack of a better word.
Is it just me? Aren’t you baffled by the capacities of the human mind? All those people with eidetic memories: Words cannot describe how much I envy them during a Chemistry final or a History Quiz. Then, there are those Math geeks, who just get every equation right. As brilliant as our nerds are, they’re not the best examples. Every mentalist out there has my absolute devotion; even the ones on T.V. Each time I see more instant psych evaluations and mysteries being solved from one extra breath intake or blink, I just sit there totally flabbergasted. Every smart-ass comment; each astute discovery or revelation; All these tacky little things that our minds can come up with is just astounding.
We can’t all be Sherlock Holmes and Patrick Janes, can we? Being exceptional isn’t the only thing that’s impressive about the human mind. I can’t deny the inspiration I’ve gotten all my life from the courageous, headstrong people around me. A brave heart in unfortunate times is as good an example for our remarkable capabilities.
I still remember that kid. It was time of Diwali around here. It was a pretty big deal back then. When I was about 12, Diwali meant everything to me. Though, I had different reasons to love it. Far different from those of any other child. I admired the colors and the lights too but, it wasn’t what made me happy. It was the happiness itself. Every Diwali my dad would just go big! But all those goodies he bought, those fireworks, they weren’t for me to light up. Don’t get me wrong here, my dad did get them because of me. It was just not FOR me. We’d invite all the people who lived around. Our custom was watching other people celebrate. As ridiculous as this sounds, it’s true. Nothing in the world has ever made me as happy.
It wasn’t always that way. I celebrated Diwali like every other kid too. It all changed one year. The year I was way too grown up to be celebrating. I was extremely pissed at my Dad for making me go back to grandma’s. I vowed that I wouldn’t touch a cracker no matter what. (And I didn’t) As furious as my dad was with me, he had to do something so all the fireworks didn’t go to waste. Whilst I was busy being stubborn I realized that I had to at least give him an alternative idea so I’d be off the hook. After an hour of brainstorming while watching random chick flicks on HBO I had a brilliant idea. (Well, my dad thought so.:P) In my grandma’s village people weren’t wealthy enough to afford such festivities. They’d normally just stand around my house to watch me and my dad light the sky up. I thought, why not let them actually experience it this time? My dad agreed. As soon as the spectators were there awaiting the show, Dad handed each rocket and sparkler to every kid or teen around. My plan worked perfectly. Except for one detail. Dad made me watch. So, there I was, standing; brimming with skepticism; watching them with no other choice. I told myself, “At least they’re having a blast.” Everyone but one little guy in the back.
He was a bit too little. Therefore, I’m guessing Dad didn’t think it was safe enough to let him light stuff up. He was mental image of melancholy. All the big kids were having the time of their lives and he just stood there in the corner, too short to see the show over the towering adults. Maybe it was because I felt like I could relate to him: I went over and handed him one of those tiny sparklers. His eyes just glowed with so much happiness, with the happiest smile I’ve ever seen he got the glowing stick and started waving it around and jumping with excitement. As each one burnt out, I gave him another and another and this went on. I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt. For the first time in my life, I made a difference.
We were out on the streets lighting up the whole place till 12:00 am. People slowly started to leave after that and so did the little boy. Before he left, he gave me what seemed like a look of gratitude. I smiled and went back inside to my room, to await a moment I’d been dreading. The “I told you so” moment that my dad was going to use to his maximum advantage, yet I was too happy to let that bother me anymore. I was lying down on my bed reading a Nancy Drew like every other night. Dad finally closed up and locked the front door and came to see me before he went to bed. What took me by surprise was that he didn’t have any scornful, sarcastic things to say. He just kissed me good night and appreciated me for having an open mind and enjoying myself that night. That proud feeling I had inside just surged within me. As he was leaving the door, I called out to him and asked what the little boy’s name was. Dad didn’t even know what little boy I was talking about. After I gave him a very detailed description he recognized him as the priest’s kid. That was utterly confusing because the priest wasn’t married. It was only after my Dad explained to me that the kid was adopted by the priest when he found him abandoned somewhere during his pilgrimage, things made sense. It was amazing that the kid could be so happy after going through things like this. Even in the darkest of times, he remembered to switch on the light.
As I think of all this, I realize that we are capable of such impeccable things. But a single overdose of a chemical can wipe out a person’s entire memory. A combination can instill new, fake memories in our heads. We can be hypnotised, brainwashed, et cetera. Such an astounding paradox we are, immune to life’s greatest miseries but totally vulnerable to a liquid out of a test tube. This makes me want to ask: are we really that great?