“Mai to apni favourite hoon.”
“Ye kon hai, jisne mujhe palat kar nahi dekha?”
Geet and Poo – cultural icons, memorable characters – Bollywood’s testament to the self-centred (but ultimately revered) female lead.
Back then, we all loved how the characters embraced their individual selves and personality, but little did we know that it wouldn’t be too long before reel became real. There will be people around us who take things a little too seriously – and down the rabbit hole they go!
It has always been said that some things are supposed to be taken care of in life, and one of those things is you; But there is a boundary surrounding everything, and once it is crossed, the core meaning of the idea is lost – and no matter what you call it – self love, self appreciation or simply “being yourself”, the point stands.
We live in a world full of hustle, bustle, and work. After that, we barely get time to sit with ourselves, and that’s how the concept of “me-time” came into the picture. Boon or bane, whatever one may call it, word spread and the idea took the world by storm.
Everyone started to look at the world as if no one was better than them. They were the masters of their own life – and everyone else’s too; when the idea of existing for oneself was lost amidst the fog.
Be your own favourite – and everyone else’s too!
(Source: Left – MensXP; Right – Cinema Express)
Constantly trying too hard to fit in, to be the cool one in the crowd, to become the one everyone talks about (and knows) lost its shape, its essence and its meaning. The inevitable desire to be validated and recognised has clouded our judgements, making us fall into the trap of a self-centred existence. As kids in school, we were always taught to share and be friendly, regardless of how it is judged by other people. It is a person’s soul that makes them different and sets them apart; but now it seems as though we’ve already forgotten to share with or care for others, simply because of the changing norms.
“You have to start thinking of yourself as the main character because if you don’t, life will continue to pass you by.”
This one line has changed the way we perceive ourselves, and our understanding of what a person is supposed to be. Eventually, it was misunderstood and misused – the original idea was lost in the ensuing mess that would be made.
The definition of self-love was replaced by narcissism. It wasn’t much later, that everyone wanted to be the hero of their own stories – but weren’t ready to be mere viewers in someone else’s, with all kinds of life experiences.
We are the main characters – but at what cost?
(Source: Quotes Gram)
As we look around, everyone seems to be the same person, be it the way they talk, walk or dress, and no one is left with their own individuality. That’s what aesthetics have done to us. Learners of the Pinterest language, trying to be the cool one and stand out; little did they know, that everyone is morphing into the same person in this race, because the fear of missing out has spread through our minds like wildfire, and the constant need to be taken care of has led to people forgetting the idea of personal space, causing our problems to multiply.
Is it mental illness, or physical? Perhaps it is one – perhaps it is both..
Let’s not forget Narcissus, the man who faced the fate of death, all because he was so self-consumed that he drowned himself. People today are rowing the same boat, unaware of the fact that they’ll drown too – eventually. This tangible narcissism, the idea of just “me” and “I’m right (you’re wrong)” makes everyone forget who they are, and where they belong. The idea of being vulnerable swept the world off its feet and it started to seem as if being vulnerable about oneself can get them the attention of others.Talking about mental health, anxiety issues, etc. is a powerful tool that can be used to start discussions and destigmatize these issues. However, it has become a double-edged sword, with people tokenizing serious issues to further their own interests.
Reflect, lest you drown in your own reflections.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons; Caravaggio’s Narcissus)
The eyes are a window into one’s soul. Heads down while apologising, and communicate our feeling with a single look; but today, in this self-consumed environment, no one is really willing to be vulnerable. Likewise, we have become so consumed in bettering ourselves, that we forget to consider those around us, and what impact our decisions will have on them. Without thinking twice, we just want to do what suits us, what we want, because ultimately, that’s what gives us joy and a sense of control.
Is that anything to actually aim for?
Acceptance, especially of our faults, has lost its importance. Looking at ourselves in the mirror, one thing is for sure – we are losing our individual identities in this race for complete, unanimous approval – and it isn’t taking us anywhere but to the deepest pits of despair, making it hard to look up, and climb out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.
This is the wake-up call for everyone – to burst their bubble and start looking for their actual selves, and not what the world sees. In the end, it doesn’t matter who we are in the eyes of the world. It matters what we are in our own eyes. That realisation isn’t a call that comes from being the Cool one or the Macho One; it will only come when we really try and look into our souls and ask ourselves one question – What was I made for?
Written by Shubhangi Garg for MTTN
Edited by Rachana Raman for MTTN
Featured image by Rachana Raman for MTTN