I witnessed the death of an experiment when I saw the ridiculous disappointment in a parent's eyes when his son told him that he wanted to become a cartoonist.
There are two kinds of people, the ones who love their school-days and believe those were the best days of their lives and the ones who love their college days. I belong to the first category, I still miss school. Somedays I dream of waking up as a child again from a terrible nightmare about being a grown up and running to school. College was a disappointment except for that one brilliant but eccentric teacher who taught us film-making and that old, magnificent library.
Small things return to me from time to time, like the book 'To the Lighthouse' that I once read. I was a maladjusted undergraduate when I picked up a cheap edition of this remarkable book from a road-side bookseller. But the moment I started reading it, a whole new world burst open upon me, I stepped into an avenue of new experiences and a new level of aesthetics that I was unaware of previously. Reality faded along with the petty and trivial jabberings of my classmates and the shallowness and maliciousness that surrounded me. Suddenly nothing seem to matter, all those trivial things that the world thought was important seem to crumble and melt.
It was the second part, 'Time Passes' that filled me with so much of something incomprehensible, a rich sense of mellowness and nostalgia and a desire to love, protect and live in that beauty of everydayness. From then on there was no turning back, I regained that sense of wonder I had as a child, I realised that adulthood was optional, I may grow old, but I refuse to grow up and be sucked into that ridiculous bigoted world.
"So loveliness reigned and stillness, and together made the shape of loveliness itself, a form from which life had parted; solitary like a pool at evening, far distant, seen from a train window, vanishing so quickly that the pool, pale in the evening, is scarcely robbed of its solitude, though once seen. Loveliness and stillness clasped hands in the bedroom, and among the shrouded jugs and sheeted chairs even the prying of the wind, and the soft nose of the clammy sea airs, rubbing, snuffling, iterating, and reiterating their questions —”Will you fade? Will you perish?”— scarcely disturbed the peace, the indifference, the air of pure integrity, as if the question they asked scarcely needed that they should answer: we remain.
Nothing it seemed could break that image, corrupt that innocence, or disturb the swaying mantle of silence which, week after week, in the empty room, wove into itself the falling cries of birds, ships hooting, the drone and hum of the fields, a dog’s bark, a man’s shout, and folded them round the house in silence. Once only a board sprang on the landing; once in the middle of the night with a roar, with a rupture, as after centuries of quiescence, a rock rends itself from the mountain and hurtles crashing into the valley, one fold of the shawl loosened and swung to and fro. Then again peace descended; and the shadow wavered; light bent to its own image in adoration on the bedroom wall..."
- Virginia Woolf (To The Lighthouse)