I am an incorrigible romantic. I think the world is beautiful and every thing that is nice and lovely outweighs the dark and unnecessary. I am hopelessly idealistic. Or I was.

I find it easy not to associate myself with anything that interferes my peace of mind. If I want to sleep a little extra, I will. I won’t worry that my bus will go away and I’ll have to spend extra money to get to work. I have always slept on time back in college before an exam at the cost of leaving out stuff to study. I didn’t see why I would want to push myself to get extra marks. I find it easy to let someone have their way, anywhere—in a queue, in class, at the workplace—and not push or shove. I have had a simple policy; live and let live. All of it was high and sundry until now.

Suddenly, a lot has changed. I find myself worrying about a “future” and a “bank balance”. I care about catching a bus on time. I make things inconvenient for myself. I try to look at the stars above and fervently hope that now that I’ve pulled up my socks to run after my dreams, destiny will keep pace as well. I think of what would be if not “this”, what can be if not “that”. I think about life and death. Death more often, because somehow it’s like I’m in a race to my grave and I’d like to build everything I wanted to before jumping in there. I can’t write poetry about floating clouds anymore. They aren’t as “romantic” as I used to think they were. I can see them in the sky and reminisce of a girl who used to write poetry about the orange tinge on the sky’s cheekbone and the carpenter shaving off wood on the roadside. Earlier, these things were poetic, now they are less poetic. There is a train to catch. There is a target to be reached. There is food to be had in measure. There is health-consciousness. There is planning; of swings in the backyard and of spiral staircases in a country home. And it’s not dreaming anymore, it is planning. There is an orderliness that is almost fatiguing. There is fatigue that is almost uninspiring. There are books to be leafed over as they have been left half way and not been touched. However, there is a date that passes by and I don’t know what it is; for this I am thankful!

I wonder where has the romance gone; out of life, out of stories, out of romance itself? What happened to the chaos, the craziness, and the observations of the rigmarole of life and finding beauty in them? What happened to still spinning dreams ‘cos there was still time? What happened to eating out without worrying about a bill? What happened to looking at the gravel beneath my feet and feeling happy that grass grew nearby? What happened?

I know. I grew up. I let the summer dry my spirit and settle my soul.

There will be rain...

Fortunately, I also know there will be unlearning and re-learning! There is still time; the rain has yet to come and wash away the orderliness of life and give us a chance to grow again. The drops of water are yet to form a force that will sweep away all the dust settled away on the settled Earth and the dreams we saw while we slept on it. There will be rivers that will flow and give movement to the tales that have paused at their banks. There will be logjams that will soak us and we shall leave behind our cares in those waters. There will be rain, and I shall be eight again!

I’m still an incorrigible romantic. I can’t stay old for too long.