I was very uncool in high school. Sure, I had a lot of friends, I was decent in academics, I knew stuff..
But, I wasn’t cool.
Conform-ism : Phase 1 – Follow the leader
The cool people had the latest gadgets, the latest Bikes. They had it going.
Quite obviously, there was a template for cool-ness. Only if I follow the template, assiduously follow the unwritten rules, I’d be Cool.
Cool people tended to have nice rides. OK, Car I won’t get, so the pursuit of buying a new bike started.
When he says ‘No’..
When the pursuit of attaining Cool-vana started, it was all about what the coolest kid on the block had.
I entered many years of my life without getting the new bike, or the latest Cellphone.
Conform-ism : Phase 2 – Actions speak louder than words
Then, the realisation dawned that having things are not cool; Simultaneously, another realisation began to take shape that the way one acts, the way we behave is what defined cool-ness.
So, I started doing things what cool people did.
I used the latest slangs.
I updated my Facebook status every single day.
If people don’t know what I am doing, whats the whole fucking point of being cool?
You can’t be cool in a bloody vacuum.
I have to share my cool-ness. It’s the only logical thing to do.
The high lasted for a while. People actually thought the carefully calibrated social media image is the real me.
Then, the cool people disappeared. Vanished!
The people were still there, they still behaved the way they did, their vacation pictures of a year ago were still commented upon – especially of the hot chicks.
Almost overnight, the cool-people started appearing uncool. Every act was so predictable; every status update seemed so passé.
Everyone you knew were on their quest to be cool..
Cool-vana, you realised, was still eluding you.
You realise that what you realised earlier was a mistake and you start to realise something else.
You start asking some serious questions about yourself.
I gotta get out of here!
Looking around, most of the people who appear cool now are, to put it simply – different. I can vaguely recollect an incident 10 years ago of a guy I saw who looked so cool on his new Bullet. This guys knows what he is doing, understands what he wants, finds out what drives him and goes for it.
People react differently at this point.
Some go out to buy their proverbial Bullet.
Some start looking for some other cool thing that is supposed to (re)define them and their rebellion. Blogs are created, Cameras bought, Facebook profile pictures changed, sometimes entire accounts deleted; trips are planned, poems are written, books are bought, breaks from jobs are taken.
Rebels are pretty cool. Granted. But, sadly the entire Human Race is engineered so well that a lot of people around you start doing the same things.
Because, like you, they are going through the same shit in life. As much as we all hate to admit it, a lot of people that we know are in the very same boat as us.
We are NOT different. People who think they are so damn different, are in denial… or, just idiots.
Everybody can’t be a Rebel, or at least not so many people!
Digging deep down ones realizes this act of Rebellion is a charade. More embarrassingly, it was an act, to be witnessed by people around us.
Exploring further, this was yet another pathetic attempt to prove to others how cool I was.
The quest to appear cool has suddenly become uncool. What was cool is uncool, what is cool might not necessarily be accepted by all to be cool.
The Rebellion has lost. The Sith have triumphed. Or, have they?
After much soul-searching, the cool-ness is still elusive.
A decision is made : To give up everything. To up the illusion of control, the mind-numbing desire to be accepted, to impress. A decision is made to search. But, this time the search will be not be to be considered cool, but to be content.
Being considered by others to be cool, hip and popular is nothing, in the absence of contentment. Once, this illumination of the mind is near, things begin to happen very rapidly. The mind relaxes, the soul becomes thirsty again. The need for contentment brings along with it, the need to be happy.(Too preachy)
If we were to decide to go do lean on a wall, at the risk of appearing uncool, we should go ahead and do it.
After all, if I appear uncouth or uncivil or downright weird, so what?
Its better to face facts : No one man can ever be accepted by all and sundry. There’ll always be some dick-head who will hate you, who will disapprove of you, who might even have dreams of stabbing you in your sleep.
All this while, here I thought there is no one single mantra for coolness. During the writing of this piece, I realised(a lot of realisations for one blog piece).. I realised, there could be one simple phrase which will capture the mood perfectly, which will convey the essence of this post in 3 simple words, arranged in a preordained manner, which appears intelligible, yet so simple that it appeals to the most dumbest of beings.
Most importantly, it makes a lot of sense.
I realise compromises have to be made. Life is not so simple as to allow 3 simple words to define it.
I digress badly.
I am forced to conclude the pursuit is not worth it. Cool-ness is subjective. One man’s Cool is another man’s “Oh, that’s disgusting”!
We all can’t be cool; In fact nobody can be cool, all the time.
Being happy is cool, being content is ultra-cool..