Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What happens in 20s stays forever

Newton proposed the Binomial Theorem at 22. That was also the age at which Charles Darwin gave up on his religious dreams by embarking on a ship to Galapagos Island, ultimately paving the path for modern science with his Theory of Evolution. Bhagat Singh kissed the noose at the age of 23, thus patenting the title Shaheed (martyr) for himself. Einstein proposed his groundbreaking Theory of Relativity at 26. John Keats was gone even before he turned 26 while leaving behind a body of fabulous poetry. Hawking proposed Black Hole theory at 28. Ramanujan's greatest work occurred in his mid-20s. There are a lot of people from the world of entertainment too who left a mark in their 20s. Be it Tupac who was killed at the age of 25 or James Dean who crashed at 24. Or the whole members of the esteemed Club 27. Heath Ledger drew his finest portrayal as The Joker before bidding adieu at 28. Of course, not everybody had to die in their 20s but the few names that are mentioned above (and the thousands of names that aren't) achieved the most in their 20s. Siddhartha (before turning into Buddha) left his palace at the age of 29. Schubert might have died at 31 but the reason why we still remember him is because of his work from his last decade. It's mostly true nowadays for a sportsperson to mature in their 20s and dusk away in the 30s. But shouldn't that be true for everyone else too?

The point is, if you are 30, like i am, you don't have the luxury of the thriving 20s anymore. And you should be asking yourself a very tough question: If you die today while walking on the footpath (crossing the road can be fatal), what will you be remembered for? Or for that matter, forgotten for? What has been your potential? Did you manage to convert to kinetic? Even if you don't care about legacy, there are things that go beyond you. It could be anything from a design of a building that you came up with to a programming code you wrote for an app to an anthology nobody seems to decipher yet. Since i haven't stayed true to my original before-30 plan of earning a PhD in linguistics/anthropology or writing at least one fine book, i can only hope i'm not remembered as that guy who wrote THAT chai-biskoot tweet.

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