Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I know ‘maturification’ is not a word. But how else would one describe a state where reality intersects with fantasy? What term could best define these bizarre cross roads we keep running into in life? Which sentence can do justice to this never ending process of making a thousand quick and tough decisions every passing day? I know we all were told growing up was hard but not once were we made aware of how it was much more than that. Turns out despite the height of a person coming to halt growing itself never finds an end.

I hate it when people start preaching to me about the philosophies of adult life. The infinite ways in which life is not fair and how it puts us in situations that do not make sense. We get it. Maybe partially but we still get it. But is that enough? Does hearing about something so obscure really prepare us get through this rather turbulent phase of our lives? What should we do to try and keep ourselves sane and satisfied? Where is it that real content of the mind resides? Maybe tracing our past will help construct our present and future. So here is my attempt to do the same.

Phase 1: Explore

Each decade comes with its own set of protocols. The first ten years of our life is all about exploration. We are new to almost everything that moves. As a matter of fact we are new to everything that doesn’t too. But we are blissfully unaware of anything else except our immediate needs – Food, Fun, Sleep and Love. That pretty much sums up our basic instincts during that phase. Everyone who smiles at us is a friend and everyone who is not our parent is an uncle or an aunty. Life is so simple.

Phase 2: Experiment

Then comes the worse part of human growth – the second decade. The ages between 11 and 20. I think this is the slot where personality and character finds foundation. This is the phase where individuals are free to experiment all they want with themselves and others. They can experiment with everything from cigarettes to pornography. They push the envelope of rules and regulations with almost everyone. They are put into stereotypical groups – the nerdy, the cool, the boring, the lonely, the weird, the stupid, the bad and the ugly. All of us, invariably, fall into this complex group of branches. We struggle day after day to be recognized or to be left alone. Either way by the time we are 20…we are who we are today. No major changes can be expected of us from this point. Maturification, as it seems, has already begun.

Phase 3: Expand

This definition we seek for ourselves never really finds a solid shape. In fact, the experimentation phase is just scratching the surface of continuously challenging ourselves with new ways of misery. Our connections and relationships with people around us start getting a clearer priority during this decade. The problem with this phase, as I stand at the end of it myself, is being able to constantly re-define your associations. People who once you thought were great might not be the best after all. Your ‘idols’ in whatever your passion is come out as flawed individuals who make you seem foolish. The real challenge in this phase seems to be to know when to say the right thing and how. The true meaning of being a rationale adult seems to be feeling secure and sane. The ongoing chaotic struggle with our inner selves and our exterior presentation gets fought bitterly each wake moment. Keeping that balance seems like an impossible talk. But…as most of our ancestors did, we know we will get through. We have to.

Phase 4: Everything Else

I am still wondering about this one since it has not passed me by. Maturification happens at various stages and leaves us with more questions than answers. A process that seems so complex that a small write up like this one can never do justice to it. The unpredictability is probably what makes this journey so unique since one never knows what to expect. No amount of pre-planning ever works out despite having a dozen fail-safe methods in place. Venting it out, like I just did, might help keep that sanity factor between reality and fantasy.

A factor which is quite vital once you are dealing with ‘everything else’.


2 reflections:

Abhijeet said...

Another Simple and Nice Article.

But if here are some concerns of mine on the term "Maturification"

1) Maturity is the state of mind which is not depend on the age but the experience.

2) If maturity is being serious , forgetting childhood innocence then I dont want this maturification.

3) Can't we have maturity plus innocence.


Thanks for the article. Now I am addicted to your articles.

shakri said...

Thank you once again Abhijeet. Here are my responses to your queries.

1) Maturity is the state of mind which is not depend on the age but the experience.

Correct. And by noting the stages of age I have tried to capture how maturity is still an abstract thing for the individual. No one knows for sure how much of it is actually happening and when.

2) If maturity is being serious , forgetting childhood innocence then I dont want this maturification.

Amen to that but contrary to that maturity and being serious are too different things. Being mature is knowing WHEN to be serious.

3) Can't we have maturity plus innocence.

Of course we can. A part of every soul is always for the innocence within us that never fades away. One of the reasons why I focused on the inconsistency of how we deal with our 'mature levels' in terms of age is due to that decision making process of when to let our innocence out.

Your words of feedback continue to inspire me. Looking forward to seeing you again.