To be honest, it started with my ears suffering from JLo tinnitus. I don’t remember how many times MTV played that studio-modulated voice, but it sure felt like there was no other song on the planet. And who can forget the tinny drone of Y2K.
Through the books and films I had been exposed to, somehow, I always felt that the turn of a century was a thing of great significance, something that by its sheer rarity was filled with romance, promise and the sound of humanity’s progress. And here I was, here we were, at the turn of a millenium. Stuff of sf and legend. Listening to JLo. And the worst of it was, I didn’t really mind JLo.
I was a high-school boy in small-town India. And so, I didn’t mind Bryan Adams either.
A decade has passed since those days. We are well entrenched in the 21st Century. Yet, too close to the century gone by to truly feel a part of the one we live in. And for us, the men and women born in the ’80s, it is especially difficult to seperate the two. After all, these dates are but numbers. The true markers of the passage of time are the warm, dark, forbidden afternoons in “her” room, the crushing weight of textbooks not understood, of choosing not to study something ever again, of long goodbyes and first glances. Of school farewells and last days. Of college first days and the first slide down the stairs. Of feeling alone and scared in a massive city which ebbs and flows. Of taxi rides and the thrill of being a “first-bencher”. Of milestone fights and screaming tantrums. Of words we regret every day of our lives, and moments we live by every day of our lives. Of understanding that nothing is forever, yet some things are. Of being broke but happy, of mess food and train station chai, of names whispered and of names screamt hoarsely into pillows, of finding yourself, of looking into and finding a stranger in the mirror.
Chances, are, that like me, if you went to high-school and college during the last decade, the 21st Century began with a hell of a bang. And to hell with JLo.