06 December, 2020

Mani Shankar Aiyar

Jitender Gupta
Mani Shankar Aiyar

Eighteen was the discovery of Liberty.
And, alas, of Responsibility.
Liberty from school schedules
And Prefects and Monitors and all things grim,
And NEVER having to go on to a sports field again.
Responsibility—to oneself
And one’s hopelessly uncertain future.

Liberty to cut classes
And head out to stir a doleful cup of coffee
While summoning up the courage
To greet the vaguely-met girl at the next table.
Eighteen was when she brightly called out, “Hi, Mani”
And the guy behind muttered,
“Killer, yaar”!

Eighteen was crashing the TeenAge Christmas party
At the Gymkhana
Through a rear toilet door
Obligingly unlocked by a friend.

Eighteen was the horror of learning that
Nutan was marrying someone else.
Eighteen was discovering that I too could have a puff
To match Dev Anand’s.

Eighteen was losing the tickets on the train



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Mani Shankar Aiyar

Latest Magazine

December 14, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section