We all remember Powerpuff girls, right? Where the title song had this catchphrase “sugar, spice and everything nice”- not that we can say ‘everything’ nice but yes living life in your 20s is like eating biryani and then occasionally chewing on a disgusting piece of elaichi because you were busy looking into the next person’s plate! Yes, your 20s is a time when you compare, contemplate and reflect on a lot of things. It’s a decade where you feel the urge to make your life the way you dreamt it to be. Navigating through your 20s is like how Paulettan teaches the old Nair how to drive except you don’t have Paulettan.
Life seems like halwa and mathi curry
This might have made you cringe, but there’s no better way to put it. Your 20s are going to be a collection of your weirdest moments, most foolish takes and countless “pattipoy aliya” moments. Not just that. Life is fair enough to also give you a lot of “ellaam sheriyaaum” (LDF vannaalum illelum) and “ni super aan ketto!” moments which fuel your drive. Most importantly, no matter how old you grow, this will be the treasure trove of memories that you will come back to when you tell stories to your children and grandchildren. Making mistakes and learning from them become a part of life and you attain more confidence in yourself with every stride you take.
Also Read: The Small Joys of a Malayali Childhood
Nammukk vayassaay, veettukaarkkum!
It is not until you reach your 20s that this fact strikes hard on your face. As we pop Champagnes on birthday after birthday, we slowly realise that there is a soon-to-be senior citizen couple in the house. Catching sight of their medical reports or accompanying them to the medical store to stock on their regulars, we realise that they are ageing too. More than ever, “korch samaadanam theruo?” makes a lot of sense now, not that we give them any though (hehe!). This is also the time when we have fewer fights with our siblings and try to team up with them and have profound discussions. We take up unsaid, unwritten vows that we’ll stick together like leeches on a dog’s fur no matter how hard life shakes us up!
Settling – your dues and your life
The mid to late 20s is the time when you think twice before responding to “Ingne okke nadanna mathiyo?” with a casual or rather careless, “Oh mathiye!” The cliche HR question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” begins to look like a ‘kamathiya otturuli’ and that crap sends a chill down your spine. Realisation dawns that you can’t always run away from your problems or dodge them like Kattuparamban chettan dodges vellam. You need to sit down, deal with them like an ‘adult’ (child within me is crying like a maniac), and find your niche. Still, no pressure because there are people like Col. Sanders who found their niche at the ripe old age of 65. Just saying.
Relationships – on and off personal space
Relationships needn’t be just romantic. The 20s come with a lot of responsibilities and also a lot of contacts. Be it friends, acquaintances, classmates, or colleagues you sure meet a lot of people on a daily basis. This is also the time when you realise that you don’t really need a crowd around you. A few good friends who become each other’s cheerleaders is all you need in life. On the career front, you are expected to maintain a certain decorum which you had detested as ‘white collar prahasanam’ when you were in college but lo and behold, look at where life has brought you! Professional interactions and financial dealings are some of the bonuses you didn’t ask for but came along with financial independence and security.
No no, not that ‘thoranam’ with feathers and strings. The 20s is the time when you chase your dreams and hopefully catch them too. It is also the time when we realise that there are more hurdles in the journey; ones we never imagined. Mid-twenties prepare you with the assets you need to realise your dreams – money, contacts, and information. It is the time when we achieve little goals that seemed far-fetched not so long ago.
This life defining decade is usually exciting, energetic, and yet soul-draining and exhausting at the same time. There are times when all we see is a dead end with no room to manevoure. There are instances when we wish to go back in time to set some things straight. But we know better than that. We’ve been strong enough to come this far, we do have the strength to go beyond this too. As the saying goes, “ethaayalum nananju, ini kulichitt keraam!”