So what if I AM Sadness?

“Sadness, sadness, look here. You’re totally sadness.” I look up briefly, giving him my most supremely irritated look, the one reserved for annoying siblings. He kept insisting as I watched the film, It’s you, it’s you.

With every passing moment, I denied this. I am not always sad, I have other emotions, I don’t only sit around in some kind of existentialist funk. (Granted, I do get that way sometimes. ) With the idea of myself as “Sadness” reinforced constantly, it kept me from enjoying the movie as much. And isn’t that a huge problem? Other people labeling us makes us so aware of what we are and aren’t that we stop enjoying things, and it sucks.

Inside Out had been out for a while, I just hadn’t got around to watching it until this weekend. I wanted to watch it. I was really excited after watching the trailer, but somehow that feeling fizzled out as I heard more about it. I knew that it was bound to be disappointing in some way. It didn’t help that my brother had already watched it and any reference to it ended with my grumpy face and his smug irritating expression out in full force.

It was just a film, but it took on this massive topic, EMOTIONS, and the  emotions of a tween, can you imagine? It was a task not many people could have taken on, but those little animated figures worked really hard to make it seem real and yet fun. It was an interesting film, sort of like Osmosis Jones, but quite naturally, centered in this decade. With its basis in the human mind, Inside Out wasn’t like any other animated film I’ve seen.

Though it was definitely a children’s film, it was so popular among adults. From the feed of a psychiatrist I know, to an  uncle somewhere in my family tree, Facebook posts popped up for a couple of weeks after it came out here. It was not a phenomena, certainly not the way Frozen was, and it seems to have gone to the place where a lot of animated movies go. That list of movies teachers find appropriate for 9-year-olds, but interesting enough to show 13-year-olds as well.

I don’t know why this happens. Why don’t we ever want to re-watch these animated films the same way we do some dabba action film? There are exceptions of course, the Despicable Mes, the Kung Fu Pandas, and a couple of others that seem to have escaped the watch-once-and-don’t-repeat instructions.

Maybe it has to do with labels too, we don’t want to be outside of the popular culture of our age-group. Watching these films once is acceptable, but loving them as much as The Avengers is just not done. Or are we just too old to enjoy a bright bubbly world, Imagination Land and Bing-Bong’s song? Seems unlikely.

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After school, everyday of the week

School is over and we get home in the heat that I don’t remember particularly well. The boys talk, I listen, and as we pull up in their car I look at you. You are at the door. Somehow you were always there, waiting for us. I get out and am happy to be home. After washing away the sticky-sweaty day of children, we eat the yummy things you made for us. You always made it fun with your silly accents, and as we played with our food I was happy.

We were never messy, just silly, the lot of us. Serving ourselves, acting grown-up. How badly I wanted to be grown-up back then, driving that car like your best friend. Her Reva was a fantasy for me, somehow that has stayed with me, from age 8 to 18, it was a toy I longed for.

I think back, I remember the macaroni, the little samosas, the bakes, the meals you made so lovingly. What I remember more was the time you spent with us. The games we played. The kids’ shows you sat through. The art projects we embarked on. The visits to the park. The train journeys we spent hours of our lives on. The pooris we made together. The stories you read us. All the times you listened when I came home sad, the way you didn’t make my problems small. I remember those days.

It seems so long ago. Our roles have shifted. We talk to each other about our days, it is different. My thoughts are my own. You share more, I share less, but the balance has worked itself out. I am not a child, but I am your child. I cannot and do not want to forget that, even though you make me want to sometimes.