18 Year Old

that sums it up

You have never heard of Serge Gnabry? Right? Nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t need to reconsider how you read your newspaper and hogging on to social media habits. There is a small number of people in this world who knows him. But some people who know him, they adore him.

Let me introduce him to you. Serge is a German footballer who currently plays for Arsenal Football Club in England. He is 18 years old, an upcoming player and still finding his feet among the best of the trade. His counterparts rate him highly and predict a wonderful future in the world’s most loved game in the coming years.

A couple of months ago, due to high number of injuries in the squad, this young man got a chance to play in the first team and he did not disappoint. He scored his first ever senior goal for Arsenal in the league. And it was a goal under tough circumstances against a very good team. The delight was on his face was very obvious. On my face, apart from delight, I had an expression that said –dude, he is still 18. That is 8 years younger than me. What the hell you were doing then?

I still remember the days when I was tumbling towards my 18. I used the word ‘tumbling’ because I was very unsure about my future. My engineering entrance marks were totally messed up. My future was uncertain and my Driving License test was due. (Yeah, I am one of those individuals in India who appeared for a driving license test. Proud). On top of that, my parents had an option for me if I flunked in every possible engineering college exam- a mobile shop (the thought still shudders me).

That was me in 18. Last 12 years before I reached 18, I was in school, trying to make a future that, I believe, was never there. The books that read Newton’s law and Archimedes’ principles never interested me. The integration and differentiation were useless and Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen always blew above my head. At the same time, Serge was lifting weights, running madly, honing his skills so that his first steps become a spectacle. And buoy how good he did it.

This young man, at 18, had announced himself to the biggest stage possible. Arsenal fans always knew about him, it was just a matter of when he will make it big. And he made it in style. At the moment, he is the second youngest scorer for Arsenal. Can life get better? Yes will always be an answer to this question but for a person who have grown up dreaming a future like this, he has every right to be on cloud 9.

Sometimes, I really wonder when is the right age to start thinking about who you will gonna be? Some kids start at the age of 11-12 when their parents enroll them in “Super Foundation Course for IIT JEE 2020” (I pity those kids and I hate their parents). Anyhow, that is a step. And then there are many who, even after college, are unsure. MBA in London? Banking job? Civils? It’s funny that while some has plenty of options, some struggle to go after the only thing they can do. And 18 is just a number, I think. It’s all in the mind. If what you want is decided in your head, you will get it.

Shahrukh Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Saif Ali Khan, Gautam Gambhir, and M S Dhoni once said- It’s your life, make it large. At the age of 18, majority of us were, are and will be mugging to make a future that will give us few million per year but no time to spend it. Some will be Serge Gnabry (remember the name) who will arrive on the biggest platform in a way that witnesses won’t forget. Yeah, he has made it large.

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