Only looks don’t matter

Amrita Prasad
Monday, 21 January 2019

We speak to a few people who have given the #10YearChallenge a meaningful twist

If you are on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, your newsfeed must have been flooded with images of people showing what they looked like 10 years ago, and how they look now. Yes, many people have given in to the temptation of the #10YearChallenge.

The challenge, which has been a rage since last two weeks, stemmed from Facebook’s comparison between our first profile picture and the latest one. Since then, everyone from Hollywood to Bollywood stars, sportspersons, musicians, comedians have taken part in the challenge. 

Chances are that you too have already taken the challenge yourself and shown the world how you have changed or have still stayed same (aged gracefully, courtesy nutrition and fitness). However, many people have taken a dig at the challenge calling it superficial and pompous. A few millennials and youngsters didn’t take part in the challenge because for them, how they have grown mentally matters more. Their posts depicted issues that concerned them, bonds that grew stronger, and how maturity and wisdom meant everything to them. Here, they tell us what the challenge meant for them and how they gave it more meaning, so that it didn’t stay just a fad.

EVOLVED AS A PERSON
“The picture that I posted with my friend Shaoni signifies how our friendship has just got better with time, like an old wine. The image on the left (old) isn’t too clear, whereas the one on the right (the current one) is clearer and brighter. I think it indicates how we are more clear about our bond and know what our goals are in life. 

On the personal front, the last decade has been life changing. From deciding to move out of my hometown, to settling down in a new city, from losing out important people to meeting new people, and getting married, a lot has happened. I have became more practical, knowing that nothing is constant. I am living every moment to the fullest.”
- Abhishek Bose, Noida

RELATIONS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE IMPROVED
“I didn’t fall for this fad although I was tempted a couple of times. I made a collage of pictures and thought of posting it to show how stylish I look now. On second thoughts, I thought it was stupid and didn’t post it. I feel we have been feeding the world with our personal information almost everyday, so why seek validation by posting how we looked a decade ago or look now! 

I think more than telling the world how beautiful or handsome we look, it is important that we become better human beings and show a little bit of humanity to the world — even if it is not a part of any social media challenge. 

If we show or express how we have changed as a human being for better by becoming more compassionate, patient, humble or helpful, it will certainly benefit us and others. 

In the past decade, I have learnt the art of forgiving others. I don’t live with any baggage or think ill about others. Since I have become more compassionate and humble, I am more willing to help people in my capacity and show my gratitude to those who are there for me. So my relationship with friends and parents has improved tremendously!”
- Swapnaleena Paul, Cooch Behar

INSPIRE WITH YOUR ACTIONS
“When the entire world is determined to show how they’ve aged gracefully, I feel not many are interested in knowing your transformation journey unless you are inspiring or have made some impact. 

I thought of giving the challenge a meaningful twist. I started collecting pictures of people who trended on the internet for their noble deed or for making a difference to somebody’s life. Then I started posting them one day at a time. 

Some of those people included a beggar who lent money to a girl to travel, people who planted trees in their neighbourhood and those who came up with innovative ideas that can impact the world. I think if there is a challenge that makes a difference to people, I am all game. But definitely not the one where one shows one’s abs and biceps. 
- Zameer Ahmed, Pune

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