November 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
So I stepped out of the café and was no farther than the street corner that absurdity struck me in the face and my calculations wandered beyond good and evil. So I completely ignored the green light and kept walking. The exterminating angel grabbed me by the arm and with an angry nod thundered:
“Why! Are you lost? Have you stayed away like a child?”
November 2, 2011 § 5 Comments
NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing marathon which is organized every year in November. This November, I have decided to be a part of it – or have resolved to do so. This post is the first of the thirty posts through which I’ll put up my novel to-be (well, so the plan goes.)
Here’s to my first attempt at long fiction then.
A dream in the countryside – I
He gazed silently at the lush fields around him; at the wheat fields whooshing silently in the evening breeze. It was perfect, flawless – he couldn’t discern a single thing that was wrong. And yet, he was going.
Standing in the last moments of the twilight, he felt he was part of the fields. Of the gold that glistened through the ripe fields, even in the last moments of the day; felt like another plant along the borders which protected the planes through thick and thin, against winds and floods. For a fleeting moment, he thought he couldn’t move, became one with the ground, rooted deep into it and strong and upright because of it. But the feeling passed. Something more overwhelming took charge; a sudden urge to break free, to really see what lies behind the endless breadth of this lush scenery.
The wind was cold with its farewell of late March. He pulled his collar close and wrapped the shawl hung loosely about his shoulder more tightly. The pure wool, woven at known hands, felt warmer; almost like a lover’s hug.
And yet despite all this, despite the feeling of being at home, truly at home, lacked something; something he couldn’t quite put his hand on. And so, he was going. He knew he had to, he had to know other places to find the answer that was so obvious, yet so subtle. His heart perplexed at the prospects of going away but every time, the promise of better learning and the adventurous impulse in him bucked him up. ‘Better, after all, to live here and die’ he would wonder.
His father and his father’s father and many generations hence had toiled here on this land; labored through harsh winters and baking summers, when the plains were dunes of sand and water accessible through the canal. Stretched upon a vast expanse, his family was the proud owner of this land in the countryside. They were almost the elites in this locality, except that even elites in the business of farming can not give up being farmers; even when their wheat and cotton produce is of the best quality and the store-rooms at the back of the old mansion were stockpiled with this produce; even when dozens of tenants would look upon him and others of his family reverently and with fear, for his father was a man of strict principles.
The problem started with the day he was brought ‘the book’ by one of his uncles who had taken a trip to the city, a mysterious place which was very remote and very different from their village – a fantasy land, he decided, from the narrations of his uncle. It was ‘the book’ that sowed the seed for this rebellion and time only nurtured the seed so that when he grew a full young man of powerful arms and ablest stature, he decided that he was going.
‘Going where?!’ his father had found it absurd, almost comic. And had laughed it off in a gulp of buttermilk early one morning. ‘Going where, Abdul? This is the home, the land were we live and die; the land where we have lived and died for centuries’ he had said, patting his back affectionately, for no matter how strict he was, he considered his only son the greatest gift of his life – the continuation of his creed and the promise for good care in olden days.
‘To the place beyond where the sun sets, beyond the high tree-tops and at the edge of the wheat fields’ Abdul had thought, wishfully. But he dared not work his eloquence to respond to his father’s inquiry. And thus, it was the mother, the dear mother, with whom he brought up the matter. Her response was even stronger. She took it to heart and spent many long days, grieving and crying, asking him to abandon his ‘strange’ ideas.
But something had set on his mind; a permanency which wouldn’t let any emotion seep through, deep enough to alter a resolve. It was like his heart had almost turned perforated, releasing everything that stood in contrast to his ambition, no matter how important or extra-ordinary. And he would wonder how he came to be this – a man divorced of sentimentalism, or for most part thus. Perhaps it was the centuries of mindless toiling and farming, in itself quite detached from any emotionalism, that had come to bear its affect upon the mind which, now evolved along the lines, could no longer agree to allow anything but the stoic, frank arrogance upon a fixed idea.
Two summers had passed since he set afloat the idea – which, first related to others in the family in hushed tones, was an open discussion among the young and old. Old men could be heard discussing it in evening sit-ins, each coming up with his theory of how it came to be. Some of them would call it the evil outcome of a lack of ‘proper’ upbringing by Abdul’s father, the proper roughly translating to a fashion that also encompasses physical coercion in these rural regions. Of course some of them had their grind to axe, being disgruntled at the expensive rate at which Abdul’s father sold them tube-well water or because they didn’t like him reaping a bountiful produce year after year while many in the village had suffered in cotton seasons.
But this was past now. The matter had been discussed, excited many, grieved some and had become a mute reality, something which everyone was forced to acknowledge now. Two summers had passed since and come winter, Abdul was all set to leave. He would take long walks and draw deep breathes, trying to take in as much of the setting as possible. He never planned on taking a permanent leave, no. Rather, he feared he may lose the ability to appreciate this scenery, this exquisite setting that had mesmerized him since ever; he feared the land beyond the high tree-tops may be too beautiful and when he returns home one day, he may find nothing here but something much less enticing in comparison. He yet couldn’t think of ways in which his home may lose its charm to him, having no scale to weigh his present assessments against; but he could imagine. And he felt it close and happening anytime now. For he was leaving. And so he reached for the wisps of wheat scattered across the fields that had gone through harvesting already.
The night before he was to leave, he had dinner with his family. And although his mother had cooked a special meal in home-made ghee and the bread that went with it was heavily buttered, the dinner was not a pleasant affair altogether. Abdul could feel a tension, almost tangible, that hung in the air and upon the nerves of everyone present. For his part, he felt his stomach somersault every time he thought of his journey-to-be. His mother, though very lovingly had sat by his side; yet he could see a certain gloom glistening in her eyes. He wanted to embrace her, to hug her tight and tell her of all that the wind had spoken to him and the birds; and ‘the book’, the magic of it all. He was sure she would be equally mesmerized when he told her all of it, of the unspoken words that filled an unseen chasm, somewhere deep inside. He wished he could hold her hand and tell her about this so she would rejoice in the remembrance of this feeling, this moment when he does that, for all the time when he is gone. But he couldn’t bring himself to commit the act – and silently, disinterestedly, munched on the pieces of bread and mused about such and similar thoughts.
His father ate in silence. Although he was known as a proud man who trod the horse for miles without any fatigue even when well into his late-sixties, a man who would run from field to field during plantation and then toil harder still during harvest; although he had been all that, something had changed in him now. His shoulder drooped unnaturally, so much so that Abdul thought it make him look strange – slightly ugly. And his face – in the dim pallor of the lantern, he felt that his face had grown leaner. And numerous streaks of white had grown in his hair. He was shocked to learn he hadn’t noticed the change. Was he too obsessed with his idea that he was oblivious to all that happened around, even to those who mattered a lot to him, he asked himself. And it frightened him – a passion that can make one overlook such things can have whatever other effects, he couldn’t gather his courage to admit.
So the dinner had been a disaster in all. He walked to his room with a heavy heart and slightly aggrieved, at what exactly he couldn’t tell. Somewhere in that room where he had dinner, had suffocated him. And while he was gloomy and unhappy, it only agitated him further to break free. He knew his parents wouldn’t sleep tonight but that didn’t bother him.
October 29, 2011 § 6 Comments
I recently read Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs. Dalloway.’ It’s not a mere novel – it’s a new genre of English fiction; an entirely new style, highly innovative and unique. I must say Woolf was a truly gifted writer. Here are a few things that made it an immediate favorite for me.
Stream of consciousness:
Woolf’s technique of narrating anything, an idea or a notion or a scene or thought, is through a ‘stream of consciousness.’ And this stream, although made up of disparate notions at times, is continuous. You can barely discern when one streak of thought ends and the other starts. And the way she narrates things through this technique is exquisite!! Here’s an example I would really like to cite,
He lay back in his chair, exhausted but upheld. He lay, resting, waiting, before he again interpreted, with effort, with agony, to mankind. He lay very high, on the back of the world. The earth thrilled beneath him. Red flowers grew through his flesh ; their stiff leaves rustled by his head. Music began clanging against the rocks up here. It is a motor horn in the street, he muttered; but up here, it cannoned from rock to rock, divided, met in shocks of sound which rose in smooth columns (that music should be visible was a discovery) and became an anthem…
She takes us through the perceived reality and then suddenly, we find that we were in the singular reality of a character and not an actual reality. Her characters blur the distinction between reality and fiction and oftentimes, you don’t even realize that you have passed from one to other, so seamless, so perfectly smooth is the transition.
Version of reality:
Most of the characters in ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ have two versions of reality, in generic terms. One version is that perceived by themselves, their understanding of life as it is to them. The other version is what life is to them through others. A reality that is shared, different from the everyday reality they own, and is lot more personal. For instance, Clarissa, Peter Walsh and Sally Seton all go on in their lives, leading a life which is quite normal in a number of ways; that’s the reality each one of them possesses, on his/her own. But there’s another reality, a reality that is much more profound, more meaningful to them, that the three of them share, no matter how removed it is from the present day. And this is what defines them, intrinsically. For instance, even after having strayed across half of the world, Peter Walsh still is in love with Clarissa; a love he can’t deny, neither does he wish to embrace but nonetheless which defines his thoughts.
Importance of characters over the plot:
Woolf, in this novel, doesn’t seem to particularly care about an overall plot; and yet that, in no way, means that the novel lacks in the plot. On the contrary, she weaves the story through her characters who then reveal figments of their past, their part of the story. She then goes on to use this to construct the plot, which although may not be very striking overall, but the characters who are weaving the narrative and their thoughts are extra-ordinary. It is as if she emphasizes more upon the relations of characters to each other rather than worrying about giving her novel a definite story. And these relations do turn out to define her novel more convincingly than the actual story.
Grasping the intangible:
Yes, many authors are honest. But what stands Woolf apart, to me, is that she is honest as well as capable of defining certain emotions which we are very fleetingly cognizant of. She very deftly details such things which seem almost intangible, so fickle is their existence. That’s a craft very few possess and Woolf is very well-versed at it. In fact, if I was asked about what exactly I liked most in this novel, this would be it – the ability to reach deep into the conscience and extracts unsaid things, which often slip away, even through our thoughts, let alone be touched and felt.
‘Mrs. Dalloway’ is considered a classic, one of the greatest novels of the last century – and very rightly so. Reading this novel, for me, was a great learning experience. Especially with the liberties Woolf took with grammatical syntax and the fiction she wrote despite that, she kind of tells you to write if you want to, what you want to and in whatever way you want to; no bounds, no limits placed! And that is very, very inspiring.
October 22, 2011 § 18 Comments
I inhale the air, stale with breaths of the walls
drooping down condescendingly upon lowly mortals
I inhale the wind, gusts and gusts of wind
with its acrid bitterness clinging to my lungs
and sucking the life out of me, blurring the scene
I inhale death, and the sky, wind, the blue and grey, all merge
in a violent shudder of elation
that runs down my spine and is quietly grounded through my feet
And I become one with the earth
and the sun and the moon
and every atom in every soul in the universe
I inhale, a large heaving, like waves of a mighty ocean
rising and falling slowly, grandly, extra-ordinarily
and the feeling kills me, kills me with the beauty of its immensity
I submerge myself, go under the water, rise and go under again
feel the water filling my lungs
purging away the vile shades on them, cleansing -
A life-time of ignoble ignorance
The water fills me, makes me one with itself
and I quietly heave, watch the beautiful bubbles rise in crystal blue
with the rainbow colors of a slanted sunlight, still reaching
still reaching, so deep, so remote,(how I wonder!)
But the wave crashes, with a huge sound, deafening but magnificent
and I am planted along the particles on the beach
the tiniest of all and a part of each
October 15, 2011 § 8 Comments
This article is my contribution to the latest instalment of ‘The Missing Slate.’
To view the actual magazine, click here.
And the direct link to my article is here.
Ever since humans started to live in groups and communities, they began to develop a set of regulations which would govern their way of life. Over millennia, as humanity has evolved, so has its concept of morality. We have come a long way from the moral canons of our ancestors, to devising moral codes with far more rights and freedoms.
The nature of such a moral code for a society is almost always exclusive, with few exceptions. This implies that a certain faction of a society comes out to be better humans that the rest, at least in their own eyes. To reiterate the divisions set by religion, some are pious and the rest are sinners. And the latter are divided into further categories – some are casual ‘sinners’, some are simply at the other end of the spectrum with different points of view and some are downright hell-bound. While the first two stabilize society through an ideological dichotomy, generally those in the latter category are the ones to face the serious consequences of society’s moral verdicts. Such judgement is inevitable, since the moral code brings a scale for judgment which it measures society against. That, consequently, leads to different evaluations of people around the world and their respective placement within a society, whether or not they know it. Such segregation also leads to discriminatory behaviour and stereotypical attitudes against those less elevated on the moral scale. Among those who fall within this domain, prostitutes are perhaps a faction that is universally vilified.
Prostitution is said to be one of the oldest professions. However, a fleeting look at the contemporary world reveals that a certain level of discrimination towards prostitutes exists everywhere. For conservative societies, it is a cantankerous existence that is pushed into a dark, vile corner. And for societies with relatively liberal outfits, though prostitution has been legalised, its employees continue to be disdained and discriminated against.
Stereotypical attitudes toward prostitutes, both men and women, include treating them as worthless human beings, and in doing so, often deprive them of many of their basic human rights. In conservative societies, separate localities have been defined for prostitutes where they must live – if they leave, they can never openly proclaim their profession without becoming a target of taunts and dirty criticism. As such, they cannot engage in any sort of business with other citizens, which means they cannot admit their kids to regular schools, engage in normal activities beyond the limits of their slums or even try to move on to other means of livelihood without their history being aired like dirty laundry. Consequently, generation after generation is forced into the same fate. Even if they wanted to, society doesn’t let them abandon prostitution, refusing to admit them into its fold of ‘normal’ beings.
Interestingly, popular media and literature both have held a near-constant fascination with the sex trade industry. Scenes of prostitutes being beaten, made to do disgusting things, being involved in drugs, are not unfamiliar to cinema-goers. Porn is yet another part of the popular media market, now easily accessible over the internet, thanks to the open-source media revolution. A number of studies demonstrate that those who watch porn have much less respect for women than those who don’t. This, too, contributes towards shaping a disgusting image of a prostitute.
Literature, on the other hand, offers a profounder view. Writers all around the world often focus on prostitutes in their writing – most citations in popular fiction are more realistic, humane and bitterly revealing. From South Asian authors to Russian novelists to more familiar European and American writers, literary works cite prostitutes as regular people, with consciences and sentiments no different from other members of society. In his short story Anandi, Ghulam Abbas, a notable Pakistani short story writer, explores ideas about the inevitability of prostitution. His story tells the reader how a group of prostitutes are forced out of the city to a distant, barren locality. Contrary to what one might expect, years later that barren locality becomes a flourishing town because of the very presence of prostitutes. Abbas demonstrates how prostitution is part of the basic human desire to feed and it can’t end until we do.
In electronic media, Hollywood movies are perhaps the most widely viewed entertainment medium. Popular films like Chicago do portray prostitutes in a realer light, elaborating upon the factors that govern their lifestyles. Pretty Woman tries to depict a prostitute as a normal person, with a certain innocence, beauty, and purity of heart. It tries to show that selling your body doesn’t necessarily mean that a person becomes devoid of true feelings and worth. Sadly, most Hollywood movies show quite the opposite image and do nothing to help dismantle deeply rooted misconceptions about the sex trade.
Considering the basic elements of human nature, it seems as though stereotyping cannot be helped. It has been present since the earliest days and will continue as long as humans have a tendency to satiate their egos by deeming certain individuals as low or morally inferior. This phenomenon in turn begins to seep into the public stratosphere.
The lack of any organized attempt to correct common assumptions and faulty perceptions further strengthens the status quo. The masses are not made aware of the economic needs attached to the profession of prostitution. Those who indulge in this profession mostly do so because of the lack of any other engagement that can bring them enough financial gain to sustain them and, at times, their families. This presents a direct question about the economic opportunities available to prostitutes.
However the greatest stake remains the question of morality. Perhaps this is because a majority of the population still associates religious connotations with extra-marital relationships and, religion is the first yardstick they grab whenever the question of prostitution is brought up. As a result, the issue is both defined and discussed in the wrong light and the victims become objects for ridicule and criticism.
This does not mean that such discriminatory behaviour can’t be eliminated, or at least contained. In the last century, most of the world has moved on from considering women as lowly beings to accepting them as equals. This has been a huge step forward and was accomplished through the constant pressing of fair education, increased awareness and the right literature. The same can be achieved for prostitutes if all these tools are utilized today to help spread some truth—and nuance—about the profession of prostitution.
October 8, 2011 § 17 Comments
The white marble frame set against the wall gives a gloomy, vacant look. Compared to the drab surroundings, it has a sorrowful forbearance, as if silently regretting its bereavement. The lines etched across its clean surface seem like manifest signs of ageing, of internal disintegration, slightly rising to the surface after years of containment. The corners are of a slightly darker shade, having borne most of the brazen attempts of both time and beings while keeping the rest of the frame to a remoter, more reverend contemplation. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 6, 2011 § 9 Comments
Steve Jobs was not just one of the most successful CEOs of his time – he was also perhaps the most creative person and above all, a very, very inspirational man! It’s from these latter traits that his true greatness emanates and it’s for these traits that he will not be forgotten for a long time to come. I never really knew Jobs until quite recently – for me, his was a name that would occasionally pop up in the headlines, so I considered him a big-wig, some Silicon Valley tycoon and that’s it. Little did I know, though, that Jobs was an extra-ordinary person, an embodiment of the fact that you must pursue your dreams to find out what your life really is about. I eventually did come to know him and I realized that here was a person who never gave up on his dreams to pursue something even when it took him to the path less travelled by. Especially, he made iNaming quite a phenomenon, which shows how perfectly he amalgamated creativity and elegance.
He is one of my greatest inspirations and he will remain so for the rest of my life.
RIP Jobs – you will be dearly missed!!
September 29, 2011 § 20 Comments
Cross-posted from Static.
Courtesy Focused Visions
Whenever I look at this photograph, I realize how beautiful life is. If only we pause for a moment and contemplate, we would find that there are innumerable things to look at and extract joy from. In the daily monotony of life, we dwell too much upon that which is too unimportant. And these many insignificant things add up to weigh down upon our happiness.
And it actually depends solely upon us; whether to find joy out of life or to dot it with unhappiness. ‘Carpe Diem’, to live in the moment – to enjoy that what is and not to singe your self over that what could’ve been. That’s what constitutes the principle of happiness.
September 17, 2011 § 8 Comments
Notes: This poem is by Kenji Miyazawa. Normally, I would simply post the url of a poem I particularly like but this one certainly merits being specially highlighted. To those who haven’t read it, here’s a true gem. I came across a fragment of the poem in the movie ‘The place promised in our early days’, a Japanese anime. (Courtesy Chris Shepherd for the photograph.)
My little sister,
About to depart to a place far beyond before the day is out.
The sleet has fallen outside, and it’s oddly bright.
(Gemme some ameyuju willyoo Kenj’ya.）
From the clouds of pale-red, that is all the more bleak,
The sleet comes a-dripping and a-drizzling down
(Gemme me some ameyuju willyoo Kenj’ya.）
Gathering the sleet snow for you to nibble on,
Inside two chipped porcelain bowls with
The junsai[water-shield]plant painted blue,
I, like a stray bullet,
Darted out into the dark of the [falling] sleet.
(Gemme me some ameyuju willyoo Kenj’ya.）
From the bismuth-colored dark clouds,
The sleet comes a-dripping and a-drizzling down.
At a time like this,
When you’re on the brink of death,
You have asked me for a scoop-full of refreshing snow,
Thank you, my little sister, so giving and brave,
I too will continue ahead straight onward.
(Gemme some ameyuju willyoo, Kenj’ya）
In between the oh-so violent fevers and gasping,
You asked me to get
The last bowl-ful of snow, descended from the skies,
The realm of galaxies and suns and atmospheres…
.. Upon two quarry-blocks of granite,
where the sleet are lonesomely deposited,
I perched upon them precariously.
And from the glistening pine-boughs
Filled with cold transparent beads that maintain
The hoar-white, two-phase equilibria betwixt snow and water,
I shall take away the last food for my little sister.
The indigo-colored patterns on the familiar bowls that
We grew up with,
You’ll be parted from them too, after today.
(Ora Orade Shitori egumo
[I'll just go off on my own I will])
It’s true, you really are departing from us today,
Oh, within the enclosure of the patient’s room,
On the other side of the dark folding-screen and mosquito nets,
You are burning away with pale blue light,
My little sister, so brave.
This snow is so awfully pure-white, wherever you might choose.
From those frightful, roiling skies,
This beautiful snow has come.
(I’m gonna be born again, and
next time, I’ll make sure everything won’t be so bad
I hurt so muuuch all the time.)
To those two bowl-fuls of snow you’re eating,
I will now pray, from my heart.
Oh may this [snow] now turn into a heavenly ice cream
Providing you and everyone holy sustenance.
This I pray with all the ability I can muster.
September 8, 2011 § 17 Comments
We dance a few steps on the white marble that shines like moonstone. The wind is thick with the scent of pine and cool streams and brings, with it, the icy touch of the highlands. And it whispers unsaid things, untold stories, as we dance to it’s tune. There’s a crisp, blue frankness in the air, it’s freshness almost tangible as I inhale. A few stray clouds tug at the balcony boundary and drift, fatigued and enfeebled at the very touch, barely reaching us; like dreams of a neverland. I extend my hand and feel the coolness seep through my palm. And many things rush past my mind, the thoughts, the memories, flash-backs of unknown moments, scenes from the yore which now seems, and is almost, a fantasy, a porous whiff that was once breathed into the air and then was not; a fleeting piece of imagination detached from any and all experiences and aloof in it’s truth, or fiction; one that lasted just a moment and yet a lifetime.
We dance through the clouds, closing our eyes to the ticklish, elating sensation of losing the sense of being. Somewhere down in the valley, the dim, Dionysian symphony of the river touches the wind’s chords and adds a subtle noise to the silence. The uncontained symphony climbs the rocks and cliffs, up the slippery pathways and snaking unpaved roads, and peeking silently from behind the rocky edge of the balcony, making itself only discernible enough for us to realize it. Yet, very much a part of us, part of that scene of silence which seems like an obscene anomaly to it’s true being; and then, and because, ashamed of the act, posting itself just far away not to admit being an open party.
By our sides, our shadows dance in congruency, first onto the fluff of white candy, reflected by the moonlight, and then, as it merges in the thin air with the silver streaks, on the marble slates, wreathing, moving from side to side, slipping from one slate to another and creating a contour of shifting blacks and whites. The timeless moments extend into infinity, the night unending, the vapours caressing our faces eternal, the tunes ageless and the beckoning passion unwavering. And we lose ourselves unto each other, unto the almost unreality of this reality, unto the ablaze Dionysian tale that unfolds over and down the hill and into the valley and along the raging currents, along ragged terrains and mighty mountains, beyond the snow-capped peaks and back upon the moonlit marble.
We lose ourselves to the fiction of our desires.
August 19, 2011 § 6 Comments
I hold the cup in my right hand, at a slightly askew angel – such that its contents fall equally between its horizontal and vertical walls. It’s just a few centimeters from my lips. In my other hand is a Marlboro lights, lit and smoked to half, which I bring to my lips in an easy movement. As I puff in the smoke, the amber flame at the tip brightens and the interior of the cup is momentarily illuminated. The dark coffee takes on a mahogany veil and looks much more tempting, enticing. I feel a fleeting sense of ecstasy, the kind that is not in the act but in its very contemplation. But before I can truly contemplate this transformation, I have to exhale. The flame dims and a thin sheet of ash seizes upon it at once. The mahogany, the illumination, the smoke, the elation – all is gone with the puff. I’m cognizant of the liberty that I can recreate the illusion but the knowledge of its being illusive takes away the magic.
Tired, I sip in the now-cold coffee as my other hand slackens and falls to the side of the chair. The cigarette drops on the ground in a silent grace and after a few labored attempts at survival, extinguishes.
July 4, 2011 § 5 Comments
The cursor blinks at the blank screen. There are no words, not anymore to scribble across it. I just wish that I, too, could be a part of it. Void. Empty. Blank, without any labels, any thoughts, anything written across me. It’s one of those moments when your insides grow hollow and whatever falls into it, visions, words, voices – they become meaningless. Dreams without much lucidity. Thoughts that seem too vague even to be considered. And you sit there, motionless, unable even to discern this inactivity. Perhaps it’s just the ‘plasma state’ of our emotions where nothing is stable, nothing concrete – everything is just a haze of…well…everything.
I have wished, at times, for such indifference. But when it does come, it isn’t a very welcome state. Even when you are not exactly aware of this decrepitude that grows upon you, there is this subtle pain that stirs within; a soft tinge of regret, of not living up to your own self. It does persist, this feeling, but you are so given to lethargy that you can’t help consciously trying to look from it.
And so, I lie on the floor, folding papers and unfolding them; tearing them to pieces and blowing them into the air. They feel like snowflakes, landing gently on the palm of my hand. And then they dissolve away.
June 18, 2011 § 3 Comments
The gypsy lust of the bygone days stirs yet again.
It’s time, perhaps. It’s time.
March 24, 2011 § 35 Comments
For years now, I have tried to discern a clear path for me. A purpose of life, so to speak. However, I have reached the definite conclusion that there is none! Of course I am still open to suggestions and objections and if I find a rational, otherwise view point, I shall abandon mine. But till that moment, I hold that life is a purposeless, hopeless, futile mode of our existences. And I sincerely believe that most of us, deep down in our hearts, are well aware of this absurdity that plagues our lives. Yet most of us can’t go for the point blank truth and wish to guise it in a thousand guises, weary that the very admission may take away all hope to live on. We simply refuse to admit the fact that we are an outcome of evolutionary process and that we have no noble, exalted cause of being and have no predictable afterlife. Some of those at the other side of the fence may want to throw in some arguments here but to tell you the truth, I am quite tired of all those arguments. I, truly, have gone over them not once but many times and in fact, I myself have been the one throwing them from that side of the fence once. But well, I can’t take it any longer. However, any fresh line of thought would be very welcome.
To be very candid, I think that the best thing about life is this very purposeless and we ought to cherish every moment we have. I admit Camus’ ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ is very inspiring in that it very neatly brings out the naked, maybe ugly for some, truth about life. You know that there’s no point in existing and yet you enjoy every second of this absurd existence and utilize it to its fullest. You push the stone to the top, knowing it will roll down to the bottom nonetheless, knowing that the curse is eternal, knowing that nothing lies beyond or before and yet you do it. Does it not give you a certain sense of defiance, of standing up in face of all despair and refusing to give up? Of enjoying life and extracting joy from the tiniest bits, letting the journey itself transform into the destiny for you. Like I’ve often said before, sometimes maybe the journey is worth more than whither it leads to. And yet, I now believe, sometimes perhaps the journey itself is all. Sometimes, there’s nothing beyond the journey and as it consumes you, you get the sense of fulfillment not from the accomplishment of the feat but from the thought of being on the path, from the sense of moving on nonetheless, come what may.
Jack London once said, “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” And I believe in saying so, he summed up the entire enterprise of life.
Life is simply to live every moment to its fullest and letting the passion of being consume the very being. It’s about spending the time we have preciously and meaningfully. My lack of belief in a purpose, thus, shall not be mistaken to be an alibi to do nothing or be worthless. Nay, it’s quite the contrary. I believe the lack of a pre-fixed path lets you go for the one as described by Jack London. It permits you the space pre-requisite for the intellectual abilities to develop and bear fruition and reveal newer insights and thus add something meaningful to the collective human wisdom. This liberation from the many self-imposed cages is what lets the spirit soar high and to such heights as have yet been unknown. To me, that is what adds beauty to an otherwise incidental, worthless life. And that’s what makes it worth living to me.