Hello! Last October, I gave a TEDx talk at my Alma Mater. And it’s out! Check it out if you’ve got time?
This is a follow up post from here
I think of Art as a word, is a necessary evil. The world needs this word and what it entails and represents more than ever. But at the same time it insinuates in slight euphemism, that it is painstaking in a tragic sense. It is an ‘effort’ put in. I wish for an ideal world, or at least some people in it, that could, for all practical purposes, make art and live with it unapologetically, for anything that might give a reason to feel art as separate from yourself, that gives an illusion that you make art.
…Diminish what you believe in and hit you in your face with what you didn’t know existed
1. Beliefs are not rubber balloons but endless stretchy space expanding and contracting. Unlike the stubborn, I believe beliefs can and should change in a graceful gradient for good. After all, they are the harbingers of living with love and peace, aren’t they? I believe beliefs should be as fluid as gender should be considered fluid, as fluid as one constantly keeps questioning one’s identity. It is the way that is meant to be.
2. I’d like to ask the writer what exact does she mean by the quoted. You’ve also told nothing about your insanity but to yourself. So you haven’t really told about your insanity as you put it.
I wish I could say love is not mad. It is mad because it is difficult to measure it, much less define it. It is mad because too much of it can feel like that friend who blabbers unimportant gibberish when she gets insecure, vulnerable or afraid of something or someone mostly by the likes of self assumption; too little of it is like the smile not shared with a stranger you happened to want to talk with on a commute or a while walking. How much would be enough, is dependent on the fact that only way we could ensure it would be is if we believe in it casually. To love enough would be to take love for granted, like your voice in your head, your thinking voice. It’s the daily routine of not being parochial. Loving enough means being mad enough to let it happen by itself, given and not minding the jarring inception of nervous breaths and slips of not expressing enough, or overdoing it. It’s mad to be a part of the world that loves, because it’s unexplainable.
I can imagine the mad man in love, because imagination is madness, and I’m a mad man.
If love aches, it’s only fair to ask — “For how long?”. How long can you mourn a loss of love or a lack thereof, before feeling universal with the fact that the crazy play of love and life and loss and death is like we’re in a dream. How long before we become sober and realise that we have to stop letting love hurt. In true love there is no heart break. A broken heart means broken demands, broken expectations and broken hopes. Separation in love could be lovingly beautiful, and longing in it picturesque.
Can you really choose to sigh in love over a throbbing chest which promises the mirage respite of guilty pleasure, that disguises as saccharine-sour-bitter keepsake, for long? For how long?
A twisted sense of reality, if of a choosing, is not madness. For it to be madness it has to be inexplicable, like life, love, birth, death, breath. It isn’t. A choice is definable. A twisted sense of reality, in one’s slightest senses, can be a device to stop letting it be an escape route from reality and instead be small lovely detours.
We do not “think” things. We do not really know who does. We just listen when a thing has been said, spoken — thought, and we choose to act on it or not, or discard it altogether. We are a witness to our own thoughts, because they aren’t really ours.
We should reward ourselves for the impeccable and irrational stream that we endure of our mind, for it is no small feat to bear so much noise for years — like enduring the smell of a toilet which hasn’t been flushed all these years but used to the fullest capacity. I think the irrevocable flow of this chatter and compartmentalisation can co-exist like the grooves that farmer digs to water the standing crop in the field — once one ‘compartment’ is fluid and full, water jumps into another. But what would be truly great is to empty those compartments for a while before the next crop is sowed, with no thoughts, no botheration in mind, chatter halted not by stopping it deliberately, but by letting it pass by, like all the loves that truly weren’t to stay.
“What truly brings us joy”, is an ever elusive question, any answer to which is always fleeting — a friend, a dog, a food item, a stationery item, your poem, a poem, a part of you that comes out like sun in Ireland — sometimes.
The day I realised I can only ever be truly happy right now, without any reason despite everything, I found that we are not our thoughts, feelings, emotions, situations — these all things change. We are the reference with respect to which we can observe all these things change. And unlike all these things, that reference doesn’t change, yet grow.
I wish I could look forward to talking to this person and talk with her for days with comfortable silences in between, with love — through our bodies as a medium — trying to make sure it oozes out as much as would be enough, to not overflow and to not lay drought ridden, like the dry pungent dregs of wine in an empty glass.
Just for the sake of it, because it barely feels like a transition. But also because it is true, it’s a new year – the 7 has turned 8. It’s a little dreadful actually. We getting closer to our bodily end, realising that there’s less time for everything. I slept while it happened, in Krishna Puri, Delhi. I’m here to see off my little brother to Canada. He’ll celebrate his Canadian New Year in the air.
My last two new years ( Oh God! Just use years!) have been inconclusive in that, I didn’t have resolutions resolved, because either they didn’t exist in the first place, or if they did, they got disremembered perhaps in a week. Neither did I have any goals made. So when I saw people reading different kinds of books that got them out of comfort zone, people struggling to stand up for a cause and being proud of it, people making poetry, organizing poetry events, people making tall and strong edifices of a company they, founded, I just stare at their efforts, failures and successes with a blank slate in the mind. With nothing happening at all – no reactions, no responses, no realisations, no regrets, no nothing. I have to force myself to fear my listlessness, because it doesn’t happen despite the things that I should look forward to. Perhaps it is because I’m 23, and I’m still living with my parents and they are continuining to support me like they always have.
I talked to Dad about investments for the first time, and realised how important they are over time to have as a safeguard in dire situations. So starting from here, I’ve made a short list of todos to complete by the end of this year –
I think that’s it. I have a 2018 to look forward to, wake up early of each day on, and work to do. Let’s get on with it.
and this :
Alright now that the reading is done, I’ve some things to say about the things that you read in the title of this blogpost and some things that I found very relatable in both of these posts/experiences. I didn’t comment on the facebook post and wordpress blog post because well I’ve stayed alone for most of the time since I’ve come of age (did I use that wrongly?). I meant when I went out of the home after 10th grade to study. I’ve been alone mostly, learnt alone. So I thought it wouldn’t matter if I posted, it would just be read and forgotten, unless something very unlikely happened and I get to meet these two people and get to know them for long. I’ve been reading them since I’ve sent them friend requests, their poems, endeavours, listened to their voices as much as I could read. That is the background done, now I start my rant.
When you have holes in underwear, and if you have a penis, there are a lot of things you have to bear. Sometimes your balls will be out in a jiffy, sometimes the whole cannon. And when you’ll be getting the underwear off the next day (or whatever day/night), you’ll wonder if you really do not have money to buy new undies or are you just being lazy. If you are like me, you just have one concern: to wear them only when needed the most: under jeans, which I avoid wearing as much as I can, but sometimes I have to give in to mothers’ wishes to not always see me in my shorts. It’s very repulsive for her to see me badly dressed all the time. Her favorite example to make me realise that is by
Would you like it if I wore this same shirt, all the time?!
If I ever say yes, a strong stare in the eye would anyway render me speechless. People with stark feminine traits (I’m one of them) get emotional very quickly. So I avoid such head on collisions and change with a sigh (that sigh has to be mental, if it’s physical and you get seen, then it’s the same story different tools).
I don’t know much about my lineage, just that it’s been a unknown while since any of us were wealthy both money wise as well as knowledgeably know-wise. Like Diksha notes in her slam poem, it’s difficult in a middle class family with no former heros or ideals to look upto when you’ve set your sail of life, career in particular. For example right now, I’ve to constantly keep weighing between:
Do I get a job as soon and skilfully as possible (because parents wouldn’t have any money left after educating me other than their pensions), or should I tread on the same path that I’m: to figure things out, sometimes of my own, sometimes with the help of others, but figuring out nonetheless. Thankfully until now my parents have been very supportive of this latter choice and privilege, which I’ll admit, I haven’t properly used (and in a sense of wasting time, abused actually).
But at this point of time, it’s a wrapper. I have to find, in a limited amount of time, something that I’d like to invest my time learning and be skilful at, which also has to be in alignment of the things that I have to figure out, like life. It’s tough. Ah! It’s tough.
Parents are hard, they are. And in this time of the lifetime, when I’ve been feeling for so long that I haven’t been in contact with a person my age to converse with, living with family, trying to fulfil some duties, responsibilities, and at other times, that is when I still had them, being alone, being afraid of sorts to talk to people, it gets to me, living with parents, relatives. There are so many things that a generation gap, demarcates, it’s hard to find language to convey some things sometimes. It’s tough. It is. I will write more about it, if it finds more words, like Nandita’s did. But both of these people have laid so many words I would have never exactly found, so I’m glad both of them wrote what they did.
Love things that I wanted to write about are more complex than I thought, and I do no fully understand to be honest. It would take time for words to reach even the writing of the confused state of what I have in mind, so I’ll refrain from writing it.
I wish I could be a book
I could send myself to you
in envelops and postcards
over a laconic lifetime
rungs of ladder climbed
waded through like the push
of legs in the water, over sand
chewing on the words you sent.
We, are a family now,
some privileged in the boundaries
of grandiloquent bags and pouches,
some forgotten in the drawers
versions of a person’s state of mind
over time, we make history books
capturing people in the making
of an indistinct next moment
sometimes we carry our own praises
outsourced by the wits of our writers
like love they did find not in the other
but their own selves, blind still.
Does your reader pause too?
basks in the glory of an empty wall
staring at nothing in particular?
I wish we had will and means
to write ourselves on ourselves
so that we could read other and do that.
Instead like our creators, we are
dilapidated ruins of yellow bodies,
left to live and die on dirt and air
once they are gone, aren’t you scared
For Simran Narwani
I was looking for a friend,
when you tapped my shoulder
from the back and
I was confused how to
respond back to a recognition
from a person
that was not mutual.
Last time this happened
I was in a hall
trying to remember something
so that I could at least pass,
when the invigilator stood
on top of me,
just staring me, writing.
Cold sweat droplets
started racing on my face,
assumption: he was
from my department.
When he finally spoke
he asked which exam
was I writing, and in
I forgot, the name
of the exam I was giving!
You girl with an accent,
I had watched your poems,
writing you on stage
like the broad nip ink pen
that road trips with blue ink.
I just forgot,
in the sun burst of your face,
standing in front of me,
as if you knew me
The grandmother is living her last days alone, in the village that is all the she has ever known. Where I spent my childhood, spent days playing cricket with village boys who would have a bowling run up bare feet no matter if we were playing on cement, on road or on the recently harvested wheat fields. My grandmother is a strong lady. Married at 16, widowed at 35, left with no one to help around, grandmother ate one meal a day to get her son and her daughter get an education. Father owes what he is to her mother. I wish she could have just been only an epitome of a bleeding inspiration.
Father married to his choice of girl. Grandmother started believing that this girl was changing his son and getting him far from her. Two things. Neither father was changing things for his wife, neither her wife was trying to get him far from his mother. Years from then have seen hammer of words thrown at each other as if it was an anvil. A day came when my mother has had enough for herself. She said that she and grandmother couldn’t live in the same house anymore. Father took a hard decision to leave grandmother in the village, still taking care of her with money and things, and mother, father, and us two brothers moved to a place one hour from that small village.
Mother in yet years to come found that this was not the man she had intended to marry. That he lied to her about visits to sites of constructions as a part of his job on the pretext to be able to drive a couple of pegs once in a while, as he love marginally drinking. Mother, doesn’t change, doesn’t adapt. She just keeps fightings for the things she absolutely has ever wanted. It almost feels like she doesn’t want to give up on herself by doing so, since she has been denied science or economics stream to choose after high school by his drunken illogical patriarchial father. She has been denied mere an extra dress or pair of shoes for 12 years, denied to live peacefully. Not all wars are so clear as to find the intention behind their inception.
See the conundrum here, father will always drink, despite heart attack, because his doctor said it was okay to have some once in a while. My mother will never be okay with it for the things she has seen drunk men doing in his family, including a one time molestation by a really close relative. A discussion between this would always end up mother justifying why it is that she hates people drinking alcohol and the things she has borne. Father would stand up for his argument that he neither has never will be so drunk as to loose his senses and going crazy. Not a single side ready to adjust. Both right in their arguments, there is no false or wrong argument at stand. But what to do when past clings so much that it becomes impossible to unlearn to learn anew.
Things kept going off between mother and father. Both had had then extra marital relationships, and both have never let it not bother themselves. Another one, one with a not really nice guy that seemed to either have brainwashed mother, or allegedly having genuinely fallen in love. Or was it years of mother and father not really being there for each other like happy family husband and wife are, clinging to their own demands that could never really be satisfied by the other that triggered this happenstance. I don’t really know, I don’t really care. They separated.
These three people have raised us brothers well, but I don’t have those happy memories anymore, neither in videos, because we didn’t have a video camera, nor with photographs they seemed lost in so many moving that we have had to do in different houses and different places. Memories are blur after all this, almost drunk. So many lies, so many versions of truth from three separate people, neither really wrong. Just suffering from the disease of not being able to adjust, because of that past that has clung like a leech in their minds seemingly and hopefully not, forever.
I’ve tried whatever I could, but it seems to me that my not being able to earn much yet has a direct effect on their ability to listen to me. I don’t know if that’s the way it is. I’ve tried my best nonetheless. Now I just want to run away. But the happy memories keep me from doing that.
I’m lost and I do not know what to do.
It’s a viscous loop isn’t it? Experiences create tendencies, and tendencies in turn create experiences. Where’s the source? I watched a video lately. A friend suggested it to me. I still have this and other playlists to watch, and even more. Yoga Vashishtha for starters.
But the question, where is the source? Source is in a couplet. Observation of what is happening. Observing what happens inside you when something happens outside, an event, a circumstance you are circumscribed with, a situation, feelings, emotions. It’s absolutely fascinating to be in a vantage point and experience the things that are happening to you, the tendencies that build up. It is when one starts applying that knowledge that starts from that non judgemental observation, that only results in you smiling or laughing at the wonder of how things happen inside you. Then there’s a chance to break the dependency of tendencies on external factors.
Last night, I was tempted to think about a naked woman, and the details I’d have wanted myself to fantasise were all in place. It had been half an hour since I’d watched the video. This must sound like a forced celibacy try, but trust me it’s not, I do not resist something like that, because the more I resist it persists. It’s a tendency, it comes and goes. So, where was I? Yes. The tendencies that had risen up in me, I took myself in a vantage point and observed how the whatsapp chats that I’d just finished with a girl who loves me, had made me want to dive into fantasy. As soon as I came completely, brutally honest with myself, I laughed. Trust me, the next moment there was an accomplishment, for it’s real achievement of a day to be completely honest with yourself. There were no longings after that instant. Like Magic. I went off to sleep and that was it.
I read this really lovely poem lately. I thought I’d share it.
Poetry & Prose by Carol J Forrester
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