Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shapes of things

It wouldn’t be called coming of age if it didn’t involve a sudden realisation – a sudden jolt from long-cherished ideals to HD reality.
And it always happens to people like us – the dreamers, the readers, the observers. The ones with a thirst to be more than commonplace in everything we do, whether big or small. We expect to go through the exquisite agony of desiring something/someone unattainable, somehow managing to get it and all of it is supposed to take place through a slo-mo, larger-than-life lens. But fuck that shit, life ain’t like that. The things which you think are gonna be earth-shattering – the first time you kissed or had sex, when you got admitted to that school, landed that job, met that guy, he proposed, got married to him etc, they always turn out to be better in your head than in real life.
So what you do is, little by little you keep burying your dreams and dealing with reality. And you don’t even know that you are, except for that microscopic niggle at the back which tells you something isn’t right. But you rationalise it, re-tweak your expectations and swat the damn bugger away. But hell, each time it comes back, the swatting becomes a little harder.
Cynicism ensues. You become practical (hate that word). And you deal. Till one day, you wake up and you look at the dreams of the 14 year old to the reality of the 26 year old. And then you cry. You cry for all the times you let it go and coped. When you accepted less because you didn’t know if more existed, or where to find it. When you were too goddamn scared of losing what you had, to seek out what you wanted not knowing whether it could be.
And sadly, you realise the book of your life (because essentially, we’re always writing it CONSCIOUSLY) isn’t gonna be a bestseller. It’s gonna be an also-ran. A mediocre piece of literature with nary an original thought. And the shapes of things to come get so clear that you wish that you had stuck by your dreams to escape this ordinary reality.
That’s all…

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nothing is original

 This makes me feel easier. This clarifies everything. This explains away the last post's post script...

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.” 

Jim Jarmusch

PS - Has this happened to you? When you're pondering some of life's big (and in my case, v miniscule too) dilemmas, suddenly you read/watch/hear something, quite by accident and suddenly the proverbial bulb lights up? It happens to me too often to document.

PPS So does this mean I'll soon read/hear/watch something that'll explain away this PS? The mind, it boggles :-P (The dog and the tail. Yes, that adage.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Loop and Litost

I want to write this, I really do. I want this to be a Woody Allen-esque self-deprecating post on how I look down my nose at the 'au courant' people. I want to write how hilarious I think hipsters are. How retweeting or repinning or whatever  re <insert buzzing social network> they're all doing makes them seem pathetic, not cool. I want to laugh at people who think every joint in Hauz Khas Village is the cat's meow. You, sir, in your green ankle length pants, polka dot bow tie and oversized black frames, what gives you the right to laugh at that muscled guy in the tight v-neck tee sporting even tighter jeans and a g/p/f belt? How is your self expression cool and his gawaar/desi/delhi/punjabi/double digit IQ? You have your inspirations, he has his. And no I don't believe you when you say that this style is entirely yours. I know you troll the pages of the sartorialist daily to achieve that 'arty cool' look.
But the reason I won't write this post is because I am not quite sure of my motivation here. I could well be doing this because I am out of the loop, because moving back to Delhi after five years didn't quite prepare me for this multi-layered city. This could be my expression of very mild litost (A Czech word, brought to fame by the fantastic Milan Kundera in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting). I couldn't keep up so I must ridicule.

So that's why I won't write this post (must you point out the obvious)

PS - The book. Litost. Milan Kundera.

PPS - I don't believe I have ever met a person with a sense of style completely his own. Think about it, neither have you. Can it exist? Aren't we all subliminally absorbing images all the time? Aaah, now I am suddenly in a Huxley frame of mind. And that really would be too much for one (non) post.

Amused to death

Monday, February 27, 2012

So passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion

Disclaimer - any relation between the title and the post is purely coincidental (unless of course the reader gets this author (all 2 of you) in which case it is glaringly obvious)

What is it like for things to fall into one's lap easy? To constantly live on the potential of what-you-could-be?  To have people idolise you through every passing phase of life for a myriad of things - your style, your looks, your brains, your wit, your multi-facetedness, your creativity, your academic achievements, your professional achievements - past, present and likely future? One word - heady. And if I had to think of a second - clueless.
No further explanation of heady is needed. Clueless - needs to be explained. Clueless because you take people and things around you for granted. You don't realise how much of you, exists from their adulation. And you function like you're an island. Like everyone around you will flow to you, and you go on sitting on your self-created pedestal waiting for your loyal subjects to lavish you with their attention and concern. And in a typically ironic fashion, you don't see any of it.
That little sister of yours who grew up wanting to be you, copying your handwriting, your mannerisms, she grew up. She is her own person now. That beautiful friend of yours who would feel insecure every time she hung out with you, because you intimidated her with your knowledge and wit, she too is happy in her little bubble now. You don't count with her anymore. That clueless friend of yours, who you could guide with your logic and understanding, she knows you too well now, she knows the chinks in your armor now. That boy who thought you were the light of his life, a kindred spirit, an angel - he realised it was mere infatuation and went on to find his real kindred spirit.
And as is the way of these things, the little sister, the clueless friend, the beautiful friend , the infatuated boy they never felt the change. It was all part of a natural progression. But you felt it keenly. But there were more where those came from, so life went on. But the insecurities began getting closer to the surface as the adulation grew lesser.
This supply is exhausted now. All things that made u u are on shaky ground. Your knowledge is - shaky and incomplete. Your looks - are less striking and more regular now. Your professional future - rests on a huge gamble.
Level ground never hit so bad. And so passes Denethor, son of Ecthelion