Friday, January 07, 2011
A Protest Of Romance
Other worldly, imaginative, creative, dreamy, faraway, lost…that’s a typical Cancer.
So what, if I am a cusp between Cancer and Leo? I have all the above Cancer traits.
And I have the Leo traits as well.
A combination of fire and water then?
Fog. Mist. Dew. Haze. Cloud.
Yes. That’s who I am. A Romantic.
Sitting on a couch, eating my meal, walking in a park, ambling on the terrace, in a team meeting at work, travelling by bus, or whatever else I might be doing…
But lost in thought all the time. As if in a trance. Somewhat intoxicated.
Living in this world but not quite living here. Somewhat other worldly. Dreaming of a beautiful life. And why not? This world itself is a dream. Between the dream and a dream within a dream, who can tell which is more real?
Thinking and feeling.
And sometimes, Being.
Looking back with nostalgia.
Recreating the past in my mind, erasing a stroke there and dabbing some paint here, perfecting it. Dwelling; not on what was, but what should have been.
Finding music beyond noise.
Fragrance amidst stench.
Churning melancholy until philosophy gathers in a white lump.
Glaring at gloom until it burns under the fire of my gaze and from that fire is born a beautiful poignancy.
Poetry by the mountains and tears by the Ganges.
Refusing to be fooled by a coincidental arrangement of atoms that this whole world pretends to be and seeing the metaphysics in all of it.
In summary, protesting against the commonplace of life.
That defines my life.
And that defines me.
Keeping the charm alive, keeping the magic alive. Keeping hope alive.
The miasma of banality is always trying to close in. You have to emanate a mist of romance to thwart it. Otherwise, before long, you will end up becoming a coincidental arrangement of atoms. And nothing more.
One can find inspiration in the most banal of people, places, events and incidents, if one has the eyes to look beyond the gross, if one has the imagination to think beyond the obvious.
Everything I write here, in this space, is inspired. By the most commonplace of events.
An evening walk under a cloudy sky was not unusual.
But it inspired poetry in me.
So did the hurtful coldness of a friend.
Bollywood masala movies are most commonplace.
One of them showed me the wonderful possibility of living extraordinary lives, many of them, in a single lifetime, simply by stepping into the shoes of anyone you liked on screen and it made me appreciate why movie making is the greatest gift bestowed upon mankind.
A wailing aunt who never tires of her sob story is a nuisance.
She inspired me to attempt humour for the first time!
That ride in an auto-rickshaw at ten in the night through familiar roads was quotidian.
And there I saw, a girl of 16, myself, who had once walked those roads 10 years ago, and looking at the girl poignantly, I smiled at all those vicissitudes of destiny that were yet to disillusion that girl of free will.
A meeting over a cup of coffee, with a friend embittered by life was commonplace too.
However, it made me lament wilting flowers and made me observe how life strives to prove unworthy of all the hope and trust people have in it and how it hunts down, among all, those who have believed in it the most. I prayed that I may never tire of life.
Shifting from one house to another was commonplace.
This time, I experienced homecoming and in the event, I understood the necessity of every soul to come home to one’s culture after all the wanderings and ramblings.
A pair of oxen led by a mendicant collecting alms is a sight most people don’t even give a second glance.
I found myself overwhelmed as I thought of the greatness of the Hindu religion that teaches us to hold everything from mountains to rivers to animals in religious sanctity.
That violent outburst of a friend in a marketplace in Calcutta was ugly.
What came of it was a piece of writing illustrating the saying ‘life is a grindstone; whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you are made of’.
This blog itself was inspired by a conversation with a stranger over dinner.
Three years ago, when I started this blog, I did not choose the title after careful contemplation; I thought for a minute, I wasn’t sure; I said, ok, I’ll call it Narcissist. That’s it.
Sure, I love myself. More now than ever before.
But ‘Narcissist’ for a blog title? As if it represents me better than all else? Nah. There’s so much more to me.
So here I am, after a lot of dilly dallying, giving this space a name that best represents me and my journey so far.
A Protest of Romance. Against the Commonplace of Life.
If ever I write an autobiography, that is what it is going to be called: A Protest of Romance. Against the Commonplace of Life.
If ever I write an autobiography…
Fog. Mist. Dew. Haze. Cloud.
Dispelling the miasma of banality that this life strives to be.