You have to be a fool to take things on their face value. Nothing is what it seems. There is always more to things than what meets the eye. And you always need to look beyond the obvious… always discern, distinguish, sort the wheat from the shaft, always question…blah, blah, blah…And some more blah….Then some more blah…
Before words gloat over their pattern, taking pride in their sheer quote value, mind trivialises them as the eternal straying of a ruminating heart…
On the New Year’s Eve, I could see the world go GAGA…(here let me confess, i find it difficult to feel the way many around me do — not on NEW YEAR…not ever. I shun all celebrations, am hopelessly private, and stay away from the entanglements of the worldly web…I am, by nature, very unheroic in my disposition…but then that’s the way I am)…
I feel it is frivolous — if not outright stupid— to fritter away your money and time on pursuits which take you nowhere, do you no good, except giving you a transient, fleeting high…For my line of thinking, I feel like a stranger everywhere… I don’t fit in anywhere…i don’t belong to any establishment…in this day and age of consumerism and instant gratification…The world has advanced…there is little place for those who share my line of argument…it’s considered old-world, archaic and retrogressive…
I like celebrations to be subdued. I prefer quietness over mindless revelry. I prefer silence over inane interaction, solitude over insensible company…My worst fear, as I step out of my home every day, is the forced, meaningless talks with ’empty’ people…you see the downside of spending some time with empty people is that they suck you into their hollowness — denuding you of your depths, filling you with their emptiness… they encroach upon your thoughts, bare you of all that occupies much of your mindscape, much that dwells in the sacred spaces of your soul…In the endless exposure to their intermittent depredations/usurpations, you tend to lose a part of you. And acquire a part which begins to reflect the invasion of emptiness, a part which begins to revel in the celebration of emptiness…
The damage is too grave… And its gravity gnaws at the fractions of your soul like a zillion microbes nibbling on the vitals of a lifeless organism…you fret at the flow of your substance, at the gradual disappearance of everything that once filled you, but can’t help…It’s important for me to be alone, sometimes. I need the time and space to connect with myself…Till I do that, no amount of socialising will ever make me happy…
As the world rang in the New Year, I did have my share of fun. I was at a friend’s place where a handful of like-minded people mingled, talked, sang, danced, laughed, fumbled, faltered. We fondled joy, kissed happiness, caressed togetherness and leaped into the new year, each of us thinking of ways and means to hunt for the highs this year, to find a little more sky over our heads, to gain a little more ground beneath our feet… I, for one, wished for more — some more lights in my world…
As I was back to my world in the wee hours, what kept me occupied was the sifting of words, the sifting of sights and sounds, images, inscriptions and insinuations…as the new year dawned, i sat and looked out upon the world…A poem, read long back and forgotten, came rushing to my mind. A Walt Whitman poem from Leaves of Grass:
I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame;
I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done;
I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;
I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women;
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the earth; 5
I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners;
I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill’d, to preserve the lives of the rest;
I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;
All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon,
See, hear, and am silent.
It was much later that I turned my gaze on Tennyson’s In Memoriam.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Meanwhile, words keep whispering to me. Words from all taps, all corners. There is a bunch of words hanging on my celluloid cell…Words from A Lost City tumble out: “Everyone is alike in jubilation. Only suffering makes them different.” Ahem! Then, not to be left behind are some more from the same tribe: “I don’t have a loyalty to a cause, but I’ve loyalty to a city and that’s both my cause and curse!” (Delhi, i couldn’t LOVE you more!)
John Lennon seems to echo: Love is the answer. It is. It is.
Then, a gentle advice from Gone With the Wind: “Don’t squander time. That’s the stuff life is made of.”
Harding, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is unmindful of everything else and is shouting at the top of his voice: “the only thing i can really speculate is the very existence of my life…in terms of the human relationships, the juxtaposition of one person to another…the form, the content. I’m not talking bullshit… I’m not just talking about a person, I’m talking about everybody… I’m talking about form, content…I’m talking about interrelationships…I’m talking about God, the Devil, Hell, Heaven!”
Humphrey Bogart from Casablanca is difficult to rein in: ” I’m not fighting for anything anymore except myself…I’m the only cause I’m interested in…”
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Here’s looking at you, 2009.