Eternally vague stirrings, again. The din of a thousand things. A constant whirr. A frenzied morning slips into an even more frenzied afternoon. Its mayhem merges into the evening’s mess. As night serenades serenity,thoughts, concerns, worries, securities, insecurities, erupt. There is an upsurge…Two moving fingers create a rhythm that makes a melody of its own, resonating in the emptiness that surrounds…
Life, someone said, is an endless process of getting wasted. It could not seem to be more true to me than it does these days. Life, someone else said, is a process of becoming. I don’t think it is anywhere closer to the truth if I were to apply it in my case. For I don’t see myself inching anywhere closer to ‘becoming’. On the contrary, I have often observed, I try, obtrusively, unobtrusively, knowingly, unknowingly,to avoid ‘becoming’ anything. But the downside of such a thing could be that you end up being nothing. Nothing seems to be a nice word, but that is something none of us would fancy being. Who will want to be nothing? We are always something or the other. Being nothing is as good as not being there, not existing. Will the world, which is ever eager to brandish its identity (or shall i say identities) ,prefer being nothing? I doubt. Just imagine who will take you seriously if you say you are nothing: You are neither this nor that , you are neither Muslim nor Hindu, neither Sikh nor Christian, neither Jew nor Zoroastrian, neither good nor bad, neither religious nor an atheist.
The world around you constantly forces you to be something or the other. If you are not this then you must be that. Needless to say, I have no respect for such things.
Why should you allow anything to define you? Why must you be something or the other. Indeed, why must you be anything? The argument I am trying to make here, though not quite succinctly, has its resonance, I believe, somewhere, but since I am still grappling with it, I can’t quite trace it to any religious or philosophic tradition…I don’t know. I just ramble on…For it has
been a while since I did that…In the days that have gone by verses filled some vacuums that i feel around…
All these days, I have been wildly scribbling, both for work or otherwise: and now that I think of them, words spring up from here and there…words from interviews and interactions, words I latched onto when they left others’ lips, others’ written worlds (I have been meaning to weave one of my own, but that is, like me, not going anyweher at the moment)…I ramble on…
Ideas sprout from the well of being…The other day, sitting with my diary, I realised another year was itching to exit. Another year is itching to arrive. An year gone. I am going to complete another year of getting wasted,getting nowhere. Itching to celebrate being nothing, am I? Well, not quite.
For even if you try being nothing, you become something, even if you try doing nothing, you end up doing something. While being adrift, you keep hitting somewhere. If you are on the go, you go through both hell, and heaven…Moments lurch at you, faces beckon. Heart aflutter, mind becomes a furnace. Things flare up and sometimes, fizzle out. Joy is fleeting. Sadness comes next. Hope, a necessary evil, is transient. Despair follows. A lot goes up in smoke…
I want to live some parts of my days in solitary confinement…alone…over the few weeks, have tried to revel in the sheer joy of the celluloid. Film after film. One after another. Can’t list all. Here are a few:
1. Wongkar Wai’s In the Mood For Love: I absooolutely love this film. What is it about? It’s on infidelity. There is something about the way Wai handles the subject that makes you fall in love with this film. Silence, in the film, is a character. It speaks.
2. Francois Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player: I don’t think there is anything by Truffaut which I have not liked. The idea behind this one is: What you did yesterday stays with you today. Charlie Kohler, a pianist, learns it the hard way. I see it as a film about the need to be loved, loved unconditionally, and how sometimes we find ourselves in the vortex of situations, often of our own creation (owing to something we did in the past), that when they end, we realise it’s the end of everything. But at the end of all our tragedies, we revel in the pursuits that redeem us. For Kohler, it is playing the piano. His world falls apart, but he is back at doing what he does best.
3. Ingmar Bergman’s Summer Interlude and Summer With Monika : Bergman is my all-time favourite. Both of these are breathtakingly beautiful. The first one is about how ‘first love never dies, but something dies with first love.’ Maj-Britt Nilsson and Birger Malmsten are absolutely stunning as Marie and Henrik, respectively. Told in flashback, it documents how the duo’s world, full of youthful exuberance, almost idyllic, comes to an end when Henrik falls off the cliff while they were vacationing in summer. Marie, a ballerina, eventually comes to terms with her loss and even makes a fresh beginning, but the memories of the summer interlude spent with Henrik never actually leaves her, his diary only sending her back in time to relive the moments that they spent together. I remember some bits of dialogues in the film: Here it is:
Marie: I’m never going to die. I’ll get really old, but I’m not going to die.
Henry: I’m scared that I will tip over the edge into something black, something unknown. It’s something I’m struck by now and again.
When Henrik dies, Marie’s distant uncle, Erland, while teaching her to “protect oneself, build walls”, physically exploits her.Here is one bit of their conversation:
Marie: Is there any meaning anywhere?
Uncle Erland: No, my girl, nothing means anything in the long run.
Marie: I don’t believe God exists. And if he does, I hate him. And I’ll never stop hating him. If he stood before me, I’d spit in his face. I will hate him for as long as I live. I won’t forget. I will hate him till the day I die.
Uncle Erland: There’s only one thing one can do: protect oneself, build walls. Protect oneself from the touch of misery. I’ll help you. I’ll help wall you up.”
The wall grows around Marie. And in the end, she was not “protected”, but “locked up”.
Summer With Monika‘s idyllic island setting, its sensuousness ensnared me. I only wish I could get to watch all of Bergman’s. Disappointed by Torrent, I am still hunting for some of his films. (If any of you know where to get them, please do tell me).
And yes, I also finished reading Sujit Saraf’s The Confession of Sultana Daku, a fictional retelling of India’s Robbing Hood. The language is lucid and it didn’t take me long to finish. Another reason was an interview with Saraf. So I had to.
In days to come, I am preparing to read some more, watch some more, listen to some more…I continue to do all this, although I don’t know why must I do all this!
But these are some things I love and enjoy doing. And that is reason enough! Ain’t it?