We have this huge penchant for defining everything, a great tickling to bring order to chaos. We are schemers, we scheme and when we fail to put something to order, we outcast it, admonish it. And the same goes with morality– what to do, what not to do.
Angels have been created, laws have been framed to tell us what to do. Demons have been conjured, courts have been summoned to tell us what not to do. But somehow the world is still in chaos. Morality is more of an individualistic virtue than a societal one so naturally shoving down a list of To-Dos and To-Not-Dos never helps. Fear helps, but only for the less courageous ones, ones who are the law abiding citizens.
You know you have erred only when your conscience pricks. For some, it can prick for the most trivial act of swiping a credit card, for some it might prick when they imagine someone naked whom they shouldn’t and for some it might never even prick. Some get used to it and some even start enjoying it; and its like getting addicted to a cigarette, initially you can feel the hit in a few puffs but as you get addicted even a pack won’t get you high.
Imagine a potter creating an earthen pot. The outer hand is the notions of morality put into your head by the schools you attend, by the people you meet, by the books you read. The inner hand is how much you choose to accept. And the pot I created doesn’t rattle on eating chicken wings. So I yearn for them and find them tasty, without even a slightest hint of a prick.
Its that kind of happiness which makes you sad. Not the weepy and sulky sadness, but the sweet one. The beautiful, serene one. The one which you could get addicted to. The one you sometimes even hope for.
Remember the feeling you get when you are sure it is not going to happen. Remember the disappointment that you suffer from when you break someone’s expectations. Try to imagine the huzun that Pamuk feels when he sees his beloved Istanbul crumbling into ruins. Now mix it with the feeling you get when you make peace with the fact that you can’t do anything about any of the above and you will get this certain kind of sadness.
Its too parochial to ask for happiness, as it would devoid you of the great feelings that the emotional pandora box has to offer. To whatever gods dictate the laws, I only ask for life. Life full of mysteries, full of uncertainities, full of victories, full of heartbreaks. Hope is a dangerous thing, the most cruel one out there; but its fun to play with fire and get burnt now and then!
Having a passion and having a crush have a lot of similarities between them. Both keep you obsessed and if you are a thinker like me, you will be preoccupied with these thoughts the whole day. You think about it, you dream about it. You want to do anything to get it. You feel anxious. You feel scared. You feel miserable. And sometimes you even feel serene and confident. Not a moment spent away from what you think you ought to do passes away without guilt.
At times I had both, but now I have none. Somewhere down the line, I lost both of them. And this is what this post is about, a rant about my passivity.
Someone once wrote for me, “you could have been an outrageous piece of awesomeness, but you really have to light a fire under your ass”. True, but I believe this laziness can be cured only when I.catch hold of a passion, a motivation to get going. I know I am past the age of having childish infatuations, but a passion is something I yearn for desperately.
This is to hoping I find one soon!
Suddenly I realized I couldn’t recognize the streets. I was lost. Lost in a place that was not in my town, not even in my country. It was a place I often imagined while reading the novels of Azar Nafizi or Khalid Hosseini.
And I panicked!
Not because I was in an unknown place. Not because I had no idea how I got there. But because I had a lot of pending work to do, bills to pay, forms to fill and mails to send. I was under the impression that a lot in the world depended upon me.
It soon dawned upon me that it was all irrelevant. The world will carry on fine without me. I had no dues to pay. It was all a big hoax that I had created to make myself feel important.
And finally I was free! Forever!
People have a habit of falling in love. They fall in love with a person, an idea, with money, position, power and sometimes with themselves. They obsess it in their dreams and thoughts. They paint in their minds the image of how the person or idea is, or should be. This love forms their lifeline, their source of energy in distress. And we admire such people, people with purpose in life, people with beliefs, people who love someone.
But what happens if one day I realize that the one I used to love passionately has changed beyond recognition or I always had wrong notion about that person; or that the idea I so obsessed about doesn’t even make sense in the current context anymore. That would shake the ground beneath me, and deprive me of my source of energy. That would leave me heart broken.
And its not an alien concept. This keeps happening everyday to some person or the other. Every day ideas are debunked, perceptions are proven wrong. We rely on fickle things to keep our hearts from breaking, and more often than not we are punished for it.
Still we survive. In fact we live. Isnt that a beauty? A tale of courage often untold? Or is it that only those survive who do not love, do not believe in anything? I hope not, because that would break my fickle heart.
The village in a place far far away had a peculiar culture. Whether it was because people were too ashamed to show their real faces, or whether it was a noble step to discourage all prejudices; each one of the villagers wore a mask. The mask was created by a mask-maker whose shop was near the village common well.
There were masks for happiness, with a smile on the lips. There were masks for sadness, with a frown on the face. And then there were masks for laughter, with white shining teeth. So the streets were witness to just three kinds of emotions, which was pretty unfair.
And so it happened that once the mask-maker fell in love when his eyes struck gold seeing a beautiful girl who had briefly unmasked to buy a new one. Not surprisingly the whole village got painted with this spirit of love. Where ever you go you would see people with a glow in their eyes. Their smile got more genuine, their frown got more heart touching, and their laughter would remind that there was still hope for humanity. The whole village got beautiful.
But the fate had to intervene and soon the girl got married. The mask-maker was heart broken. It was imperative for him to swallow his grief and continue making the masks, for the whole village chores depended on him. And soon the village got painted with a totally different kind of expression, the emotion of pain. The pain which needed compassion rather than pity, as it was accompanied with dignity and self-respect. The people would smile and laugh but their eyes would betray. The sadness got more genuine.
But there was some beauty in this breakdown. The tear filled eyes would sparkle in the sunlight. The streets seemed grave, serene. Silence is a virtue too underrated as it is invariably associated with being dumb. But it was the silence and the beautiful clear eyes which exalted the village to divinity.
Your voice may lie, your lips may agree; but its those two beautiful eyes of yours you need to watch out, for they have a habit of telling the truth!
Its often heard that each city has its spirit, a feeling which makes living in the city a unique experience. Throughout my life, the four years I spent in Guwahati has been the longest I had ever been in one place, and what I can assert is that all these places had their own different ways of life.
Like any relationship, our relationship with a city is a two way commitment,(however infidel it might be ). The city has a way of life, and when we move into it we try to adjust to its way and which eventually becomes our way of life. For the past four years the pace of my living had been the slowest I had ever encountered. I dont mean that guwahati is a slow city. With little certainty I mean that IIT Guwahati is a slow community and with all certainty I mean that I was too lazy.
However now I have been picked up from the cozy indolent lifestyle and thrown into what we can ascertain as the fastest paced city in our country(or in world???Though I know I can face a lot of contradictions here :D). I want to catch the green colored DTC bus, but inspite of running hard I am missing it daily. I guess I am too slow. But its not depressing, its just fascinating to see things going around at a breakneck speed,(literally 😀 ). Next time I go to catch a bus, I should take a walking stick with me, so that when I lag behind I could stretch the stick and hook it in a window of the bus.
I know once I manage to catch the bus, my life will change forever.