Archive for the ‘just writing’ category

beginning to begin writing

October 27, 2013

To begin, I presumed was easy, you just have to start with, “once upon a time”. And, that peek into the past is flooding the mind with memories that slip away from words. So where does one begin, and of course, the metaphysical musing that is the pastime of postponing laziness, `why begin`, is irrelevant having begun. This is going to be a narration – of all the good, bad and confused moments of my life. Not that it matters in any significant way to the reader, I still pursue this rendering, as any bathroom singer would attempt at the right pitch and scales, just to soothe myself. Do I need a soothing? Does it mean I have a wound? Well, I have indeed been wounded many times, and I know that scars are not painful anymore…but memories are.

It was a fully moonlit night, as even calendars affirm, when I wailed for the first time. I whimper still, I wail too…but in the learnt shyness of solitude.

The moon has aged too, and became no more the romantic muse of adolescent attempts at poetry. My hair turns whiter every day, while my mind delves into days and dreams that I lived in my younger and younger days. As is common in all nostalgic musings my Madras seems to be more beautiful in the sepia memories of untaken photographs.

I have always known how to get up once I had fallen, but waking up while slipping was never possible. Can one awaken while slipping? And, what if there is nothing to reach out and hold on? Life kept teaching me everything except itself. Well, then, this is how it all had been till the moment I type this word. As I write time will move on, and while it drags me on, I just wonder what my new perspectives would be!

One day I will…. is the distant dream of everyone. Does the day arrive unnoticed? Is it actually being designed by me?  I have a vague arrogant notion that I have designed my destiny, and, WHAT indeed is my DESTINY? Is it the desire to reach the destination that I dream or have been programmed for?  Have I missed that magic clock that keeps the past fresh and forever, consoling the ageing mind that time is still there and in plenty?

The city grows and the citizen ages. Nostalgia is a cynical contempt at the fresh growth of permanent youthfulness, a bitterness that is the necessary nausea of reduced capacity and neglect,  a sigh at the clock that does not wind back; it makes the city move on and the citizen blink  in a daze at the speed of time.  The city will outlive the citizen, but will never ever be the city of the citizen.  Metamorphosis is not necessarily evolution, nor compulsorily beautiful by yesteryear’s standards, as definitions and measurements of the mind keep changing with every generation.  My grandfather, who scrawled poetry, would never have imagined me tapping on this machine without a pen and a paper, as my great-generations would wonder how I could sit and type on a machine. Time moves, city grows..The citizen gets frozen at one point. He cannot accept changes as he cannot cope with the challenges; in his best defence he suppresses his insight and projects a pseudo-wise appraisal at the degeneration of values as that is what he wants it to be, a frozen ice cream that can even be a picture on the mind’s wall.

and i presume i would finish writing  the book that is already bound and shelved in my mind….

to write, and not write…

October 29, 2012

An empty page on the screen is akin to an empty canvass without a sketch, albeit in mind.

An empty canvass contains many paintings while my hand gropes in pain to seek that one elusive composition, which is unformed in my mind.

My paintings are signed off before they are finished. My music always ends on a false note. My dreams are never long enough to be captured by my memory. My projections are reversed, my thoughtscape is deserted. I wait.

I keep waiting for that elusive word that would enlighten itself into a meaningful sentence. While waiting I just browse through the years that I have lived and wasted. None of them are real as experiences. All of them are faded memories. Like an outdated radio searching for a signal, I keep wandering inside myself to catch that one phrase which would transform my discomfiting silence into a soundless emptiness or a soulful music.

And weeks later as I read all that has been written on this page, just to write that next line, a silent grief engulfs me. Why do I write at all?

Perhaps an understated aggression pervades my alleged allegiance to all art forms, perhaps it is the unending love of deliberate self-harm.

And in the same note, does a stroke of pencil or brush destroy the inviting emptiness of a canvass? Is it a total destruction or a tsunami that leaves patches of life intact?

Where do I go from emptiness when I cannot attain everything? Why the woe of wondering in self-pity’s imposed solitude gratifying, even if temporarily?  Why do I have the compulsion to get obsessed about sadness and anger, the black and red instead of the ambiguous blue which contains the spectrum of emotive hues?

and, why do i keep starting so many pages only to discard them the next hour?

and, and, and why are questions that answer themselves never so easy to answer?

2012 first day

January 1, 2012

It is another day, yet not just.

Calendars have changed their headings, so have newspapers..world celebrates this day; welcomes it with warmth, brandy for some and beer for some, smiles automatically extend lips that always lie, everyone wants to wish the other a ‘happy new year’..whatever that happiness is.

Happiness though  being a totally subjective phenomenon is often used as a projective weapon on the willing sacrificial goats.Go to a wedding and wish the couples, go to a client whom you have just cheated enough to sell a senseless concept, go to a party or a meeting…to strangers, friends, family… You get so used to “wishing happiness”, it is just a matter of time before you don’t mean what you say.

Wishing happiness!!! The greatest farce of emotive intelligence! (If ever that façade of social necessity really is erected not just in minds).

‘Have a happy whatever’ simply means, “let me tell you I sort of care and am sort of interested in you…Well not exactly you, but in our transaction”. Apparently ok. But where does ‘happiness’ fit in? And, by the way whose happiness?

It is elementary business sense that to do a profitable business the buyer or the client has to be in a good frame, rather a happy frame of mind. So it actually means, “Oh god, let this person be happy so that he takes in what I give or say or want”. Wishing someone something is never unselfish, for when you wish you express that you need, and though your need need not be an accumulation or an acquirement, it can simply be a mood state that you temporarily desire- yes, a wish is always a desire, primarily all desires are yours. If your desires are allegedly someone else’s then it is your desire for a masochistic martyrdom.

Coming back to wishing, and that too on a day made memorable by all the clocks and calendars of the world, let me join the chorus in wishing each other a happy new year. We do need each other, after all we all live together here in this world. Be happy, it will make me happy, albeit ultimately.

the story and the god…

August 3, 2011

In the beginning, there was perhaps a word, the word that was a sound which inspired meanings. And then, the words ought to have coalesced to form more meanings, more descriptions and more questions. Later on would have come the fables, and fictionalized dictates that donned the garb of parables. However they may have come into existence in a flash or in a formal evolution, these little stories have one meta-story that questions all meta-questions which are so much in fashion in philosophical quests. Thus begins my question, who narrated to the first narrator?

 

Gods, demons, spirits and superhumans were obviously figments of an apprehension or an appreciation of one’s apperception of incapacity, awe or fervent desire. But to designate the designs of destiny to an intelligent arbitration did perhaps needed a form that was more fathomable to the uninitiated. Thus maybe the first fable would have been created and disseminated, but then before going into the use of the fable as a parable, I am intrigued by the mysterious original mythigator(!). Why would he have wanted to spin a yarn in the beginning?

Going by the historicity of parables in preaching, one can understand that the carpenter in Jesus needed these little quickies to encapsulate his ideas for easy digestion. So would have been the case with the illiterate Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. But, not so with the Buddha, who perhaps was the first (subject to correction in future) to use parables; he was a prince with probably hired bed-time sleep-promoters who would have inevitably resorted to retelling all the stories that they would have heard in their childhood. Again, at this point, what was the first story/

It may not be possible to identify the first story teller or the first story-maker, but would it not be interesting to try to identify the first story? Since all stories give a clue to the author and the author’s milieu, would it not be interesting to find out what indeed was the first story, however short it may have been?

I wonder. I wonder if the first story was God.

The first story could not have been about god, its blessings and curses, valor and incarnations; it must have been the very utterance of the noun ‘GOD’. Is god a eureka or a tragicomedy? Why on earth did that person ever think of the thing that came to be called GOD?

Was it ever a story about god in the beginning or god as the beginning of the story? Was the narrator the meta-creator who went willingly or unknowingly into the mystic never ending cycle that made the creation of the creator a cacophony containing a symphony?

 

 

 

 

Ineffability

January 24, 2010

Anytime one sits to type words there is this strange moment when words are crowding and jostling to jump out of the mind’s cluster into the stream of a legible sentence. This is especially more when one starts to make those floating thoughts a written word after a long gap. It has been six months since I have written a paragraph in English and the inaction did make me wonder if there would be any ‘disuse atrophy’ in my language. I had forcibly made my English into Tamil in my effort to improve my speed and standard of Tamil writing, and now that I have released myself from that self-imposed sentence of writing only Tamil sentences, I feel more free and comfortable, though I do not have any particular topic in mind when I begin writing this post.

To define or discuss words are needed as much as they are needed to describe, and every definition and discussion do in a subtle way tend to be descriptions, of something definite or something that is going to be defined!

To describe something is easy because there is that something, but to describe the inability to describe, brings many thoughts. William James ( in his book titled varieties of religious experience) has mentioned ineffability as one of the qualities of mystic experience. Groping for words and the incompetence of spoken or written language does not constitute ineffability.  It is an awe filled with empathy. It is the silent admiration of silence. Silence is not ineffable, ineffability is silence.

Encountering silence is the beginning of a mystic monologue in which there need not be a listener.

In silence do I speak. What if to myself, I still speak. And, I talk about mysticism and masonry, crime novels and Kafka. Is my silence ever silent and vacant, devoid of thoughts that albeit with variations, come as words?

Often when I slouch on my couch in ‘vacant’ mood, silence slouches along too, keeping a half-shut eye on me, awaiting his master’s voice, even if it were to just utter an idiotic grunt of irrelevance. Speech, not hearing or being heard is primary, for in silence the tongue does shudder imperceptibly, unlike in conversations and declarations where it wags dutifully like a social dog’s tail.

Is soliloquy a search for or a declaration of identity? What is a soliloquy and what is an identity?

And what indeed is silence, just the absence of sounds, or words or thoughts? Or is it an emptiness that encompasses everything in its nothingness? Is every question the womb of silence that awaits the delivery of an answer? Or is a question by nature silent, with words framing the empty canvass?

Objective questions that do not infringe the boundaries of self’s secret abode always provide interesting avenues for the written and spoken word. Though the word is always the golden hued offspring for the utterer,  when the one who utters becomes the one who receives the same through the senses, objectivity very sublimely blends into subjectivity. The Indian philosophical tradition of advaita is convenient in that no guilt needs to be carried as all is because of one, the indivisible, and the ineffable. Random thoughts may someday assemble themselves into coherence.

Till then, I do rejoice in the meta-ineffability of the multitude of words.

There is profit in writing. Tangible economic and intangible social profits were always there and the writers were consciously or subconsciously aware of the gains. In fact, they worked for these gains. Writing was as much a social as it was a personal necessity. The art was a catharsis for the performer as well as the audience. It is this cathartic element that will create a mystic empathy which defines any art form.

The profits are still sought, perhaps more consciously and with more meticulous planning. Every prize carries a selling assurance. It is not like those days when the prize winner was generally left for the intellectuals – real and pretentious. The serious reader in my younger days was not always having the money to buy the books he wanted. I, who wanted to read serious stuff and who loved to pose as a serious literature reader, never had the money to buy a Camus or a Hesse, in my youth. But now I find the Pulitzer, booker and other winners being bought by a large number of youth. It is hard to find out who reads. The reader is no more distinct with a carefree (perhaps the only affordable) attire.

With these little and loosely connected thoughts I begin to write, unknowing where the tide shall take me.

Off the writing block!

June 4, 2009

I have been silent for nearly five weeks; not in the absolute silent state that is considered a spiritual enhancement, but filled with words that were flitting in and out of every moment, vanishing before the nib touches the paper or the finger taps an alphabet.

Life enters a dream state when complacency sets in. When you need not watch the clock, when you need not nod in acknowledgment, when you need not even say you need not have to say, life switches on its dream mode. To remain content, unconcerned and casual, is the dream that is the basic canvass on which all our actions, toils, spoils, desires, wins and losses are painted. We keep doing, doing anything and ascribing meaningfulness to it, just to be in the circuit called living. We keep creating work since work postpones the dream. When dream is no more a dream but a boring reality, we start losing not just the count of minutes but even the number of words we have collected.Words however, just hover around like hungry stray dogs, waiting for your gesture of kindness or cruelty, to wag at or bite you.

Words are indispensable, but expressions are always optional. The style and the polish in expression need not show an erudite enlightenment, it could be a fear that needs to extensively powder-coat the naked honesty of raw words relating to real emotions. And, sometimes it is that fear of uttering which invites silence. I was silent with neither fear nor desire, nothing spiritual or musical; just happened to become silent. I had nothing to say, though there were many ears to listen and many more eyes to read. If silence is born out of redundant words, then silence dies with the burden of unfinished sentences in the mind. In the dream of life, words become the only meaningful symbols of existence.

Words get condensed when life encounters its dream. Words, like dreams become just a minimalistic representation of the underlying thoughts. Words however are necessary. Even in silence one mulls over words, unwritten, unspoken but well-formed. To be silent and to become silent are considered mystically and spiritually higher planes of evolvement, yet even silence is full of words. Every gaze, every smell, every touch and every sound becomes a word in silence. In silence is a word formed and when the word is born, silence dies. To celebrate the death of silence or to mourn for its loss depends on the word and its deflections on the environment.

Is silence enjoyable? Silence being so noisy in solitude cannot be the joyful pause between notes in symphony. It can be a pain, a burden. But we always get used to pain in life. We pretend to like burdens in life. And if so, is silence a sign of depression? Is it a way of saying things that ought to and at the same time not to be said? Why and when do we become silent? If ears are deaf and eyes blind around you, then perhaps silence is the mind’s way of protecting its pride and echoing itself into a narcissistic bliss. Is silence a manifestation of actualization? When we actualize we do not feel pain. We know what pain is, and we negate that pain. We refuse to acknowledge its reality. We glorify the cross so that it can be safely put in an altar into which we may not enter to get nailed.

Silence, like the mythical writer’s block, is a block over which life tumbles. Unless the block is created by the self in a protective act, a block is an accident that shall, even if not fracturing your structural concepts, cause bruises and scars on your carefully nurtured texture of self-worth. One of the ways suggested to get off the writer’s block is to write about the writing block! Using the same technique the best way to overcome the stumbling block of silence that creeps into your life is to even silently sulk about the silence. Words have a cumulative effect on silence. They will metamorphose themselves out of the self-spun cocoon. And, when the time comes for the words to come out as sounds and letters, they would have changed a lot from their raw state. They may appear beautiful and they may even inspire others, but deep inside, your words would become alien to yourself.

This is just an attempt by me to jump off my imagined writer’s block and break the shackles of my self-imposed, though not desired, silence. One of my friends who always calls me when my blog is published will surely ask me “why did you write this? And what are you writing about?” my answer shall be “just like that”, for i have been silent too long, not quiet!


JK – disclaimed

April 15, 2009

This is not about ‘the J.Krishnamurthi’.

This is about my friend, who was called, by all the mutual friends- jk!

Usually a friend reminds you of a rock on which you can tread, a tree to which you can cling, a sea into which you can gaze, a sky into which you can dream, a reality in which you feel true; but, jk reminds me of a furnace- not a fire that ignites, just a furnace that destroys.

I had met him with a person who was then our mutual friend, and in the following years we had mutually decided that ‘that’ person was not a friend but a person rather well-known, infact, he was too well known to both of us to decide that he was not a friend but a person.

Jk was one of the few friends with whom I would drink. One such occasion was on the day the screen siren ‘silk smitha’ died. He called me up and said we should drink. We did. He toasted to her death. Though my glass clinked his, I could not toast to death. My wife, though agreeing that it was a moment to mourn, agreed with me. Can mourning be toasted? By that time, jk had not read Rajneesh while I had, and I was told by the master of those times that death is a celebration! I could not, and I am not sure whether he did celebrate either. He had the uncanny way of talking as though convinced even when he wasn’t !

There were times when he would land up in my house, drink and chat, and decide to leave after midnight. Since I do not drink and drive, my wife would have to take him in her then-basic (and base) two-wheeler, the sunny! When she came back after every such delivery-to-home she would complain only one thing- ‘ he keeps talking’. He kept talking, throughout his life.

He almost talked me into killing him. He said I should not see him suffer. He said I should make him exit the world in dignity. He said I have to as a friend, kill him before he kills his image- well, not in so many words. I didn’t.

He died with a cancer. He suffered. I saw him suffering. He pleaded even in those later days of his life to me, to put an end to him. I couldn’t. Not just because he was my friend, but simply because I couldn’t.

And he died; I heard that he died in pain. I avoided my own pain of seeing him in pain- and I wasn’t ashamed of that. I had to go and see him as a dead body, a pale blueing body in an icy cage. I did not cry when that image struck me in reality. I just ran away, just as how I ran away from his death-wish.

That evening, I was there at the crematorium, I saw his body and the lies (that he had collected all his life) arrive. With the permission of those who were blatantly in authority I joined the few hands that lifted his body onto the slide of the final furnace. And then,

I kissed his forehead. The man whose nails had not brushed with mine, had become a body whose forehead brushed with my lips! Shunning the shocked eyes, my eyes focused on the body sliding through the furnace, to be enveloped by a flame. Even now as I type I feel the heat of the flame that engulfed the body of my friend, but I do not cry.

In 1998, I needed 25,000 Rs. and he had enough contacts if not bank balance to arrange that for me. He didn’t. I was not trustworthy enough for that amount. In 2005, he gave me a watch and said it was RADO! I gifted that to someone just to be reminded in 2008 that it was an imitation! He had told me Rajneesh was crap, and he told me in his dying days that the only solace he derives from life is by reading Osho!

He had not done many things for me! In fact, he did not do many things for me that he could have done. Yet, he was (the verb has to be past in grammar though the meaning will remain in the present-continuous) MY friend

Friendship is not by what they do not do, but what they do to you. The doing is love.

I loved JK, who loved JK (jiddu), and I love JK!