Archive for the ‘rudhran’ category

Facebook foible

September 16, 2014

To discover or invent the psychology of the pathology of the facebook I need words, but I wonder if I do really have them. I am getting close to saying I am at a loss for words.

If I were not in facebook, I would have savoured and used many words again. I don’t mean just words. Words are just a part of a grand design whose line drawing is a sentence.

I may have gone on writing in the paper on the same page the next day or the next year, but the page with my words would have just been there, hanging around like a loyal dog waiting for an uncaring master. I may have even let the poor dog die unfed and uncared, but I would not have caught it and flung onto the street, where its whimpers would have drowned in the chaotic traffic out there. Facebook  has made me merciless and cruel, more cruel than a child battering mother. I give birth to these words in their formative design, and without waiting for them to grow and grab other words and weave another branch or related words, I thrust them out into the harsh light of social media which scorches more than the sun in its peak of heat.

I am not lamenting at the premature death of so many poetic probabilities that were prematurely delivered and left to die, untreated and uncared at the reduced number of ‘likes’. Thank God they did not create a  clickable ‘dislike’ till this moment. I feel like the shameless and selfish mother who disowns her child because it does not beget her appreciation. I have let so many lovely angels decay before they grew their wings and turned rosy. My words are unfortunate to have been born in this facebook era. Had they been born in the days of paper and pen, they would have still been alive and around, and if perchance I see them in a new light, may have got resuscitated. Not these days; words flee from typing fingers onto the launch pad of a click button, and in seconds after their appearance, appear in front of all. Not the ‘ALL’, but the ‘all’ who I have considered my temporary all. And, not all look at these words. Some are not even aware that they have arrived, some do not care to give them a second look, a few ignore, and a few more refuse to acknowledge. The fresh sculpture soon finds a dustbin, and with the million tons of debris and rubbish that keep piling everyday it may never find an archaeologist, anytime in the farthest future.

Having wasted so many words I still keep collecting them. I still keep weaving them into a tapestry that I always imagine would surpass the shroud of Turin. But those golden threads have gone out of the window, and I have gilded copies which would soon fade and dim in the eyes and minds of whoever cares to even take them on for a look.

I pause, ponder and in defense pontificate, that words are just the outpouring of a perennial stream and there it would always be, the source of the stream, supplying for eternity.  I lie to myself and write- ‘Wordless in the wilderness of mind..’

It is not that words have flown away from my memory; it is just that they are looking back at my mind which flung them out. They look down and mock at times, at my foolish delusion that they would one day soar up above the world so high that they would twinkle and light a new path. They do look up at me with ineffable sorrow, to make me guilty that I have thrown a seed out before looking at the ground and its fertility. They pray to me, an incompetent creator, hoping that I would resurrect them or give another birth and a chance to do something worthwhile. They pretend to believe in me, and pretend to believe in the world outside of me.  I have thrown out many words. Every word I threw out was not a casual toss into oblivion; they were all pellets aimed at a goliath that I had not even sighted. I have thrown away many words, original words that glittered and glimmered in the illusory sentences that my mind elaborately designed in deceit. All those words are gone. My mind and its brain still have surplus stock of words, but many are just replicas of those original words which went flying out into a fathomless obscurity. Having had the delight and ecstasy of using the original word in its pristine form to make a virgin design, replicas make me sigh.

Lies again. Not the cunning, scheming, malicious and brutal lies that are generally evident; these are lies that smoothly sail out like a leaking perfume, and hover long enough to get noticed and vanish. They would by the time have made their impact. An impact that would not choke or scorch, but an impact that would slowly cloud the vision, temporarily but long enough to distract and alter the perspective. Depths would no more be deep enough….

NO..I cannot write lies to myself. I cannot take writing down to the level of a ‘selfie’. I have to save my words, whatever is left of them, for a hope in the dark future when I may have an opportunity to unhurriedly set a necklace uncaring whose neck it would adorn the next day.

Until then, I have to write lies, not for myself but for others.

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….

psychology of blogging

October 29, 2012

*** this was written in 2008, posting again with cyber-accusations and criminal actions becoming more frequent.***

Whether Kancha Ilaiah is a fraud or whether saibaba is a god, whether there is brahmanical fanaticism or fanatic anti-brahmanism, there are enough blogs to argue both sides. All these bloggers can argue rather forcefully even if not sensibly. Why is blogging picking up?

Basically the operative element is an anonymous proximity. Even if my photo is seen you  cannot claim to become my friend and try to spend time with me. This safe “use and throw” relationship-of-convenience is the primary attraction of blogs. I can say what I want, and if you decide to register your protest I still have the right and the choice to allow the protest on my page. Those who see my page will be seeing my views and my counters (whenever, and if ever I can logically produce one) and no one will know where and when I am at a loss to explain.

I can still feel I am in a crowd that is talking about things which matter to me. I can protest with dignity or cheapness, be an angel or a devil, talk when I want to and be silent if that is fine for me. I cannot be forced into discussions; ofcourse, I cannot force you into a discussion, except when I dare to spit valueless venom through a personal pathology. These are the conveniences I have noticed and even used in blogs.

The second operative element in blogging is its pseudo-personal space wherein one can become disinhibited. Though your true skin will be seen by others when your blog is posted, you need not hesitate to say whatever you feel like unlike in the real world where you have to observe elementary decency to those who deserve it. Yet, it is only a disinhibited and not an uninhibited behaviour, because deep down you are conscious that your words are going to be seen by someone somewhere.

Masked identity is another courage-boosting element of blogging. You need not talk in your real name.  I know of some people who chose to mask their identity for real and valid reasons, but most of the persons who write in pseudonyms ( and sometimes in anonymity) do so out of fear. Though their words may appear courageous they still have not mustered enough conviction and courage to come out in the open and stand by what they have said.

Why mask identity? Some are like a compassionate medusa, for if their face is seen their critics would turn into stone, stupefied with fear. Some are like clowns who need to have a different identity to make an apparent fool of themselves so that others can have a good laugh. Some are like a silly child hiding behind a table thinking no one can see who and where they are. Whether one decides to disclose her/his identity or not is certainly a private decision that has to be respected and even if not accepted, not discussed.

The problem of wearing a mask is different in a socio-psychological perspective. There are intellectuals who use their intelligence to call themselves idiots, and so too are there idiots who stupidly call themselves intellectuals. Depending on why the mask is worn, and depending on the insightful intellect of the individual, a mask becomes a potent weapon or a poor joke.

It is understandable if masks are worn and identities deliberately disguised in the mushrooming social networking sites. Though these sites can be a forum for healthy and honourable matters, mostly they are used to find a `friend` to flirt. An elderly uncle who tries to wear shorts and T-shirts, ugly dyeing of hair and a false accent in which lies are expressed as values, will never be able to date a young girl with average intelligence. But in the virtual world, the same uncle just has to assume a name, age, occupation and marital status that would bring scraps to his page! But, blogs are not meant for picking up a date. Whether your profile declares you as young or old, spiritual or religious, left or right, no one `falls` for you. Only your views matter. And therefore your identity is never masked or invisible. However sublime your language, however innocent your discussion, your colours will show through the veil.

Blogging has its psychological benefits. Just as how your mind operates in a dramatic performance there are certain mechanisms operating here too. Initially there is identification, then there is the possibility of learning a conflict resolution and finally there is a catharsis. You identify with the character or the cause or the chronicle, you feel you have experienced a similar situation. Then you see the situational conflict resolved in the performance and if you choose to, you may try to use it to answer your personal question. Even if you cannot find a solution to your problem in the performance-narrative it would still be a cathartic relief. You can download feelings from your emotive memory and get the same relief of being happy, sad, angry or disgusted. But are blogs used for this?

Though blogs can be of immense personal psychological comfort, I see some bloggers using it to throw mud (if not spit venom) on ideas that are not consistent with their own values. Blogs are becoming pamphlets thrown on the disinterested by stander. If perchance someone reads and accepts their ideas it is fine, otherwise just some space on space is wasted! However impassionate and objective you may describe yourself, you will tend to lean towards one ideology versus another. If you have not formed your own opinions on matters, these moments would tilt you towards a particular idea if not ideology. The intelligent wearing the mask of an idiot would appeal to your conscience by their pseudo-innocence. You will fall for the game plan. Some vague emotional itch that you have been bearing all along would be scratched and you will not only become comfortable with that anonymous hand, you would start yearning for it.

If we can just be  a little more aware when we imagine that we are awake, we can escape from the dragnet. We would be able to retain our power to choose. We can choose only when we think. And, when we start thinking we cannot be silent. We would start protesting.

This is what had happened to me, and I consequently started  commenting on issues that I felt were concerning me, and the response I got from one blogger was that I have “become jobless”!! Blogging is not a jobless individual’s way of spending time, it is a social obligation to respond to the milieu.

opening meandering

December 2, 2010

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.

There is no sadness or bitterness in these words. They are just trying to reproduce fading photographs of a getting-forgotten past. I cannot be my own mirror, nor can I soar above myself to look at myself. I am inside myself, trying to paint the world from a room with closed windows. I am shrinking.

The world around me is expanding. The city is changing. The words that I used are no longer in circulation. The landmarks that guided me have all been erased and replaced. I am an alien in my native land.

In the beginning it must have been easy with just that one word, but now with a million choices which is the word that I should choose to write my story. I know only one story and that is mine. I shall try to narrate my story with as much honesty as possible. My prejudices and personal fantasies may percolate down these words to give a different tone and color to my image, but then, that is my image of myself; and that is what I can show. This maybe just the way I have seen my life.

I do not remember the cradle though I have seen it in my later years. I have many photographs in which I do not recognize myself. The most vivid opening scene in my narration to self is set on a beach on the sands of Marina.

It was an evening in graying tones of blue- not the depressing hue but one with a provocative calmness. One filled with pregnancy’s final moments. The one moment that anticipates a new-born baby’s sound with a fearful hope like the big pause of the clock’s second hand. It was also one of those many wonderful moments when I was doing nothing in particular.

Doing nothing is how a painting starts. You don’t even think or plan. The canvass is there, the palette clean and the brush yet to be picked up. From that emptiness shall come everything that is going to be filled in that frame. Some deliberations would come alongside spontaneity, the expected would intermingle with the unexpected, and the picture would come to present what the artist wishes than what it really is.

I shall begin now, on the sands of Marina, about thirty five years ago. That was not the moment when I was born, but the moment from when I started to live, started to think, and dream that I can dream. It was when words really became meaningful. This is a story but not  fiction.