Posted tagged ‘life’

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….


Pondering and rambling..

August 15, 2013

Writing is laborious at times, especially when one decides to strew words together to form a meaningful and purposeful piece. The artist is more blessed than the writer in this labour of love.  He can dab colours at will and fancy, let them form meanings of their own and allow the viewer to discern and dissect what had never ever occurred to him while creating. The writer is not so fortunate. He cannot let words fall in disarray. Words are more precious than colours. They can’t be sprayed carelessly or with carefree abandon. They need to fall in place, and that place has to be determined in advance not left to destiny’s design.

In the beginning, they all declare, was the word. That may have been the only word that dropped out of nowhere to become something not really planned; this surmise could be wrong too since in a primordial pondering,  they all also say that word was the beginning. Just daring to go a little further, a thought comes to mind that in the beginning there was the thought, and thought became the beginning and in the beginning was the word. Word, the form of thought is perhaps the first idol of the formless thought that god is made of.  

What indeed is God and why God? The inevitable and obvious answer to this puzzle is that god is the need for mankind to express and explore existence. In this exploration is contained the negation of the hypothesis of god, in this need for expression is contained the human urge to express and leave an imprint. Having witnessed the disappearance of fellow species, fearing similar extinction, ancients might have felt the urge to leave traces of themselves in eternity and not vanish into void, knowing that sowing their seeds alone would not guarantee a permanent place on earth. Thus would have, in the beginning, born a word.

Word is thought, uttered or written; and word has been declared as the beginning and as god. Thought therefore is god and the mind therefore is god’s natural abode as the mind too is formless and open to multiple interpretations like god.

As is the common vanity of humans who could afford to experiment various forms with words, some would have  experimented with expressions of thought in art forms. In the beginning perhaps an artist gave form to his shapeless yet sharp thought and created an idol. In a modest moment he may have ignored the urge to replicate himself in art and created some form that was not exactly his self but an expansion of it. He called it god, and IT was declared god. The form created by imagination, the manipulative quality of thought, gave scope for words to be imagined. Words eulogized the form and claimed that, ‘that’ form inspired words. Words and forms, created their own structural formulae to withstand the decay and death the definitive threat of time.

Therefore and thus, THOUGHT, the formless void, became, by itself, words and forms, to live on and on in the mindscape for eternity. ‘Thought’,  the force, became the idol in the special space that was named as mind. They became inseparable and the temple became god and god became the temple, to be worshipped so that the proximity that can puzzle was distanced with respect- respectful in a self-preserving safe defense. Once the preliminary structure was formed, rules and rituals were determined and put in place. Grammar was formulated as were rituals and rites. The formless was framed in form.

Once in a while, the free spirit of the original formless thought would break through the rigid walls that humans had built around it, to try and become formless again. Whenever that happened, the fearful humanity would capture that formless leak of the designed form, and make a new form, a new grammar and a new order. Negations were thus negated. And words continue to fall into structured patterns. New forms were declared as new designs, and designs were newly formulated. The walls of the prison were and are, extended to encompass whatever escaped or tries to. The prison became designated as a shrine, and worship was a way of ensuring and checking that the imprisoned formless thought remained the acceptable word and form.

Thinking about thought, words keep propping about words too. Thought indeed is the primal word. in the beginning it was the word, and the beginning was THOUGHT, uncluttered, unstructured, untainted by imagination, unpolluted with rules, unformed but containing all including itself, the original self, the God. To that god I dedicate these ramblings, bits and pieces of itself.

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 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.

here am i !

May 9, 2010

I am here. Neither exhausted nor exhilarated, I feel that I have arrived. Is this the ‘here’ that I had pursued as ‘there’ in my yesteryears or is there another ‘there’ lurking beyond horizons,  teasing to promise another ‘eureka’? Having come here, I pause.

The limbs have not tired, and my clocks have not stopped, yet I pause, neither to retrospect nor to plan. I pause because I am here, trying to extend the life of every second. Extending and constricting time is an illusion, as big or as small as one believes in one’s life.

Hope is the single ingredient to make the magic formula that extends time, just as how fear can reduce it. The momentary awareness of the moment’s magnitude or minimalism is still a projection of intellect.  Yet masters of all centuries, and their mimics in modern commercial consumerism, have all emphasized on living the moment. Have I (or for that matter you) have ever been unable to live any moment? Moments make life. If to live correctly is the only way of living, what happens to the moments that change the definitions of right and wrong?

What do moments comprise of? Happiness and sadness the two prime pillars of emotions that define and describe our state of mind have long cast a shadow long enough to hide the other more prevalent state of mind- bluntness. Hope and fear, shame and anger however come up as chosen words  for the intellect to describe itself. But moments can be empty too, like what I feel now. This is not the dispassionate drudgery of committed existence extolled in scriptures. This is the moment of truth, which does not need to be happy or sad. It is breath in its purest form, unconditioned, uninhibited, untrained and indifferent. Having come here, I pause again. A pause is an illness, as much as a stopping is death. I pause, thinking I can stop here. Since there is no stopping allowed in living, I pause pretending that I do not have to take another weary step.

I do not wish nor care to audit my life now. I refuse to make plans either. I just want to be here and watch clocks tick, and humans tick. I just want to watch the invisible flutter of the cloud. I want to watch and catch the sun’s ray as it hits a water drop. I want to be as I have never been all along. And, as is obvious, I still ‘want’.

Though wishes and wants are effortless, dreams are inexpensive and words that frame them spontaneous, the awareness of the horizon, albeit in the farthest corner of my vision,  means that I have to go on. Knowing not where or even how, assuming that all the stuff that my brain has packed would suffice to continue the journey, I know that my maps are not clear anymore. My next step is into the unknown, yet my foot lifts as it has always been doing, to place itself on what it and ‘that’ perceive as safe landing.

I am here, but is it the same spot that I was some five hundred words ago?


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!