And 100 posts!!! Though I hate the sound of the word. ‘Essay’ is so much nicer, if a little high-falutin’. ‘Piece’ sounds nice. Yes, I like the sound of ‘piece.’ I think I’ll stick with piece.
Or maybe collection? Or collage? Or compilation? Maybe even a montage or a mosaic, though that’s a tad graphic for my taste.
Word-play aside, the times they are a-changing seems like a nice theme, so here goes :
The latest Student Council, in its first week in power, has managed to get the paan-suTTa-Thela adjoining the campus wall shut. After a grand run of 31 years, apparently. Very surprisingly (I’m surprised), I’m on their side. My problem with smokers is not so much about individual expression or human rights or even healthcare and the eventual burden on the taxpayer.
Its more to do with the dropping of inhibitions that comes with intoxication. And mistaking complete freedom of thought for intellect and rectitude in equal measure. It makes me cringe to have to listen to some very distasteful talk among six or seven people in a group and then have it justified to me with references to Darwin and Evolutionary Biology, as some girl walks by trying to stay as far away from the bunch as possible, and six pairs of eyes follow hungrily. And this, when all I want to do is take in a little second-hand smoke, and well, indulge in a little moderately distasteful talk IN PRIVATE.
But I forget. “Girls like the attention,” I’m told. “They just act like they don’t.”
Seriously, what is it with the average Indian yokel’s equation of unintentional sexual harassment with manliness?
Ever tried driving with AIR’s Vividh Bharati playing on the radio? I come from a staunch radio-listening family raised on years and years of Vividh Bharati and even so, I find the task impossible. I have to strain to hear the male announcer’s slow baritone or the female announcer’s measured pauses. I have to listen to them enunciate “gAon JhoomritalaiyyA se Chunnu, Munnu, unke mummy-papa aur unke parivAr ke bAki sadasyon ki farmAish” before they get to the actual song. It just seems out of sync though the same songs on a CD would be great. It simply doesn’t work.
Somehow the vacuous mile-a-minute chatter of modern-day FM radio programming works. A song, some chit-chat, some flirting, some giggling, another song, ad infinitum. It just works, though I’m damned if I could handle an hour of that indoors.
Speaking of driving and traffic, ever noticed how the weekend traffic is different from weekday traffic? It’s as if everyone who would normally take the company bus to work seems to pull his/ her car out on the weekend and ambles through the streets, not a care in the world beyond finding parking. And trying to parallel park. The traffic density is so much lower but it’s so unstructured; it almost takes longer to get anywhere on a weekend.
Start commuting people, learn to drive!
Oh, and one little Lifetime-achievement-Oscar-acceptance-speech.
A lot of people have been kind enough to be nice and ask me why comments are switched off and why I went underground, etc.
I pondered over the question for a while, trying to turn a vague feeling into words, till I found the following lines in V.S. Naipaul’s ‘The enigma of arrival.’
Man and writer were the same person. But that is a writer’s greatest discovery. It took time – and how much writing! – to arrive at that synthesis.
But what of the man and what the man thinks of the man (the same man) and what the man thinks others think of the man (again, the same one)? To believe in, let alone accept the universality of all human thought and effort is probably the hardest thing in the world. The pathological is always more convincing. Repressed biases and complexes, a fear of judgment and ridicule, the need for approval get in the way.
All you can do then is to be the ostrich.
Like someone said, “Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”
And maybe write like nobody’s reading, while you’re at it?
Oh wait, that would have made a nice title.