Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just a Story - Art & Life


Words are his. His meaning hers. Waiting. Always waiting. I for him. He for her. 

I for life.

He, death.

I was watching Aashiqui II tonight. Now, there are certain movies, certain books I avoid for reasons I could only sense, but could not figure. Naturally, I would know nothing about them. Ayn Rand's Fountainhead was the first I could name. I heard a lot about her. As a struggling writer who was yet to come to form, I did not want to get influenced. At least, that was the reason I gave some friends. As it happened, I just intuitively avoided the book. And then there was Artemis Fowl, during my teenage-fantasy obsession phase. Which, I must add, was quite recent. I thought, nothing in a childrens' novel would remotely faze me. But I avoided the series anyhow. How right I was too, 'coz it tore me inside out, some parts of the series when I finally got to the bottom of it. And it was never meant to be that way. I'm just not the right audience for the series. I understood too much. Nobody's supposed to understand so much.

Now, there is Aashiqui II.

Nobody's supposed to understand so much. And nobody, ever, is supposed to identify.

Not with this. Not him.

This stereotype that is not quite a stereotype. This character that is not quite fictional.

Because he exists, but his existence is just as much a fantasy. A notion, really. Not to be seen. Not to be felt. Not to be walked in, the path he creates. A person, not misunderstood, but one that cannot be understood. The artist. The alienated boy genius. The man who lives for his work. The one who has nothing beyond it.

I suppose that's me too. And I ain't nothing yet.

Suicide, yes.

Oh, the indelible lure of suicide.

And I knew she heard me. She's always heard me. Been hearing me. In my thoughts. In my head. Always. And now she will know. 

Only she. 

Why. 

She will know why. 

I just don't. 

A friend of a friend, a girl who was in love with the wrong person. An artist who just didn't have the space to create, a daughter who couldn't express to her parents what she wanted in life, someone I just didn't know, attempted suicide quite recently. And the toll it took on her, I am pretty sure, she wasn't looking to come back. I was like...

Always in my thoughts. Always, but not random. Never random. Why not. Why the hell not? Why remain a mystery even to myself, when I know exactly what I want? 

Why is death such a bad thing, if brought upon oneself? 

There are a lot of us. There are a lot of me. We, who grew up thinking we are unique. We, who know now, that everyone is. And the magic has just gone out of our existence. We exist to serve others. In our words, if one finds meaning, we revel in their comprehension. In our creations, if one finds themselves, we back away quietly. Let them be the only ones there, in that magical land we created, but never found ourselves in. Were never meant to find ourselves in. And we knew that, as creators. From the beginning. Not for us, these fruits of our toil. Our journey, we...

Sing to ourselves. 

Tune in my head. Aaarrgggh....

However far and deep shall I go, to escape your breath. That which dictates my existence. Tune in my head. Rations my joys. Supplicates my emotion. 

Makes me her slave, until those mighty sounds I let roll. Voice of my soul, this tune in my head.  

And how I love her. 

More than anything, any real person. I love her, tune in my head. The unborn. Mine and mine alone. Waiting for my voice to find her. Just one last time. 

And then she'll go away. Away, into the echoes. Into ether. Into energy. Breath. Thought. Just a glance in a different direction. 

She'll go away again. Leave me all alone, unable to explain myself. To the real people. 

Unable to explain why. 

What makes me me. Why am I so miserable? Why I desire nothing. Why I have everything and yet had let loss alone find me. Over and over, bit by bit. So much loss. Why. 

I waste away. I escape. Hide in my addictions, my hideousness  The anger I use to build walls around myself. I cannot see. I refuse to see. Anything. Anyone. Everything is just the same to me. 

Until she is reborn. In a different form. Shape and body. A new meaning. A new stirring in my gut. A new emotion. Something I've been blind to, all my life, she will show me. And I shall watch, my eyes lit awonder. I will find...ah, such sweet relief. That all my wait, all that ugliness was not for nothing. She will show me how to love again. Tell me why the world is beautiful. And I will listen.  

One last time, before she leaves. 

Empties away, from my head where she's born. Leaving no trace of ever being there. Numbs my fingertips where she took her first breath. Twists my gut until all meanings choke away, into never having reason to exist in the first place. 

Tune in my head, when she leaves, she leaves my heart where she found it. Open. Vulnerable. 

Unimaginably sensitive. 

Oh, how I hurt. And for nothing, how I hurt. All for nothing, how well I hurt. 

Unfortunately, I knew how the movie would end before it began. My cousins told me, and as a group, we had some exposure to suicide when we were newly young. It never worked. It is never supposed to work. But sometimes it does.

I wanted to tell him to stop. I wanted him to listen. I knew he was lying when he says he would get all better. Change. I've been there. I've done that. It's what we do. We lie. But some of us are less fortunate. We are more courageous when it comes to that final step. Not anyone I know. But they are there.

I've lost characters before. Those I  painstakingly created. Person in my head that I just had to kill, in order to finish telling his story. I didn't realize it the first few times, but the last time it happened, it was as if someone near and dear had gone. In fact, it was worse. Person in my head, when he left, it was as if the world's complaints were mine. This fragile body, the victim of all. Because when you truly see the world through something else, something objective - not you, not yours, a creation, an entity independent of you - when you learn to exist beyond your own self, that's when you are most afraid. For everything other than yourself.

I suppose Rahul's fear for Aarohi's newfound voice is similar to my fear for his character. Man's true creation. His art. But at least, as a writer, I have the advantage of thinking Rahul in terms of a person. Not just an object. Not a tune. Not a voice. Not a declaration of colours. A living, breathing person. I can see him wherever I go. Interact with him through real people in whom I see glimpses of him, even though his fate was true. Take care of someone else in place of him, if that screaming urge I felt to change his fate was right.

But life was not like that, for Rahul. Those artists have nothing to compare their emotions to. To understand that the process of creation, biological or otherwise, is immensely complicated and society does not have the answer for it. Alcoholism wasn't the problem.

Art is.

How we take it's fruits and never look twice at the person who created it. How we never think it's important where something we enjoy comes from. What it takes, really, to challenge the norms and make something new. It's not all rebellion, not ambition, not drive, not success.

It's life.

Art is.

And as long as we turn a blind eye to the reality of it, our artists will suffer. Our writers will be alone. Our innovators will be challenged, insulted, berated, left to their doom behind all the worthless praise. Our world-view will continue to be lopsided, because this part of it, the one I belong to, I am sorry does not belong to your 'reality'. Part of it belongs to the future.

Future where the tune comes from.

He will know what I mean.

Only him.

I am inadequate with my words, just as he was with his actions. And when he takes a new one this time, we will tell you the story.







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