I am a sceptical person. I self-limit the need to express my views and opinions; the wish being negligible in its existence. Partly because I am not comfortable talking in or to the public and partly because my perspectives fail to confide in me. My points of view do not reward me with any self-confidence. Or with anything positive for that matter. I feel great about them. No second thoughts there. But not when I need to share them with someone. I guard my outlooks with a fierce privacy lest I give them away, even if a little unwittingly, for a spin of mockery. I am apprehensive of being brought to the fore; under the limelight of any kind. Whether in my presence or in the lack of it. I shy away, wanting to camouflage with the painting on the walls or into the floor pattern. I wish nothing more than to disappear in those moments at the snap of a finger leaving behind a whiff of smoke. Or, maybe nothing at all.
I am tongue-tied when it comes to enunciations. Of, for, and about, anything. It leads me to the reasoning that articulation is not my forte. Instances have more often than not directed me to not doing a good job of them.
When I finished Under Graduation, reality hit with a jerk. I was not ready to face the drone of concrete jungles. I was on the brink of hitting twenty. With a skimpy general knowledge, measly data handy about career options, and the internet just beginning to gain traction — and therefore the lack of it — I chose Post Graduation in Business Administration. I knew I was not interested. But I could not fathom what I wanted career-wise. I did not know if there were courses to get creative. I did not know if the world paid for any jobs that did not include crunching numbers in banks or stocks and share markets. The sound of it is dreamy. But I also knew that I did not want my studentship to end that soon. And so, even if not the best of choices, I agreed to a Business Administration degree. Because that meant winning back my student life. Even if for two years. On the flip side (read: the course front), little did I know what I was signing up for. The bottom line lay in my disability to articulate to my parents of the time I wanted, to grasp my area of interest. I failed to tell them that I was looking for more creative options. I did not express me being okay about taking a few weeks, a month, or a few, to discover what I wanted to do. Even if that meant letting go of an academic year.
Two years of extended studentship. Not the best of educational choices. You win some. You lose some.
Verbal communication — or my lacking in it — make me defensive. I stutter and stammer with an always-active-word-search-bar in my silver cells. Trying to give a vocalised perspective to my viewpoint. But I fail at it. Miserably. Time and again. Even if I manage to string aloud two sentences resonating with my thought process, a cynical side questions me if the listener has perceived it the way I intended it to be. I run out of tolerance at my inability to word my thoughts, suit up into a defensive mechanism, and throw the ball back in the asker’s court. This happens a lot particularly when I am eliciting elaborations about abstract subjects. An idea, an event or even a domain. I enjoy spending time amidst visual art forms. If someone were to ask me what is at an art fair and the reason I want to visit it, I would be dumbstruck. I would not know what more to say other than it’s nice. I would find no way to phrase my thoughts, that is, if there are any! I love music — I worship it. What about a melody, a rhythm or a song makes me go gaga, I do not know. How can you not like the song? or What is there to not like about this song? is the question I am faced with. I cannot justify the feeling of being, that abstract art forms give me. I must either be let go without too many I-am-only-trying-to-understand-your-perspective questions or stay back because I am unable to suppress someone’s curious qualms.
“I want to visit the Biennale in Kochi.”
“What’s a Biennale?”
“It’s a large-scale exhibition or a music festival that happens once every two years.”
“What’s at the Biennale?”
“It’s an art fair.”
“Visual art. There is a website. I can show you the details.”
“That’s okay. Why do you want to go?”
“Because it’s good to learn perspectives. I feel great in the company of visual art.”
“What kind of visual art?”
“Paintings, expositions — there are artists of different cadres. It’s okay if you don’t want me to go. I can stay at home and plan for something that’s available in the neighbourhood.”
Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi | Photos: Bragadeesh Prasanna
I wish there were options for information, particularly responses, to be given in writing. I find it arguably easier to carve my thoughts into a written form than in having them communicated orally. Sometimes.
Preference to stay quiet and write. Skip an option to strike a relation and (re)bond. You win some. You lose some.