Sorry, Not Sorry

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.

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Steer on, for there is light at the end of every tunnel

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.

Musée Rodin, Paris
Choices hold the authority to a ‘what if?’; always

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.”
“What art?”
“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.”

This was a recent conversation between Pachai and me when I expressed my interest in visiting the Kochi Muziris Biennale.

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.

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Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi | Photo: Bragadeesh Prasanna

Sunnily Yours

Dear Earth

I have watched you hover around me for as long as the first of humankind has existed. Not much has changed since, except that we separate in some of your regional belts for a few hours. I have watched you create fascinating glimpses for your kids. So many that sometimes, I feel they take you for granted. I am sorry if I sound curt or my revelation is crude and hurting. For all I know, you may not even justify my whining of your offsprings to whom you are this committed to. Moreover, I do not have the right to do so when there is a chink in one’s own armour. Me. I am no exception. The other day in India I was getting ready for my slumber when I overheard a mother and daughter conversing about you and I. As always, I wanted to be oblivious to my kith or kin and their well-being. I could not have cared less about the looming Star in my neighbourhood or the reddening Sky in my aftermath. I had done my time for the day. I wanted to nap. Adieu. And so, I shut my eye. I blinked my way into Horizon as frictionlessly as I usually do. But I felt fluttery at closure. The mother-daughter conversation ruffled my shades of dusk. I wasn’t able to effectuate my dip into Horizon. Until I overheard the two that day, I had forgotten that I am allowed to retire in your world because you make it possible. A lot of your kids grow up with an awareness of my rising in the East and setting in the West. It feels as if a pedagogue skipped a grammar lesson on conjunctions. I wish the learning alters to me rising in the East and setting in the West because of you. All this while, I thought I had your significance surmised right. Irrespective of how I exhibited it on the outside. How ignorant and self-centred I felt that day. What if, you decided someday that you no longer want to orbit me? I am likely to be found fighting my way through a wildfire in heaven. With my heat in tow, stimulating fire across Horizon.

I would be that unbidden volunteer handed over to the magician. My gaze would bore into his’ with unanticipated intents. Bereaved of his simple tips. Gullible to his hidden tricks.

Ma: There we come to the end of another day. The sun has gone to the United States of America.

Daughter (taking a moment to realise what she had just heard): These days, even humans can make it to the USA in twenty-one hours. Yet, the earth remains fastest. It reaches the sun to the US within twelve hours.

Ma: It is not really the sun sets. It is an optical illusion. (a preganant pause) It’s just the earth that moves around. The sun is actually stationary.

Daughter: Yeah. (gazing at the sun as it disappeared into the horizon) Ma, what if the earth stopped revolving one day?

Afternoons are my favourite. I like the space you give me in them. I am at my brightest, and laziest. You circle me by degrees and time stands still for those few blissful hours. Sometimes, I wish you would end your pirouetting around me with midday. I find percolating my heat to be one of the easiest things, for my temperament needs no controlling. It is my way of saying – let go. Sky beckons to my wishes, allowing me to prevail over him according to my mood. I can sprawl over or go crepuscular. Being midway of having completed my journey for the day and finishing the other half appeals to me. This sojourn leaves me with, what many of your inhabitants call, a Friday morning. Just that, I celebrate a Friday morning every noon. As much as I like many of your kids, I cannot help feeling amused when they bundle themselves up in layers of clothes during my shiniest hours on you. Either that or they take refuge in a self-effacing shelter.

It hurts me, though when your children ask amongst themselves – ‘in this heat?’. I find this reasoning grouchy. Am I so unbearable? Or, is it my wrath that intimidates them? Residents of your Indian subcontinent cannot bear me at my finest. I may sound like a desperado, believing you have no other job than to be my bootless detective. Pray, tell me this, if Land chose to be different every few feet, how does it become just my fault? I do not visit certain parts of you in the West; I am uncalled. But little do I know that your occupants there feel otherwise. I see hundreds of dots step out on the day to bask in me. Some enjoy me like their time out. I am their breather; their we-were-on-a-break from routine. Your inhabitants’ hypocrisy is bemusing. And annoying. I like to enjoy Sky to myself. Not just in the afternoons, but throughout. I am sheepish enough to admit it. How must I react when your kids encroach him with paper kites and aeroplanes? At some of such times, I cave in and do what I do the best. I let go. After all, it is You whom I shine upon. Your kids are oblique bearers.

Sometimes, I underplay against Sky. I like to. I feel like an indulgent donator. I lounge around indifferently at Rock Bottom, lazy enough to wake up, while Cloud enjoys the frontline feeling playful and grey-filled. A crack of a thunder, the flash of a purple, and the sight of water kissing mud – your residers are wooed already. Bah, humbug!

Photo: Vinod VV Photography

Although I have never managed to proclaim my affection for you, I hope you do know that you are my favourite of the eight. Given a chance, I would be content as your mistress. Being a spouse would not do me justice. I am not marriage material for I’m fickle. I need to flit in and out of all of you eight siblings. (Now you know better of my whereabouts on days when Cloud takes over.) I cannot settle for one partner. I feel unable, restricting myself to follow commandment(s) the mortal society bestows in the cover of marriage. Infidelity is my strength. And weakness. You say you are okay with an unconventional wedlock. You say you have the strength to take whatever comes your way while I go ahead with my id-like inhibitions. I am convinced by it all. But you need to understand that I am a hypocrite. My state of unfaithfulness will ignite in me a guilty self-conscience. The contrition will consume me. You are settled. And mortal. You have lives to look after. You have chances of being perished after a while. Before your children do. Or afterwards. Not me. I do not understand my lifespan. I do not even know if I am perishable. I am not saying that no one can reach or destroy me; let’s face it, there isn’t a unanimous evidence. At the same, I am insecure coming in the open about our relationship status. My desires towards you are lusty. Being locked to you will destroy my amorous fancies with Venus and Mars. Jupiter and Saturn. And the rest. I am moody. And selfish. Just like I do not care about Sky once I am done with my time in the evening, I cannot stick with being beautified all the time. And that is exactly what you do to me. You complete me. You have always done so. But it is not daily that I want to belong. It is not every day that I want to feel beautiful. Or wholesome.

I want you to continue to be my favourite mistake.

My only holiday in Goa.

Sunnily Yours

Read the earth’s response to the sun here.

This post is written for the ‘love theme’ contest by the Chennai Bloggers Club in association with Woodooz and Indian Superheroes.