Nina, proclaiming, owning, shaking free, seizing, holding aloft, declaring, breathing, flying.
Being alive, Feeling Good.
Nina, proclaiming, owning, shaking free, seizing, holding aloft, declaring, breathing, flying.
Being alive, Feeling Good.
Sometimes I feel like the loneliest lonely person in the world.
On a day like that, such as today too is,
I just wish someone from my old past,
the older young me who was full of hope,
would call me and ask me simply
how I am?
and tell me that they
care about me and miss me.
And yet on a day like this
I begin to loathe all forms of affection
wish to reject friendships, run away
from this place, from clusters of people
who all merge into one
and loose meaning.
All the space in the world
whirling around alone
in deep dark space
On some nights, Eddie reminds me of who I was growing uo to be
But I am failing miserably. I hold on, I am still here,
I measure my words, I measure my love.
There are so many ‘I’s here,
just shows that I am back in square one. Society.
Gah! So here I am once again , posting after a really long break and shaking my head at how incorrigible I am. A lot has happened since I last posted because my life is so-oh happening, yessir!! Its almost 2am here and I decided that for the love of this blog and all the people that I imagine read it, I must post today!
so most importantly, I turned 22! yea yea I had an awesome birthday party that started at 10pm the night before my birthday and went on till 7 am the next morning. Needless to say, there were enough substances of all kinds flowing and flying to keep everyone going for so long and then made them crash for the next many hours. But I decided that Imma be a stud on mah b’day yo and attended all my classes and felt like a used condom by the end of my day. But it was really fun nevertheless and everyone had a great time too.:)
I received some really nice gifts, like two yummy chocolate cakes, a letter from my brother, a bunch of novels and books. But the most worldbest gift I received was from someone I shall call Gilgamesh here at thestoryofparo(tsop). He wrote me a novella. He wrote me an entire fucking sci-fi novella where I am the protagonist and have level 5 electromancer powers. Its full of videogame references, space travel, funny incidents of the past, references to things I have said and done and also features many of my friends. 😀
He bound it in a plain little black book and gave it to me like it was nothing. Its the most thought-about and worked-upon gift I have ever received and I feel super overwhelmed by all the niceness.
That was about a week back.
Also met KB after many years. He decided to come to Delhi to meet me and we walked around his old school and house and walked around Delhi lakes before watching The Dark Knight Rises. (again! oh fate!)
Coming up in the next post is some very deep insight on life guys. You mist not miss it because I am now 22 and very wise.
If you’ve read the ‘I believe’ column on the left-side bar of my blog page, you would know that I love the Beatles. I am even listening to them right now because this post is remotely about them. If you don’t like the Beatles, I suggest you still stick around and read this post or another one like this or this one on Walter Kitty’s diary.
Ha! Now that I am done with the day’s bit of good deed and self-promotion, I shall get to the point.
So over the last two days I read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. You might say that I am reading it too late but I admit that I was a lousy English literature student. For those of you who haven’t read it, here is a short synopsis. The book is about Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old boy who is deeply disturbed by the phoniness he perceives in people around him. He is wary of almost everyone and is afraid to accept change. The book is Holden’s own narrative in the form of a cynical chatter coupled with wry humour, that reminded me much of Woody Allen’s films. Perhaps it had something to do with the 1950’s New York slang, but the nervous tone and tangential streams that Holden’s mind goes in, are reminiscent of Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall. Holden talks about the time when he gets kicked out of his third Prep school and the ensuing weekend in New York. This is a bildungsroman novel (a “coming-of-age” novel), and the reader engages with this adolescent boy’s personality and emotions through his thoughts and actions.
With the themes and motifs in The Catcher in the Rye, one understands that Holden perceives adulthood to be a world full of phonies and admires the innocence in his little sister Phoebe. He says that the best job for him to protect children from falling off the cliff while they are running around and playing in a rye field. He would be the catcher in the rye. The fall over the cliff is, for Holden, the plunge into adulthood, that he himself is unable to grapple with. He can’t fathom emotional and physical relationships, despises all kinds of pretense (though readers and even Holden realize that he himself is phony in some ways), is quite fickle-minded, unable to find a path and doesn’t even see any point in “finding a path” for the sake of a phony moronic herd of sheep called society. (Phony was among the top used words in the book. Don’t blame me bro.)
I suppose that for the inner-conflict that Salinger explores, a lot of readers might be able to relate to Holden’s character in The Catcher in the Rye. Written in 1951, this character is often called the original ‘angry young man’ and resonates a tension that bumps off into the reader too. The compulsion to categorize people’s personalities as either black or white , does not allow Holden to perceive people as just being different hues of grey.
However, for me, this very attribute of perceiving everything as a shade of grey, disallows me from having any definite unshakable belief in anything. My mind is my own devil’s advocate. My facebook political view says that I have a ‘socialist heart with a capitalist brain’. Do you see? It’s not as if I am sitter-on-the-fence all the time, but I do believe that everything must be analyzed on a case to case basis.
So if a guy like Holden who is a black-and-white sorta guy, can’t hold it together and neither can a grey-vision girl like me, then what the hell is going to work?! Oh darn, this book must have gotten me really depressed. Depressed, that was another favourite word in the book.
Hey but I was telling about the Beatles and this book , right? Thing is, Old John Lennon, was assassinated by one Mark David Chapman in 1980. Lennon was shot dead outside the building he was staying at. After shooting him, Chapman hung around waiting for the police to arrive. While waiting, he read a book. He had signed it from Holden Caulfield and wrote ‘This is my statement’. He carried this book to his court trials and also quoted from this for testimony. The book was The Catcher in the Rye. Chapman repeatedly said that this book triggered and inspired him to kill John Lennon. One explanation (also the most likely)is that Chapman thought that if Lennon talked about love and peace, then how could he have millions. He thought Lennon to be a big time phony guy and decided that he had to die. In a later interview, Chapman said that he killed Lennon “to acquire his fame”. Lennon was a grey man, and Chapman couldn’t take that. So another music died.
The Catcher in the Rye has often been called a hate manifesto because of a few other assassins also fancying the book along with having a flair to kill famous people. But meh, I don’t think it was that at all. The ambiguous ending in the book allows the disenchanted whites, blacks and greys of the world to just suck it up and go ahead any way. I liked some of the images he Salinger shines into our mind. It just made me glad that the book hasn’t been made into a movie yet. You know, sometimes you don’t want your imagination of something to be spoilt with a movie image.
Lastly, but NOT the least, I also learnt from the book about what fishes and ducks do when the lakes and ponds freeze during winter. Holden is always pondering over this in the book. The book doesn’t give the answer. But I ‘googled’ it. oh yea!
My boss at the place where I am interned recently lost his father and so I had a few days off too. When he got back, I realized that I am supposed to be an adult now and am responsible for paying my own condolences. I asked my parents what I should say, looked up youtube for ‘how to pay condolences’ and even rehearsed. And yet , I screwed up. 😐
Youtube has nothing noteworthy on this subject, btw. There were just news reels about famous people going to pay condolences on the death of other famous people or fans of musicians crying their lungs out.
I don’t know whats wrong with me. Usually I never tend to be able to grasp the gravity of death and mostly I guess, even deny it. I’ve never had anyone super close to me pass away, just my maternal grandfather. I was about 15 then. I did like him a lot but don’t think I cried about it at all. My friend Vidya lost her dad not too long back, and since she was my own age and had known her for many years, I knew how to console her and allow her to accept teh situation and grieve at the same time. But this was my boss. I’ve barely known him a month. So I was talking to another colleague and was already smiling when my boss came up front for the first time since his father’s death.
Me: (smiling)Hello Sir, how are you?
Boss : (pleasant and grim) I’m good.
Me: (still smiling :O :O) I heard about your father. Im so sorry for your loss.
Me: (controlling my smile) Was he unwell?
Boss: Yea, he had been hospiatlized.
Me: (trying to look serious) and you got back…? [I din’t even know if he had gone to home country or nt or where his father had been. Hence, the trailing off of the question.]
You see? It was bloody awkward and I had actually smiled! and that was inspite of the rehearsal at home. I think its a defense mechanism of some sort where I try to allay the sadness of death with a smile and pretend like it does not exist.
So I end up having a pathetic expression thast somewhere between laughing and looking serious.
Like this –
Do you guys know what I can do about this ? How do you guys pay condolences\ to your friend or boss? What are the right things to say?
I have been saved the grief so far, but there is an age after which I suppose one finds oneself in such situations more often. So I’d better be ready, eh?
My grandparents are my favourite people in the world. They are also quite deaf and I suspect its my grandma’s habit of watching TV real loud that made him hard of hearing too. When they are around, conversations are funny and repeated four times. We all talk really loudly and the TV volume is further increased and so we all talk more loudly. Even if they want to talk about something secretly, they go to the other room and talk loud enough for us to hear. haha! I love them. Blindly and more than anyone.
Last year, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. It was on 2nd April, 1951 , a day after April Fool’s Day ,(my grandfather often jokes about it) that they got married. So 60 years on, we arranged a great party and even had their friends from old times over. Watching them that night, and even now, it struck me that even after so many years of being together, they still have things to say to eachother. They even spend all their time together, so its not as if they are informing eachother about what they did that day. They look out for eachother and truly care. They still fight and crack jokes about eachother to us. But I know, they would crack without eachother.
Their marriage was arranged by their parents and they hadn’t even met before they got married. And this is how it turned out. On that one day, I felt may be marriages can work. But may be it was just them. May be they wouldn’t have separated even they hated the guts of eachother simply because of societal stigma. One never knows.
Yet, I am somehow, never lay my hands around the idea of spending the rest of your life with one person. Though I understand the value of companionship, the idea of spending the rest of your life with one person, really scares me. You might say you are in love with him. But I wonder if it won’t fizzle out, won’t you begin to doubt, get bored, get scared or fall in love with someone else? I know that divorce is fairly common and accepted now. However, why would anyone enter a relationship, already anticipating an end and knowing that they have a way out of it?
I read in the news today that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are splitting after 5 years of marriage. Can you beleive it, after he clowned around so much on Oprah. I don’t care about them at all but didn’t they have time earlier to figure out that they don’t get along? Arnold Schwarzernegger and his wife split up after 25 years of marriage because of some illegitimate child he fathered many years back. I know I can in no capacity understand her situation, but I suppose I could forgive some mistake like that. Especially if I have discovered that for 25 years this person has kept me happy and we can be in the same room, without shattering plates or having the silence shatter us.
Marriage is something I haven’t understood even with the countless movies, famous couples or even with my own family and parents. I don’t know why its necessary to put that tag on your relationship just because society is comfortable with it and thinks it appropriate for you to want it. Even live-in relationships can have everything a marriage has. and have equal chances of failing, ofcourse. Why does an acknowledgement by a governments civil laws or by a religion, make a relationship sacred or more important? I am sure the breaking of any other relationship should be just as painful and important or unimportant.
In India, parents think its their duty to get their children married by the mid-twenties and pay for it too. The whole event or the not timely occurrence of it is a stigma and becomes an over-riding question in the lives of the parents, grandparents, uncles,aunts, neighbours and colleagues. It becomes everyone’s business really.
As my understanding of it stands now, love usually fizzles out. and after that its just habit and fear of the lack of this person, or of loneliness that keeps one going. Marriage usually adds other wheels like children and property to this. I am not really sure of all these things about relationships are marriages. But I sure of one thing- that I am afraid to find out the truth.