Lateral Perspectives

The huge world inside a tiny head

Archive for the category “Musings”

ഭാവി

കല്യാണം കഴിഞ്ഞിട്ടിപ്പോൾ ഏകദേശം പത്തു പന്ത്രണ്ടു വര്ഷമായിക്കാണും. ആദ്യമൊക്കെ ഇടയ്ക്കോർത്തിരുന്നു . പിന്നീടെപ്പോഴോ പൊതുവെ മറന്നു. അങ്ങനിരിക്കെ , കുറെ നാളുകൾക്കു ശേഷം അവിചാരിതമായി ഒരു പഴയ പട്ടു കേട്ടപ്പോൾ അറിയാതെ അവളെ ഓർത്തു പോയി. തിരഞ്ഞു പിടിച്ചു ഓർത്തതല്ല. പണ്ട് ആ പട്ടു കേൾക്കുകയും പാടുകയും ചെയ്തു കൊണ്ടിരുന്നപ്പോൾ മനസ്സ് നിറയെ അവളുടെ മുഖമായിരുന്നു. വരികൾ വർണ്ണിച്ചുരുന്നത് അവളെ പറ്റി ആണെന്ന് സങ്കൽപ്പിച്ചു കൊണ്ടിരുന്നു. ആ പാട്ടും അവളും തമ്മിൽ തന്നെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം അഭേദ്യമായ ബന്ധമുണ്ട്. ആ മുഖം, ചിരി, അവളുടെ ചെറിയ ഗോഷ്ടികൾ. ഇത്രെയും കാലങ്ങൾക്കു ശേഷവും രണ്ടു വരികൾ അവളെ തിരികെ കൊണ്ടു വന്നിരിക്കുന്നു! ഇനിയിപ്പോൾ ഇന്നത്തെ ദിവസം നൊസ്റാൾജിയയുടെ പിടിയിലായിരിക്കുമെന്നത് നിസ്സംശയം.

തെരുവിൽ കൂടി നടക്കുമ്പോഴും,ട്രെയിനിൽ കയറുമ്പോഴും , ഭക്ഷണം കഴിക്കാനിറങ്ങുമ്പോളെല്ലാം , ഇനി ചില സൂചനകളെ അറിയാതെ തേടി കൊണ്ടേയിരിക്കും . ചുരുണ്ടതാണോ നേരെയാണോ എന്ന് തീരുമാനിക്കാൻ ആകാത്ത അവളുടെ മുടിക്കായി, കാട്ടരുവികൾ ഒഴുകുന്ന പോലുള്ള ചിരിക്കായി, എന്നെ ചേർത്ത് പിടിക്കു എന്നപേക്ഷിക്കുന്ന മിഴികൾക്കായി. അങ്ങനെയിരിക്കെ ഒരു ചിന്ത മനസ്സിൽ വന്നു. ഇപ്പോൾ പെട്ടെന്ന് , അവൾ തന്റെ മുമ്പിൽ വന്നാൽ എന്ത് ചെയ്യും ? എങ്ങിനെ ഞാൻ പ്രതികരിക്കും?

ഒരു പക്ഷെ കുശലം ചോദിക്കും. രണ്ടു പേരുടേയും ജീവിതം മുന്നോട്ടു കുഴപ്പമൊന്നുമില്ലാതെ പോയതിൽ സന്തോഷം പ്രകടിപ്പിക്കും . കൂടെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്ന സുഹൃത്തുക്കളെപ്പറ്റി ഗോസ്സിപ്പടിച്ചേക്കാം . കുട്ടികളുടെ ഫോട്ടോകൾ അങ്ങോട്ടും ഇങ്ങോട്ടും കാണിക്കും. എന്റെ യാത്രകളെ പറ്റി അവളും , അവളുടെ എഴുത്തിനെ പറ്റി ഞാനും ചോദിക്കും. ചോദ്യങ്ങൾ ചോദിച്ചു കഴിയുമ്പോളുള്ള മൗനത്തിൽ ഞങ്ങൾ അസ്വസ്ഥരാകും. പൊങ്ങി വന്ന ഓർമകളെ അടിച്ചമർത്തും. ഇതാണിനി എന്റെ ജീവിതമെന്നും മുന്നിൽ കാണുന്നത് മറ്റൊരു ജന്മത്തിലെ ഓര്മയാണെന്നും സ്വയം പറഞ്ഞു ആശ്വസിക്കും . ഒടുവിൽ യാത്ര പറഞ്ഞു പിരിയുമ്പോൾ ഒരു ചെറു പുഞ്ചിരിയോടെ പറയും, കണ്ടതിൽ സന്തോഷം.

എല്ലാത്തിനുമുപരി ഒരു പക്ഷെ നമ്മൾക്കറിയേണ്ടത് ഒരു ചോദ്യത്തിനുള്ള ഉത്തരമാകാം. ആ ചോദ്യവും അതിനുള്ള ഉത്തരവും എന്ന് പറയുന്നത് ഒരു നല്ല കഥയോ സിനിമയോ പോലെയാണ്. ക്ലൈമാക്സ് എന്താണെന്നു അറിയുവാനുള്ള ജിജ്ഞാസയും , അറിഞ്ഞു കഴിയുമ്പോൾ അത് തീർന്നുവല്ലോ എന്നുള്ള വിഷമവും. യാത്ര പറയുമ്പോൾ, കണ്ണുകൾ ഉടക്കുമ്പോൾ , നാം ചോദിക്കാതെ ചോദിക്കുന്ന ഒരു ചോദ്യമുണ്ട്. നീ ഇപ്പോഴും എന്നെ സ്നേഹിക്കുന്നുവോ ? എന്ന ചോദ്യം! അങ്ങിനെ ചോദിക്കുന്നതിന്റെ പൊരുൾ എന്താണെന്നു അറിയില്ല. ജിജ്ഞാസയാകാം. സ്വാർത്ഥതയാകാം. വേദനയാകാം. താൽക്കാലിക ആശ്വാസത്തിനാകാം. വലിയ ഒരു ഭാരമിറക്കുവാനാകാം. ഉത്തരങ്ങൾക്കു പണ്ട് ലഭിച്ച അനുഭൂതികളെ മായ്ക്കുവാനോ മറക്കുവാനോ ഉള്ള ശക്തിയില്ല. എങ്കിലും, ആ നിമിഷത്തെ തെല്ലു ഭയത്തോടേയെ കാണുവാനാകൂ.

ട്രെയിൻ വലിയ ശബ്ദത്തോടെ നിർത്തി. സ്റ്റോപ്പ് എത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നു. ഞാനിറങ്ങട്ടെ. ഈ യാത്രകളിൽ ഒരിക്കലും കണ്ടു മുട്ടാതിരിക്കട്ടെ. പക്ഷെ, മരിക്കുന്നതിന് മുൻപ് അകലെ നിന്നൊരിക്കൽ കാണുവാനിടയാകട്ടെ. പറ്റുമെങ്കിൽ അന്യോന്യം തിരിച്ചറിയുവാനാകട്ടെ.

Pamuk and Other Colours

13th June 2017, marks an important day in my life.

I finished reading Orhan Pamuk’s book titled “Other Colours”.  He is one of the very few authors, or author of the very few kind of books that I have read, who has made me reflect on life. While half way through the book, reading his reflection on Dostoyevsky, I suddenly realized that I have never seriously studied a novel before. Sure, I have drawn parallels and infused myself on thoughts on life in general, comparing the character’s circumstances and decisions made, about how the world is evil and not to be trusted, about how people are never what they mean and say, but do. But never in a studied manner. Never erudite, always a passive impassionate mode of thought. To think of it further, I almost never ventured to dig deep into books, or novels. I always assumed that they were pretentious at best, trying to please the audience.

I say almost because partly the blame lies on how literature is taught in schools.  Putting critic’s reviews in textbooks may not be the best idea. Since these existed and I read them, I grew up with the idea that whatever critic I would make would be a replica of theirs. A number of half-witted, self-promoted intellectuals try to dissect and vainly identify patterns, link or ideas even the writer may not have considered, for example, in goodreads or Quora. “The curtain is blue”  – the textbook would ask us what this could mean. It would try to impress on us that it depicts the writer’s depression, or whatever the critic decided to attest its meaning to.  Codswallop in my opinion.  I did not want myself to be associated with such people. In fact, I refrained from making any such assumptions and distanced myself from it as far as possible. In a way, it was good. The deeper meaning behind this book was not always something I concerned myself while reading. I read simply for the pleasure of enjoying the imagination of the writer, to visit new lands, to reflect ideas never discussed before, or to see them in a new light, a wondrous moment indeed.

Speaking of critics, one come across writers who write what they think, but these are rare, and I adore them dearly. The earliest one I have come across, is in my own native language, Malayalam. A critic of the acclaimed novel by Mohammed Basheer, Premalekhanam. The prose of the critic was incredibly hard, and fortunately, my teacher was extremely good. She made us think beyond the literary meaning of the critic’s word. This was my first true encounter with the critic. I harboured hatred for the critic for tearing down a wonderful novel – how dare he find meaning behind words! And a conflicting part of me developed admiration for him. I was seduced by how he painstakingly researched the time, condition and the mentality of the original writer and how all these influenced and lead to the novel, how it was received and affected the society, and how, the future generation of mine ought to read and think about it keeping all these things in mind. It was more like how they say Tolkien’s Mordor was inspired by the wastelands of the Word War.

Orhan Pamuk is such a writer/critic.  His thoughts are well formed, his conscious clear, and he tries to be polite and humble when it’s not. When reading Isaac Assimov’s robot series, I pondered very little on his take on the role of humans in a robotic world. I assumed these were natural consequences of such circumstances. I never realised the depth of his thoughts when he depicted the world and his characters. Moving forward in this digital and futuristic world, I can’t help but feel that more than fiction, he was a visionary, and his novels not mere science fiction, but predictions, of a future yet to come. It is not utopian or dystopian entirely. After all, much of science fiction has become commonplace these days. Except time travel and inter-galactic travel. I have my suspicions that space travel will find tremendous progress in the coming decades, and I would witness some historic moment with respect to it.  Time travel, unfortunately, is not something I think would be possible.

When reading Harry Potter, apart from falling in love with the magic world, I simply agreed with Rowling that power struggle is real and the magical world is no different world when it comes to basic human traits. Sure, there is a hero, a villain, anti-villains, traitors, but I still think the greatest character Rowling introduced is Umbridge. This, is what made me love the series even more. This separated Rowling to me from being a mere fantasy writer to an astonishing writer. You see, Umbridge is the kind of character I hate most in this world. Misusing and representing a position of power. A story of lies and deceptions, of their influence on unimaginative people, who in turn resented authentic ones. But these thoughts not occurred then, but a few years down the road. Until then, I always had thought Umbridge was simply a bad character. Only when I started working and witnessed true politics, did I appreciate what Umbridge truly represented.

In other words, it is high time to observe nature and society more. Even more essentially to me, to study books deeper. To read more classics and see what men and women, thought of people and society in general. It is not enough that I just read a good novel anymore. It is imperative that I understand more than the book, that I question the author’s circumstances, that I realize what the greater question is. I may not go to the extent of the critic, to break it down as finely as them, but would probably end up thinking a little bit more about the novel.

Some words on the actual novel itself. First of all a word on the title. An apt title, a breath of fresh air that also truly reflects on the content of the book, which is the authors breadth and width. I am quite happy to have witnessed the dear writer’s mind. Or whatever he chose to publish to the world. I was sort of surprised that he spoke little about philosophical ideas such as love, jealousy, ego, faith , pride and happiness, but greatly on turkey, childhood and the east-west conflicts. Perhaps this is what truly concerns his mind most of the time and the others, well he has written in his novels. Another part of me was partly happy because to be honest, I was bored by some of the articles because they were quite dry in nature.  Even a great writer like Pamuk can also write something that does not concern or interest me was surprising to say the least. There were two particular chapters that invoked an emotion that I was unable to identify or name. These are “When Ruya is Sad” and the final chapter, “My Father’s Suitcase”, which is his Nobel prize acceptance speech. Apart from these there was a particular article whose title might be “No Entry” which I think was quite clever and would like to leave it to the readers imagination to read and reflect on them. The former is a very short piece which touches lightly on melancholy. The speech which begins with a slow and dreary pace but soon picks up emotion and ends up in a spectacular paragraph on why he writes. I was so moved that tears welled up in my eyes. I choked and had to dry my eyes at the library. It would not be an understatement to say that the book has inspired me again after ten years, after reading a novel called Snow. That the same writer can have the same effect on you after such a long time, when you have undergone so much change is just purely incredible and to that Mr Pamuk, my favourite author, I owe you a lot.

 

The Before Series

The Before Series consists of three movies – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight,  directed by Richard Linklater.  In an idle time somewhere in 2012, I believe, I had watched the first two films and fell in love. The plot was quite simple, it’s just two people talking all the time,  but the conversations were so good, with long takes around winding paths, trains, cafes and music shops, it was just brilliant. They have small talk, teasers and serious talks, but the tension between  the two characters is just unbelievable. Such fantastic chemistry, that I hoped to see such people in real life.

This is not your ordinary love story, no strike that, this is your ordinary love story, or how one wishes it would be.  What better than to spend a whole day with your partner and slowly, but surely to fall in love?

I had downloaded the third one sometime back (like 1 or years) and was watching it but got chased away after the first 10 minutes, because I apparently watch too many movies , and someone else wanted to watch a game.  It later got copied to the hard disk and there it lay dormant for months, waiting for me to come back and watch. And today, I did watch the third part, Before Midnight.  The characters have come a long way, more matured, but their chemistry and conversations still have that allure, and gives you a pleasant feeling. It’s a romantic movie, after all. You have discussions, fights, accusations, the whole thing. Some might complain that it feels like drama, but I did not find it to be the case. It felt like cinema, cinema with real people and places and dialogues.  I was surprised to learn that they did not improvise in any scenes, especially the first 15 minutes or so, where they have  uninterrupted dialogues. It felt so natural. I am truly impressed, Mr Linklater. Already been a fan before, and I was blown away by one of his other movies, “Waking Life”, that is equally stunning as well.

These movies have made me reflect a lot on life, especially during this time when many of my friends are getting married, or is planning of getting married. Being from India, some of them are still going through arranged marriages. Though I am not outright against it, it is not a particular encouraging thought. To meet a person and getting married so quickly. But I can’t blame the system either. What can one really do when you don’t have circle where you can’t meet more women, from a guy’s perspective. The women almost have no choice when it comes down to wedding, which I find sad. So many bright women who might get bogged down to being a housewife, it’s really sad.

For me, since I am single right now, I don’t have much conflicting ideas. I do float between thinking about dating a non-malayalee girl and not doing it.  The “What If’s ” are a lot. Again, I won’t rule out the idea. But come, what may.

I just think it would be lovely to have such conversations, in real life. Now this could be me feeling romantic, but it would really really be nice. And when I say in real life, I mean out there, in person. Not in an dating app, even though I write better than I speak. To see a person, to talk to her eyes, watching their reaction, hearing another perspective, that would be just brilliant, won’t it?

Coming back to the movie series, I think these movies portray love, or that inital spark the best. Sure there are different ways to look at it. The setting itself is cheesy, but apart from that, the rest is perfect. The other romantic movies, or rom-coms are just too plain cheesy, and puts a lot of expectation, I feel. They try to divert our attention to the places, the clothes, the sex scenes, flashy scenes, the conversations are more plot based than actual conversations, and you can more or less second guess the next part. And most of them omit the after marriage part. This is where I feel Linklater has ousted his peers by far.

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Being Selfish

Sometimes, I do wonder  why is it that we cannot be selfish. Or in my case, why the heck can’t I be selfish?  Up till I when I turned 24, which was last year, I was pretty selfless. I was the good guy, the polite person, the person who never said  “No” to a request for help. I felt that I was obliged to help, that it is my moral duty to be concerned about the lives of others.  I felt good. I was the good agnostic Samaritan.

I did not help in the belief that I would be rewarded for my behaviour.  But then again, life did not return any favors to me. I often helped and went out of my way for friends, even people I barely knew. The days after those where usually hard for me.

Most of the time I would turn to someone else for helping others, and in the end, I would be the one who couldn’t sleep at night thinking about what I owe to others. I would be the one who  would kept waiting and apologize endlessly if I were the one to turn up late. I  was the one who would initiate conversations because I thought it was me who should talk. I would be the one who would remember the birthdays, the one to call and care for others.

I’m not whining. No, strike that. This is my blog, I do whatever the hell I want. I am whining. I am sick and tired of people who takes me for granted. Man up! Grow some balls, you might say. Fuck you too. Some stuff are drilled deep down since childhood and its not easy to pluck them apart. Especially when your parents taught and still practises those.

All through my childhood, I saw my parents always helping others. They would worry themselves sick thinking about others. All said and done, they were pretty much left alone when the other parties came out of their troubles and got comfortable. I have seen the disappointment in their eyes when talking about someone. Now,there are few exceptional people in their lives who turned out to be dark horses, and gave much happiness to my parents. I always recall them fondly. And because of these few fellows, my parents are still selfless, maybe a bit less now, now that they had a whole lifetime to see how things turn out, and now chooses people after much consideration.  I really admire those who are still selfless, however, I have witnessed how the lives of very such people deteriorate in front of my own eyes.

Amidst the close  and general friends, there lies a section of people whom we hold a little closer to our hearts, yet lets you down almost every time.Sometimes I am really confused. Am I right in expecting something from them? Doesn’t that make whatever I do selfish?

But then aren’t they selfish too? Then, does that make the relationships merely fake? Is it worth keeping these so called friendships alive? Are we just adjusting ourselves, taking advantage of whatever the other person has to offer, enjoying the brief time, and then move with a glance back occasionally, as if to give out the sense that we will be present in hard times?

Maybe we ought to be more selective to whom we give our time, right? Give it to the right people, who expresses gratitude and won’t take us for granted. However, truth is that sometimes they may not be the company that we want. How confusing is it that the people that we love and hold dear are sometimes very selfish? Does that mean I don’t want their company? No! I like being around them except when they are not selfish. But then that would make us selfish!

Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Either because it actually is confusing, or because I am writing this at 4:30 AM in the morning, Singapore time, after watching 2 movies back to back.

Sometimes I think, fuck these people, I am going to live the way I want, and not care about the little shits. A day later, I will be feeling super guilty, usually.

Maybe, just maybe, once I get married (*audience laughs*), and “settles down” (*laughs again*) I might have a set of friends on whom I don’t rely too much, but enjoy their company as well.  Most probably that might end up being  the neighbours and my cousins.

All these thoughts actually makes me think of the people, who do actually care for me. My immediate family of course, and then there are some dudes back from my high school- dudes who kept the promises they jokingly wrote on the autograph books,  few neighbours, who still gives a shit about me and wonders whether I got fat(which means better in my case), and lovingly advises that my glorious mane looks ugly as fuck.  I absolutely adore these guys.

Wonder if I will find more such people in the days to come.

Ending this scribble with some dialogues  from one of the most beautiful,perfect movie of all time, Predestination.Which  came into my mind for no particular reason, yet somehow, these seems to be a fitting ending for this rant.

✘ Predestination (2014) | #Predestination . . .
#MovieQuote #MovieQuotes #Movies #Films #Like4Like #Quote #Quotes #EthanHawke #SarahSnook #NoahTaylor #MadeleineWestImage result for predestination movie quotesImage result for predestination movie quotes

 

 

 

 

 

Musings

This is where I am going to scribble those thoughts that are seemingly independent. Those sentences fully structured in my mind, but orphaned due to being unable to connect to any larger story.

  • I like logic, but think in abstracts. However my actions are random and hence, the result, chaos.
  • Sometimes, when I look out into the world, I am scared of not being to able to fit into this group. These macho men who knows the switches and gears, they who takes the machine apart, and know how it works. I don’t think i have whatever, that which makes these guys awesome. The Men of the Quarry, the mechanics, the brains.
  • It’s very hard to define the boundaries that should and shouldn’t be crossed, since much often, it depends on the people that surrounds you. Plunge into a different world and you will see yourself running for cover
  • It’s not until you chat up with a stranger, or someone you haven’t met in real life, that you start to actually think about the people you talk to in daily life.

    You know their perks and quirks. You are assured of how those close to you will react. You imagine the way they laugh. Some would giggle, some would howl, another would bang the table and laugh their ass off.

    You imagine how they go when see something cute. Their expression softens, there would be a tiny sparkle in their eyes. Their persona suddenly brightens up for a while.

    You understands how they would act if what you said pisses them off. They would shut their damn phone, throw it on the bed, kick the poor teddy bear, slams the door, snaps at anything and everything. Or they do nothing, which is even scarier.

  • You are still there, alive, among the twists and turns in the stories that I have written.

    Part of you here, part of you there,in the musings of love,in the pain of sadness, that innocent story about the child, that senseless story of the princess, you are there, alive and well, invisible to them, real to me.

  •  The difference is that our judgments are by-products of our conversations and not the end goals of our conversation (like the current question implies). However, there are situations like the job interview where every conversation you have is to judge an aspect of your intelligence.
  • I want to tell the story of a person. All his happiness, his fears, his dreams, his insecurities,his power struggles, how sees the world, how he thinks the world looks at him. What he thinks of the that book, that movie, that painting, that dance, that music.

    How we felt riding the bike through the green hills with the mists swirling around him.

    How he felt as he saw the love of his life drifting away.

    How the plane lifted off into the sky as he listened to someone complain that he was tired of travelling.

    How that kid in the train didn’t stop running around and kept caressing the face of this beautiful lady.

    About that drunken man who slept on the train, how the train stuffed with people suffocated him, at times.

    How the stars shimmered in the lovely moonlight, with the cold air on his face.

    The way that one friend always laugh at your jokes. That deep, belly laughter,that sends down another wave of seemingly never ending times of joy.

  • “When music hits you,you feel no pain”

I disagree. Under proper circumstances, music has produced the worst kind of suffering that I have known. A few vibrations in my ear can cause my fists to clench, increase my heartbeat,blur my thoughts. Such as listening to Evanescence, Rahman and Illayaraja’s composition.

It’s the worst kind of pain because suddenly you are drowning. Drowning in a flood of memories,emotions,anger, and terrible terrible sadness.

Even worse, it’s beautiful. The sweet innocence and the gentle touch that produces the melody from the piano. The vibrations from the guitar, and then comes violin. I don’t even know what to do when the violin rises to its crescendo. And at last, as if instruments weren’t enough, comes the unearthly divine voice.

All you got to do is press a button,and you fall into a depth thats hard to fathom. That is music. The most beautiful punishment you can receive.

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