Tag Archives: musings

The Dichotomy of Creators | An Essay

You know there comes this phase in life for all creative people where they are trying to discover their styles? That point you don’t know where your ground lies, what is it that you are trying to express and what is the right medium to express yourself?

When a plant is born from a seed, does it know what it is meant to grow for?

I’m kind of going through that phase. We are alive in a century when anything and everything seems possible. There are so many ways today to express yourself. You could write, you could paint. You could take pictures, you could tattoo your body black. You could cook and make your dishes look beautiful. You could make movies, produce songs, produce music. You could just talk, become a speaker. You could write poems, you could perform your poetry. You can act, you can dance. You can be a digital artist, you can make animation, you can make cartoon or magic worlds. The possibilities are endless.

When the seed pushes against the soil, the soft, gradual push of the tissues, does it know that it’d come to see a world of sunlight, a world of the pleasant monsoon breeze?

As far as I can remember, I have expressed myself creatively through my writing. I have a special bond with the pen/pencil/keyboard. That’s something that I have perfected over the years. When back in 2011, I was on writing.com, I came across so many different styles of poetry, so many different styles of prose. “Baby shoes. For Sale. Never Worn.” And even to this day, writing remains my primary form of thinking (unless of course, when I am walking and thinking to myself, or talking to someone and thinking out loud). But over the years, I have come to realize that sometimes I want to express myself through something more than writing. Something more visual, something more auditory (auricular). So, I bought a camera and I clicked photos and made videos. I added sounds to the videos and I found my peace. For a while.

How does the first wisp of breeze feel on a newly born leaf?

But then, I realize that making videos has something very closely to do with the world around us. That world is peopled by peoples, by rules, by regulations, by fashion, by money, by trade, by technology. By history, by politics, by biology, by physics. By relationships. By reference systems. It is a complex world. It is a multi-dimensional world. I am thankful I have the five senses to grasp this world. But at any given point in time, can I truly grasp it in all the dimensions that it exists in? As-is? Simply grasp the world as it exists?

The baby plant continues to grow – by some prehistoric rule-set that dictates its growth, encoded in its DNA. It does not have the ability to think, to shape how it grows. It merely responds to the stimuli the world provides it. The direction of the sun, the kind of the soil.

Existing as a human in this world is complex, if not difficult. We are fighting to maintain status quo. We are fighting to destroy status quo. We are hungry to find a new world. We want to travel back in time and explore the era of corsets and kings and monarchs. We want to be free in choosing who we love. We want to be fit and not give in to the sedentary modern lifestyle. But if you are a creative person, sometimes, the world feels even more complex. Because you are not just trying to live it. You are trying to understand it.

And so… the plant can become a tree, without bothering to understand the world around it. It could be a dumb, blind witness to generations of life forms, and still be in a healthy state. 

And so, I envy the seed. I envy the plant. I envy the tree. I envy every simple life form that can exist without having the obligation to understand. To be understood. Yet, when I am feeling lucid and I can write what I exactly feel in the depths of my tissues (without knowing if it’s the heart, or the brain or the chemical reactions in the nervous system that allows me to do it), I feel grateful that I am a higher form of life. I am human. And that’s something to be grateful for.

The City-Dweller’s Diary | Part 1

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Every year in March, the non-evergreens shed their leaves. They shed a year of growth, tiredness, hard work, boredom, memories and lifelessness and go on to become homes to tiny neon-green leaflets. To become young again. To make more memories, to produce more oxygen, to become homes to countless birds, insects and squirrels. Year after year. Growth. Death. Renewal.

As humans, we don’t have a symbolic growth aspect. Our everyday is merged with our regularity. There probably isn’t one single moment which defines a significant change in life. It is gradual. Full of hopes. Full of fears. A literal step ahead, literal two steps backward.

Yet, over the years, our cells are constantly regenerating themselves. Our memories are become weaker – we are inadvertently forgetting some, forgiving some. We are becoming more accepting of the world around us – we are learning to live and let live. The hair is turning grey, and muscles are no longer taut. Yet, we morph into a version of ourselves which is less insecure of how the world sees us.

Traveler, behold! If you made a promise to yourself and never followed through: well, there’s a non-evergreen in everyone of us. Somewhere inside of yourself, you are shedding those leaves. Perhaps you don’t see yet, the growth of those neon-green leaflets. But in the moment you decide to wake up half an hour earlier to see the sunrise, to donate your old clothes to folks who need them more than you, in the moment when you let someone else take the lift because it is full and they are late, when you help a child to learn the alphabet – you grow a neon-green leaflet. Small. Fragile. So much so that it could break. Yet, in it lies the potential to grow bigger, stronger, the provider of purity that sustains the world.

So close your eyes, and nurture the neon-green. Because, at the end of the month, a deeper shade awaits you. Every moment. Every year.

All these free moving feet, yet, freedom is a rare luxury!

As I write this, I am listening to In the End by Linkin Park. “I tried so hard… in the end, it doesn’t even matter.”

I think it nicely summarizes how I feel right now. Sometimes, when are you in a truly calm state, when you are having a conversation with yourself, you think about the deeper issues which you do not discuss with anyone else. For example, why is there so much pain in the world? Is there God?

Sometimes, I wonder, is life a forward moving journey? As your cells age, as your cheeks wrinkle and greys appear in your hair, do you always move in a linear progression, moving on from one experience to the other, learning things? Or is it rather a game of snake and ladder? You are constantly trying to move ahead, but circumstances, situations, keep pulling you backward. You feel you are moving ahead, but all the while, you are probably regressing. You might reach that final square too, but only if you are too lucky.

The answer is both. There are simple mistakes that we make, things that we learn from and make the correction part of our lives. But there are other issues which are deep-rooted. Sometimes, we don’t even realize these are issues. We jump from one mistake to the other, like a deer caught in a flashlight, confused, scared.

But today’s post is really about freedom. Everyday, each one of us, move from point A to point B, our free feet taking us wherever we want to go physically. Yet, how many of us are truly free? How many of us left last night behind ourselves, as hopeless as it was, and decided to live today like it was truly a new day, without the accumulated baggage of our lingering past?

Everyday when I go to bed and cannot fall asleep, I crave for a freedom from the thoughts swarming in my mind. Thoughts which are like buzzing bees without a hive to go back to. Thoughts which just swirl up, digging up the past in a new light, giving new meanings to things that have happened, giving new intonations to conversations that are long lost in the silent chambers of the past.

Meanwhile, the LP guys scream, “I will break away, and find myself today…”

I really want to find myself, that free me, who does things as she likes. She who does not require validation from anyone. She who is not a slave of the past. She moves like the wind through the present without the worry of the future being another version of the past.

Someday. Someday!