Tag Archives: philosophy

On departures and social constructs

Waking up at a different hour than your usual can sometimes be cathartic.

Since the Covid situation started, I have been working out of my home. I no longer have a job which requires me to wake up at 7 AM in the morning to take calls with the onsite. No longer do I even need to wake up at 8 AM, so I can finish breakfast and leave for office on time.

My morning routine these days consists of waking up at an hour which the young me would have been shocked at and wouldn’t have been allowed anyways in my parents’ house. Yet, the whole world is reeling under a pandemic and wake-up hours may be the least of concern to anyone involved.

However, this morning, couple of my flatmates left the flat as they are going back home. To see them off, I woke up at 6.30 AM. They left about 7 AM. Just having woken up at an hour which you probably have not seen for the better part of a year, you have no idea what to do.

I spoke to my mother for an hour, grateful that some people still wake up at decent human hours and are available for a chat. We talked about people leaving and the emptiness left behind – the suitcases that no longer crowd the hall. The utensils which have magically disappeared, the shoe racks which just hold some blank shoe boxes and dirt from the shoes that no longer belong.

Having spent five years in this city, I would say I have grown to not being affected by departure. I have learnt to shut the lid on memories and reopen them when they are convenient or simply gushing into the mind-screen. The weekends past spent on pizza parties are just that – past. I know now that these weekends are not to come back, but what will indeed come by are new people and new memories which come with them.

This pandemic has taught me the importance of being around people in life. In some ways, I am saint-like in my life. I could go hours without talking to anyone, thinking to myself, reading something or just generally doing things which do not matter in the grand scheme of life. Yet, in the handful of parties that have been held in the house in the last month or so and a game of monopoly which I have gotten great at over the period, I realize the importance of the social construct.

I did not grow up learning to respect friendship. It worked back in the day, because we lived in houses filled with nosy relatives or pesky neighbors, people who made your business their business. But here, in the high-rises of Bangalore, no one really cares. If you ever exchange any words, that’s perhaps because you haven’t been responsible with your trash or you cost your neighbors their sweet sleep with your loud music. We are generally good tenants, which means, we don’t often get called out for the two behaviors mentioned above. Which means, we live in a three-bedroom flat, my flatmates and I, and we are pretty much on our own, on our own routine.

And within that, when people come and just fill up your lives, in the form of a maid or a random co-worker of a flatmate who you’ll never see again, somehow it feels good. The world is a beautiful place, but it is made all the more beautiful by the sheer variety of people living in it. In some ways, even the pesky neighbors feel like a fixture of the past era now. There is an odd pain in everything being perfect, without a bother. I do love my solitude, but we will continue to be social creatures until perhaps the end of this civilization, in spite of our machines ripping us off our human interactions. In between, perhaps these pandemics will serve us with a reminder of who we ought to be and what we really need to thrive in the world that we have made up to be so complex.

Adulting

Being an adult is not an easy task. Of course, when you are a kid, you don’t even think about it. You think about what you want and the fact that you want to achieve them. But the older you grow, you learn that getting what you want to get comes with its price tag. You have to make compromises, you have to make decisions. Decisions which are always not black and white. It’s a constant dilemma of weighing pros and cons of every decision. If nothing, you end up feeling like a weighing machine! 😛

When you are an adult, you realize sleep is the best thing that can happen to you. Sleep is magical. When you sleep, the biological fairy waves her magic wand and wounds heal and tissues repair. And you wake up brand new, fresh, ready to take on any challenge that the adult world throws at you.

When you are an adult, you learn to look at the impact of your decisions in the light of how it impacts others. It’s not easy to do, because even though it means you are more sensitive to the needs of others, sometimes it also means choking the throat of your own desires. When you are an adult, there is no time to think about your deepest desires, because the world may not consider them proper.

But having said that, in an adult world, you live in waves of possibilities. You could be an influencer. You can find the best of both worlds. You can be a great weighing machine. When you are an adult, you have a choice. You have a choice of weighing the pros and cons, and you have the capacity to identify the pros and cons. When you are an adult, you are not at the beck and call of anyone.

The world is your canvas, and as an adult, you can paint anything you want in it.

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.