Monday, 25 February 2008
Its 00:04, thats what the digital clock at the bottom right corner of my laptop says. I believe it. So its already Monday. A few more hours, and I'll be at office, at my cabin, staring at my machine like a frigging professional, cos thats what we all are supposed to be, irrespective of what we actually are. And suddenly, at this odd hour, when the city is busy preparing for a slumber to freshen up its mind for the long week ahead, I am strangely reminded of a movie that I saw couple of years ago - Little Miss Sunshine. A quirky, delirious, offbeat, bittlerly sarcastic, humorous, utterly black comedy. A dysfunctional family, comprising of unforgettably atypical characters - a motivational speaker who fails to motivate himself, a gay suicidal genius, a Nietzchean who has taken a vow not to speak, a junkie profane grandfather, a confused, irate and restless mother, a bespectacled girl trying to compete in a reality show for kids called "little miss sunshine" - who decide to bury the hatchet and undertake a cross-country trip to the venue where the event is to be held. I'm not a member of a dysfunctional family. But the sketch of an ordinary family at trouble with itself isn't a hard thing to find, and for some reason is refusing to leave my mind. The characters, too, for reasons unknown to me, are hovering in my mind. Maybe because I too have a lot of peculiarities like them. Maybe I too am searching for an identity inspite of all its futility, hopelessness and unnecessity. I'm not suicidal, gay, motivational, irate, profane, junkie, etc etc. Yet each of the characters seem to represent some being or other of mine. And perhaps, the cross-country trip has striked somewhere deep inside me to begin my journey. I, perhaps like any other person on this planet, comprise of states, thoughts, rationalities, beings, each in contrast to the other, at times even in conflict with the others. A dysfunctional array of alter egos trying to bury the hatchet and undertake a journey to recover their existense, to find a collective identity. I'm not suffering from any personality disorder, I'm not a troubled and disturbed mental hotch-potch. But i'm not trouble free either. I have my difficulties, wounds, guilts. I dont intend to be perfect, for in imperfection and gray I identify myself. Perhaps thats why images from the movie are visiting me. Perhaps thats why I'm speaking banter while the lazy Sunday is melting into the industrious Monday. Time to take a nap. Thats one thing I've realized, the easiest way to get rid of your demons, blues and all that shit, is to got to sleep. Though it never cleans up the mess, at least it washes away everything from the surface. Looks thus continue to be deceptive.
Posted by Shubhajit at 00:02
Sunday, 24 February 2008
“Behind every successful man is a surprised woman”
Women will always be women. You may love ‘em, you may hate ‘em; but try what you may, you can not avoid ‘em. But know what, I sure like ‘em.
Let me start from the beginning. And well, what better way to do so than with a nice little story. Long, long time ago there lived a man and a woman. Before proceeding further let me clearly specify that by ‘lived’ I meant ‘lived’ and not ‘lived together’. After all, god (whoever he is) said so. Anyway, they were happy doing, well, nothing. Now, how long can a man control his temptations, especially with no competition around? Nonetheless he seemed to manage.
And then came Doom’s Day. The lady decided it was high time the man learnt a lesson for not ‘taking proper care’ of the lady. She casually cajoled and out-maneuvered the love-struck guy to commit the sin of all sins. So, the poor chap ate the apple and took the plunge. And the world wasn’t the same ever after…
…Man has been dancing to woman’s tunes ever since.
Circa 2006. The world has undergone such tremendous progress that even the mythical god might never have foreseen. He (assuming god is male) is the same person who could not even foresee the intentions of a single female. (Isn’t that pretty normal for any male? However, god should have been an exception). Or maybe the latter was, or to be more politically incorrect, is (considering incidents like these are not supposed to be as commonplace as George Bush searching for terrorists), an aberration. But, whatever might the explanation be, it has never been an easy task to look into a woman’s mind.
Right from the time the two sexes evolved into human form from their hairy ancestors, the female brain has always been an enigma for their male counterparts. And why not? There in front of him was another human being, but so conspicuously different from him. The physical distinction was enough to startle these primitive men. The fact that there wasn’t any education at that time, leave alone biology, did not help matters.
So, before long, men were at awe of the females. Females spoke differently, walked differently, and most important of all, thought differently. They were intelligent, yet at the same time sentimental. They were cautious, yet carefree. They were controlled, yet at the same time indulgent. In fact, to be precise, women were a concoction of contradictions.
Women could sing in the most captivating voice, yet talk with utmost firmness. They could dance effortlessly to the tunes of music, yet fight if need be. And, lets not forget, she could not just think for herself, she could also sway male opinion according to her whims and fancies. It seemed she could do wonders. She could, as the saying goes, ‘float like a butterfly and sting like a bee’.
Bur a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. So the male community had no other option but to call for a revolt and a forced capture of power. Man realized that it was easier to order a woman than to understand her. Hence, they used shackles to tie down the fairer sex and proclaimed that it is a man’s world. And maybe it was a wise thing to do, a fine instance of realpolitik.
Tagore had once proclaimed, it is better that this world is ruled by males. Men rule by chains, whereas women ruled by hypnosis. While the former takes away the capacity to act, the latter takes away the ability to think as well. Therefore, the act of taking control of the human fraternity was indeed a prudent move, a move that allowed him to concentrate on building the planet instead of deciphering his pretty neighbours.
But today is part of a new world order. The shackles are fast breaking, and before long they will be in complete shambles. The men might always argue that they are now looking forward to a strategic partnership. But I reckon the females have carried out a brilliant counter-attack, the perfect coup d’etat. And this was but inevitable. Women, who can melt even the hardest human heart, must surely have had the capability to melt the chain that had curbed their freedom. It really was a matter of time so to speak.
Females complain that men always think about sex, while males complain that women never cease to remind them about sex. But, love, they say, precedes love-making. While the latter might still continue to be a taboo subject, though procreation is a rational necessity even though the purists might think otherwise, the former is certainly still the most famous four-lettered word (when compared to ‘hate’ and even, f***).
Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa does not represent just another woman. She is man’s holy grail – symbolizing a never-ending pursuit. Painters to poets, thinkers to writers, to (with all humility) yours truly, have spent (or shall I say wasted?) countless moments trying to figure out exactly what prompts one to love a woman (I always maintain it takes one to know one), admire her faculty, dream of her touch, blink at her charm, and ultimately, drown in the ensuing hotchpotch which is but (unsurprisingly), nothing short of Marijuana.
Women have this uncanny ability to inspire extremes in men. They, with a single smile, can catapult men to dizzying heights; and with a single frown, can lead even the strongest souls to nadir. The same lady can be one’s elixir of life, as well as, one’s nemesis, in a matter of moments. And it goes without saying that the man does not get the option of choosing his fate.
I wonder what is it that distinguishes the two sexes (if you are not sure which two genders I’m talking about, then you are at the wrong place altogether). Is it man’s predictability and woman’s unpredictability? Or perhaps it is man’s quietude and woman’s chatter? Or maybe it is man’s candour and woman’s coyness? Wait a second, I think I know the answer (why didn’t this strike me before?) – Men are after all from Mars, while Women are from Venus!
Indeed, they are from two different planets altogether, residing at a third planet. Consequently, one complements the other, even though the identity and the uniqueness of either never get lost in the process.
Now I’ve arrived at the most crucial juncture one might come across – imagine a world sans women. It is quite understandable that, that would surely cause a dramatic collapse in the porn industry business; and not to mention an uncomfortable existence for straight men like me (though of course the Elton Johns of this world would be on seventh heaven). Let me speculate in a manner befitting a gentleman.
The day women cease to exist, many others too would follow suit. Poets, philosophers, dreamers (read – lotus-eaters), adventurers, song-writers, painters, warriors – they all and innumerable others will disappear en masse the day the females choose to return to their former abode. And well, I guess it is understood, that not just love, quite a few other four-lettered words, too, will get erased from the dictionary. Lexicographers, therefore, would be the only ones who would, in the afore-mentioned hypothetical scenario, have a field day.
As I have mentioned earlier, females might have led many a man to their Waterloo. However, in spite of that, it is impossible to theorize a world without women. Sweetheart (not just of the guy whose gal she has chose to be; more literary and artistic masterpieces have borne out of unrequited love than perhaps everything else combined) is a word present in nearly every man’s vocabulary.
The world of ours has never experienced any dearth of wise men. One of those countless wise guys had once famously stated that no man ever dies with an open grievance against the female-race.
Hence, I would like to repeat a previously mentioned statement of mine verbatim (well, not quite) …
… Women will always be women. You may love ‘em, you may hate ‘em; but try what you may, you can not avoid ‘em. But know what, I sure love ‘em.
p.s. this is again an old piece, just like my alleged autobiography. Wrote durin my college days. I guess thats understandable, cos only a college student gets time enough to 'compose' such trash. But i like the piece nonetheless.
Posted by Shubhajit at 23:31