Can it be? Can it really be that the moment I sat down to write I was confronted with a conundrum that left in the lurch whatever it was that I wanted to write? I wanted to put down something for you, my friend from another country. I wanted to tell you, the old fashioned way, in a full-blown letter, the state of the mind that I found myself in. Not that I knew you would want to read anything of this sort, nor was there anything better for me to tell you other than our lives here in my country. 

This, therefore, in due course, became not a letter to you, O specific person. This became a letter, an open letter – not unlike an open relationship, to all who cared to read it. It could be mistaken for a diary entry, it could be misconstrued as a sad and irrelevant way to put down something, anything on the blank word processor of WordPress. The thing is, in the end, I wanted to write something, anything and this was the best that I could manage. Writing, an outlet for me, was supposed to be a vent with which I could tame the restlessness that I find myself grappling with. Would you know anything about such a feeling that you get when things around you are static and yet not entirely so? Permit me to explain this further to you. 

I am just off reading a rant that was a tome that subsequently became a tour-de-force, then a de-rigeur and then a guiding light to some vague bull-shit philosophical term called ‘existentialism’. Terming something often has a way with making the whole thing superfluous. We do tend to respect things that cannot be bracketed in any way don’t we? I mean, for instance, you are going through a phase which is difficult for you to explain to yourself let alone to anyone. Now what you do to get over this is read and read more anything that vaguely resembles your imperfect state of being. I am speaking in relatives here and you would spare me that rolling eyes if you would go down further from this line here. Yeah, this very line. So you read and read and find yourself saddled with terms and more terms. Thing is, there have been billions of people ahead of you on this planet and they have come to grips with themselves through convenient terminologies and incomprehensible dialogues with themselves. All you have to do is pick something, anything up, even a Dutta (yeah, Bhagat is 90s now) to understand those terms. You might not relate to them  but that in themselves do not a literature unmake. 

Anyways, back to what, why and how I came about writing this piece down. I sat down, alone and totally bereft of any thoughts whatsoever. I figured that if I sit down, open this webpage, go through the stuffs that people talk about, watch a prime-time news channel, look through random pages on obscure and totally incomprehensible books, nudge through some stuff that my friends post on their way, I would find something that I would like to talk about. Talking is good, it helps ease your soul. It gives you that feeling that humanists love. It makes you desirable and it turns you into a pedantic and totally cute talker. I have always admired such who could talk endlessly because, honestly, I cannot in Arnab’s name do anything of the sort. 

I digress and digress to such an extent which even Pappu would not appreciate. My digression is actually something that I might want to talk about. You see, this digression is not of my own making. We learn and adopt from what we see around us. We look at things, well, some don’t and I should speak for myself. I look at things and they inspire me in ways un-imagined. Sometimes, they do without telling me of their noble intentions. These intentions then get in the way of what my intentions were – which to start with, were to live in peace with this world. How does one go about doing that? By making myself one with the mundane and totally useless activities that define my day. Staving off boredom and thought paralysis becomes the only goal. Trying to move ourselves away from the immediate and catapulting oneself to the stratosphere, endless verbiage and banter aplenty later, one often times finds oneself returning to point zero. The point is tainted and yet it is desired. It becomes the benchmark for you to gauge yourself with. You start with renouncing everything and cynicism (a terminology again, pardon  me) creeps in with the utmost disdain. It becomes a  vehicle, a ‘rath’ if you may of your whole existence. It surrounds you in its thick mists, lets you wander about with lust, pushes you towards your professional ambitions and takes hold of you. You  become one with the many around you and yet consciousness (another one) is just around the corner. 

It would be futile to deny that consciousness. 

Anyways, (I wonder how many times I would have to use this – isn’t there a manual by Strunk & White which talks about style and structure and what-not? i am pretty sure they would be turning in their graves those distinguished language-nazis). By the way, each sentence and word can be scrutinized and debunked, such is the vast power of rhetoric. Little wonder that ordinary men indulge in it like bees on honey. Little wonder that the ‘argumentative Indian’ (you see what I did there?) these days, as can be found on the proliferating social-media are having a field day at office, an office that runs 24*7 and worthily gives another medium with the same credentials a run for its money, whatever is left of it anyways. What of it. heck. Anyways, I suppose the way our political leaders digress is immutably perfect and synchronous. I wonder if they are taught these brilliant ‘strategic consultancy’ modules before they embark on their long (really long) and ludicrously (investment banker-ish) well-paid careers. I have no qualms in saying therefore, that as a self-taught man, I have learnt a lot from the Chacko’s, the Diggy’s, the Babbar’s, the Chowdhary’s, the Ahmed’s of that eponymous world. They digress and do it at their own fancy. They travel back and forth in time as though the Sardesai’s and the Goswami’s were operating time-machines. If they do it, why can I not do the same?

Where was I?


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