Son, Who’s Your Girlfriend?

My life is moving in a Vineeth Srinivasan movie track. There are silver linings everywhere, no villains, and tons of advice from random people, who has nothing to do with my life.

This past week I was in Thrissur, travelling direction less in the labyrinth they call Thrissur round. The driver of the auto rickshaw I hired – random man, probably in his 40s, strong built and grievously smiling — broke the silence with a question,

“What’s your girlfriend doing?”

I was shocked; I looked into the mirror to make sure that it was not my father in the driving seat. Thank God, it was not him.

“I don’t have one”

Then came an exclamation “heyy” like, I married his daughter.

“Why are you so curious?” I asked him.

“I married at 17” he said.

“Oh, youth wasted” I give it back.

Then he transformed himself into a Vineeth Srinivasan character and said,

Mone (son) this life is just precious, it’s long and demanding. Youth like you should chase everything, you have to live like you won’t regret when you’re my age”

He took a long breath and continued;

“I know you have a girlfriend, you both having a wonderful time. Enjoy it as much as you can, but don’t forget your family, your mom and dad, make sure she’s a good girl and your family won’t object”

I imagined every Vineeth Srinivasan character inside my head. The warmth of those characters be it the father in Jacob’s kingdom of Heaven or the Bus cleaner in Anandam, all saints all fragile, born to preach the gospel.

Then, I opened the Twitter on my smart phone, scrolled down through my timeline and handpicked an article that elaborating the topic; “Why Marriage is a thing of the past?”

Featured Image: An auto rickshaw guy in Ernakulam

Some People Never Go Crazy

All my life, as far as I can remember, I lived by my principles (some of them are weird). I don’t say they are the greatest things or they are the best things – may be they are the best things, I been to.

I apologized to me many times. I apologized to other people many times. So many times I’ve lost myself, so many times I broke my heart, so many times I felt like, this is not the place to be or I just want to go back –to where? I don’t know.

Most important thing I want to say is I survived. I just survived this shit and I am kicking and I’m still on the road.

I was happy for who I am, like most of the time. There have been instances, days, months, literally years; I lived without any idea of what I’m going to do next.

But I stayed. I stayed here.

Sometimes I felt I’ve not done anything – good or bad. Moments when I thought I just existed not living.

You live for who you are; you live for what you love. I’ve gone astray, many times. I didn’t mean I killed anyone. But I’ve gone astray with my mind being polluted, I polluted myself. But you know, I’ve to admit I enjoyed it. That’s the best thing about it. You do something totally reckless but you enjoy it, and you don’t have any guilt. You are free to do whatever you feel needed.

This doesn’t mean I was psychopath who shows no remorse. I’ve regretted many times for the things that I enjoyed doing, thereby hurting a handful of people. I even regretted my birth, so you will get an idea of the shit that I’m talking about.

I regretted many times the things I enjoyed. That’s a bad thing but you have no choice. You can’t predict the future, you are just floating every time, and you don’t even know the time you are being allowed here. You don’t know what you are going through until you get out from that situation and land somewhere else worrying about something totally miserable like the problem you survived.

When you face another situation, you can go back and ask yourself how good that decision was. It’s pointless because you can’t change it for it’s over. Whatever you did in that moment you believed true validated your choice. It has nothing to do with right and wrong, and if it has, definitely you did the right thing. You don’t want to drag your past into your present – ready to wait for judgement – to compare how well or bad you lived. It doesn’t add up.

I have faced tumults times just like everybody else, of course, the difference is I am selfish –like everybody else – and I was more concerned about the things that happen in my life. I had a really difficult time living. But I knew I want to stay, keep holding on the pole that’s given to me by myself.

I was here and I never run away. I never took those white pills you see on soap operas or leapt out of bridges as described by Charles Bukowski. I don’t say I was strong thus I stayed. No, I never was. I loved the status quo. I knew I will never jump into something glittering because that’s not what I was needed at that point of time. So I stayed as if I had no other options or may be lecturing my subconscious that there’s something good going to happen.

When you are inside a storm you are not going to calm down yourself by cursing the storm. Or you can’t stop the storm by blowing with your whole strength. These are the worst a man can do.

So I stayed.

There are things that are even bigger, better and mysterious than you already know. So, realize this; not everything is in your control. Not everything you do can liberate you or make you happy.

As Lao-tzu said; Life is natural and spontaneous reactions to situations. We shouldn’t stress out. Also, you shouldn’t ask for the meaning of everything. The answer to the question meaning of everything is it is meaningless.

People broke me many times. I have been shattered by a person and still I end up with that person. Imagine that, I chose to walk with the same people who broke me. I never said anything to them. I was blinded by faith and trust. I’ve seen people stabbing me right at the heart. They have their reasons to justify this as much as I have my reasons to denounce them. It’s a good thing to remember I never was stabbed by anyone from behind. Because the people I knew – both my friends and foes – were straight or at least turned opportunists only when it really matter them to prioritize their options.

I’ve seen people talk nice and snub you. But I never did anything horrific to anyone. I held my head high and walked away whenever I feel it’s necessary to sustain me. When I felt like my ego is being hurt, my pride is being hurt, my integrity is been taken for granted I was good enough to know my value and walk away.

You are not going hold this thing inside you, or keep repeating this drama and emotional crunch of a moment inside your head and take ‘revenge’ on them. That’s not feasible.

‘You can’t broke someone else in order to fix you’

Whatever you do to your mind to console you, salvage your pride and integrity matter the most. They are already out of this equation. They serve no purpose.

You let go off that people. But most importantly you stay here, like it is needed. Stay here for real. Sometimes that’s how you redeem yourself. Be there when you are happening – simple!

***

Title of this post is a quotation by author Charles Bukowski

Featured Photo: My longtime-friend Shameer laughs without malice, as I try to photobomb the frame. Courtesy of Nijeesh KB  

 

 

Why one should not suicide?

I was 16 or 17 when suicide thoughts stuck me on my face for the first time. It was totally normal, for every man-healthy and kicking- think of their suicide at least for once. This Albert Camus theory was further substantiated when I read half-preacher Paulo Coelho. “There’s always a void between words and action”, he wrote.

I had intrusive thoughts from a very young age. I was thinker – not in the stature of Aristotle; also a worrier. I was quite, laidback and introverted. All of this has a reason, something to pinpoint at my very nature – I don’t have a happy childhood. If you ask me why, I’d say I don’t know or may be I don’t deserve one. It’s not hard to digest as well, because not everyone deserves everything, right?

By the age 17 suicide thoughts consumed me. One day I find out that there’s not much left in me to live happy. Everyone said I was wrong. Of course, I was wrong. At that age one should not be soul searching, let alone think about killing one self.

Over the years I find it too hard to contain me. Thoughts of suicide popped up inside my head. I knew, this could not be the end of everything. But it was enough to destabilize one’s life. I had a guilt laden teenage. I had something in my stomach that won’t digest easily. I carried it fairly a long period of time until I felt I need to cough it out to someone. I never met that someone, but I did cough it out, before a counselor and she said I was wasting all my teenage and I can’t reclaim it, for its gone.

I knew I’m not going to die. Death solves nothing. It will be foolish to die one day without showing any resentment or remorse. Think about it, I’m living like everyone else. I buy groceries, going for movies, enjoying the sunset at Marine Drive and all in a sudden, without even hint, one day I’m dead.

It happens with people, though. I don’t know whether it’s the right way to do it. We all leave trails behind us. That let the people trace you. As you can’t physically present there since you’re dead, people are free to make their own assumptions. Sometimes people end up criticizing you, sometimes they upheld your value – both irrational things.

Why I don’t suicide yet?

Because I was afraid to do it. Failure could botch up my existence. Fear of failure was the only thing that stood between me and suicide. So despite being very passionate about dying, I was taken aback by the question which is half-certain to happen – what if I failed?

Then I find out it was not fear but the time that stops a man from killing himself. You give everything to time and hope for the best. If past hunts, one has to live his present in full. You can’t invite your past into present and let it jeaopordize your life. To cover the past you live the present to fullest. Time helps you achieve this. Time is not idle. It flows, in every direction. You float with the time. On the way, you let go somethings and you embrace some other things. Time teaches to outgrow. The only condition here is, you shouldn’t dictate the flow of time.

‘This too shall pass’ is the mantra I chant everytime my mind play tricks on me. You’ve to be patient to understand what’s happening inside your brain. It can program itself to make you believe that you’re in danger. Whenever this question pops up, before jumping to make conclusion, you’ve to analyse the depth of the danger.

When you’re in pain imagine the depth of it. How far the roots of pain travelled through your neurones. Ask yourself whether this pain is going to last forever. What’s the answer? — hours? Days? A Week? Don’t worry, just make a pact with pain and wait it to recede. You’ve to walk the path yourself inorder to drain the pain. 

Next, what if you don’t know how long will you have to bear the pain? Well, here’s the intervention of time comes handy. You give the question to Time.

You don’t have to retire from the question, nor do you feed it with new assumptions. Days bring in new characters, settings, properties and help you cope up with what you already know. Don’t take this as a futile excersice. Sometimes it takes more time for one to convince oneself things which he already knew, than things that are unknown.

Everyday is different. No matter how hard you try to prove the days all look same, there’s evidently differences in each second. Every moment is unique and for that very reason, you are missing a great deal of exclusivity.

One day you feel pain has infested you, like real hard that you’re about to die. You cry your heart out, have panic attacks etc… But, you survive because pain can’t physically cut or wound you.

The very next day, you feel the pain is receded. May be the next day, it’ll comeback with double the force of first episode. So it becomes a fight with the days more than it is against your thoughts.

Days wage this proxy war not to convince you about anything. But, that’s how days are. It has no reminiscence, it flows, it renews every moment and flies away like a beautiful bird.

Day are different so is the pain. You see ups and downs, everyday promises something new, A new pain or a new way to control the pain.

So put a check on the anticipation. Wait for the day to roll. One day, you’re almost dying of it. Another day you forget you had pain. It’s in this circle humans are bound to live and die. You chose to exit one day, you miss out on the upcoming days. Thus, the pain and pleasures are left out.

You can argue you never wanted to take this game forward. That’s good, but you’ve to admit all-things-beautiful life that you dreamt is never possible, or at the least it’s inside the heads of people and it’s too absurd to be true.

Days and Nights

Fragments of me still weeps,

of tales I forgot to tell,  words unsaid.

I pulled my body out of the blanket,

counted the wounds, touched the swelling skin,

I saw you there, scattered, like the seeds submerged in mud,

waiting to rise, like an enchanted promise.

I kissed a wound, where I found you,

kissing me right back with lips drenched in blood.

നോര്‍വീജിയിന്‍ വുഡ്

ഒരു നോവല്‍ വായിച്ച് അത് നല്ലതാണോ ചീത്തയാണോ എന്ന് പറയാനുള്ള കഴിവ് എനിക്ക് നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടെന്ന് തോന്നുന്നു. ഒരു വായനക്കാരന്‍ ഒരു നോവലില്‍ നിന്ന് എന്താണ് നല്ലതെന്ന് പറയുക. അനുഭവമാണോ? ചില പേജുകളാണോ?

ഹരുകി മുറകമിയെ വായിക്കുന്നവര്‍ നോര്‍വീജിയന്‍ വുഡില്‍ നിന്നും തുടങ്ങണമെന്ന് എനിക്ക് ഉപദേശം തന്നത് മുറകമി വെബ്‍‍സൈറ്റ് തന്നെയാണ്. 386 പേജുകളാണ് ഇംഗ്ലീഷില്‍ ഈ പുസ്തകം. കെഎസ്ആര്‍ടിസി ബസ്സുകളുടെ വിന്‍ഡോ സീറ്റിലിരുന്നാണ് നോര്‍വീജിയന്‍ വുഡ് ഞാന്‍ വായിച്ചു തീര്‍ത്തത്.

386 പേജുകള്‍ നല്ലൊരു എക്സ്ക്യൂസ് ആണ്. ചില പേജുകള്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് വായിക്കാതെ വിടാം. ചില അധ്യായങ്ങള്‍ കണ്ടില്ലെന്ന് നടിക്കാം. എന്നിട്ടും കഥ മനസിലാകുന്നുണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ എഴുത്തുകാരനെ മനസില്‍ പ്രാകുകയും ചെയ്യാം.

പക്ഷേ, ഞാന്‍ എല്ലാ പേജുകളും വായിച്ചാണ് 386ല്‍ എത്തിയത്.

നോര്‍വീജിയന്‍ വുഡ് ഓര്‍മ്മകളുടെ ഒരു കൂമ്പാരമാണ്. ഒരു നീണ്ട ഫ്ളാഷ് ബാക്ക്. നീണ്ട ഫ്ലാഷ് ബാക്ക് എന്നു പറയുമ്പോള്‍ ഇതുവരെ നിങ്ങള്‍ പരിചയിച്ച ഫ്ലാഷ് ബാക്കുകള്‍ ഓര്‍ക്കരുത്. അതിലും വലുതാണിത്. വലുതെന്ന് പറ‍ഞ്ഞാല്‍, ഒരു മധ്യവയസ്കനെ അയാളുടെ ചെറുപ്പത്തിലേക്ക് തിരിച്ചു ചെന്നെത്തിക്കാന്‍ ശക്തമായ അത്രയ്ക്ക് വലിയ ഒരു ഫ്ലാഷ് ബാക്ക്. ഒരു ടൈം ട്രാവല്‍ പോലെ.

ഒരു വിമാനത്തില്‍ വെച്ച് ടോറു വാറ്റനബെ അയാളുടെ കോളേജ് കാലം ഓര്‍ത്തെടുക്കുകയാണ്. അയാള്‍ പ്രണയിച്ച രണ്ട് സ്ത്രീകള്‍ നഓക്കോയും മിഡോറിയും. അയാള്‍ ശരീരം പങ്കിട്ട മറ്റു സ്ത്രീകള്‍. കഥയ്ക്ക് ഒടുവില്‍ അയാളെ പ്രാപിക്കുന്ന റീക്കോയെന്ന സ്ത്രീ. വാറ്റനബെയുടെ സ്ത്രീകളാണ് നോര്‍വീജിയന്‍ വുഡില്‍ മുഴുവന്‍.

നഓക്കോ മനോഹരമായി കഥകള്‍ പറയുന്ന പെണ്ണാണ്. അവള്‍ ഒരാളെ സ്നേഹിച്ചിരുന്നു. അവന്‍ അകാലത്തില്‍ മരണപ്പെട്ടു. സൗഹൃദം വാറ്റനബെയെ അവളോട് അടുപ്പിക്കുന്നു. അത് രതിയാക്കി മാറ്റിയെടുക്കാന്‍ അയാള്‍ക്ക് അധികം പണിപ്പെടേണ്ടി വരുന്നില്ല. പിന്നീടുള്ള വഴിയില്‍ അയാള്‍ നിരവധി സ്ത്രീകളെ കാണുന്നുണ്ടെങ്കിലും അയാളുടെ ഹൃദയം എപ്പോഴും നഓക്കോയുടെ സമീപത്തായിരുന്നു.

മനസ് നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ട നഓക്കോ ചിത്തരോഗാശുപത്രിയിലേക്ക് പോകുമ്പോള്‍ അയാള്‍ മിഡോറിയെ കണ്ടുമുട്ടുന്നു. അവള്‍ സംശയങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് അറുതിയില്ലാത്തവളാണ്. അവളുടെ അശ്ലീല സംശയങ്ങള്‍ കാമുകനെ ദേഷ്യം പിടിപ്പിക്കുന്നു. ലോകത്തോട് തന്നെ അന്യതാഭാവം പുലര്‍ത്തുന്ന വാറ്റനബെയെ അവള്‍ കാമിക്കുന്നു. അവള്‍ക്ക് അവന്‍റെ ശരീരത്തിലൂടെ മനസിലേക്ക് കയറാനാണ് താല്‍പര്യം.

പക്ഷേ, മിഡോറിയെ കാണുമ്പോഴെല്ലാം വാറ്റനബെ കലഹങ്ങളിലായിരുന്നു. അയാള്‍ നഓക്കോയെക്കുറിച്ച് ഓര്‍ക്കുമ്പോള്‍, അവള്‍ക്ക് കത്തെഴുതുമ്പോള്‍, സുഹൃത്ത് നഗസാവയെ കാണുമ്പോള്‍ എല്ലാം അപ്രതീക്ഷിതമായി മിഡോറി രംഗപ്രവേശം ചെയ്യുന്നു. അവളോടുള്ള സ്നേഹം അയാള്‍ ജനിപ്പിച്ചെടുക്കുന്നതാണ്.

നഓക്കോയുടെ ഹൃദയത്തിലേക്കുള്ള വാറ്റനബെയുടെ വഴിയാണ് റീക്കോ. അവള്‍ മനോഹരമായി പിയാനോ വായിക്കുന്നു. അതിനേക്കാള്‍ ആശ്ചര്യമുണ്ടാക്കുന്നതാണ് അവളുടെ ജീവിത കഥ. അത് മനസിലാകുന്നത് വാറ്റനബെക്ക് മാത്രമാണ്. ഒടുവില്‍ റീക്കോയുടെ ശരീരത്തില്‍ പങ്കുചേരുന്നതാണ് നീതിയെന്ന് വാറ്റനബെ തിരിച്ചറിയുന്നുണ്ട്.

ഉദ്വേഗജനകമല്ല മുറകമിയുടെ സാഹിത്യം. ലോകത്തിന്‍റെ മെല്ലെപ്പോക്കാണ് അയാളുടെ വിഷയം. പലരും പ്രശംസിക്കുന്നതുപോലെ എഴുത്തിലെ താളമാണ് മുറകമിയുടെ ശക്തി. ഒരു കൊച്ചു കല്ലായാല്‍പ്പോലും അതിനെ മുറകമി വര്‍ണിക്കാന്‍ തുടങ്ങിയാല്‍ അത് വായിക്കാതിരിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയില്ല.

ഒഴുക്കാണ് ജീവിതമെന്ന വലിയ വെളിപാടാണ് നോര്‍വീജിയന്‍ വുഡ്.

 

Photo: http://hamsapsukebe.blogspot.in (Screen grab from Norwegian Wood, The Film) 

Notes from the unknown

When the two men came face to face, He was afraid to stand-up for his cause. He knew he was right. but more than the righteousness of the situation, he was drawn to his basic trait – To escape, the fear of facing the world, an emotion which embedded in him like the web of a spider, exhausting and pulling back.

Later, He admitted it;

“I’m an over-protected, spoiled son of a government official, whose only wish in life was to build a concrete house with four walls that will keep the outside world from meddling into our lives. I want to thank my Daddy for gifting me the most miserable childhood I can imagine”

That’s how I ended up liking this boy!

 

Featured Image: Ralph in Lord of the Flies. A symbol of childhood, insecurities and ‘lose of innocence’ as Mr. William Golding puts it