{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


One of my self-admittedly depressed friend told me that the only way to fight it is to accept it. Later when I saw some people who were really depressed, I realized how my friend was romanticizing depression and wearing it on his sleeves. He also told me often that his feelings are hurt and he is very emotional, which confirmed my theory. But he had a point, the point of accepting. I have always found hope in the idea of accepting. I also associate some sort of grace to this idea, idealizing it. Its heartening to accept that your time has come. Its graceful to succumb and fall without grudge. As crying lightens your heart, acceptance lightens the struggle, things clear up and you see the futility of fighting the wind and the whispers. Grace of a dilapidated tree is just enough to remind that it was accepted the fate. It has accepted the rain and the sunshine. It may have even realized that they nourish it too, while withering it in the process. The wrinkles on tree trunks are sign of grace, not resignation. Its not the acceptance of the wrong or the right, it’s the acceptance of cycles of life. If a big tree can talk to a smaller one, it will say, stay there.

Back in the day, when the ideas were ideas, thinking was clear and fun. Now things are muddled up. Experience changes the simplest of ideas, either dulling or dazing them. Being a father now and watching my 9 month old daughter’s reaction when we eat together, I realized what an old song means when it says “aap khaye thali mein, munne ko de pyali mein” (you eat in a big plate, and give me a small cup!). I love the way she can communicate her displeasure, sometimes subtly, other time not so. She totally assumes that we will get it, and most of the times, we don’t. Babies always cry, don’t they. I love the bubble in which that experience exists, these ideas change daily when a new language, a new life enters yours. You listen and realize how stupid you were, and you are. Accepting that your pillar of understanding are so weak and fluid is a difficult thing. What can you say, if things change with every experience and so does your understanding of them. The trick is to follow it, not try to get it. It’s not about defining truth, but chasing it, and staring it in eyes, for fraction of a second. Kafka says meaning of life is that it stops. Bunuel says that he sides people who seek truth, but part ways with them as soon as they say they have found it. Either it is a continuous search or a full stop. I think Kafka knows the truth, but does not know how to live with it. But Bunuel can manage life. The acceptance that life has meaning only till you keep looking is again a difficult thing to digest.

One of my old roommate’s girlfriend, threw a birthday party for me, she wrote cards, bought cake and flowers and but the whole time she could not hide that she is uneasy with something. These moments clouded her often, which she tried to wash with odd smiles. One evening she bought those ready-made kits to make paper dolls, and sat near garage door fixing it. I chatted with her a little and asked about the doll, she told me that she used make similar dolls as a child. She kept adding something to the doll and saw it again and fixed it little more, all the while seemed disinterested in it. She was just distracting herself from something. She was visibly sad. She was trying, but cannot move ahead. She was smiling, but her smile was like bad makeup, it highlighted what it should conceal. I left the city and later learned from my ex-roommate they are not together anymore. He said explaining she had lots of her own problems to sort. Her image with the doll rolled past my eyes. She tried, celebrated other people birthdays, baked cakes, and fixed paper dolls. In the mornings, I saw her so many times resigned and angry, and as if to cheer herself she would take us out for breakfast. She was trying her best, but it is very difficult to accept your own sadness.

If I meet my friend now, I will ask him, does he think the same about some of his old theories. I will tell him more details about my ex-roommate’s girlfriend and few more poor souls. I will tell him about myself. I will tell him about my borrowed ideas of meaning of life and the truth. I will let him talk and give me some more half-baked ideas, if he still have any. I will discuss them. I will have a good time.