Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Post depression post

Edit: I am not emo. This is more like 'Hero' by Regina Spektor mood.

"Power to the people, we don't want it, we want pleasure 
And the TV's try to rape us and I guess that they're succeeding
And we're going to these meetings but we're not doing any meeting  
And we're trying to be faithful but we're cheating, cheating, cheating" 

Edit #2: This post was supposed to start this way: Like a rolling stone, for all wrong things known, like a bum without a home. An academic forlorn. Like a mossy mossy rolling stone. That's to show you I am tired of rootlessness and fluidity already. This is the prelude to my anti-globalization rants. Read on.

It's been a few days since I started my journal writings titled twenty days to apocalypse. Actually, since the beginning of this year I've been waiting for one. Don't ask me why. No, it's obviously not because I am depressed or superstitious or have nothing to do or had a few rough days. I don't even know what depression means anymore really. Everything around is mildly depressing in a grainy, white noise sort of a way. I am sure the time has come to coin a new word of this state of being. I am writing this on a rainy December evening in Delhi. You can imagine how that pushes the apocalyptic feel just an extra bit. It's probably also about December that I start craving clean slate.
You can take this as a dedication to all those who had predictable careers and snugly stuck in a regular desk job. Most of those who know me, complain that I am rarely seen or encountered in meat space, that I am around but never really and to get me to be somewhere means accepting I will join in only halfway. I've often even complained about time-turners not being invented just as yet. I've also complained about the absolutely illusory notion of good luck and always being on the wrong side of it. It's like there are five dates in every calendar month where everyone is free or wants to do an event or discuss something important. I can obviously not be at all, except I am no celebrity and hence my absence translates from callousness to snobbery to simple inability to contribute to "useful discourses of the ever changing world". Sometimes I hate you, Foucault. I hate the fact that these 'discursive interventions' were so powerful that everyone from marketing analysts to socialites lapped the vocabulary up and then throw their money at you only if you can present to them exciting observations of societal change.
I'll tell you why I think you are safe if you chose a conventional career. I am sure it's a grass-is-greener scenario but hear my side out. Have you ever felt existential crises as a regular breathing exercise? Ever imagined a Gutenberg world, of relentless publishing machines? Felt like you cannot take the next breath without justifying it first to yourself and then humbly (in apologetic parentheses with aptly referenced sources) to the whole society that seems to have suddenly discovered its potential political-ness? Every position is political and has disruptive potential. Yeah, you didn't even know that earlier and now that you know you are a stakeholder in cultural, economic, social, ethical and falafel way. So, I have to take your smelly shit and examine it to every thread. No, if you are an engineer reading this, you'll think I am talking about social media type statements. I am not. I am talking hardcore academic and worse, my recent experiences with art practices.
So, basically what happens is that you become the mother of jaded with two permanently grey hairs and even before you see an art show you hate the artist's guts. You can only think about how he fooled someone to get their money and trust me, an entire graphic novel of his "playing the field" floats past my eyes. Obviously, it's so uncouth to bitch about the world's exploding potential. That's why I am not writing a research paper on this. If you ever spoke to me on a day when I am more awake than asleep, I'd make the most disgusting faces at your every sentence. There's no way you could talk to me without upsetting me. Obviously, it's a part of your postnational, coerced global, techno-euphoric and all such portmanteau being. Even your being born and fully blossomed into an offensive individual professionally excites me. That's where I get my fodder.
If I go to America, they smirk. If I have a heterosexual boyfriend, they pitifully smile. New addition: if I buy a lomo camera I am a hipster. Worst, if I leave my text left or right aligned, it inspires terrible political jokes. That's why saying I am depressed will immediately throw me in your lot - the non observers.
What does this world look like then? I'll give you my own version of the Brave New World. While learning psychology I'd learned about the different stages of coping with stress. This is a world in its burnt out, lower level functioning phase. Being happy is naive, having a problem is not enough, having a bizarre problem that seems to dangle on the threshold of paradigm changes is the best bet. It's a post gay, post queer, post depressed, post Che Guevara t-shirt, post national, post digital world.  I can hardly utter that I see nothing new. I am waiting for the day someone says nothing is new and just proclaims a worldly TIME OUT with a T sign. Does this all let you breathe? Maybe you haven't even come across such acute anxieties because you've always aspired to actually reach America and get a house and have a baby. I really wish there were more of you.
So, before you all can jump on me and say this is all pervasive and nothing new, I am just going to say it's my quarter life crises moment where I cannot decide between desirable and undesirable. But, I cannot stop, I must continue investigating the undesirable because that's what a career in academics means. Btw, we call this feelings stuff 'affect', just in case some of you are cornered in a social science debate, this should save you.

"It's alright, it's alright, it's alright" ('Hero - Regina Spektor)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Twenty two - the year of repeating

"Trust me, it only gets better from here...", said he as I declared the onset of twenty two. You wouldn't believe, I've re-read my own writing over and over so many times only to wonder why I started writing in a particular way and why I stopped. I usually look for answers in circumstances but in this case I haven't found one. On the other hand, since the last post I've grown quite a bit. I've grown almost supernaturally in self consciousness.
It's how you are peeing one day and realize there's something so different about your nose and that day onward your nose has never gone out of sight. It's right there between your eyes. Or, like a really late late funny feeling one gets while uttering a word that one has spoken forever. Try saying 'schedule' almost twenty times with consistent pronunciation and not feeling embarrassed even once. (You can either say it the American way or shee-dewl it. Eww.) Another, I really don't know how - you know when people start discovering the books or music that you used to love a few years ago? You know you've made that journey but they won't listen to you. Everyone has to make their own journey I guess. Similar with Murakami. (I hope you who made your journey before me, are reading this one.) From Kafka to Sputnik to Dance... I had dismissed him so wildly until I read the running book. Note to self - never write something/someone off completely.
In fact, similar is with oneself. I still remember miserably sitting through a lot of drawing exams desperately wanting to make something good on paper. It just didn't happen. There were some who used to draw brilliantly back then. But age is not a bad thing. Suddenly, over the past few years of growing I feel so much more capable of facing the world. I can draw with definite control over the lines now. You must try it, really. Revisit things you couldn't do well as a child and do them well now. That will make for a much bolder future. That way one sheds baggage. I've been doing similar with singing, running (thanks to Murakami, btw books *do* inspire, you have to have faith), drawing, clicking pictures and telling time (I am almost there on this count). A few years later I hope to be more confident about cooking, shooting in video and writing, perhaps. 
I do get angry these days too, I've had fits of nothingness in the recent past. All due to the new experience of getting a full time job. Maybe I don't digest new experiences without absolute resistance. I've also discovered the word that describes me best in such situations - awkward. Lesson? Endure it, like really, hear each drop of nothingness, stillness, resistance, failure and confusion fill you and flow through you. As father says, "Nothing is too big. Ever." Sure, as I often say, these experiences take bits of us away, like Horcruxes that will never return (especially the breakups) but is there a better way? I don't know. Right now I just feel ready to take in more. Defense points - 100. 
There is so much more I can go on writing here. The last would be language and visuality (note to self: always end notes on joyous realizations, academics affords plenty such!) It's good to be studying visuality in times when all you say (metaphors, similes, analogies, even forms like poetry or prose or travelogues) is basically just word pictures. Can we say anything without drawing a picture of it? I know it's corny but we've been instagramming in words ever since! Such is the power of optics in language. Twenty two has begun. 

[Note: I have obviously omitted my profound thoughts on marriages, relative happiness, the dilemma of being eaten away by ambition and the thickening of one's fat + skin as one ages and a strong urge to have children. You've heard enough of that if you've met me recently]

(Photo: 'Fleeting joys' by me, featuring the apples of my eye aka Coolest Cousins)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Post-it conspiracies feed on golden dust

Black dog and I, separated by tens of meters of uneven grassy patches were both sniffing the headiest drug of a midsummer evening today - petrichor. It was an evening of accomplishment - six rounds of jogging then running then flailing, panting, drinking, stretching, gawking, running and resting in that succession of action with the mise en scene of black dog sniffing wet mud from far away places changing to nearing drizzles and bodily fluid sweat meet atmospheric fluid rain as trees sway hips in joyous undulating motions. Of course, the dirty shade of blue black (dirty like Old Monk) sky was still busy delivering foreign people from unknown lands in incessant plane drones above. That's the background score to life in South Delhi I suppose.
The day had its moments. Apparently, the British character in 'Girls' is an ENFP. Basically, she is cool, tall, pretty and has the license to be mean. It's supposed to be some kind of an irrevocable truth that us ENFJs just have to live with. Then, the whole schedule thing. Everyone's applauding me for reaching deadlines and waking up early and sleeping on time and eating no carbs and not having hit a single dog in the past few months. It's like gradually discovering the entire rulebook that the world actually is. In our shared heads (me and these sane freaks) hippies are no longer cool. I don't even know if I should go back to thinking they were or just make really wry jokes about hippies, sexually transmitted diseases and World Wars. And worse, being nice to people because they are watching all the time. No, don't throw the you-don't-have-to-care-about-others crap. If I didn't have to, none of us would have bothered getting a job or studying or even procuring food. We'd just be gnawing at each others' skin and muscles, in turn growing fat and being food for others to feast on (like a symbiotic cannibal fest). All these are not like isolated rules or something. Once you start waking up on time, you take a bath regularly, then you want to wear neutral tones and you stop yelling at douche bags who keep pinging you forever with Youtube links (because apparently it's okay for people to forget that you have a 256 kbps Internet connection).
Then, there are also those who tell you the world doesn't revolve around you. Oh really? Then, how come the ENFPs get by with oh-my-life rants like it's a new one everyday? There's nothing like negativity or positivity. That's the problem with labels, post-its, notes and schedules. Also, progress, the mother of all trouble. Most people don't realize that profundity is basically a matter of striking a chord with those who listen to your kind of stuff and read your kind of books. So, you could be extremely profound without being retweeted or shared or liked a hundred times simply because most people's attention spans and vocabularies are one millionth of yours. Does moderation means not being obsessed about the right punctuations and taking a bath only twice a day? But, what happened to all your schedules and rules?
Also, annoyingly, most of these science turned arts lovers/converts reductively shake their heads vigorously when you point out the trouble with progress. They think they get it, but I doubt anyone's ever had a course in epistemology. Someone should prescribe that for nursery class. So, what happens when people tell you that you are an ENFJ or that your thighs are fat or that you might have missed the bus or should take a test to get into a program or move into a house ceaselessly? It tells you about overarching labels, echoes ticking clocks, piles up unfinished scholarship applications and constantly feels like jiggling body parts.

Scenario 1: Sans progress need

Hey, your thighs are fat and that's what makes you as a person when someone looks at you. Wonderful, continue to grow like you can't control anything! That's how your photographs won't have held breaths or shit ass contemporary hair styles!

Scenario 2: Progress need activated

Hey, your thighs are fat and there's always a solution! Basically, because there's a solution in life, everything is a problem including your fat thighs, occasional drunk calls, your needs for love or just simply that you like kicking dogs. It's all a big problem until you spend your entire lifetime trying to find solutions for everything that ever existed!

Yeah, this rant goes all over the place. I think this is how a push over rants. Somewhere I am beginning to remember the days when I was terribly brusque and as Victorians put it, "the wind would barely touch my sublime, supple bosom". I feel a lot saner now and maybe even less magical. There's always that hoard of men wanting things. Most used to think I was immodest, now most think I want to be unattainable. I guess I could start with going away to places every month and being more unresponsive in general. I need to switch off and stop being so understanding about everything.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happiness is in looking again

There's been such a long break, I don't even know where to start. Two years have gone by and Christ seems like such a wooly memory in my head. You know how once removed, twice reflected, multiple times relived, it's hard to differentiate between memory and myth. You cherish something so much you gradually start returning to it in every low, then you reimagine it, try to tweak it a little, wish for things that could have been better. The memory changes a little, adjusts itself and you keep revisiting it turns into your favorite story book. Christ was probably one of those, a Grimm tale albeit. But, only traumatic childhoods make for good revenge tales. Coming back, J.N.U and of all places Delhi, are responsible for this happy amnesia. To be fined for sitting on some pavement versus rolling on the road in merry inebriation, knots loosen. It's so important to let go, if one doesn't by herself, the universe has to be churned for a conspiracy towards it. Of course, learning is one aspect and maybe I learned a lot more back there but, how one sees oneself, the confidence and the ability to speak up again without being made to write apology letters is something that took two whole years to regain. This is not some public note to start loving or looking at places like Delhi positively. Places don't exist really, people don't either. It's just a moment in your head or those changing days and months, the things they bring, your fights and troubles. Simply put, it's myth and memory. If the former weighs heavier, it's a signal to move on and find a better place to live outside your head. It's also funny that most of what I wrote came so easy back then. Probably, side effects of talking to oneself for eight hours a day, at the end one has a lot accumulated to say. Here, there's nothing to fight, no one to resist, all in a lazy hazy perpetual Woodstock. I've liked Delhi maybe because of where I stay. So, while I know not what awaits in the next few months to come, here's a half baked blog revival and some cool picture of my wall. Remember, myths, not memories.