Sunday 28 August 2011

Squeezing the creative juices but forgetting the filter

Writing blog posts has somehow become quite addictive. I see it as a means to squeeze my mind and force the thoughts to spill over as posts. But I come to realize that this exercise sometimes takes a toll on me. I find myself questioning the minutest things so that I come up with a curious post. There are days when the post presents itself to me that I cannot but sit and have to record them down. But sometimes these posts don’t arrive and knock at my door. On days when the posts don’t arrive, I am left with an urge to write but cannot do so as I find nothing interesting to me. On days like that, I am left staring at almost every plausible thing and wondering if ‘this’ could be the victim for my post.

Many writing gurus always remark, “Write something every day.” But what does one do when one cannot write anything. It is during those dry spells that I try to squeeze and extract the remains from something which has already been squeezed dry. Since there is nothing much to squeeze, the filter is discarded. As a result of the discarded filter, the posts don’t seem satisfying. 

Blogging saved me from a terrible patch in life (when I started out) and I’m glad that it is a worthwhile addiction but I also cannot disagree that everything has to be prioritized. Well, well, don’t get ideas that I’m taking a break or quitting blogging. This is a frank declaration of a passionate blogger.

Or perhaps, I forgot the filter when I wrote this post :)

What say?

Image: Internet

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Locked away memories

I wish I could slot types of memories in my mind/heart and have a folder for each set. Each folder will be labeled according to the kind of memories. Of course, some may overlap but that is okay, it cannot be helped otherwise. One folder would be titled ‘school’ where I will store all the memories that were part of my schooling years: friends, loves, teachers, exams and others. Another folder would be titled ‘betrayals’ where stories of lost loves would be carefully arranged. The folder, of course would slightly overlap the one titled ‘school.’ 

Some folders would last the entire lifetime while certain folders would require deletion as they interfere with the present. The past runs continuum in the present but there is also a need to gradually erase the volatile memories which have the ability to cause hazards in the present.
Some folders would be shared with friends, parents, children, teachers and certain others, while some folders will have a password which would prevent anyone from looking into the contents. Some folders need updating while certain others are preserved.

Memory is dynamic which is constantly changing. There are some memories of places which are better preserved in the memory alone. The place in the memory might be completely different from the present place and therefore it is better to leave the memory and the place alone. 

Songs form a greater space in every folder. I will store songs from each period of my life and connect the same with certain incidents in my life. For example, the song “My heart will go on,” will remind me of my under graduation, where I bunked class to see the movie “Titanic.” I will remember that I disliked Leonardo DiCaprio and adored Kate Winslet. But in the present, I have grown to like and admire the acting skills of DiCaprio. 

Sometimes I will rummage through the folders to exact that bit of memory which made me happy or sometimes I will crave for that smell which will lead me to a particular memory.

I will think of a certain time when the song “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by Eagles was playing but I wasn’t listening to the song but now when I listen to that song, I think of that ‘certain time’ with melancholy.

The urge to delete the folder named MEMORIES is strong at times but I am also aware that however I try to erase that folder, it will always remain in the system.

Image: Internet

Wednesday 17 August 2011

LaBels limit me but save time!

Sometimes for want of a better word and saving time and energy, we resort to already existing labels. In the process of using a particular label frequently, we deny ourselves the opportunity to think beyond that particular word. Conveniently we slot people, objects, places and other things. Therefore it requires a feminist to point out and condemn labels that define women, are sexist. If not for them, we could not have realized that we are slotting women into a particular category.

Just take a look around you and you find that there are labels for almost everything. It is these labels that slowly make way for prejudices and stereotypes. Spaces have to be either urban or rural/country side. But most of the times we use labels just because we can’t think of any other word. Most of the times, these labels are also historical and sociological. Things are simplified for historians and sociologists if groups of people are slotted into a particular label.

In academics, one can observe this trait predominantly. If an individual gets slotted into a particular label, then that one remains with him/her throughout the career span. Even if the individual has changed loyalties and prescribes to another, the tag is sure to follow. It is therefore quite difficult to remain in the academic circle and not be labelled. These labels can sometimes be the area of an individual’s research. For example, if someone is passionate about the theory of post colonialism, then he/she is labeled a poco (short form for postcolonialist). Unwittingly, one gets pulled into the vortex of labels.

Labels can be limiting and suffocating. I am trying to think an alternate to this. I cannot seem to find any. Perhaps, you could suggest something. I would like to read what you have to say on this. 

Image: Internet

Saturday 13 August 2011

Stars in my bedroom

The place where we are presently living cannot be characterized as urban or rural; it is somewhere between the two and could be called semi-rural and urban. Ah, sometimes these labels limit us from categorizing. Well, I hope you agree that everything cannot be slotted into labels. I am digressing from my topic, so let me get back into the groove.

Sometimes when sleep plays truant, I lay awake and wonder. It is at those times, that my eyes are fixed to the tiny sparks of light that flit across my room. The dark room gains a glow from these tiny fire flies which have somehow wandered into my room through the open window. Sometimes, I see the light through the mirror and I must tell you that the reflection of the fire fly’s light in the mirror makes a lovely sight. 

You should know that fire flies don’t dwell in urban spaces. They are found only in the country side as there are not many lights there. Perhaps the presence of many lights in the urban and semi-urban places has rendered our eyes blind to the luminous fire flies. 

The weaver-bird (Ploceus philippinus) which weaves its nest beautifully supposedly catches these fire flies to light its nest. Many villages have an abundance of these nests hanging from trees and sway gracefully in the direction of the breeze. One could spend a lifetime looking at those nests swaying back and forth. I am yet to see a nest in the dark. I am waiting to see that spectacle.

These flies spread light and warmth, niggling my senses and thoughts when I find that sleep has betrayed me. Looking at those stars that twinkle in my room, I slowly fall asleep and dream of weaver birds and their glowing nests.

Have you seen fire flies/ weaver bird’s nests? Does your living space bring you joy?

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet 

Saturday 6 August 2011

No No No

Now I know how wrong I was to judge Amy Winehouse's music by looking at her personhood. I had always associated her music to be dark, meaningless and that of just another dope singer on the block. Looking at her bee-hive hairstyle and rehab stories, I couldn't make myself think that she could produce good music. All the while, I had made these judgments without having listened to her music. The smallness of my personhood comes through examples as these.

After her untimely death, there were many reviews which chose to focus only on the '27 Club' and not her soulful music or her voice. But there was one review which piqued my interest towards Winehouse. I read that obituary quite carefully and the writer, though mentioned the 27 Club, did not choose to make that his sole point of reference to Winehouse. The way he described her voice and range, could have forced anyone to go and listen to her albums. I don't know whether others did that but I precisely did that: listening to different songs by Winehouse. I started with Rehab, which faintly reminded me of CCR's "Someone told me long ago/There's a calm before the storm,/I know" from the song Have you ever seen the rain?. I liked the feel of Winehouse's Rehab. I listened to all of her songs that were on You tube and boy, here was a fan of Winehouse's voice.

Well, I don't much listen to songs by girls/women, as they are mostly mushy love songs with a voice that drips honey and sweetness. Of course, there are some exceptions to this and Winehouse was one who did not have a stereotypical voice (wiki tells me that she possesses deep contralto vocals). Now I feel sorry that the world lost someone as her at so young a age. If she was alive, there would have been many soulful songs that would fill the idle hours of many souls like me.

I should leave this judging business, otherwise I will lose out on many things. What say?

Image: Internet

Tuesday 2 August 2011

I hear footsteps and know that it is you

This has almost become a passionate obsession. I believe that I had this trait in me but did not notice that it has become habitual and compulsive. I had to guess the person from the footsteps I hear in the corridor. It so happens that one does something for a lark before one realizes that that which was done for a lark has almost become a part of the daily routine.

Working on the computer, I am engrossed in something but almost as a reflex, my ears pick up a sound that is at a distance: footsteps. I start guessing. Maybe it could be SG or PR. As the footsteps come closer, I know who it is. It is like a challenge between my two minds. The two minds debate and finally one wins. The process gives me immense joy. If my guess is correct, I get quite ecstatic. But all this involves only me. Sometimes I do whisper to the person sitting next to me that X or Y is coming. Unwittingly, the person sitting beside gets involved in the anticipation of matching the footsteps to the person. If I win, I look at the individual beside with a look that proudly exclaims, “I told you, didn’t I? I am always right.” Guessing a person by the footsteps is not a great feat but I consider it something to be proud of as not many are tuned to identifying footsteps. How small things come to mean so much is something that has never ceased to amaze me. Even while I type this post, my ears hear the footsteps and try to match them to the person.

Now, I hasten to add that I cannot recognize every footstep. I have to know the person before I could identify the footsteps. It is strange how different people walk, thereby bringing a distinct sound to their footsteps. Even barefoot walk has a particular sound which can be identified. 
Weird obsessions and habits! What is yours? Counting, perhaps or is it adding the numbers of a vehicle’s registration. I do them as well!

Image: Internet


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