Saturday, July 30, 2005

Through the haze ....

This post is like a walk. I am not going anywhere, I am just smelling the roses and savoring thoughts that live and die in an instant. Taking a walk through a haze of thoughts, imagining myself walking to buy a carton of milk in those early mornings in the month of Margazhi (tamil month) .

All of us have this little world inside our heads - with our own definitions of good and evil, with self defined limits of love/hate/betrayal or human decadence. We hold these limits very dear, let people in only when they fit into this realm of reason, watch the world through our tinted glasses through which anything beyond our limits of reason is ugly, naked and revolting.

It's not just about limits - it's the people too. Sooner or later, every acquaintance is painted as a caricature inside our head - skewed, interesting and definitely different from reality. We then have a relationship not with the real person but with this caricature inside our head. The longer you know the person, the stronger your relationship is with this caricature, and the farther it is from the real him/her. Not just acquaintances - but every category, every role defined in the human race. Men, women, mother, father, humans themselves - we don't see them for who they are but try fitting them into our definitions, straitjacket them into our caricatures - aberrations are exceptions and can be ignored, if they are loud enough and demand attention, we scream, shout, express indignation and go back to the straitjacket-ing.

Event name : "Social workers help save lives in mumbai flood".
Assign specimen ID. Specimen no. 2314.
Check for behavioural exceptions. None.
"lo! we have a perfect fit. Long live the caricatures"
Caricature validity++.
Straitjacketed, bottled and erased.
Speciment no. 2315. Straitjacketed, bottled and erased.
Speciment no. 2316. Exception occured! mended, punctured, Straitjacketed, bottled and erased.

all our lives ... every single moment.
This is an amazing view of life - every moment being an event that shall be bottled and erased. But that's not true isn't it - some of them stay with us, sometimes for a lifetime. It's not always something that makes us happy. Probably some of these events just cut deeper, hold on like rust onto the exodus pipe and stay there as the only remains of all those happy, sad, nondescript snapshots in the walk of life. These probably are the ones that go all the way and shape/change the caricatures. The members of the hall of fame.

But imagine living life treating it like such a bottling process. No! Humans are made of greater stuff. We need a facade over this skelton - a healthy value addition, a greater purpose, a stairway to heaven. it's amazing to live life without this realization - a state of suspension of disbelief, where we indulge ourselves in every emotion that we feel rather than treating them as a journey of neurons or as shooting synapses in our neural network. Zoom in and Zoom out of a view of the world - worrying about children I have never met or will never be meeting again in some hamlet in france for one second, and get consumed in trivial nothingness of an gargantuan, monolithic I the very next second, feel like a speck in a huge scheme of things as I walk on a concrete bridge washed by a recent downpour watching nature unfold itself until the very end of my sight. Zoom in, Zoom out - over and over again, indulge in them, word them, verbalise them and speak of them as the most important thing in the world at that very instant.

Straitjacketed, bottled and erased. Suspension of disbelief.

I realize, I must have lost you a long while back :)
I have to leave now.


Blogger Anirudh said...

Interesting point of view. But, i dont believe that it is a straitjacket we put people into. Its like Scarlet O'Hara in GWTW, we have this suit of clothes, and we try it on everybody for size. Yes, we create caricatures of people in our minds, but if we step back and look at a bigger picture, we realize that people are just that. At the risk of sounding stupid, people are personfications of our opinions about them. If our opinion about someone is largely good, we like the person, else he is the that-girl-we-like's boyfriend :) All of us are integrally a manifestation of other people's opinions.

Needless to add, wonderfully written :)

10:46 PM  
Blogger Rathish said...


I guess this post was more an after effect of the french episode I was discussion anirudh. I was wondering why I was shocked. And even otherwise, it stuck me that this is how we work with relationships - it's only for sometime that we are actually trying to understand someone. After that, we are only interpreting them through our caricature.

Probably not a straitjacket, but yeah - an armani suit :) btw, i didn't get the gwtw link. I hate to say it but I have read about the movie and seen the book. high time, I do it the other way around :)

7:13 PM  

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