Of late I’ve stopped reading books of any intellectual significance. Its complete sacrilege as far as my reading choices go. See, I was the type that you wouldn’t even catch reading commercially intelligent books like Catch 22 or Paulo Coelho. I’d have ‘Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch’ or ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ positioned in my lap. I was that pig headed a pedantic snob. Somehow over the last few years though, maybe because of the lack of time when I was on shoots or maybe because you felt it was time to experience life rather than read about it, the erudition slipped out of my hand and started collecting dust on a forgotten shelf.
I do believe though, that the city got to me. How can you possibly attempt a cerebral moment when most of your life is mired in survival. Worrying. That’s the symptom of Survival Disease.
Worrying about the rent, worrying about the deposit, worrying about reaching work on time, worrying about who you’ll hang out with after work, worrying about where to order food from, worrying about the carcinogens in the Maggi you have practically every night, worrying about work deadlines, worrying that you’re not doing anything about those deadlines, worrying about getting sacked, worrying about acne, worrying about too many men, worrying about no men, worrying about delayed periods, worrying about why he didn’t call, worrying about what to wear to poison tonight, worrying about not looking too dressed up for Toto’s, worrying about the taxi driver taking you to a dark alley at 3 am and raping you, worry about the auto driver killing you in peak hour traffic, worrying about worrying.
Somehow life didn’t start off like this. It had a house and parents and siblings and packed lunch and cheap auto rides and movies for 25 rupees.
So now when I step into the Crossword on Turner road, I read the backs of books very intensely. Words like ‘single’, ‘big city’, ‘sex’, ‘unrequited love’ jump up at me. I thrive on books that mirror my life. I know that it’s a silly thing to do.. How can seeing someone in the same situation; change or even mildly entertain you? But it does.
You read about another single, attractive, 20 something, workaholic girl in a big city and it warms your heart in a way nothing else does. Just the knowledge that this, is ok, is experienced by many before you and will be experienced by many after. That you’re not committing some mortal sin by staying away from the parental coop, and doing naughty things with boys and not getting married, and feeling deceptively full…this…your life…is OK!