Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comfortably Dumb

You know that moment when someone takes you into confidence and says something that makes you feel really special and you feel so good because you feel ‘chosen’, and then a couple of days later you find out that that person has said the exact same thing, and maybe a bit more to someone else and you get that ugly bracken, bile, pit of the stomach churn, that feeling of being utterly let down? I seem to be feeling like that all the time these days. And the culprit isn’t that so called friend or that two timing lover, but the city itself.

I’ve always had great admiration for people who never change, who hold their ground, who will always respond to their inner current, never cheating on it whether in the presence of impressionable company or in solitude. It’s a characteristic that is greatly missing. Especially in Bombay.

Bombay where you become what surrounds you. Merge into the smog and though this sounds cliché – forget who you were. So who were you, you ask yourself? Were you that girl with the thick glasses and unbelievably unmanageable hair that got onto her scooty every evening and rode to Eloor library and spent hours, no, days sitting in one of the aisles buried in a book. Were you the girl who loved watching Saturday morning Lok Sabha sessions and were a 100% sure you would become a politician, or were you the girl that read so much, you wouldn’t leave your room for days on end?

Bombay that has killed the reader in me, the thinker in me, and then most paradoxically the introvert in me as well. So what was better you ask youself, once in a while, like on a balmy Wednesday night like tonight. Was it better to be an intellectual obfuscator with no social skills, but where you still held yourself in extremely high regard, OR a social butterfly with a packed schedule who cant seem to even hold a mildly intelligent conversation anymore, who reaches out for Vogue instead of even Time Out these days because it involves far less reading but, who I dare say is – still happier somehow?

Or is this just the bane of the mid twenties? Of a life past and present that incoherently collide, where from this ugly copulation will birth your true self?

What? Say me.

12 comments:

h said...

It’s like your feet are placed firmly where you want them to be, but your mind is allowed to follow its curiosity, till you find that perfect place, even if for a few seconds, days or even years, before your feet tell you to stop. At this point you might want to get a new pair of shoes or stick to your old ones. It’s your choice.

Coo said...

Vo my gawd! beautifully put. exactly what im feeling :) and i am thinking of a new pair ;P

Nirav said...

So True! Bombay's such a cruel city yet so completely alluring.And very ironically, it forces its inhabitants to imbibe and live this paradox. Loose yourself, yet discover completely unkown new facets of you.

I love this Coldplay song. Kind of alludes to this situation...
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jBEYyHGbwto

Fabulous writer you be. Please don't be stopping! :)

Your Sistah said...

baby sister, since we're using Floydisms, you're just experiencing alcohol-soft middle age. Or shall we say - Bombay-soft middle age.

Whatever floats your boat at this moment in time and makes you happy, is what you need to be.

so jesht yenjai it I say!

El said...

girl, you've got writing talent; with or without an existential crisis, you might want to think of doing something about it.

And reading always comes back, when one's with the books, one always tends to think - what's real life like? now you know..and the two don't have to be mutually exclusive do they?

siropdevanille said...

I think it has more to do with your job. By the end of the week, you just don't want to drink and laugh at anything... and leave your brains at home with your books... hmmmm... that might have worked in some sff book eh?

Anki said...

rings all my bells

does this happen to all of us or to the best of us or the worst of us

nevermind

Was it better to be an intellectual obfuscator with no social skills, but where you still held yourself in extremely high regard, OR a social butterfly with a packed schedule who cant seem to even hold a mildly intelligent conversation anymore, who reaches out for Vogue instead of even Time Out these days because it involves far less reading but, who I dare say is – still happier somehow? ""

Anonymous said...

look, you might consider yourself dumbed down now, but alll that mad voratious reading in your adolescence paid off didnt it, since you now write like a dream!

krishna said...

a comment on your earlier posts, and more earlier posts on the city we all love... to despair

mumbai, bombay's name-changed avtar, is now 13, and is reflecting the ups and downs of an adolescent devi, like the one she is named after. some of her physical changes, pimples et al, are so ugly; her surly mood swings reflecting in sullen road rage; her misplaced righteous wrath make her lash out at the migrant worker ants who cherish and worship her; she is growing up to be a latter-day Maha-Amba-Ai, a righteous vengeful Mother Goddess very different from the earlier avtar "Good Bay"(BomBay). If the American Civil War, the closure of the Suez Canal and the great migrations of Rest of India since Independence created waves of growth and more growth, the waves of riots and bombings is shaping Mumbai's soul very differently.

by the time she is out of her teens, Mumbai will be nothing like her earlier avtar.

Yeh hai Mumbai Meri Jaan will have a very different beat and thump to it than the easy-come-easy-go Bombay Meri Jaan

Bombay, RIP

Anonymous said...

It is not the bane of the mid-twenties; it is the bane of head in your assness. Those who prize their minds will find the time to read in a 60-hour week. You're cluttering your mind with glam and gossip, with fashion labels and self-pity. Stop blaming the city and see the situation for what it is: your own intellectual inertia.

Coo said...

@ Nirav - Ah that song is one of my favorites!
@ El - this post was mostly the realisation that ive stopped reading i guess.. and i hope to hell it comes back!
@ Maybe it does, which explains the restlessness
@ Anon 1 - Tanks pa
@ Krishna - I dont know if Mumbai's soul is being shaped differently or she's simply become soul-less.
@ Anon 2 - That is accurate criticism and i agree.

Nim Aggi said...

ay thu what i thought you'll fight with the mean anon commentor. cha!