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Absurdism

Weird things.

“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” Neil Gaiman’s words are haunting me today. Should I have called this ’13 Random Thoughts – Part 2’? I wonder. I have been wondering a lot lately. And weird things have been popping up…

  1. Once upon a time, I realised that clouds were not like cotton candy, were not fluffy, and I couldn’t float on them.
  2. And then I started to wonder… what if… what if there were such things as parallel universes? What if at this exact moment, when I’m typing this, another Me is flying to a country I (present me, that is) never knew existed? The other Me would be unveiling the conspiracies of cartographers (thank you, Mr. Stoppard!) while I keep losing myself in a myriad of words. I do hope my parallel self is as charming as I am, though. Just saying.
  3. I do not know if I believe in luck – an ephemeral temptress (read: mistress) who seems to always glide among the shadows, and remains unreachable, unlovable. Frustratingly so! Does not believing in something make it less real?
  4. People are always in a hurry. Where are you going? Which train (bus, if you’re in Mauritius) do you need to catch? And would calamity really befall if you missed it? Why can’t you be a few minutes late? If you can’t, why didn’t you leave earlier? I’m starting to compile a list of things that bother me. Watch this space for more.
  5. Chess aesthetics are a paradox or a weird combination of harmony, symmetry, and complication.
  6. One of my favourite words is ‘ethereal’. It evokes so many things in my mind, like an otherworldly scent of cherry blossoms and rainbows, things that make me happy, and a curious child. Language is mesmerising.
  7. Questions keep swinging across the playfield in my head, a tennis match of sorts, or rather, a Quidditch match of sorts. I am, for obvious reasons, the Seeker.
  8. I like to compartmentalise my thoughts. I open one drawer, read the notes, and then lock them up for another day. I wonder if I could compartmentalise the people I come across – preferably not in drawers, but there are some I would love to lock away for safeguarding, and some I would just love to lock out of my life forever.
  9. Gratitude is too often overlooked, because we feel that the world owes us what we have. Nobody owes us anything. This isn’t a business; it’s definitely not give-or-take, nor can it be an individualistic game. Something to try (do it, why try?): The gratitude jar: fill it up with positive things that happened to you over the year, and read them all on New Year’s eve, or anytime you feel like the entire weight of the world is on your shoulders.
  10. I cannot decide whether I’m sad or happy sometimes: can I be both, or is there a middle ground where I sit cross-legged and contemplate the mysteries that surround me? I don’t know, but it’s oddly calming. In the words of Tennessee Williams, “If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.”
  11. No matter where I go, I remain a believer: in beautiful things, in comforting words, in worthwhile moments, in poetry, and most importantly, in myself.
  12. There are some people who walk about, and it feels like it’s always raining on them – not just any kind of ordinary or torrential rain, but dimly-lit showers reminding one of joy bursting through an evening sky…
  13. It doesn’t take much to create beautiful chaos. It really doesn’t.

 I’ve read that people have on average 70,000 thoughts per day. I wonder how many you had while reading these. This was supposed to be a fun post, but I guess it’s just one of those days.

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Confrontations

I’ve decided today to share an excerpt from a play I am writing. This feels like poetry to me, although it’s not; it’s stark reality, somewhat harsh, somewhat judgmental.

It is a conversation between two sisters, on a rainy night. One is a dreamer while the other readily gives in to cynicism. As they talk, the living room gradually grows dark, until the girls (women, if you must) seem to be enveloped in a yellow glow, as if their words come from a distant memory.

Their names, at this stage, are not important, but for practical purposes, we’ll call them Liz and Emma. 

Emma: I would like to travel far away one day.
Liz: Where to?
Emma: Indonesia sounds dreamy.
Liz: So, you’d go there to daydream?
Emma (as if already in a distant land): Or Tanzania.
Liz: One doesn’t need to travel to go far, you know.
Emma (whimsical): “One need not be a chamber to be haunted.” Yes, I realise that more and more. But sometimes I feel that I get lost in my head. Like there is no space for more thoughts. Travelling would help me ease up.
Liz (matter-of-factly): Or bottle everything up.
Emma: If only our sorrows could be like messages rolled up and hidden away in bottles… and we would let them sail away at sea.
Liz (with a sigh): I have heard you utter weirder sentences in a day…
Emma (dramatic): Aren’t we allowed to feel the poetry of our days? (Pause. Then, inquisitive) What do you dream of, then?
Liz (playfully): Certainly not Indonesia.
Emma: Don’t you ever feel like sharing?
Liz (in a serious undertone): I dream I’m getting pushed off a cliff.
Emma: What?
Liz: I need to charge my phone.
Emma (puzzled): I heard you about the cliff!
Liz: My phone is not charging.
Emma: That’s what happens when lights go out, love. (She smiles) No electricity.
Liz (frustrated): What on earth am I supposed to do now?
Emma (back to her usual self): Breathe. We could pretend we are in another era. One where we cannot hear the buzz of computers and phones.
Liz: I’m listening.
Emma: There is just too much noise here. I wish sometimes it could be quiet. No horns blaring, no loudspeakers, no music…
Liz: Not even music?

Jazz can be heard faintly in the background, and the following scene is enacted to the music, almost like a coordinated dance. The girls seem more tangible than ever, although they retain a doll-like fragility. The music grows more distinct, yet is not part of the decor. The girls are the only ones who matter.

Emma: Not even. Let’s play ‘Questions’.
Liz: Wait, you don’t even want music…
Emma (interrupting her sister): 1-0.
Liz (indignant): Hey, we haven’t started playing yet!
Emma (now mischievous): 2-0.
Liz (impatient): Fine… (Thinking) What’s 4 * 2?
Emma (raising an eyebrow): Is that your idea of a great start?
Liz: Rhetoric! What is your idea of the universe?
Emma: How many ideas do we have in a day?
Liz: Are there more possibilities to who we can be?
Emma: Will you go on a world tour with me?
Liz (chuckling): When did you last explore our garden?
Emma: Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Liz: Why did you choose Indonesia?
Emma: Why aren’t you asking about Tanzania?
Liz: When will you stop being so childish?
Emma (suddenly vindictive): When will you stop chasing your shadow?
Liz: When…
Emma (interrupting her): When will you stop crying every night? (Pause. Guilty.) Too personal.
Liz (giving up): We will never find the error in our ways.
Emma: We will, when you stop treating me like a child.
Liz (tired of the frivolity): Game over.
Emma: Nobody wins. (Pause) Nobody ever does.

 

 

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