Sunday, January 23, 2011

The unbearable randomness of being

The colours life has shown me in the past one year... From the muddled, matt, stinking colours of grime and grey, from the hopeful light green colours of a new-born leaf, from the vivacious red of a newly-married woman's sindoor, from the promise of the pink and orange of a satisfying sunset, from the bright yellow of laughter, from the white of the blank wall staring me in the face, yes, I have seen it all. White, let's talk about the white of the wall that stared back at me as I lay thinking about nothing and everything all at once. White conceives within it the entire sphere of colours and thus, emotions. As I lay thinking, blaming, hoping, loving and forgetting, that white created a thousand different possibilities that future was to bring for me. And I gave in to the unbearable randomness of being*.

Random. Life is random. When time freezes and you have no hope left, you stare at that blank white wall and cry. And as those tears sparkle in the light of the bulb, as they soil the book you are attempting to read and make the pillow uncomfortably wet, you are shaken back into a mortal existence of money and materialism in spite of all your precious, sacrosanct emotional turmoil. "O, that book cost me Rs. 395!" And "O, I hate sleeping on a soggy pillow". The triviality of such mundane worries that can find precedence in your life even in the time of some profoundly disturbing moments makes you smile. Trivia remind you to take it easy, to go with the flow and keep the faith.

Unforgiving. Life is unforgiving. Your past is etched in iron, it won't change. The person you were shall be, safely frozen in the abyss of time. It's up to you to be the person you want to be. Lock your past and lose the painful key for tomorrow is another day. And tomorrow will be better, tomorrow you will be better. Life is unforgiving for a reason: it wants you to be your best every single waking moment, every single sleeping moment.

Loving. Life is loving. No matter what past did to you and what disasters you inflicted on your past, life still loves you. It calls you ever so softly, ever so warmly, inviting you to live. As I write this, I remember a friend from college who killed self. Jumped into a river after parking his bike by the highway. His body was fished out some days later, all eaten up by fish. If I were to meet him today as a ghost in that rotten body, I would slap him tight. He had no right to go. Life was waiting. Don't go. Even if you think no one loves you (and you are grossly mistaken there if you think so) life loves you. Life is loving, don't go.

Colours. Let's get back to colours. The colours of songs, of lyrics, of those words written by strangers hundreds of miles away just for you. Let's talk about the colours of hope, of wait, of denial and of shy acceptance. Let's talk about everything in between life and death, day and night, you and me. Everything happens for a reason and it is not our business to be Sherlock Holmes to get to the bottom of that reason. Leave reason be, make your own poetry in free verse.

Woman. Let's talk about being a woman, a lover, a mother. What would this world come to if it were not for the feminine? What the world were to be if it were not for our tenacity to soak pain and indifference, digest unfairness and inequality, gulp down chauvinism and abuse with a smile that hides it all? All the violence, sex and massacre- both physical and emotional- would multiply many times over if it were not for those sacrificed women who kept on taking blow after blow for only one reason: their gender and the paramount expectation of strength that comes with their sex.

Today, I am happy. Tomorrow, I shall be so. For I have moved ahead from fantasizing the mushy colours of the rainbow to accept and respect the lovely colours of life. Matt, dull, glossy, vibrant, hopeful, mauve and pink, red and blue, beige and golden- all colours are mine today. I am sinking in the unbearable randomness of being.
-Gauri Gharpure
Title inspired by Alexander McCall Smith's book 'The Unbearable Lightness of Scones'