Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When I was younger, I used to crib about not being smart or creative Enough. It used to piss me off like hell when anyone called me a 'genius', because even BRILLIANT people don't always deserve that adjective; I bloody well didn't and desperately wanted to. But now, in a weird way, I'm almost glad that I'm not a genius. Because I think it's left a lot of room in my head for common sense.

Yes, when I see perfection being created by a body, or a voice, or words; when I see the capacity of sheer talent to drive the talented AND the admirers wild- I know that my life is lacking a certain magic. But it's alright. Because I also see a lot of people who just don't know what to do with the hurtling speed of their minds, and the overwhelming levels of stimulation they experience. I see them getting restless, and angry. Like an artist stabbing the canvas ferociously with his brush, till a storm of paper-dust is kicked up, and the colours get coarse. But I have a little trick- no wait, a way to be more at peace with myself and the world. A trick is trivially clever. This is something too simple to be clever, and too significant to be trivial.

I firmly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion. There are very few things that are universal and absolute. So it's alright if one is internal and abstract whereas another is brimming over with political consciousness. It's alright if this guy's stoic and that guy's rebellious.
Goofy or sunshiny approaches to life can be as fulfilling as dignity or cynicism.
The important thing, is to TRY and be sure of who you are. And acknowledge, in all your clarity of thought, why you're doing what you do. If you can face the inner workings of your mind, if you take a step in full awareness, then even compromise and compliance can be acceptable. After all, it isn't possible for every step you take to be a glittering display of courage.

And once I realised this, I became FAR more comfortable with a whole lot of issues. Now, a passionate and convincing speech refuting my own beliefs isn't a threat to my identity. Instead, I have an opportunity to analyse and savour the speaker's skill.

Yes, I still get pissed off. On a deeper level, I still get disturbed. And rightly so. It's important to have some things you care about that fucking much. It's important to get touchy or even explosive, feel weariness at banality and horror at pure evil, cling and clutch onto ideas with a mad hope. The difference is, that I've become tolerant of variety. Me isn't the only person to be.

I've gathered respect for the middle path, and abandoned blind admiration of extremes.

I don't look on life as a crossword puzzle to be figured out, or a challenge to be taken on with a heroic grimace. I've learnt not to get uptight and be hopping around in righteous indignation at everything.

And I'm pretty sure that this philosophy hasn't left me functioning on a surface level. Because inside my head, I question my position to an insane degree. And I let myself feel as deeply as I'm capable of. Even if it makes my head spin. Because when I'm left staggered by the intensity of my own highs and lows, I am assured of my own humanity. By humanity I don't mean compassion or any virtuous shit. Just lack of vocabulary for 'being a human being and Lovin' it'. So if you say I'm preaching easy or limited living, well- I'm going to take you down and kick your stuffy little ass. Nah, I'm just kidding. Say what you will, in the name of free speech. I am toh chilled out :D

13 beep/s:

Prince of Mirkwood said...

Sorry about the above comment. Too many typos.

Genius is genius. Full stop. I'm gonna invent an IQ enhancing serum some day and then I shall ascend to Geniusdom/Geniushood( I will decide what to call it then)

Till then, I'm with you:D

Priyanka said...

I think reading this did me good. It's good to be opinionated, but sometimes I'm pretty convinced that extremely opinionated people are also extremely unimaginative, you know? Unflexible.

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.

Vikrant said...

not convinced at all.
passionate and convinced speech refuting your beliefs is not a time to analyze speaker's skill, its a time to review your beliefs.
And 'restless', 'hurtling minds' are looking for that 'certain magic'. Their path to that 'perfection' may be ugly (other people pay not have to go through the stabbing at canvas routine).but are you THAT sure you don't even want to try for that 'perfection'? 'perfection' isnt going to come to anyone sitting on their ass.

Arse Poetica. said...

I hate being extreme, I know I am extreme, I was always extreme, sometimes one is too obvious- you're rather young. Is this in-denial post? Maybe you're closet extremist.

Anushka said...

@Priyanka- Yes, exactly.

@Vikrant- If you read the post AGAIN, (since I'm aware you've gone through it a flattering twice), you'll realise this is about TOLERANCE, not COMPLACENCY. The magic and perfection I'll never achieve is that of Genius, since I'm not one. However, I have way too much of the bangali educated middle-class mentality not to be Ambitious. There are a hell lot of things I know I can do well, and I'm prepared to get bruised and mucky for those if necessary.
And as for that speech, I'm NOT denying that it should make me question myself, because I've later stated the huge importance of self-assessment. How could you have missed out on that? However, it is not a THREAT. I should analyse, even get mad, but I shouldn't be left floundering in a sea of panic, going 'Ohmygod ohmygod am I wrong?' Because there are convincing speakers EVERYWHERE and one can't be left in a constant state of self-doubt.

My point is, there is a way to be introspective with courage AND honesty, and at the same time be at peace with oneself. And tolerance goes a long way in achieving that. Especially since some things are very hard to prove. Then, any educated and sincere viewpoint is to be acknowledged as POTENTIALLY right. It may or may not influence your own. Understood?

@AP- Closet extremist? Possible but not probable. Being extremist takes more effort than I am prepared to give.

blinknmiss said...

Suppose I must also read this a flattering two times.

But as of now, what struck me was your mention of Genius. And that 'certain magic'. Maybe I'm not disappointed in myself yet because I've never encountered that 'certain magic' yet and thus have no way of comparing.

Just a silly thought.

Safdar said...

one sec, what happened to the free speech?

AND being chilled out??

all this mishtuness is a farce.and if it is, That's a scary thought.

Anushka said...

Arre, anyone can now say what he wants. I just felt like I needed to explain myself better, since he missed out on my point entirely.

Sugar Magnolia said...

=) I am thumping the nearest table, you know.

Sroyon said...

"I was born condemned to be one of those who has to see all sides of a question."
-Eugene O'Neill, The Iceman Cometh

Anushka said...

@Sroyon- Yes, yes!

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Ah, I identify with this post so much it's scary. I've always felt everything you talked about but never been able to phrase it the way you did. This is a lovely post :). And, Sroyon's quote sums things up well :)