Monday, April 20, 2009

What now??

People look at me differently nowadays. I no longer have the choice of being irresponsible.Suddenly, within a month, a really radical month, I’ve been pushed to the doorstep of adulthood with brute force.The time for contemplation is past. It is time to act. Faces, lots of them and an unspoken question hiding behind those sealed lips. Even among friends the silence seems to withhold a certain innate pregnancy. ‘Now what ? What next?” Eyes scour my mind for answers. And the mind….well, that is lost somewhere in the chaos of the search.

What will you do now? How I hate that question is beyond expressive ability. I never have understood mankind’s obsession with action. They struggle all their life ‘to relax’ , in the infinitive, but never quite manage to preserve that piece of empty languor , or enjoy it. Somehow they have to move on, do something. The future waits impatiently to be acted upon,carved and crafted into something beautiful, says my dad. I dread that. I’d rather not do anything.

I have dreams my father sees in his nightmares. He grew up in a middle class family, and in all probability will die in one. The only fear he has is to maintain that same standard till his passing. He kept pushing into me his values,religion and ideals. Unfortunately, I have imbibed from him all else,except that nature that defines the middle class - their dogged laboriousness. And that missed ingredient has produced in a family of rationalists , the lone, singular dreamer.

I had this dream.My most recent eccentricity. I wanted to take off,packing all my life’s belongings ( not much) and travel. Just walk across this planet. I dunno. How hard is it to earn a meal twice a day? There are temples by the dime in India? Surely charity hasn’t been killed by the recession, in all possibility, it might have doubled up.People need goodwill much more than before. I could sleep at railway stations and wash up under community taps. My dad rages and mom cries.We did not educate you to be a beggar, they say. You cannot be serious, you won’t last a day like that.

Maybe I won’t.And I know he is right in believing that I might change my mind. But maybe…just maybe I won’t. I have been so pissed off with the bondages of the human society that solitude seems divine. I’d much rather live with nobody talking to me than with everybody surrounding me, expecting something in return. I didn’t ask my parents to take care of me.I am thankful they did. I owe my life to them. But I also owe my life to myself.I have this responsibility to myself, to stay true to what I believe in,do what I love. It is as they say complicated.The line that separates independence and cruelty is very thin.Almost invisible in the Indian society.

As for the next course of action,it remains to be seen.Like Eliot’s prufrock, I am stuck in the transitional void of conscious choice and action. And ages can pass within a blink between the two. For all I know I could be stuck here for eternity.