Lengthiest BlogPost Ever! :O

Right now. This very moment. I am not happy. NOT HAPPY.

As in, I am not particularly sad, but I’m not happy either. Which is okay, right? It is a normal, human thing to be NOT happy. Besides, it’s well past midnight; gloom of inexplicable origins is allowed to set in, at this hour. I guess. I have not been posting in such a long while. The fact is, I have not been the ‘writer’ person since quite some time now. Every post has been more or less of an effort. An act of clinical quality. You have to post on the blog, coz u are a ‘blogger’ and have not posted in such a long while. Heaven knows when I descended into such a sad existence, doing things coz I was supposed to, and not because I wanted to.

Well, I guess there are lots of reasons for this slight change in me- from being a compulsive blogger, to a reluctant one. Some of it is un-shareable (what I can tell you is that these reasons are sad. Really sad- for me). Some of it stems from the fact that I have not had any recent fiascoes, emotional upheavals or nagging doubts, anxieties etc that often prompted my outbursts in the form of blogposts. Life is going smooth. Some people might also call it ‘boring’ or ‘non-challenging’ :P .. I mean let’s face it, no matter how much we hate to cry, acknowledge and experience sadness, hurt, anger and all the other negative emotions, aren’t our lives made richer, and seductively( though strangely) beautiful coz of the ‘lows’, as much as the ‘highs’. Although, as I keep telling anyone who’d listen (and I did this more often in those horrible IMI days/moments when the world seemed to be horribly ugly and incomprehensibly complex): I would pick a boring life instead, thank you very much! I can’t take pain for all the spice in the world. I do not WANT all this ‘learning’, thanks but no thanks!!

Okay, right now there are a 100 things on my mind, which I should be recording in this blog. There is this old, half written post ( about Arps n Avina’s Del visit), Mannat’s return to Delhi ( for which I can’t thank god enough!), something about journalism ethics, w.r.t what kind of reporting should be allowed when dealing with criminal cases which invite considerable public attention ( keeping the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families in mind **see footnote). then there was something about how I am as good as ‘no good’ for people who make me tick, who help me survive, and to whom I owe virtually every good thing in my life, and well.. more…

But you know what, I am feeling better even as I write all this. Well, certainly less gloomy than I felt a while back:O Dunno how this works!

I think I’ll def. post that half written post at the end of this one. Oh! another thing that’s been bothering me since quite some time now; ‘bothering’ may not be the right word though. It has just been occupying my attention lately.

If I really get down to thinking thinking about some things… taking stock of my life in the past few years, I have made a few decisions w.r.t some people. People who were nothing but good to me. People who made me do nothing, but smile. People who were always there. Heaven knows why they did, but they did. And yet, I chose to part ways with them. Coz their decency towards me was far exceeded by almost unacceptably inhuman behavior towards others. Or certain others. In any case, I wish god had either not created them or had not created such a faulty version of them. Anyone who has been through this should know, that it is not easy to run into someone, and not smile at them- or even acknowledge them, when that someone has nothing but genuinely smiled with you, and for you. As in, it’s easy to despise them for what is despicable. But then the conflict between the good (to you) and ugly (to whoever) images, is not pretty. I mean, it is certainly an easy choice. But not a happy one. :-/ I am sure those who have not experienced such a situation will not be able to see any sense in this. I could not, either, until I was faced with it!

Worse still, now some of the good Samaritans in one’s life are carefully picked out, while some others who have not exactly bothered with that role (n far from it!), stay put. They get my smiles, my curtsies, n good wishes in general :O I mean, genuine ones. I just think sometimes, how sad it is, that some of those who really did work to earn it, do not! I mean it. It is sad- for me. It makes me sad. Not that I would do things differently if given a chance, but I do wish that things were different! Bah!

You know, as I am blabbering.. I realize I’m making less and less sense, but I feel more and more at ease. :D :D

Oops, you know what..just now, I happened to come across an OLD chat with Ritz … wherein she had requested me to (urgently) enquire something abt some iPOD model, in Delhi … now this sucks BIGTIME coz this was like ages ago, and as per the chat, I had promised to get back ASAP. And as far as my memory goes, I forgot all about the ipod the moment I logged off the chat. Yep! No recollection at all, of the responsibility I had undertaken.. And I guess she never brought it up either. What kind of scum am I! Feeling really guilty now.. coz this is not the first time I have done something like this. I do this ALWAYS. As a rule. Somewhere maybe I simply don’t care about people’s needs, and more so, for people who DO care. About friends!... God, kill me! .. it sends guilt waves down my throat to think of how the poor girl swung into action recently, when I had enquired about some language classes in Jodhpur (for Meet). She actually researched on it, ( n got back PRONTO) more sincerely than I did!! *makes a mental note* I’ll scrap her right away, and apologize for the iPOD thing… I wonder if she recalls this :O

(I’m on a roll now. I’m liking writing- mindlessly!) :-)

Okay, now, here it is… The Post .. half- written, as you can see, and incidentally, this was meant to be the intro post of this blog, but it never turned out that way, I guess..

Today, is a special day!

One, the day marks the launch of this new blog (with a template, too beautiful by my standards :D ) I am not sure how long this one would last though… unlike earlier, when I held everything close to my heart, really really close and sacred, in a never-to-let-go fashion. Things have changed now.

In the past few months, I have gained the stark realization of just about how little we can guard our material life against predators- strangers, or friends, acquaintances, terrorists, political leaders, ANYBODY! Beyond a point, it seems, our physical space remains no more our own- it is a bitter truth, yes.. but well..

The world has a way of violating into your space, really. Things are such that you could be walking your way back home, and a tiny ant on the road (so very insignificant in proportion to you- so valueless/ worthless in your life/ perspective) can conveniently take the most discomfort causing positions in your body, to annoy you, make you painfully miserable for any reason under the sun:

§ Why do you walk on this road?

§ Why do you walk with both feet?

§ Why do you look like god made you from the scrap material in his factory?

Oh, anything …. Believe you me! And you know, you cannot simply ignore them on the grounds that they are an inch long nonentity, with no value addition in your life; They have the impudent potential to make your life miserable- unless you can really set them right, and right outside the purview of your life.

Basically, the harsh reality of life is that it is only so much your own. So, in many ways, it makes sense to let go of things you own- and don’t agonize yourself over which uninvited guests are violating your proprietary rights. And, as in the case with the ant, accept that the ants will be there. And will be there, impudently so. Fight them if you wish, but don’t agonize over why they do exist at all- coz they do. Phew!

So this time, I start this blog- not with the hope that it shall be nurtured, and bred for eternal growth. This will be my slate- you know, wherein I can write, erase, rewrite for a new day. And when it outlives its purpose, I shall discard it.

I know it sounds cruel – but well, we must all perish. And we do. :)

By the way, that should explain the name of the blog: Tabula Rasa

It means a clean slate – ‘The mind before it receives the impressions gained from experience’. Though of course, we cannot presume to have minds in that state, now. Not with so many impressions, experiences, ideas, knowledge, opinions etc.

But this is what you would want a mind to be, sometimes. In all it’s purity.

Pristine, and rational. Hence, the Blog has been christened such.

Now, for the second reason as to why yesterday was special.

****** ends abrutptly!

Oops, this post was supposed to be about Arpita and Avina almost winning ( but as luck would have it otherwise, not really!) the Pediatrics quiz at SAFDARJUNG HOSPITAL the same day!! It was wonderful meeting them, but the joy was soured by the not a happy conclusion of the purpose of their Delhi visit!.. It will sound cheesy now ( even to Arps I know… who is just about as emotionally handicapped as I am!), but back then, I had made a crude Certificate for them … dunno what prodded me to do it, the same night! But I did. Only, I slept midway after making the certi, while writing the post… the days that followed left little time to get back to this, and I left this project abruptly! Anyhow, while this may seem out of context now, my message for the kids was: You were GOOD! And you are! And Cheers to ur team :)

Today, I am on a roll. I have no interesting tales to tell. No silly stories, that would engage attention. But I do have things to say. As usual, random and uncertain about the audience.

Today being a chutti day, as the power went off, I got a chance to do *nothing* practical for a while .. say, switching between T.V channels etc, I got a chance to be with myself after long, and suddenly got this strong urge to reconnect with my two favorite characters (people?):

Dagny Taggart and Francisco D’Anconia , Atlas Shrugged.

Impulsively, I brought my well-charged laptop to Nanima’s room (these days my refuge, coz unlike my room it is air conditioned, and even otherwise is a cooler spot during summers) .. well, I opened up the ebook (Atlas Shrugged) and revisited some of my fav. Portions, mostly those which portrayed the characters of Dagny and Francisco. These two people have a very special place in my heart. It may sound ridiculous or incredulously fanciful but well, you know what.. these two were people I always knew somewhere. All along. LONG before I actually discovered them in paper, in Ayn Rand’s book. And no, I did not know (envision/ conceptualize/ perceive) them as staunch believers in anything akin to Objectivism or such. I just somehow always thought of these characters, with a common understanding/ motivation, or philosophy, that was not the one writ large in people’s lives, in the world we grew up in. In fact, in the days when I was preparing to leave Jodhpur for graduation in Delhi, I had lots of time on hands, to do what two years of Board –Schooling and Science-ing had never really let me: to give shape to my stories, some characters. I could write, and I had sketched out these two characters (mostly in mind) though some on paper (on my desktop), back then.

But soon after, I moved, and that was it. And well, I couldn’t have done anything beyond that anyway. I had seen too little of the world back then, and the characters had very little meat. They were like two ill-defined figures, shaped in smoke.

Strangely, these people had something in common with Elizabeth Bennet and William Darcy, too! Which amuses me.. coz well, much as their story is close to my heart ( primarily coz of the aforementioned reason), their characters are nowhere as strong, meaty, relevant, or even closer to the *real* world as the other pair. But, I still remember, I was reading some article in Sunday Times one morning, and came across the description of Elizabeth and Darcy .. and I rem. feeling an adrenaline rush! …. I knew them, already. And I wanted to know more.

The next day, I issued a copy of Pride and Prejudice. And goodness, did I flip one page after the other, in the excitement to discover more and more about these two characters. Somewhere, though it was an enjoyable read… and yes, those two are still close to my heart.. somewhere, they did not have the same soul as my kids. (Did I just say ‘KIDS’? :O) anyhow.. so I just had to come to terms with the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth were not what I had wanted them to be. They were just 10% of it.

And one day… suddenly.. out of the blue! … I was reading Atlas Shrugged and before I know it, I am practically meeting two long-lost friends – almost in flesh!- in its pages. This time, my heart was practically skipping beats ..! I knew them, I knew them! … Nope.. the idea of productive achievement being the greatest morality etc etc was not the point at all- I never knew it before I had read it!! .. There was something about them, that I just KNEW since quite some time now. And boy, was I glad to see a good glimpse of those people in real. The fact that someone else had already conceptualized (years before) that which I had suspected, does exist, was enough to make me fall in love with the book. And with Ayn Rand. Till date, I would attribute my passion for Ayn Rand’s works as much to her philosophy as to her portrayal of these two central characters. (in fct, despite being a believer in her theory, I do have my differences, on some grounds.. not that Ms. Rand would care a fig about my opinion on her opinion :P !!)

So anyway… I do love the characters. Both. A hell lot. Though here, I mean more my ‘kids’ than Frisco and Dagny, but yeah, it is to some extent, the same thing.

You know, anyone who does Ayn Rand mentions Howard Roark as the ultimate symbol of her conception of the Ideal Man. (he being the protagonist of her first bestseller, The Fountainhead) Invariably, this happens coz for some reason, The Fountainhead is the more popular choice – maybe coz it was written first. However, Ms. Rand herself acknowledged that the book was simply an overture to Atlas Shrugged, which contained the ultimate idea of her philosophy. And showed its rightful culmination. The protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt is the real, perfect Ideal Man. Coz he does not make the mistakes (in Rand’s view) that Roark does. Incidentally, Dagny makes the same mistakes until the very end of the book. (PS. The mistake being – being the beast of burden for the incompetent, free riders in the world, who have nothing but despise and ingratitude for the competent First Raters like Roark etc- and are a nuisance in the latter’s achievement of the goal of highest productive achievement) So if u ideally need to pick the perfect male and female embodiments of Objectivism, it would be Galt and the female lead from The Fountainhead, Dominique (whom by the way, I donot like half as much as Dagny. I almost do not like her!)

But my favorite is neither Galt nor Roark. My vote goes to Francisco D’Anconia. I just think his is the most human, correct and admirable character amongst them all. And (SPOILER ALERT!) .. I really think Dagny should have gone to Him in the end! They belonged together!

Of course, if you have read this mile long manuscript till this point, (without cleverly skipping paras, that is) I can only er.. congratulate you *or maybe wonder what’s wrong with you… this is 9 pages of my rambling, which I started past midnight, n I conclude as the sun looks set to rise !!!*

Whatever, I am happy I did this. I feel lighter :) And definitely not NOT-happy anymore :D ..


** e.g one kid apparently commits suicide ( or is murdered), and the next thing you know, you are being told everyday, piecemeal, about the number and kind of ‘male friends’ she had, her ‘love life issues’, insinuations on her ‘character’ etc etc .. disgusting or what!! This struck me when I was going through tons of newspapers at Jagori, culling out news report on violence against women, and went through the news reports for Arushi murder case!! Who on earth gave the reporters the right to disgrace a poor little girl, barely 14!.. to splash out her private life to feed the strange voyeurs like us who had little right to poke our snotty noses into her Orkut scrap book!! Yep .. believe it or not, they actually reported things like .. the police have dug into her private emails and orkut account and have found scraps which hint at ‘love affairs’ with three guyz!! .. and they went on to quote from a few scraps.. I mean comeon! … let the police deal with those facts, and reach a conclusion! Instead, they whip up masala dishes sprinkled with the blood and ashes of someone who lost their life, and now, thanks to them, their dignity!)


Meggs said...

*heavily panting after the reallllll-hee-hee-lly long post!!

I totally get the "i have nothin to write abt".. cos till now i was going thru that too- i think it was bcos i limited myself as a writer- that i cud only write abt sorrow n nt happyness. Ergo me being happy produces no worthy words. But m trying the other road too.. :D So there.. god shuts one door, opens the window etc etc...

Also, i NEVER knew what tabula rasa meant...was going to ping u to ask that.. :) What language is this??

Anywhoo... Nice enuff ramblings, tho i did skip a few parts... will read them later... Dont blame me.. i hav a concentration span of a goldfish... :-|
also, slighty irked at u for nt using the | bit properly...!!

An-nnnnieeee-way... Keep writing.
(We do tend to motivate each other on this na)

aand next time let me knw when the blog has been updated...

Sumeet said...

Gone through each and every line of ur rambling and even if u do not congratulate me for this :D then also i am fine with it coz uve already done tht in the post...I felt like ive won some award or smting on having read the whole post :D...Ok now serious talks.. while most part seemed to be some scattered ramblings the major part was occupied by the Ayn Rand's books and their characters. At least I gained some 10-15 % motivation to start reading the novel'Atlas Shrugged' (when it will become 100 % then I will surely start reading it :)... I have the novel and its so bulky... :O nd if u remember wen i had asked u once then u said that i shud first start wid Fountainhead ,,,SO basically the crux of the matter is that reaching 100 % will take time.. untill someone (most probably U)threatens me to read the novel :P
Regarding the first part of ur post...Its not clear as to y u became sad and the reasons,,behind etc etc,,, ny how,, in Alls well that ends well (at the end of ur post u became relieved after pouring out every bit of scattered thoughts in ur mind) :)...
Keep posting,,,

Tabula Rasa said...

@ Meggs,

yeah yeah... I knew most people wud just skim thru most of it ... :D But it was one of those posts which didn't leave me exhausted but real happy n cheerful .. like I had talked my heart out with a friend, after long.. :D

abt the word 'tabula rasa'..well it's a part of the English lexicon tho I guess it has latin orignins or sumthing :)

and :D - at the Mutual Motivation Club apparently :P ... tho the diff. is.. I comment on ur blog coz I really wish to respond to what u've written n this comment of urs is basically u dutifully 'leaving a comment' :D ..

PS. It just struck me NOW that ur latest post is titled "My Experiments with Blog Writing".. n I guess it's after Gandhiji's autobio :)

Nice to meet here at my place after long :)

Tabula Rasa said...

@ Sumeet,

Yeah :O I know ... if u did read it all ... u will probably be the only person who ever did! :D ..newho I hope something good does come out of it, and trust me ..now wudnt be a bad time to start reading Ayn Rand.. U cud read Atlas Shrugged first, no problem .. it's just that it F'head comes first in the chronological order :) ... and I guess I was just sulking for no apparent reason, and after I had that little 'talk-with-a-friend' by writing this post, I was all good and in high spirits :) ..

newho Welcome Bk to my place, which is pretty dead these days... BTW: while meggs n I have made our blogs look alive, urs has not been updated in quite a long time!..

Meggs said...

Heyy hey heyyyy!!
Not fair ronnie... i dont do a 'dutifully leave prints behind' commenting at all!! x-|
I leave comments so tht those who visit ur blog, wud visit mine too... :P

and sumeet.. i agrees withs the ronalds... please updates ur blogs sir!!

Sumeet said...

@Shruti: I will surely read th novel. Will start fro F'head. And how can i be the only person,,, havent u read the novels too. @Meggs aslo.. These days I dont find any enthusiastic motivation to write a blog,,, I usually write when I have aninternal urge to write..aise .. to mai ,, kuch bhi na likh paun. Hope I will gt th required motivation to write soon,, :) BUt u ppl plz carry on,,,coz if nothing to write atleast i will have smthing to read,,,:)