“Is this what you want of me? “ I screamed a silent question. The breeze howled, the lake slivered its destined path. Trees sluggishly swayed in the breeze. The question went unanswered. Just like that, the skies darkened and a cold rain hovered over my head. Overwhelmed with emotions and underwhelmed with my place in the world, I did the one thing that I could muster. I silently cried a gentle tear. The rain washed it away.
Is this what you want of me, I asked with reverence this time around. I took a deep breath and exhaled it slow. The tears washed away, I stood facing the beauty of the land that was in front of me. That was the moment I had switched lanes from ‘What IF’ to ‘What is’. Everything around me was the way it was. I was the way I was. The struggle over ifs of life had come to a grinding halt. It was about the moment and the moment helped change something so rudimentary in me. The emotion vented, I felt reborn.
“I just like the way it sounds man. I don’t know what is what. If it sounds nice, if I like it, that’s all there is to it” . The conversation was about a song and apparently I found myself as a social outcast amidst the fraternity of blokes who enjoyed listening to good music. I’m no expert and unfortunately I’m also not perceived as a novice. The status does not bother me. I tend to enjoy the best of any status that folks tag me to.
I smiled the statement off and we continued the conversation and moved on to the whole new chapter of movie making and deconstructing scenes from many of Kamal Hassan’s movie. Yeah, time well spent.
I think it was around 1999, or probably sometime in 2000, I had made a similar statement. I don’t remember the name of the bloke I was talking to. I told him I didn’t care enough about the technical prowess of the composer (Ar R most definitely) or the complexity of the song. It sounded nice and I was a fan nonetheless.
15 or 16 odd years later, I’m on the other side of the table. Doing my best to not pass condescending judgement on other fellow audiophiles. Yeah, I’m not putting in a lot of effort there. I judge unceremoniously all the bloody time. And yes, ARR is not what he was, and I don’t give a hoot about his experiments on world music. If I don’t appreciate a song, there you go, I don’t appreciate the song.
The thought did linger on for a while. I had other things to ponder about. Totally unrelated to the words blogged above, there was a moment in time yesterday when I was forced to ask myself a rather simple question.
‘Whose dream was I living?’
“I don’t , for even a minute , think that life is one big GIST of all the things we’ve ever done.” The thought hit me this morning. The simple question ‘Tell me about yourself’, and we execute a well practised drone of a response. In short, we’d have managed to cram a wonderful summary of what we were till that point in time.
That to me is pointless.
If I ignore modesty for a second, through the years I’ve been a lot of things. I was an ace orator at a point in time. I was the golden boy. I rocked a lot of stages. I traded the mic for guitars and then rocked the stages as a musician. Then I was nothing. A big blank black slate of nothingness. Time wore on and I became a Professional. That became my identity. The job, the extra hours, the deadlines and timelines, status reports and delivery updates began defining what I had chosen to become.
Blogging started and before I knew it , I had become a blogger. Music made a reappearance. And these days, I’m a pampered , pretentious , wannabe photographer as well. Back to the question, ‘Whose dreams am I really living? “
A few years ago, I refused to shoot any pictures. I liked soaking in the moment. I’d view as much as my eyes could see. I’d scribe the sights and sounds into my mind. I’d go on to express that experience as either words or a tune. It felt like the sensible thing to do.
The last weekend, something snapped. Lost behind the question of whose dreams I got to live, overwhelmed by points in the time lived through, reminiscing with music, the mountains, the rainbows, all of it broke me down. I was struggling to figure out an identity. I felt choked and lost.
‘Why don’t you publish a book?’. ‘Why dont you sell music?’, ‘You can’t shoot pics that certain way!’
Lost to questions on identity, on what I thought my life was, what my dreams were , I broke down and decided to find solace in the most beautiful heaven on earth that I’ve had the pleasure of being to.
As I stood in the cold, numbed in mind , senses and thoughts, I popped that question towards the heaven. Is this what you want of me?’. Funny question if you asked me. I didn’t know what ‘This’ was, I didn’t know whom that question was directed towards, I knew there wouldn’t be an answer that I could actually hear. It still felt good asking.
And rest as they say was an Cathartic miracle.
So there I was. On a quest of many firsts. My first ever photographic tour, my first ever vacation in the UK, my first ever outdoor trek, my first ever hill climbs, gorge descent, walk in the savage marsh, getting my shoes nasty dirty, and yet I had almost made a choice to overlook all of them. Seemed pointless to hold myself hostage to things that were and things that were yet to be. It was a moment when I had my answer.
The question didn’t matter any more. I was there and that was all there was to it. So whose dreams am I living? Couldn’t care less. I’ll check a few more stuffs of my list and power on.
This brings the blog to the close. Next time someone , anyone, pops that question, ‘Tell me about yourself’, Are we going to summarise the life that was, OR, have a happy smile and say, been there done that and looking forward to more surprises that life can manage to throw at me?
That choice has always been with us.
A few pics from the heaven 🙂