If we already knew where we were going to be, would we still be going?
We are two abysses.
A well staring at the sky.
Mirroring it, in the only way it can.
The more you soar, the higher you fly, the better you get, the deeper I will dig into myself.
And a deep well only gets darker, but it has the confidence of mirroring clear blue sky carrying it along.
That’s the only way I can keep up.
They say there are two ways to reach infinity from zero on the number line.
One infinity. Two opposite directions.
Never shall they meet. Yet they shall reach together – if you think about it, there’s no difference between two sets of infinities. There’s an infinity of numbers between zero and one. There’s an infinite number of prime numbers. And there are infinite numbers. All infinities, albeit of different sizes but proudly carrying one name.
If excellence that comes naturally to you doesn’t bless me, I shall chase absurdity. If brilliance doesn’t cast a shadow on me, I shall go and touch depravity.
When dark clouds in the sky, sooner or later, will obstruct my view, I shall rejoice in their reflection in me. If the brilliant blue blinds me, I shall offer you black to keep up the contrast. I shall keep digging in the confidence that your vastness covers my pettiness, your invincibility makes up for my vulnerability, that when you need to rain, I shall be deep enough to contain every drop within me.
But I shall not slow down. I shall not back down. I shall keep up.
And maybe as you get higher and higher, maybe when you leave dust and gravity and atmosphere behind, maybe you will force me to dig so deep, that I shall find crystal clear water from the bowels of the earth.
Maybe that will quench my inexcusable thirst.
For you. For everything that you think. For everything that touches you. For everything that makes up what is you.
Everything that I am looking for – I shall have to find within myself.
And I will.
Our sense of aesthetic is complicated by our effort to try and capture it in words. I blame a lot of it on the concept of cheesy. I am tired of sincerity and honesty being something I have to be afraid of doing. I am too tired of being too cool, being too temperate, being measured because that’s how smart people are, a little less truthful than they actually feel about things, a little less passionate, all to beat that cheesy bugbear.
There’s only one reason not to be cheesy and that’s because words face inflation the same way money does. They seem to have lost their value when you try to express something and that’s because everything is imperfect. There’s no sunrise so lovely that it couldn’t be lovelier. No mountain so tempting that you don’t want to climb another one. No breeze so gentle putting us to sleep on a bed of grass that there couldn’t be a sounder sleep. No orgasm so complete that you stop looking for a more intense one.
There’s no end to looking further. There’s no word you can use where you won’t need a superlative sometime in the future.
So one can’t be cheesy when one wants to. One may feel he or she is being sincere, but at a later date, you run out of superlatives.
Why on earth does this fact not apply to everything, everything at all? Why are we limited to absolutes in certain things, in which we absolutely do not need to? Why isn’t there any inflation or deflation in our way of seeing things, why must we surrender to irrevocable truths?
Why can’t there be a dozen women who could and would look as beautiful, inspire the same stop-in-the-tracks jolt, to me?
Sometimes I wonder about the strangest of the things.
Why is there sand on a beach?
Is the beach just a piece of land which got lucky due to its proximity to that great big ocean, did the ocean gift it all this sand which makes it beautiful at some lucky date in the past, or did the sand pile up, one day at a time, grain upon grain, a tiny everyday gift and before you knew it, the beach got fundamentally altered, became something it wasn’t before the ocean met it, before it got used to the tides washing it clean and leaving it soaked every day according to schedule. Before you knew it, the beach was sand, just sand, it’s identity irreversibly linked to the ocean, it’s most visible trait all a silent gift, all intertwined in the land and the ocean, you couldn’t say where one started and the other ended, you just couldn’t however hard you tried.
And when the tide wouldn’t come, when the sand would be carried away back where it belonged, a realization would strike that maybe it wasn’t a gift, it was a loan whenever the ocean came to meet it which it took back when it left, it had become complacent in confusing a loan with a gift.
For a few days, it would remain salty, moist, holding on to that taste in every pore. Then, with the sun beating down, the wetness would slowly turn into just a memory, though you only had to dig in a shovel to find what you were looking for, something irretrievably a part of itself but hidden from the sea itself, a brazen hiding of its neediness in plain sight .
But, when you get down to the brass tacks, if there’s no tide, just what is the beach without an ocean?
I am often amazed as to how little it takes to make a human helpless. One day you are roaming around as if you rule the world blissfully unaware that tomorrow someone is going to ask you to use a bed pan and someone will sponge you and what not. One of my recurring fears is helplessness, not in the mental sort of way, a man who reads prodigiously and a man who harbors a secret all his life scoffs at mental helplessness and loneliness. I am talking about actual physical helplessness. Someone helping you pee and someone helping you shit and someone bathing you and someone helping you get up and that sort of shit. It’s a recurring nightmare for me. I have particular revulsion to the two words urine and stool, because I haven’t ever heard them being used outside of medicine. So if these two words figure in your life in any way whatsoever, urine-stool, urine-stool, urine-stool, if they are being discussed in any way whatsoever – you have my sympathy – and if they are FOR you – welcome to my nightmare, hope you have a good time. Even a temporary helplessness is a reminder, a painful realization of what’s not only possible, but what’s inevitable. Why then pledge rationality, why not indulge, why not be an incorrigible irredeemable fool at every opportunity that arises in life?
There’s no second option to this. It is inevitable that there comes a day when you suddenly catch a glance of mortality in the eyes of your parents. And for once, your gaze pierces the filter through which you see them everyday without actually noticing them, and you notice the wrinkles. They are most prominent near the jaws, like an oversized pillow cover because the cotton inside the pillow has shrunk. Not foam like today’s readymade pillows. Actual cotton which a weaver stuffed inside the pillow first turning it inside out to stitch it and then stuff white cotton with some black threads inside and she will go bhaiyya theek se bhar na dekho kahin jagah na chhoot jaaye. There are specific words in your language for people who are in this profession of stuffing pillows and mattresses just like there’s a raddiwala and a bartanwala and a nariyalwala and a barfgolawala but there are no words for them in this language which means when the world will shift to this language all of them will die not only in real life but in memory it will be as if they never existed but thousands of entire species die everyday what’s a gaddewala or a raddiwala?
But can you stuff new cotton to get those wrinkles disappear? A dermal filler not against age but mortality itself?
Can you use some botox in the eyes?