Of Empty Pleasures and Intellectual Acrobatics*

The title precisely, most accurately describes my current state of being. Right now, I wake up and read in succession a number of books – memoirs, abstract Japanese philosophies, some Kafka,  humour. I tell myself that my attention deficit disorder makes it impossible for me to stick to one book at a time. And hence I require more than a couple at a time to satisfy me completely. Ahem!

Though it is ironically funny to say that one is forever alone, I am never forever alone. I mean, for a man situated in a position where I find myself in, it is prudent to overtly and covertly imply one’s single-dom. On the other hand, if a man indeed finds himself in my position, he would not be able to simply handle the passion that I undergo every waking moment of my life. It will not allow him to remain single.

It is often in the most unexpected moment that turning points occur in your life. This part of the night; right now, when I am keying these words into my blog, signifies the beginning of what appears to be a turning point in mine. How? I do not know. My gut tells me. My work-friend Nirmala tells me that I shouldn’t often spell out my gut feelings. Because they are too boring. And they mostly never happen.

If you believed that Nirmala said anything like that, it means I successfully fooled you. Nirmala never talks such things. It is I who talk to me like that and then imagine who in the real world would have spoken to me like that. Just mere assumptions and subsequent assignment of dialogues to faces. But I do not have that odd feeling I used to experience when I write lies. I felt filthy when I wrote things that is not true. But somehow, in some deep part of me, I feel liberated from that constraint.

I wonder why it is so. Is it because I perceive my lies to have a truthful-core or have I gotten over the rigidity of absurd non-existent rules. Breaking Rules. I used to feel it was an empty phrase. Part of the Cliched Words Private Limited Company. There is even a song in the movie Boys composed by the Musical Storm himself. But it was so corny. I mean there was a bunch of skinny uninspiring guys and a girl singing break the rules. The lead guy in question runs naked through the city for what, a GIRL? Desperate. Desperation is not sexy. An irony that I should say this though. Coming back to the Boys. A guy with weird older woman fetish. Two other guys who are __ ? And a shrill sounding immature girl. These are the people who are singing about breaking rules.

Sit down, let us have a serious discussion. What rules could these bunch of people possibly break? Exceeding the late night curfew set by their parents – I cannot think beyond this. So when such mediocre piece of art works claim the role of popularising ideas as powerful as Breaking Rules, is it not a pardonable crime for a sensitive, curious, bookish, nerdy teenage boy to have a healthy dose of hesitation and disbelief in the very idea of breaking rules? If these are the kind of riff raffs who want to break rules, I think its pretty clear the rules are not to be broken.

It is this dumbing down of deep philosophy to cater to the masses and pop-cultures, that needs some kind of reprobation. It took nearly two and a half decades of my existence to truly understand that there are no rules to be broken in the first place. This realisation was slow. This realisation was more due to living the practical life. This realisation was due to reading books which has men literally talking to cats. (No I am not talking about cunnilingus. ) This idea should come from the inside. Like how a true mathematician believes that you truly learn calculus, when you discover calculus, accidentally – I am just fucking with you, I have no idea what a true mathematician thinks – I truly believe that one understands a deep philosophy, a life lesson, only when he thinks it up by himself.

So what was I talking about anyway? Of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics.

Epilogue – I have been told that a truly delightful read will start and end with the same idea.

* I found this phrase while I was reading the blurb of the English Translation of Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch.


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