“What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”
Immortal lines by the great poet William Henry Davies which suggest most people’s plight these days but fortunately or unfortunately it does not include me.
Fortunately, I do not have many worries in my life except running behind my little boy with a glass of milk, then breakfast and then something or the other. Yes, like most Indian mothers I fret a lot about my kid. Conveniently, this was my excuse for not being able to do much for my own self. However, off late he has improved food habits and is toddling his way to the play house. That leaves me even more time to stand and stare these days. Unfortunately, I have been doing only that. Yes, I am the Dosser, the idler. My ample time has been squandered away pitifully by me.
And I had this emphatic realization only the last Friday witnessing the riveting musical journey of Anoushka Shankar with her Spanish and Indian troupe. What an immaculate performance. As much as the sitarist is charming, the music was enthralling. Piece after piece of harmonious melody. The sheen of pure unbridled joy reflected on every artists’ face as their fingers played magic on their instruments. You could feel the ecstasy in their being. To say the least, it was awe inspiring and it inspired the writer in me. I realized I feel similar joy every time I complete a piece of writing and post it here. It is the joy of creative accomplishment irrespective of the field and genre.
While the sitar and the Cajon (box style drum widely used in Flamenco music) created symphony, my mind seem to be quelled with words and sentences, jumping to be out of my head and arrange themselves on a sheet but I had none. The foremost rule for any writer is to carry a pen and a notebook always, to which I have paid little heed. But that evening I realized my grave mistake. That evening was an evening of realizations.
So after that evening here I am professing my love for scribbling ideas but confessing to doing little of it. It’s simple logic that when something gives you pleasure and you have the means to do that something; you would do more and more of it. But not me. Why do I go against this rationality? I don’t have to introspect to find the answer. I know it only too well. I suffer from mental languor.
I don’t know if there are others like me. No doubt it would console me to know of their existence but the consolation would only lax my recovery further. So for my own good I hope I am the only afflicted one. It’s really terrible. I feel like writing but the thought of “thinking” intimidates me. Firstly, “thinking” needs effort and translating that thinking into coherent writing needs further sweat but I have become plainly sluggish. Secondly, what if my thinking is not bright and effective? What if I don’t find readers and it remains unread and unappreciated?
When slackness is burdened with self- doubt it is extremely disorienting. And in this disorientation I take refuge in others thinking. I read others’ thoughts. Of course reading is an enriching act and every writer writes to be read by others or else why would even I post my own confessions here? But my reading at times, though not always, is a means to procrastinate my own mental labour. Though I emerge with a fizz of inspiration and committment at times, I fail to compress it enough to deliver a result.
But not this time, while Anoushka Shankar’s music stirred every listener’s heart it stimulated a dosser’s mind. Hope the joy of her music shall pervade through me always…