Monday, April 14, 2008

Bombay Fantasies

So much to do and so little time, this has always been my trouble with life. I invent these grandiose plans to attain artistic satisfaction, sometimes almost brag about it, but at the end of the day, what is left is nothing more than a head full of amusing ideas and observations and nothing concrete to really show for them.
Take this blog for example, after the sincere attempt to keep writing and trudging along in my half-hearted literary pursuits, it is only now, some three odd weeks later, that I find the time to actually update it. I do exaggerate when I say that I lack the time, what I however not jest about is the serious lack of energy to anything remotely constructive on the personal gratification and growth front. I guess this would make me machosistic, purposely causing myself pain, for squandering such great potential, or so I convince myself to believe!
I am inherently lazy, a dreamer, an observer, a writer who doesn’t indulge in her passion often enough, but sure spins grandiose dreams around it. At the end of the day I am absolutely uninspired to get to the computer and write. The sad fact is that none of this is due to lack of ideas or inspiration, they thrive aplenty. It is my stubborn refusal to ultimately push myself beyond the extent of regular necessity, is what will bring my ultimate downfall.
Bombay, the city of dying hopes, fading dreams and aspirations, a city rich with its multitude of characters that make life amusing and interesting. These characters stand as rich sources of literary inspiration for the men and women in my stories. I observe their every day lives, their outwardly visible joys and sorrows, their quirk and idiosyncrasies. These humane qualities of people around me get emulated by the characters in my stories, fumbling around life like everone else. Maybe one of the biggest reasons I like writing so much is because I get to play the God of my universe. My characters and their lives sprout from the recesses of my imagination, the courses of their destiny at my command. Perhaps, I’m sick of living life on someone else’s terms, being bitterly disappointed every step along the way. My stories and my writing liberate me from my own bitterness and disappointment, even if it is for a short while. Now I can channel it into the lives of my characters, deriving a sadistic pleasure from their sadness,disappointment and dejection, confirming my belief that hapiness and contentment are merely illusions.
Perhaps, one of the biggest reasons why my work ends up being so melancholy is because I have spent a huge portion of my adult life is such utter loneliness and isolation. The bitter realization that in spite of everything and everyone, at the end of the day, I feel a terrible sense of loss and emptiness that never really goes away. It is ironic that after moving to Bombay this has gotten worse, what is more ironic is that I have never had these many friends in my life to date. Every night can be an occasion of celebration if I choose to make it so. There is no shortage of people to call if I wish to drink myself to oblivion, to distract myself from my self imposed bitterness. Each of us masking our pain under an envelope of false cheer and goodness, I feel exhausted at the end if it all, unable to cope with my own insincerity, yet too exhausted and dejected to infuse my fledgling energy into letting anyone in.
I sometimes enjoy narrating to the world my Mumbai fantasies. Wild dreams sexual escapades with cab-drivers, vegetable vendors and mailmen. It is the Indian equivalent of a badly produced American porno with the hot pizza guy or the sexy copy repair guy. In a vaguely American context the idea almost works, but in a society, which is so class conscious, a young educated woman having a wild fantasy about someone in a much lower socio-economic bracket is blasphemy. This strange world that we live in, does not even allow us the small liberty to dream outside the confines of our tax bracket. To dream big is to be ambitious, but to dream of having a good time with someone who may not come from the same world is just plain lowering ones standards.
What does this city have to offer any way other than rich fodder to my already fertile imagination? Where is the time, place or the energy to establish meaningful relationships with someone one new? Where are the people to establish these relationships with? At the end of the day, I lack the motivation to make any attempt to appeal to those around me. It feels false and stupid. I’m not interesting or fabulous enough to have people fawn all over me for who I am. Honestly, there are so many better looking women out there. I am neither terribly interesting, nor do I possess a sparkling sense of humor. I look about average and I maybe almost fat. With mediocrity being the bane of my existence, the chance of meeting someone truly wonderful who stands for the text book definition of a great catch is bleak. What then is so damn wrong to draw a small amount of thrill and excitement from a fantasy that will never materialize but makes life a little interesting?
Last week was both fun and humiliating. The humiliation set in after the fun ended. My stubborn refusal to initiate any romantic connection with someone new, who might actually like me back, lead me again to a place that I promised myself I would never go to. It ended badly the first time, I was sad and hurt. I swallowed my pride and pain convincing myself time and again that his friendship was more important than my silly little crush and a few stolen kisses. It would be unwise to throw away years of trust and companionship over unrequited love that would eventually fade away. I have always cared about him with a burning fervor that time cannot extinguish, more than he will ever know, more than what he will ever feel for me. I doused the flames of my passion in the name of friendship, but the embers blazed on unknowingly.
He has always been incredibly cruel. Sometimes I truly resent him for it. Time and again he tortures me with the cruel knowledge of all the women that he has possessed, knowing fully well that I hate to hear about it. I have learned to expect very little from people, least of all from him, yet he torments me with his kisses, awakening my desire just one more time, making me wishfully wonder the possibility of what if…
Sometimes, I’m almost convinced that I’m capable of having an adult sexual relationship with my best friend without the messiness of all the feelings get in the way. After all, as a sensible adult with no time for love what else could possibly be better? I’m okay with the once inherited knowledge that he shall never ever feel the same way about me; But to reminded of it time and again is cruelty and humiliation at its best. Accepting the truth life has been disappointing has never been hard, but to hear it reverberated time and again is something that I’m not yet fully capable of.

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