21.11.07

Leave your past at the door, please

“I am what I am because of my Past.”

This is the worst possible indictment of the Present and an insult to any possible Future. But this is what most people will say. I read it in interviews, I listen to men and women mention it.

What is the past? Events? Accidents? Things we do? Things that others do to us? People who become a part of our lives? People who go away?

There is no need to flash baggage to show that one has travelled. Nostalgia isn’t a herd instinct, unless you are remembering the Holocaust or the Partition. It is an intensely private aspect. A past that comes and sits on your head is not the past; ghosts are not the past – they are dead people rising from the grave to return.

Am I strong to not let these ghosts storm into my life? I don’t know. There is no deceit here. Honesty is how truthful you are to a particular thing at a given point in time, not about how bits and pieces are strewn about and displayed on the mantelpiece.

“That too is me,” say some. If it is you, then that is all you are. If it was you, then you better update and upgrade yourself.

They will say, “Hey, whenever you need anything let me know.”

Why is it that when you really need people they are not there and as they wave goodbye they are offering themselves like some insurance policy scheme?

I had made up my mind long ago. If I wanted to respect my life, myself and whatever it had to offer me, I would not turn back. I wanted nothing for my now because I had got nothing from then. When something is over, it amounts to nothing. That is what attics and basements are for. It is time we stop putting up this fa├žade of, “It used to be wonderful” and “You cannot just forget like that.” Heck, I remember the graveyard. In what manner am I because of what it is? Only because we will all die does not mean we treat all lives in a similar manner.

Yesterday morning started with tears. Full 57 minutes. I know. I paid for it! Okay, I am smiling now. That is the point. Yesterday’s crying is gone. Today, I am new. I am getting fresh with myself.

No past has made me what I am. Otherwise I will have to go to my mother’s womb and say, “Knock, Knock, can I have some amino fluids, please?” Then I will take it and bottle it and break the earthshaking news to you, “Here, this is where I come from.”

And you will see me curled up like a foetus, my features indistinguishable from any little beast’s, my lips pouting like a goldfish. My past? It is called gestation. A physical dimension. I made myself. My mother dressed me up, but the clothes fitted me. I learned to read and write in school but the words I spoke were mine. I tried to grasp the thoughts of others, but I formulated my own ideas. I live in a society, but I don’t have to toe its every norm.

I have trash in my bin; it is a part of me. My peeled fruits and veggies, my leftovers. That is why they are there and not on my table.

When I had started on my writing career, I recall one article where I had said that anything even a day old is stale. The editor had looked at me surprised. I was known to be a sentimental type. I am – about today.

If I were Gabbar Singh, I would say, “Thakur, mujhe tumhara aaj de do.” Give me your today.

Halloween is over. Time to remove yesterday’s mask and pumpkin face. Let’s talk turkey now and wait for tomorrow’s sunrise take a bow.

Ouch…treacle? I like it sticky. The dark brown mousse is too soft, so I get the lemon tart, take out the yellow, except a dollop at the bottom, and top it with the chocolate scoop. I pop the cherry in my mouth and then bite into this mix. Lovely. The flavours have meshed. My instinct and tastes are just fine. It isn’t – and I am not – a purist’s delight.

Epicure that I am, I may like old cheese but spare me the fungus please.

6 comments:

  1. FV:

    Vous - bon vivant... and The Power of Now...

    ReplyDelete
  2. yaad aa gaya mujhko guzra zamana...
    khushboo bhini bhini... zayaka suhana

    :-)

    I LOVED THIS ARTICLE

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trust men to only think about food....

    Pune S:

    Yes, only the Now.

    Amandeep:

    Umeed hai aapki yaadein aajke zaayke ka mazaa nahin bigaad degi.

    ReplyDelete
  4. To wallow in the past and to reject it entirely are both extremes,neither of them quite 'right'.
    People live through very trying circumstances, experience taxing situations, and these leave indelible marks on them, alter the contours of their being significantly. To learn the lessons is the real value of a Past. An acceptance of this is what I see as being implied when one says "I am what I am because of my Past.”, though I do think that is too encompassing a statement.

    When you say, "When something is over, it amounts to nothing.", you are simply denying the existence of aftermath, consequences, many of them life-long. When you're done reading a book, it does not simply vanish from your mind; it lingers. Why should that be of any less consequence than the actual act of reading?

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  5. I think I am what I am today because of what has happened yesterday.

    I had once written a poem about a traveler who kept moving from one place to another and every time he left from a place he picked up a souvenir and put it in his backpack to remind him of that place. After traveling a lot, his bag became very heavy and started to weigh him down. One day he just decided to empty his bag and end his journey.

    The Past is the only thing that is constant. It eats up the present, and soon, the future too.

    Having disagreed, I think it is very nice to see that not everybody thinks like me. Thanks for the assurance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mask:

    A book does not interfere with life. I don't think one romanticises the act of reading after we are through. I am denying the interference of aftermath. The only value of footprints left behind is when we want to retrace our steps or want someone to follow us...

    - - -
    SM:

    I don't deny the past, but I will not debase my present with it.

    You say, "The Past is the only thing that is constant. It eats up the present, and soon, the future too."

    It is not constant, it is fossilised.

    Am glad to be of assurance...

    ReplyDelete