The comedy of events & incidents usually lies in the underlying tragedy of the subject matter. What most of the world laughs at can evoke the Demon of doubts in one’s mind. I’ve been uncomfortable for a week now, what with my back rebelling against the man who’s abused and ignored it for some time now. The last few days of rest have got me back on my feet … days which were interminably long & decorated with pain. Meanwhile, the spin of the cosmos was measured by incessant phone calls, continuous web browsing, and soothing music, inspiring books and thought provoking movies. And on the night I felt my immune system had finally tamed the beast of pain admirably enough, I celebrated by subjecting myself to one & a half hours of mindless comedy. The movie was about a guy who falls in love with a girl he meets in a hostel blackout and doesn’t even get to see her face. It depicts his struggle to find out who that girl was & in the bargain realizes that men ARE chauvinists & view women in a condescending manner as mere objects, not persons. This realization & his consequent acceptance of the same make him the darling of all the hostel girls. Now there was this funny scene where he talks about the “anti-intimacy force field” that guys usually put around themselves to avoid getting involved emotionally with a girl, which had me in splits. That is when, the Demon of doubts awoke. There, in that hilarious scenario lay my tragedy. Maybe tragedy is too harsh a word to use for my predicament, but when I see people misunderstanding me & pointing a finger at me, accusing me of being insensitive & aloof, I wonder if they are right. To add to my dilemma, I KNOW that at times, they are! What is this I talk about? I talk about my personalized, super-strong, impenetrable “force field”.
I have lived away from my parents, my home since I have been little. The very time when a child needs to be nurtured with parental care & craves for their love was when I had to be sent away by extremely reluctant parents for a better future. Although this going away gave me freedom & many heart-warming experiences, it also erected the “anti-intimacy force field” around me. The numerous years of hostel life took me away physically & emotionally from my parents. I got accustomed to not seeing them for months at a stretch. I ceased to feel lonely. I got used to living without those who I cared about the most. I forgot how to care for anyone, and lost my ability to feel for another. Henceforth I could connect with few people on an emotional level. I do cry when I watch an emotionally charged movie or listen to songs of separation & longing, but try as I might, the magic required to prop up a personal alliance, be it friendship, love, family ties, seemed to have been erased from my psyche. I might be your friend, but the concern that defines friendship may always be lacking. I may be your lover, but the comfort of intimacy may always be amiss. I might be your brother, but I may never be protective about you. I might be your son and love you with all my heart, but you’ll probably never be able to tell from my actions and words.
Many term my behaviour as ‘professional’ and pass it off as normal. They say this is the perfect attitude to carry whilst in Mumbai & in this industry where people are friendly with you when you’re up in life, and strangers the moment the earth moves beneath your feet. They are mistaken. Irrespective of the good or bad people around me, this is who I am, sans pretensions.
Every face wears a mask. I wear a broken one.
Every mirror reveals less than it shows. You’ll never know what I hold within.
Every human is a flawed creation. The slate of my life is clean.
I fear I could never be the ideal son, the best friend, the perfect lover, the awesome brother….
How do I unplug this force field?