Monday, 17 May 2010

An ode..

i think that there comes a phase in the life of pretty much everyone who's gone to art school, when they fancy themselves a philosopher. like all phases, this one too affects people differently and for different durations. for some, its so quick a flash that you'd miss the philosophiness if you blinked, and for some others its a lifelong affliction. i dunno what it was in my case, but i sure did have the phase as well. i guess i relapse into it occasionally, whatever.

the funny thing about this phase is how we usually try to grapple with what we think are deep philosophical problems. it needn't be the traditional philosophical schools of thought, it can be anything really. in a design school, design philosophy was often the preferred brand. it was often derided as gyaan, etc, but grapple with it we did. and quite often, when we thought we had a certain amount of grip on it, we dispensed it to others as well. it was probably a necessary phase too, to some extent. yet in other cases, i just wanted to invent new ways of shutting people up. in any case, this post is from back then. maybe its one of my relapses.
i struggled with lame metaphors, that was my poison. while my well meaning but (in retrospect) perhaps clueless pals debated such gems as 'what is the perpendicular to your existence?' i was applying metaphors left right and centre, trying them on for size and seeing what fit and what didn't. i called them gems cos even today i cannot fully decide whether they were genuine questions or mere efforts of a few daft brains overreaching themselves. but yeah, metaphors were my thing. i didnt talk about them much i suppose, though i had my moments of being carried away too, and may have dished it out to hapless souls at parties.

i thought life was like a rocket, ready to blast off into space. when you start off, like a proton rocket ready on the launchpad at baikonur, you need all the lift you can get. you cant even take a crap without help, all you can do is lie there and cry. and all that lift, or support in the form of family, friends, education and the rest propel you upwards. the whole sky is yours, you can fly any which way you want. and people do. some dont get enough lift and follow flat trajectories, others get everything possible and streak through the sky blazing bright paths that can be seen and followed by those beneath or behind them. some dont even lift off at all, and just burn up on the pad.

as you go along, you start losing lift. and gravity being a cruel mistress begins to drag you down slowly. parts start falling off as components that have served you well in your upward climb become expended and move away. you may have loved that booster rocket but once it's purpose (ordained, perhaps?) is done, it slowy drifts away from you while you watch. but life goes on, and the next stage ignites and propels you even further towards your apogee, and so on. i saw these stages as the people and forces in my life. you lose some as you fly away into space, some remain till the end of your mission, some come in and kick start you when you need a new phase en-route. some you try and desperately hold on to yet are slowly prised away. and depending on how much you were being propelled, you succumb to gravity, or attain escape velocity.

for the record, i had discarded this back then, since i didnt like the ending, where in any case you burned up either on the rather immediate gravity induced re-entry or the eventual one after years in orbit. maybe it didnt quite fit my whole hypothesis back then, i dont quite remember why exactly i discarded it without effort to make it fit. anyway, i was reminded of this old metaphor of mine recently. I lost perhaps the most important person in my life. and corny/weird as it may be, i feel like that rocket, having lost the huge first stage thats propelled it so far. feeling weightless, still floating upwards, wondering with a fair bit of terror whether the next stage would kick in before gravity does her work...

i'll miss you grandad. see you on the other side someday.

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