It’s nearly three or more months now that I didn’t write something innovative. Earlier, I never had to think, ideas use to flow in as soon as I typed the first word. Now, the situation is quite different. The fact that I have to write this boring post establishes the fact that my grey cells are dying (if grey cells control creativity…otherwise it must be the heart, if mind is controlled by the heart). Nothing happened really that should leave me alienated and hankering for a proper outlet. At least I cannot remember anything. Yet, just as death comes to an ailing dog, silently, assuring…the cold shadow of non-creativity is engulfing my life. Assuring, because, I feel, creativity is a kind of curse. You spend the whole night sleepless; screw your system methodically by not eating anything or taking proper rest. Just to labour out the baby germinating and kicking you from within yourself.
After all these torture to your frail structure you realise one sunny morning that what you conceived so lovingly and gave birth so laboriously is actually a piece of crap. It has no value whatsoever in terms of art. Yet, it is dear to you only because you had sacrificed a lot for it. It’s dear to you because those were the moments when you actually lived! You soon wanted to relive. But looking at the deformed body of your baby, you almost want to kill it. So that you might not be reminded that you are the mother of this crippled child. You realise when the world get hold of your baby, they will probably torture it by a cruel laughter…a laughter that will come from the bottom pit of their enlightened heart. You wanted to kill your child. Since there is no punishment mooted out to you by the justly world sans the self suffering, you kill it. I killed most of my work I wrote for months on end this way.
I am now engaged in a futile exercise which a man, whom I respect as my elder brother, thinks is a great thing to do in life. “Taking control of one’s life’ is how he puts it. I have my fair share of cynical doubts. Nobody knows me better than myself.
You can compare my recent posts with the earlier ones. While earlier ones were rated A…an elixir for youth, my recent ones are as if straight from the diary of a condemned man. You get this type of stuff from a person whose clemency application has been rejected even by the president.
I remember my first art teacher. He assigned me the homework to draw a madariwallah (a monkey handler). For the whole evening, I drew…tore and redrew the picture. I went to show him…all grin, proud of my achievement.
The first thing when he saw my picture is to burst out in laughter. He was laughing holding his stomach. As if that was not enough to puncture a ten-year-old’s confidence, he made the picture pass the entire room including to the visiting guardians. “Do you recognise yourself which are the monkeys and which one is the man here? They look all identical,” he enquired with moist eyes, labour of his laughter. Just to dodge the embarrassment, I pointed out to the tails. I was sure at least the tails distinguish the two. Also one of the kinds was wearing proper dress. Which proves he is that of a human kind. That fuelled the fire. It became a salvo. All the fine artists of my age were now rolling on the floor.
Rebuked and insulted, with tears brimming at the corners of my eyes, I came home. I threw the picture at my suitcase, where I used to put all my broken toys, and never opened it. Till then I didn’t know that humans are the descendents of apes and technically it’s not wrong if they look similar, but that night I cried bitterly. Nobody knew that the child was sobbing under his blanket and begging to God not to send him to the art school again. But I couldn’t hide it long from my sister. She was also present there. She joined the merry-makers that time but stopped participating after seeing my humiliated, reddened face. She crept towards me and comforted me. She made comparisons of others with me and proved that others are in fact worst painters than me and that my picture was no doubt the art of the finest calibre. Only people didn’t understand it. She was confident, when I grow up I would be the finest modern artist. Those whose painting you don’t understand. She was only eight.
Though knowing she was just pretending, I slept comforted. Partly because I was tired of crying and partly because at that age you really don’t care about anything except the wrath of your father and school teacher. The physical abuse and not the mental harassment.
Since I threw my greatest art work to the suitcase and never opened it, it survived. After many years I chanced to discover the suitcase during the renovation of our house. I found the picture, intact. Indeed, at that tender age, I had established that men and monkeys are relatives. But I didn’t laugh. I tried to put on the cloak of an art instructor. A teacher. I detached myself from me and stood at a distance. I was trying to find the pain of a child-artist. I immediately find those. I found how the child painstakingly drew the skyline. Taking extra care as not to spill over the paint to the mountains. I saw how the child find out the different colour for the monkey and the man. While the man was treated with brown mixed with a little white, the monkey was assigned yellow ochre with a hint of black in it. Just to distinguish it with the colour of the straw huts. The straws are always yellow ochre, you see. Just like the grass should be green and the sky blue. That’s the first lesson you learn.
But should a teacher of fine art, the highest disciple known to the mankind, should be so rude and insensitive? The answer is, unfortunately…yes. That’s what life is. That’s why the critics are sitting there. Just to discourage people. Actually, it’s a conspiracy by God. Just to tease any effort which challenges his might. Both are creator and it is a well known fact that generally artists are not in good terms. And God is mighty jealous of those who can create. Because that is the only quality He has. Otherwise…He is plain worthless.
Only those who can withstand the rebuke and insults can become a man of note. Ask a successful person. Everybody tread the path of thorns.
So which people are artists? Why, everyone. Even a butcher is an artist if he loves his work and knows the technique to inflict minimum pain or some other yardstick he fixes himself for his art of knife yielding. The fact that I can’t paint or sing or write doesn’t reduces me to a non-artist. My singing prowess, which generally invites wrath and brickbats, is highly appreciated by the listener in bathroom. I put my best of emotions, I put my best of efforts, I am happy. I am an artist. So probably nobody has any right to insult my singing unless he convinces me that I am a bad singer. My art teacher never could establish the fact to me that I am a bad painter. So…I am a good painter. And I have every right not to forgive him for rebuking me.
Now if you don’t get the urge to sing at all, won’t you be assured that you are in your death-bed? Just what it is happening with me now. I want to get back to my former self. I want to whistle looking at a scantly clad chick. I know, the day I start looking intently at the bosoms of the girls passing by the street, I will be blessed. I will return back to life and will change the colour of my blog. This time back to pink. Pink is the colour of my imagination. Amen.
Till then bear with me these barley posts.