This blog is my world. Private, solitary and uncelebrated. Like those ordinary, tumbledown houses that passers-by overlook because there is nothing unusual or extraordinary about them. Behind its walls, unseen to the world, I live. Celebrating the richness and splendour of this life in quietude. The world does not see me, but there is so much that I see and feel. So much that I am in constant conversation with myself. I write to myself. And that keeps me going.
Occasionally, there is a visitor. When the doorbell rings, my heart soars because there is somebody at the door! Perhaps somebody who needs to warm themselves, somebody who has a story to narrate. There is nothing that I would like more than to usher them in, make them comfortable and listen to their story. There is nothing that I would like more than to see them leave with a full heart, happy and content.
This is how I feel whenever there is a new reader on my blog. The reader is a possibility. My words are only tools to explore their minds- the aesthetic potential of their minds. I like to explore the aesthetic dimension of this ‘writer-reader’ relationship to its fullest. And that is what excites me about my blog. My blog, in itself, is a possibility. I can never predict what it might bring at my doorstep! That is how I feel about my book too. Writing is a beautiful means of engagement with the world. It makes inroads into the minds of people, and I think it is through writing that I met some of the most beautiful people in my life.
That sets me thinking on how I have always been driven by possibility, and not by outcomes. I like the mystery, the suspense, the uncertainty and the excitement that surrounds a possibility. ‘You never know what you may find’ is my guiding factor in all my engagements with the world. The more emphasis there is on a specific outcome, the more rules there are to abide me, the more compelled I feel to step out.
The exploration of possibility is at the heart of my personality. When I was in kindergarten (the earliest illustration of my personality, in my mother’s words), the other children would be in class and I would be missing. Where was I? I was at the far end of the campus, waiting eagerly to catch sight of the train as it passed by the bridge, chugging along to some unknown destination, the fleeting glimpse of faces peering out of the windows creating a lasting impression on my young mind. While my teachers were looking for me all over the place, I was lost to this perception. I couldn’t get over the emotion that the train had evoked in me. There was something inexplicable I had felt- a certain magic in it. There were unspoken questions in my mind about this mysterious, overpowering structure that appeared out of nowhere, and that disappeared into the unknown after having briefly touched me with its magic. There was endless possibility in the magic of this perception.
At other times, when the school peon arrived to take me on his bicycle to my mother’s school, I would be missing. Where was I? I had gone off with a friend to her house, oblivious to the fact that people would worry about me and panic. I was perpetually lost, exploring the new. That earned me the reputation of being the ‘most mischievous and restless student’ in school- a teacher’s nightmare. A parent’s nightmare too.
Then there were my vacations in Kerala. Kerala was a land of endless possibility. Nature and culture offered infinite scope for possibility, and so, it was a child’s paradise. Besides, there were no teachers to stop me from exploring and there was no studying to do. Every day, I would wander endlessly, not knowing what I might find. I would run through lanes fragrant with the scent of flowers new to me- the pala and the chembakam. I would sit by the pond, watching turtles and crabs crawling out of it or an occasional big fish diving on its surface, or sometimes, young boys fishing. There were tiny offshoots of the pond and I would watch rows of guppies swimming on the surface of the water. In Kerala, every little patch of earth teemed with life. I would watch mangoes ripening on the trees, milkweeds floating in the breeze, water lilies blossoming in the fields, caterpillars hiding in the barn and woodpeckers drilling into coconut palms. Every morning, I only had one dream. To wander, to uncover and unearth every possibility. I turned every leaf, moved every pebble. And so, nature let me into her private world- into her secrets that she whispered only to those who promised not to break her reverie.
And then there were my maternal uncles and cousins. Ours was a world of fun, laughter, mischief, games, adventure and music. They were unpredictable. They would abruptly make up their minds about taking us all out to the beach or to their friends’ places where we had lots of fun. Or they would play badminton and chess with us. As for music, it was a constant presence in the house. We were all either singing or listening to music. We even had a keyboard that they used to play. Music bound us into one; in those moments, I experienced the aesthetic potential of perception and of oneness. They instilled in me a deep love for music; they were my gateway to the power of music as an inroad into the world. Into the infinite possibility of music.
Back in Bangalore, I was high on books and play. The books we read as children and the cartoons we watched- they helped me see the infinite possibility in life. To this day, I can pick up and Enid Blyton and awaken the child in me- the child that sees infinite possibility in the world, and does not know what it feels like to be depressed.
When I grew into adolescence, there was a sudden constriction of my world- a sudden self-consciousness overtook me. I was high on friendships and relationships for the most part of my adolescence and early adulthood. I was in awe of the dimensions, layers and the aesthetic potential of human relationships. It was of utmost importance to me to explore every human interaction to its utmost potential, and to revel in what unfolded. In all my formative years, I never really had the opportunity to ‘know’ my mother because she was always so busy- busy making our lives. It was only after my dad passed away that she could afford to spend that kind of time with me. It had always been my deep desire to explore our relationship, and I am grateful to God for all these years he has given me with her. My mother surprises me. She has grown so much as a person, merely in order to be able to understand what ticks me and why I am different. She would read books and revel in the realization that I was different for a reason- that my inability to conform to systems had a reason. Today, we have built layers on top of the fundamental layer that forms the mother-daughter relationship, and I am truly content. It has been likewise with my brother. For so long, he was away and distant. But over the last several years, I have had the opportunity to know him too, and to breathe life into our relationship. It is only my father who has disappointed me. I love him the most because I know I mirror him. But on account of the suppressed personality and the illness, he was unable to emotionally indulge with the world. He never gave me an opportunity to build on the father-daughter relationship; never let me build inroads into him. And yet, I know every ounce of his mind through me. But while we were together, he was distant and inaccessible to the people in his life. And there was no possibility in our relationship- he was indrawn and withdrawn into some deep abyss from which nobody could rescue him. Yet, those few moments of limited emotional display are immortal in my mind. I love my mother, but I am indebted to my father. For the beautiful mind he gave me. The beautiful mind through which I am able to see and feel this world.
Over the years, I have realized that the human mind is God’s masterpiece for it has the highest aesthetic potential. Its possibilities are infinite, though not obviously visible. And so, every engagement that brings its potential to visibility has been enriching. That is the reason I love teaching, writing, reading, healing.
I am sure life has been happy with me in the last six months, after I quit my regular job. The possibilities suddenly opened up, and I am living every one of them, justifying my life in totality.
So create possibilities- inroads into the universe. Our motivation is rooted in these possibilities, not in their outcomes. Open the doors to possibility- in your living spaces, in your work spaces, in your relationships. Don’t mould them towards outcomes. Keep them open. Surprise people. Make somebody’s day. Write letters to children for them to read at different points in their lives. Take walks. Sit in a park. Talk to nature. Tend to animals. Watch the sky. Feed the birds. And the possibilities just open out….