Tuesday, December 01, 2009

being honest

Sometimes I find an unexpected affinity in a blog and later realise htat the blogger is a decade younger to me.


Is it because after an age it doesn’t matter? Is life happening faster these days? Or is it just me who is still somewhat stunted in my imagination and realizations? Or was I too blind earlier? Or is it just talk whereas I come from the walk?

One of the blogs I silently followed has called it a day. The reason, the writer says, is that too many people who know the blogger in real life know about it and she’s too conscious to write about the truly personal stuff.

It is eerie as I face the same dilemma. Something happened to me a month ago, a knowledge, that laid to waste the best years of my life. It is impossible to paraphrase it without dragging some people here but I feel an innocence, a belief in goodness has been permanently washed away from me. It’s made me a colder, more mistrusting man than I was.

One epiphany, linked to my writing is, the idea that people who tell everything are basically honest and open is crap. This is not a rule but I feel people talk and talk because by doing so they feel they can control whatever happens. I am talking about the kind of talking where a person pushes you towards an opinion (there is a kind of talking where the person is just bursting with ideas and using you as a bouncing board and that is different).

‘You know, I saw Ram also there. Tch tch, poor fellow, he’s still heartbroken his wife was cheating on him’ sort. Where you're told that ram is the person to pity and his wife a villain.

I have always been disappointed in my habit of letting out more than what I should have. I always admired people who knew what to say and not what to. Now, I realise it partly arose from the compulsion to be honest. Telling someone, ‘I went to goa with a couple friend, the guy is my best friend. We had a great time.’ is a helluva lot different from ‘I went to goa with a couple friend, the guy is my best friend, but I was secretly screwing his wife nevertheless. We had a great time.’ and yet I have seen people who have been very close to me do exactly that. I pause here as the temptation to reveal the extent to which I have been misled is too much here.

There are two extremes in me – either I remain totally silent and wrapped in a cocoon if there is even one person in the crowd I do not trust; or I am obscene. Fortunately, I have found friends where I can be the latter and they’ll still call me back. Coming from a joint family, I have seen how unconsciously and innocently your darkest confidences can be the grist for the daily dose for gossip and intrigues.

I wish it hadn’t happened because I knew it had but I had trusted the person too much to heed my instinct. Now I know I am incapable of trusting that much. Whenever I will see a father wrap his paw around a girl I would believe that he has a hard on – unless proved otherwise.

I never respected Gandhi before I read his autobiography. I gasped when I read how he described that he was screwing his wife while his father was dying and sleeping nekked with nieces revelation. That is honesty. Giving the axes to his detractors forever and yet telling everything or nothing at all.

Honesty is a pact we keep with ourselves, and no one else.

I hope I can follow the path of Gandhi – or remain silent. But nothing between.


ramya sriram said...

i guess the anonymity of the net allows you to create, or rather, recreate yourself. i have seen bloggers who try to be what they arent in real life, to the extent of building up another personality altogether. i guess it's their way of escapism.

my poems are personal. i sometimes read them and cringe, because they are so bare. i like to pretend that they're make-believe.

english,august was an honest book.

Tangled up in blue... said...

"I feel people talk and talk because by doing so they feel they can control whatever happens."

I think thats true. Atleast for me, it is.

Putting things down into words is a way of extracting and separating my most tangled, nebulous, emotions.

It helps me somehow.

Yes, I suppose it is difficult to be completely honest becoz there's that apprehension of being disliked and rejected for what one truly is.

So we lie. Not by saying untrue things.

But by realigning our thoughts and opinions to make us look happier (or more tragic, whichever is more eloquent), smarter, cooler, funnier.

Gandhi was a most remarkable man, I believe that.

I read his whole autobiography with a mounting sense of awe.

Is it possible to be like this?

To be this truthful? To live this way every day? And not be afraid.

I remember reading that bit you mentioned.

I also remember a part of Freedom at Midnight which talks about how Gandhi was horrified to find he had an erection in the morning after dreaming an erotic dream.

Of course, most 65 year old men wud have danced with delight, if they cud.

There is a movie called Closer. Its not a classic or anything.

But it does examine how people lie and how some people manage to turn it into a way of life.

Then, it also has a character who uses truth as a survival tactic, however, she's not any more better off than the rest of them.

That feeling you talk about in the first line. I'm 21 and a half and I get it, too.

And I'm like, wow, why wasnt I thinking these awesome thoughts at 16? Why did I spend all my time with Harry Potter books instead of reading about the Holocaust?


Maybe they do grow up faster every year.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Wow, that was a very long comment.

But there's so much stuff to think about here, and the rest of my thoughts I dont know how to write.

And, that loss of innocence. Its turning into a hallmark of our times, no?

About my blog, I go by Nehru's rule of thumb, write or say something if it is true, if it is kind, if it is necessary.

Otherwise, keep it to yourself.