Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Storm Passes

The way I feel tonight, I need some kind of loving. Nothing gentle. Persuasive, more like. Take my mind off things. This rain, for instance. It’s been raining more or less steadily for over 48 hours now, and I didn’t mind it when I was walking through the warm drizzle yesterday, although I was more tired and perhaps even lonelier than I am now. But now it’s turning my room chilly and I’m tired and a little angry with myself for being so bad-tempered.

I read some newspapers today. The first lot in a month I think. Suddenly I was hungry for news, so I read about Tendulkar’s return, Catherine Zeta-Jones’ new haircut – and decided that that was as much as I could take at one sitting. Strange, my abhorrence for the newspaper when I’m in my baperbari, because when I’m outside it, I read the daily as avidly as I read anything else. I even read the editorials in The Statesman and that’s saying something, considering I’m not very fond of editorials as a rule.

Sometimes, I feel very tender towards my body. Poor, unloved thing. A mass of irregularly tended skin and hair and nails. Poor, mauled thing. Surely it deserves more care than that? But how many of us look at our scabs and wonder if the wound is destroying the beauty we were born with or adding an extra dimension of interest to it? How many of us want to? Bloggers are accused of being navel-gazers, and I don’t deny it. Try to avoid gazing at your body in wonder when you’ve got mirrors as large and as nice as my bathroom one. In the bathroom too! Makes temptation irresistible. Yet this summer I lived for nigh on three months with hardly a pane of glass in sight, in front of which I could comb my hair. I conclude I’m not vain exactly, but I’m certainly fascinated by my body tonight, how it grows and how it shrinks, how it shows my lack of love so clearly. And how, like some forlorn plant, it rewards even the littlest bit of care with a brighter sheen, temporary though it may be.

I loved bio classes, I remember, even though they involved so much learning by rote of Latin names and drawing of the innards of reptiles. I loved figuring out why my body did the things I experienced and what they signified and how my actions decided them. In the end you see, there’s nothing apart from the physical side of things. All my ‘emotions’ are just so many electrical connections being made, all my ‘feelings’ the result of hormones coursing through my corps. In such a universe, what do my mistakes or their aftereffects matter? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, from nothing I came, to nothing I shall return. All my mistakes shall die with me (and some before) while hopefully the good I did will be remembered, at least by some. From another perspective altogether, I came from millions of years of molecular evolution, and the changes I am making in that great hothouse I playfully call “my” body shall be passed on to be worked upon in turn. If I allow them to, of course.

The rain has always played catalyst to philosophical musings and in that too I am a temporary step in a long line of evolution.

No comments: