Le(t)go Me

Saturday, May 07, 2016

I hate writing. It's comical to establish that; it's been nearly nine years since I've been writing here. However, in these nine years not once have I written a piece that I could once point at and repeat, "Please spend some time on it." My work does not beget that attention. I've never aspired to be a blogger whose work leaves an influence that you will carry it with you to the Sunday afternoon tea and think about it while you feast on scones (much less, bring it up to your set of friends who are enjoying an egg-mustard finger sandwich while you have ordered scones for yourself). In a certain way, my writing is comparable to that of a hooker's job. It's mechanical, often conducted without any emotion and extremely utilitarian in the exercise of having written something. Sure, it's frilly and flowery (again, a cheesy parallel with that of the 'outfits' adorned by prostitutes to titillate the passer-bys) but it isn't anything 'good'. Now, it's another case that I am not going into the discussion of what's good and what's bad and who defines it. We'll take another lifetime, and perhaps in an alternate universe it's already been done.

It's a paradox in itself that this page survived for nine fucking years when I can't put myself to focus on a document that needs 15k words. I bumped into a colleague yesterday who had the most inspiring thing to tell me, "You're a content writer, yes? You could churn out 6k words in a night. How difficult are 10000 really?" Not at all, but I've lost my mojo to type mindlessly and for the words to make mighty sense. A year ago, I could send shit out without thinking twice. Today, it would take me a month to compose 5000 words for an essay and still be pooping in my pants about the outcome.

Things are different this time. Pardon me for the analogy but this really captures the essence. Have you ever been in bed with someone, and realized within the first few seconds that it is going to suck (no pun intended) rather bad? The moments building to the next and passing to join a whole act of conjunction being so utterly tasteless and devoid of sense that you're mentally calculating the time in which you get done and get out. Writing a dissertation is a lot like that. You're doing it and at the back of your mind you know it's horrendous. You are aware of the fact that your body can't do much to salvage this and that this particular encounter will leave a setback to your head, so severe that you will think twice before heading to a direction which requires you to think creatively and work independently.

A former professor recently told me that I am not cut out for this line. It's a rather polite way of telling someone that they're a misfit in academia. Then again, it's not just her. If I had a dollar for each time someone said that to me, I would have enough to re-apply for my rejected visa application and consider moving to San Francisco. I've been told they have good pancakes there.

So, yeah. I can't do this. I cannot for the life of me write and I cannot process intellgible ideas by theoreticians and academics. I've tried and off late feigned and failed how this works. I'm not in an environment conducive to be in academia and that somehow explains why such few Punjabis actually end up in this line. I'm not saying that they don't but they probably don't have a family like mine. It ends up consuming more of my mind how to sit these fellows down and explain what it's like to do what I do, than sit and understand what Habermas really meant. The fact that I can eat when I want, sleep when I want and waste time as I want is what comes as a visual to my folks then there isn't a scope to come to terms with telling them what it's like to be here.

But then again, it's not just them. It's been two years and nobody I'm friends with understands what it's like to be in this position at this point in your life. You're not really moving forward and you're not really stationery. You're somewhere in between, like being on a treadmill. In motion but at the same spot where you were two years ago. Sadly, everyone around you has moved to better pastures (or well, worse) but you won't know.

It's incredible that two years have gone and I'm rather calm about this state. It's made me lazy for one and that it's sucked all the passion off me. There's nothing worth fighting for and nothing worth striving for. All that is there is a mechanical understanding of making sense with tools and ideas and shaping them to use.

Academia reminds me of being in a playschool. I have vivid memories of sitting in between a group of kids. Each one of us trying to make sense of blocks we are playing with. Nobody really teaches you to play- you just learn it or make sense of objects around you, till you have mastered it and you consequently, outgrow it. The same way academia comes to you. If you find that it's your calling (or confuse it with a result that claimed you're fit for it), you end up innit.

Somehow, I'm in that room with sunlight peering through the entrance and the right down to the spot where our bags are kept. I am leaping at the plastic blocks and trying to find my way to build a solid structure. Instead, I start with a pattern and each time end with a mess. My inability to comprehend solid chunks of meaningless pieces has come a long way now. I want out.

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