A Psychotic love
Have you ever lost a true love? Of course you have, you were there before. So, what about finding it back? And what about losing it all over again? Were you there? You might have been there too. What about everything all over again? And again? And again? I don’t even think it is possible with human relations. You don’t have much time; you are you- an ego, can’t lose much of you, your investment, and your life. We can only take so much. Leave you, there are much more abstract entities in play: Space and Time — things that are deeply interwoven in all our lives. They are the many faces of you; they describe you, directly and indirectly. They push you, pull you, and take you in a flow like a stream through the forking paths of life. So, if not for human relations what relations are we talking about? Which relations are humanly, then, possible to endure such pain? I am going to attempt to answer that question with one such relation that I had, I have, and the one that I might lose in the future — it is complicated.
If there is one language with which I want to think, listen, and try to understand the world around me, it is music. I, sometimes, believe that I do that; I am peculiar.I have always loved music. I have slept with my headphones on more number of nights than I have slept on a proper bed. I have spent many of my lonely nights pondering about the significance of it, that abstract entity, a thing — sound. This distorted sense of reality, with its notes and tones,that bends, twists, and guides us through a rapture, an ecstasy, to a land where no man has ever been before. We always want to be there again. I want to be there all the time. I wanted more, wanted to create it. I wanted to be an architect of such a space that will, eventually, exist in everyone’s mind. A space which they can visit whenever they want to, to tread softly, to relish, and to go mad. I tried my best to make music and I failed, quite miserably. I had my fingers cut by the strings, found the percussion very hard to slap onto, and when I tried using my vocals, I was out of breath, but above all, I could not get the sense of a wholeness by doing any of these, alone. I was only left there with a sense of suspension. It is always the mixture of all these sounds, the ensemble, which moved me. I was frustrated, depressed, and still did not own any instrument for I had not found mine yet. I tried listening to as many instruments as possible and nothing spoke to me. Nothing could have been a part of me, in any way.
Unless, it was a part of me, already. I was a fool to have not seen that for so long. This instrument is something that defines, limits, and embodies me to a certain extent. It is something that speaks to me and speaks for me; it is my body.When I play it, metaphorically, I move; I make music visible. It gives me the sense of satisfaction, a sense of completeness. Through it, I can be a sharp tone of a guitar, the blunt sound of a tabla, the melancholy of a violin, the shrill voice of A.R.Rahman, and I can be all these things together. I define and surrender to a rhythm simultaneously. I try hard, very hard, to be the music. Although I, and the whole scenery, seem to be apparently complete for others, I never feel complete; I struggle hard, inside, to be complete, to be the music in every detail. In that way, I am always in a sense of suspension — the artist’s boon and the bane. I dance. Although I am absorbed majorly with the activity of dancing, I will be referring to it, whatever it is from now on, as ‘her’ — love of my life, only for selfish reasons.
In my opinion, it is the same thing when an instrumentalist makes music and when I make one symbolically. Although the rational mind gets into the ‘cause and effect’ problems of it when someone enjoys watching a dance they are fooled by it, to an extent. They believe in the orchestration in a subliminal way.Also, if we take a good look, the rational mind does believe in the cause and effect relationship of an instrumentalist and not in the symbolic orchestration. The music produced by an instrumentalist belongs to him no more than it belongs to the air that carries the sound or even the instrument itself. When I dance, the music does not belong to me, the air, or the creator of it — it belongs to everyone. In a way, like an instrumentalist, I am a creator of music too. Forgive me if I take this act of stating and justifying my opinions about her a tad too far for I am in love.
Our relationship, which is what one colloquially would refer to as an ‘on-off’ one, is four years old. It has been intense in both ways — when she was around and when she was not. I do not know if everyone find her, their ‘her’, so elusive but I do. I have lost her so many times. I have stood on the same stage, where I amassed almost all of my fame and name as a dancer, and I have gone catatonic even when the music was jarring in my ears. I have stood there petrified when only a faint image, an idea, or a conception of what she used to be for me seem to be dangling before me. In those times, I lose her. I do not even know, completely, what I mean by that. It is not the same thing as losing something because of the lack of practice. It is more than just fat-built or emaciated muscles and the apparent loss of control of body. It is much more horrible, much more frightening, than that.
There is always a certain amount of ‘losing myself’ when I dance, when I be with her. It applies to many, people lose themselves every day when they are doing something that they are very passionate about. Psychologists and some spiritual leaders call it a ‘sub-conscious act’; Artists and even few leadership journals call it ‘the flow state’; a neuro-scientist would just name it the ‘transient hypofrontality’ or would look at someone and say, “you are shutting down your lateral pre-frontal cortex of your brain, which is responsible for self-editing, when you get into that state.” All these apart, I think it is enough, and easy, to say that one loses himself. It is where my problem lies in, in the fact that I couldn’t lose myself anymore when I dance. It is how I lost her many times. I stand there thinking, just thinking, about the beauty of the music, about the thoughts of people who watch me so closely thinking and expecting a white rabbit out of my hat every single moment, about the empty space between the audience that deeply stares at me without encouraging or even yelling at me, about the small pauses between the music that gives me a confusion by hinting an ending and a beginning at the same time, about doing nothing, about thinking, about this vivid sense of consciousness that is left in me when I most repelled it, and about the pain, the pain of separation.
I have changed; I am not the same person who started dancing in the second year of my under graduate college, fervently, anymore. I have, along with and probably by dancing, went on to search other things, to explore, in an all-encompassing intellectual journey accompanied by the muttering of stupid cliched sayings like “Acquisition of knowledge is what that is important in my life.” Although one would easily get the picture, only to make things clear, I have become more psychotic than I used to be. I have changed and keep changing; and like conventional relationships, it is the reason for our ‘break-ups’ — sad and funny.
I do not want to think all the time; I just want to dance when I want to. I just want to stop thinking when I want to which is a little too much to ask, apparently.I want to surrender myself to her. I want to make symbols with her, with the sleight of my hands, with the fluctuating movements of my tiny eyes, with my rocks, grooves, hops, pops, and locks, which can mean so many different things to so many different people — I am majorly a hip-hop dancer. I have gotten her back sometimes and it is a beautiful feeling. She has been many things to me — a fling, a one-night stand, a retrospective love, and a proper long relationship too. I do not know where to draw the line. I think I have her with me now and I might lose her again. I will get her back, or at least, I won’t stop trying to get her back. Without her, without dancing, I am ‘symbol-free’; I mean nothing to me.
I feel weird as I almost finish one of the intense monologues that I ever had. Is it okay to personify it? Isn’t the act of personifying itself quite weird? Who is she anyways? Is she, the music that I dance to? Is moving to the music, her? Or is she just me? Which part of this deeply intricate phenomenon is her, with whom I am in love? When someone makes you think so much, you almost inadvertently fall in love with them. I have fallen before; I will fall in the future. Defining something is not always, if not right, the best thing to do. She is all of it — the candid movements, the rhythmic sound, and most importantly, me. While I usually spend so much time and effort just to define who ‘she’ is, she, seamlessly,ends up defining who I really and clearly am- a psychotic in love.