Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fare Thee Well (Or, After Reading Larkin Before Breakfast)

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
(from Aubade)

I wish I had a hangover when I read these lines – not at four, but at a healthy six after four hours of sleep. I do not have time to think of death. Each day, I procrastinate and postpone my rebirth. A confirmed anti-social in social networking sites – I love it. A click works faster than cyanide - I can vaporize from the Net into jumbled senseless bytes.

The narcissistic Net! It is freedom for the middle-class – biggest revolution after the all-purpose nightdress; cure for mid-life crisis, release of angst, to forget snail mail to agony aunts and/or editors, to cook up news (damn it, the quizmaster says that it is not North East West South but Naughty Entertainment Woolly Stories) and, of course, to contact old best-forgotten pals and compare visiting cards.

Aubade means “A song or instrumental composition concerning, accompanying, or evoking daybreak.” Or, “A poem or song of or about lovers separating at dawn.”

Enough of that, I flipped the page.

Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(from Annus Mirabilis)

Each generation prays for paradigm shifts! But, it is usually as Yogi Berra said “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Science and technology might have paradigm shifts. But, in human thought? We will not allow Hussain and his naked goddess; fortunately, we did not have to create Ardhanarisvara. It would have offended some manoos and a gutless government would have been ready to ban. After all, for longevity and success, it is better to be “nice people with commonsense”. If you take MBA (hurry, you can still appear for the CAT tomorrow), they will teach you to be that minus ethics. As for me, I vaguely remember Isabel Allende saying in a TED talk “Nice people with commonsense do not make interesting characters – they only make good former spouses.

For those who really long for longevity and success, there are two things to do in life: create a new word and compose a memorable epitaph. Nothing else will remain. Learn from quantum, boojum, defriend, tweet, blog, skype. If the word is really good, you can bring out an IPO. If not, you can always blame your parents with:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
(from This Be The Verse)

I have procrastinated enough for a day. I have a version of the old Hindi song which starts something like “angrezi mein kehta hai ke fare thee well”.

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