Art, Love, Suicide and More

Have you ever played a game of ‘this or that’ wherein someone asked you to choose either ‘love’ or ‘sex‘ ? Have you ever hated a work of art because it’s almost perfect ? Have you ever realised commiting suicide is not a punishable offence but attempting it and failing is ?

I feel it’s important, not just okay, to fall sick. The human body deserves res(pec)t. The eyes don’t have to look at a computer screen, the ears don’t have to listen to someone with a peculiar accent and an even more peculiar problem, the nose can be allowed to smell and the tongue can be allowed to spell fragrance and the feet can stop participating in the well-worn threesome with shoes and socks. How unjust we are to our brittle and balsy bodies ! We put trash in and call it food, we catalyse hormonal imbalance and call it love and we rip its soul-mate, which is the soul itself, off and call it death !

A sick day also begets an intense indulgence in retrospection. The hitherto unrecognized moments of life start to unfold like a sequence of shots stitched together to make one spectacularly histrionic scene. Every decision ever taken is questioned ; every mistake ever made is forgiven ; every compliment ever received is relived ; every woman I have ever fallen in love with smiles sheepishly and says, “I like you but ..” !

That takes me back to the very beginning of this piece, courtesy my relentless fetish for non-linear narrative. Well, how can one choose between love and sex ? It’s like ‘motherhood‘ and ‘breastfeeding‘ – the former is an emotion while the latter is a process(not the only one) driven by it. Both the emotions in scope here are universal and non-controversial and so the parallel makes a beautiful sense. However, the two processes, although fundamental and essential, are not what we, the men and the mammals, talk over a cup of coffee.

Coming back to love, the phrase ‘falling in love’ has always fascinated me ! You don’t create love because it’s already there. You don’t need to reach it because it’s neither tangible nor too far away. You would rather ‘fall’ in it, because you are in its vicinity all the time trying to hold on to your roles and responsibilities and it’s just a matter of time that you cut loose and let the river of hormones be flooded like never before !

Love defies perfection in style with elegance and lot more. Art does it too. That is exactly why a perfectly executed work of artistry causes an uncharacteristic repulsion. Man and man-made stuff are special only till their strong suits are bespangled with their petty flaws. A great song is not one wherein the musicians hit all the notes to the T; it’s the one that orchestrates a marriage of accuracy and waywardness in the most dramatic fashion !

That leaves us with the final question. Why is attempting suicide an unlawful and blameworthy act ? When a person is expected to live absolutely on their own terms, why can’t they decide when to go the way of all flesh ? It’s not necessary that a question always needs an answer. Sometimes, a question just needs to be asked and that’s it. Lets consider this as one such struggling query that is asked and, thus, liberated !

Art, Love, Suicide and More

Happy Birthday, Virat Kohli !

When I started watching cricket, in 2003, there were two cricketers whose names were always pronounced with utmost awe and respect. One was Brian Lara and the other was Sachin Tendulkar. Although I had the privilege of watching Sachin for good 10 years since then, I still regret the fact that I missed his prime – the late 90s – wherein he was an absolute freak. With Lara, I was even more unfortunate as he retired in 2007.

After 16 years, I can finally assert, with pride and gumption, that I have witnessed a batting superstar during his heydays. I have followed an incredible journey(that is far from over) right from the very beginning. I have watched Virat Kohli bat with my naked eyes and that is a story I can pass on to generations !

Most of us, for one reason or the other, are drawn more to ‘attitude‘ than ‘aptitude‘. We like Rahul Dravid more for his dignified behavior than for his flick through mid-wicket. We don’t talk about MS Dhoni the batsman as much as MS Dhoni the captain. I had never bought into this. As long as a player acts within the rules of the sport, all that matters to me is his performance. And process. If he also turns out to be a nice guy, well, so be it !

That’s why I would like less of ‘Passion’ and ‘Commitment’ in this piece. That’s why I don’t care if he is seemingly ‘arrogant’. I mean, there is so much to talk about his batsmanship. Michael Clarke, former Australian captain, once said, “Don’t look at Virat when he is scoring boundaries. Look what he does when he is not scoring them.” The number of 1s and 2s he would end up with by the time he retires from limited-overs cricket, and his dot-ball percentage, will be sufficient to indicate why he is the best of his generation or, may be, of all times.

For someone with a fetish for 5-day games, the importance he gives to Test cricket is liberating. Isn’t it ridiculous that he is ranked No.2 in the world, only behind an otherworldly Steve Smith, yet it is probably his weakest format ? The phrase ‘Test cricket is dying’ is not as demoralizing as it looks when people like him are ready to wear whites, bat for hours and make the difference !

The guy has flair. The guy has class. The guy is amazingly talented. The guy works hard like the sun will never rise. The guy doesn’t shy away from imposing his figure on the biggest stages. The guy is at the peak of his powers. The guy is Virat ‘King’ Kohli !

Happy birthday, Virat Kohli ! There is so much noise around your cover drive. Please put them to rest as your bottom-hand whip is the shot of the decade !

Happy Birthday, Virat Kohli !