Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Labyrinth

I’ve been doing a lot of reading over the last couple of days… when outside of home, at work, wherever and whenever I can steal a few minutes; I am hooked to Wilbur Smith. What a fascinating story he has to tell. While his plot is gripping and the language simple, what amazes me is his attention to detail, the amount of research that has gone into brining out 500 pages of pure pleasure. I was introduced to Wilbur Smith over a year and half ago, even bought a book since it came highly recommended, but finally got down to reading it only about 6 months ago… ever since, I’ve never missed an opportunity to read something he’s written. The newest read is called ‘The Sunbird’, while archeology and history are not my piece of cake; I haven’t been able to take my mind off this book.

Alongside, when I am at home, I am reading ‘Siddhartha’, by Herman Hesse. A fantastic story told ever so simply. A profound truth presented unpretentiously, the reader cannot but be mesmerized. I got this book as a gift when I cleared my class 10 board exams, and have read and re-read it many times. Each time, it opens a new door of understanding, throws some more light on the unexplored mystery of life and makes the re-read such a pleasure. I stand with Siddhartha all night while he awaits his father’s permission to leave home, become a samana, watch him become a merchant; almost dive into the river with him… that’s the magic of Herman Hesse. You won’t just read the book, you’ll actually live it.

And then, there’s a lot of random reading that happens every day- the newspaper, the sign boards on the road, a million emails, facebook status messages, tweets… this that and the other. It’s a little wonder then that this little mind, which has an amazing ability to expand and imbibe, can get a little confused while filing. I saw this confusion so clearly the other night…

I had my fill of bhujia as I voraciously devoured the delights of being a rich, merchant (Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse). It was nearing mid night when I finally clicked the lampshade off. The monotonous drone of the air conditioning and the weariness of a day’s work shepherded me into sleep’s arms. That’s when the mind went into action- it needed to sort out the information overloaded upon it. It is now that I saw distinctly a web, a maze, a myriad labyrinth of thoughts, actions, information, and words criss-crossing and making their way into filing cabinets. It almost seemed like the over whelming and menacing traffic of Hyderabad, just that this was a wee bit more organized. Even as I was watching this activity inside of me, I flew far away from the arms of deep sleep and landed dreamland. This time, however, the dreams were crazy, painted in different hues, made no sense whatsoever and only succeeded in getting me more confused.  
I’ve staunchly believed that creativity and a fertile imagination arise from a mind that is exposed to so many more experiences, which imbibe’ s so much more information. I supposed that originality and imagination sprang from the labyrinth of encounters and thoughts that we caressed inside our minds. Until, I heard the Wise One say that, “Deep silence is the mother of creativity. No creativity can come out of one who is too busy, worried, over-ambitious or lethargic. Balanced activity, rest and yoga can kindle skills and creativity in you.” And then, suddenly, I awoke. The dream lay scattered like ill-fitting pieces of a jigsaw. I pondered on this, can something come from silence, can the best words arise from a depth unknown to us, and can communication happen in silence? Thoughts didn’t help in this case and I decided to give it a shot.

For over a week, every day and every night, I decided to empty myself of all experiences, thoughts, encounters and feelings. Each day, I felt lighter, more at ease and less confused. Dreamland wasn’t as disturbing and there seemed a dazzling clarity in my thought. Later, when I sat to write, the words seem to flow effortlessly and from some mysterious depth within me. Yes, the numerous expereinces help, but not in an unprocessed state. I realized this while my fingers flew on the keyboard and produced something that I am myself amazed... What I wrote, is for another time… but presently, I would urge all of you to give this a shot- meditate and sit back while you soak in the spring of creativity that unleashes itself from within you...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010