Thursday, September 18, 2008

Carnival of Rust

“Everyone is not as strong as you are, Anu.”

My best friend said this to me two years ago when I was at a very low point in life. At the time, it had felt like a slap in the face from the tone he had assumed. It had felt as if he were trying to imply that being strong was bad. Two years later, I realize it is.

It is not the weak ones that people hurt. They think a million times before doing unfavourable things to these people because they are not sure how it will be received and in the heart of hearts none of us wants to be responsible for anyone else’s misery. So the softies, the whiners, the cry-babies always have it easier.

It is the strong ones that bear the brunt. Primarily because I think they have the ability to bear the pain. Have you ever seen a donkey being used to haul tree trunks? That kind of work is always reserved for the elephants…because only they can handle it. It is a fair distribution of load based on who can take how much.

So all the eccentrics and the eccentricities of life fall in the share of the strong ones. Because only they can handle it. They have the ability to make a sacrifice and live with it. They also have the ability to speak for themselves at the risk of appearing arrogant & bull-headed and live with that too. They have the ability to go through a great deal of pain before it starts to break their spirit and hence they get all the dirt life can throw. It is almost a punishment for being strong.

“I have known you as very strong, lady”.

When these words were uttered to me, the hope was that my regression to life as I had known it earlier will be handled well. After all, I was strong. So, because one is strong, people will say the nastiest things and know that you will just buy band-aid for your heart and carry on, they will make living hell out of your life and hope that you will stick around because your strength of material is high, or they will just walk out on you and not even look back because they are certain that you will survive even that. You are, after all, strong.

Sometimes we call such people the iron men, the iron women. The ones whose spirits are unbreakable. The ones who believe in the eternal goodness of life and people even after meeting embodiments of exceptions. The ones whose will is so strong that life has to engage in a duel to see who breaks first. It is not that life does not pull them down. But they never stay there. They resurface with vengeance. And the combat continues…

I perceive only one problem with being made of iron. The short time when life does overwhelm you and you are down in the dumps is the time when tears flow freely. They cleanse the soul…but they they are not very good for the iron spirit…you see water and iron have never had a good relationship. And that is when the spirit starts to rust. At the edges, around the corners, sometimes at the core…it starts to eat in and make you weak. So that when life makes the next assault you are less capable of bearing it.

Even so, I refuse to let life take me down. I know one day it will be ashes to ashes, dust to dust…rust to rust. But before that happens, I will take this iron spirit, the foremost element of fabrication used to build from weapons to the wheels that keep this world turning, and fabricate what it takes to make a carnival out of my life.

I will make a merry-go-round and spin my dreams on it. I will make a giant wheel for my life…going up and down. I will make a roller coaster for what life has been so far and get dizzy riding the memories…

And even when they are rusting, I will ensure I have the ride of a lifetime everytime I climb any one of those. Even if I die fighting life for getting what I rightfully deserve, I will die having fun. In fact, after one of my favourite song from my favourite band, I think I will call my life...the Carnival of Rust.

8 Thinkers Pondered:

Dhinesh said...

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do.
But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength...
Amazing post Anu!!

Satish said...

As much as i agree with the post, i disagree with the title of the post.

When life throws difficult situations at you, the real mettle in you is shown, where your beliefs, values are tested. I would rather say it would polish the iron and make it shine rather rust it......
Carbon needs to be placed under huge pressure to make it a diamond, else it might turn out to be coal....

Whatever the life throws, i would say "Joie de vivre"

haste haste kat jaye raste, zindagi yuhoon hi chalte rahe......

Anupama Kondayya said...

Hey Dhinesh,

So nice of you to stop by! Thanks for the kind words...yeah, I agree, when everybody almost expects you to break down and you continue to stand strong, I think that exemplifies exceptional strength. Keep visiting :)

Hey Satish!

Yeah the diamond analogy fits right too...but with iron, there are very few ways to protect it...maybe we can add a few more elements of our character and make it into steel...wouldn't that be something!...thanks for the comment :)

Abhi ! said...

Good post Anu ! I have become a regular reader of your blog these days :)

Sowmya said...

Dear Anu,

Just this one post truly makes you my Alter Ego.
Life and people are really harsh to people like us. Although they compliment us for being independant, strong, confident, courageous, they forget to see the softnes beneath the hard shell.

I have always been leant upon but never had a shoulder to lean on even when I badly needed one. They thought "She can take care of herself". When I see the soft ones getting all the attention for a mere headache, skin inflammation, etc... I wish I could project that image of being docile, demure, shy n all that.

Just because we dont take nonsense and call a spade a spade, we are accused of arrogance, headweightedness n what not...

I have spent hours wondering if I did some wrong although I knew I hadn't.

When the brooding is over, I am happy to be who I am...

Anonymous said...

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And NEVER breath a word about your loss;(not even in your blog)

Poornima said...

Hi! Found your blog, especially this post, very discerning. Have to appreciate your style of thinking as well as expression...after all not many blogs display good quality in both.

By the way, linked this post to my blog - something i wanted to write about. Hope you don't mind :-)

Vibhushan said...

Thanks for this post Anupama. I had read this long back when you had posted it and loved it then. And today again as I happen to read it, it helps me realize what actually is the strength that makes one strong in life. I guess, I will more easily now laugh at the funny things life is doing to me, and keep polishing the rust - at edges, at corners and at core. May be a little rust is required to appreciate the shine of a polished surface. Thanks again for this thought.