Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rendezvous On Page 2

It isn’t often in life that one gets to meet oneself. And I don’t mean in the mirror. Outside of oneself. Even if it is in fiction. It is one of life’s many possibilities laid out for one to see. It is a life lived even before it begins. It’s a rendezvous of sorts.

I think the first time I met myself must have been in a conversation. It must have had me exclaim, “That’s so me!” I remember the last few times when I said this. While speaking to a woman who was reminiscing about her mother on a rickety bus to Hampi. While talking to a colleague at work…she was leaving the organization and I had just realized that the same mould would have been used in the factory up there to create us. What a loss at not being able to get to know her better. To know what ELSE life could have been.

Then I saw myself on screen in Wake Up Sid (yes, people who have read Revisting Aisha are allowed to roll their eyes : ) ). I know it’s silly but at some points in the movie it were as if someone had seen me in my daily routine and written Aisha out. It was a weird feeling to resemble someone’s idea of a character in entirety. Someone had thought me out. And put her on screen.

The little notebook was there. The walk in the night. There were the white curtains. There were the beloved books that arrived in the cardboard box, the old teddy bear. There was even the Lonely Planet India edition. The immaculate kitchen counter. There was the writer in her. It was me out there. And I saw a life being played out on screen. That could be my life. And given how much I liked Wake Up Sid (not just because I was in there, I genuinely think it’s a sweet little film) that is a nice thought.

I met bits of myself again in Kari. Some parts of her that I could relate to. And then I picked up My Friend Sancho, a book I had not picked up despite wanting to for a long while. So what made me pick it up after all that time? This bit from Sepia Mutiny I saw myself in there. I read the book and saw one of the lives I could have lived as a guy. 

And then I ran into myself full force in Eat Pray Love (the book). Just the first few pages into the book…in fact I think it was on page 2. It is unsettling how much of the book and the author I could relate to. I found myself saying over and over, “I know what you mean. That is me.” Not absolutely all of her. But a lot of her. 

I came back from the book feeling like I had talked to a friend who had known me for years and knew just what to say to me at this point in life. It was a parallel universe in there. I could have gotten that hurt. I could have been that lonely. I may even have gone halfway there. And it is good to know someone somewhere has felt that way already and knows how to deal with it. With life. 

These chance encounters have always left me a little amused, a little shaken (at the ease with which someone can cook me up…I must be pretty ordinary) and almost exhausted at having lived an episode from another life. But they have also taught me lessons. Even if it is in fiction. Much like a flight simulator. Simulating possibilities for this crazy life. And I’m ready to take flight…

Maybe I'll tangle in the power lines
And it might be over in a second's time
But I'll gladly go down in a flame
If the flame's what it takes to remember my name

Someday I’ll fly, Someday I’ll soar
Someday I’ll be so damn much more 
'Coz I’m bigger than my body gives me credit for.

-John Mayer

5 Thinkers Pondered:

Nirupama said...

Loved reading it :) It feels so good to see yourself in others or even relate to them :) It's just a good feeling, don't know why! Na?

Keep writing! :)

Priya Iyer said...

Lovely post!! Can so relate to what you're saying. I have felt that SO many times too, in other people, in movies, in books. I could feel like The Bridges Of Madison County was my story.. :) That's why I love the book SO much..

It was in one of these moods that I penned this:


PS: Back to your blog after a LONG time..

Sujatha K said...

Isnt that boring? Not one or two, but so many people are living the same life as yours! No uniqueness of being yourself in this world. It may be fun for a moment to have this filmy life, but will take all the enthusiasm out of living.

Also would you go ahead and want align your future to that of these characters that you find are like you?

Tigerstone said...

Choosing the ignore every reference to 'wake up Sid'.

The author I can relate to was RK Narayan. Most gets it bang on most often than not.

Holden Caufield from the 'Catcher in the Rye' is another, but then I pretend not to be so pissed off :)

Today, I was in the mood to piss somebody off and God gifted me a Russian. Eid Mubarak!

Eveline said...

The Ann Brashares novel 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' was one of the more unique books I'd read in a long time. I strongly recommended picking it up. You're bound to find yourself in one of those four girls. It's sequels, is almost - but not quite - as strong as its predecessor.
Regardless, it's still far more unique with more style and substance than the majority of the sisterhood or BFF books on the market.
Promised myself that I wouldn't watch the movie 'Eat Pray Love' until I read the book first and I can't wait to get my hands on it.