8/30/20

The Creaking Chair - Part XXIII

 



04th April 1991

There was a time in my early thirties when I was a rolling stone
stumbling from one gig to another 
like I had only a day to live and I had to achieve all that I could in that day 
and yet I had not reached a stage where I was mastering all that I was doing
or anyway close to it for that matter
It was a race in my head that I was running more than anything else

That was the time when I was writing a lot
so many authors had said that write as much as you can when you are young,
you would thank yourself later 
so I was following the route of quantity 
I set targets for myself and in that rut my focus wavered from the depth of what was penned down
I should have spent more time to let the poetry settle in my head
before it even had the far-fetched chance to settle on a piece of paper 
so most of the work from that time was uncooked; 
but at least there was quantity for me to prune later

I was also dabbling with my musical instincts 
restarted teaching myself guitar over the weekends through an online course (never works !)
Last time I had started learning guitar, it was more out of peer pressure
It was the cool thing to do, I had a group that played guitar and I was gullible 
Hence the classes were more of a drag and the drudgery of practice was too mundane for my liking
I was young and wanted results fast – so jumped from one teen player to another
for quick lessons and chords that could be easily memorized 
but this time I wanted to soak in the process – go slow – go through the drag 
but all in a day’s work ! Regular practice without any show off moves was still too painful for me

Back in my graduation days, I used to take classes for others on Robotics
and I wanted to get back to robotics and programming
that was the hip thing – if you have watched any sci-fi American series 
there was that one guy who could hack through any computer, break any cipher or make any gadget
I wanted to be that cool guy (too)
so I started with my pet project of an automated personal assistant 
and guess what I named it – Jarvis
I had to set up my own server, create my own home automation tools 
and have my own voice controlled responsive assistant

And then there were the other minor gigs 
Sketching – because when I was a kid, I used to like that art of expression and I had a few decent strokes I could strike, never really learnt it with rigor though 
Singing – There was this ever looming pet project with 3 friends of mine (all separately) where I had to start an online channel or create a movie where I would give voice over
Language – I started learning French thrice ! and I had wanted to be conversationally verse in Spanish & Mandarin as well, while I wanted to be able to read Sanskrit 
And then there were a couple of other side gigs I wanted to do work wise

So you would think I had my hands full, driven to make the most of my life 
turns out I was more scared than I was driven 
I was scared of the number 30
and I was scared that I had crossed that dreaded no of years of my life
and I may not even have started on the journey of what I can and must do 
that fear was driving me like a maniac in every direction
to search and look for that one source of inspiration that would put me on the right track
Some of these activities were a defense mechanism to know that I am actively doing ‘something’

And now that I look back
I was not completely wrong in the way I looked at life
that fear drove me to experiment and try new stuff
it made me hungry to learn and never settle 
to go to new places, to meet new people, to do something new each day (or at least try)
but it also makes me realize now, I was running shallow
first the fact that I was running – I had to slow down 
and enjoy the art I was trying to explore rather than do this too while thinking of the next gig
and second, I was dipping my fingers too thin into each of my attempts 
the fact that I had too many options I was trying, meant I was not afraid to fall 
and I was not driven enough to be devastated if I did not deliver the best masterpiece 
so I was always “Just there” but never “Wow, I have arrived”

In hindsight it all makes sense 
but I wish someone was there to tell me to slow down 
life will pass you however hard you try to stop it 
the only way to live life is to stop by and soak the sunshine 
and get drenched in rain on a windy day 
then use the memory of those moments to inspire your art (slowly while enjoying the process)!

~Ashk

P.S. – I ended up learning a mouth organ and playing a guitar is still not my best traits 

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