I have always been self-conscious. I do not try to curb it, for that would be even more glaringly self-conscious.
I see self-consciousness in two ways:
When I use the ‘I’, it does not act as a barrier – if anything, it lets my thoughts flow more easily. I want to be in it head first and if it hits a wall, then so be it. I don’t think ahead. Foresight may be about thinking ahead, but reality has never been able to follow one’s thoughts.
The ‘I’ is my involvement with whatever it is I do or write. It may seem egotistical, and in some ways it is, but for me it works as eye-contact, or even touch.
And that slight sense of unease that is perhaps perceived does not embarrass me in the least. Perfection is an illusion – I seek it, but never claim to have found it.
Self-consciousness is also about consciousness of the Self. I have gone through several phases of this mystical search. There was a time when I read books only on the subject; I sketched figures that looked lost in thought, or just lost; I spent hours talking about abstract things.
I have not rid myself completely of that, and I do not wish to.
One never looks for the wind; it is invisible. But it sustains us; so also have my mystical leanings. I need the abstract, even the obtuse, to help me breathe. I do not wish to catch the air…just feel it.
It rarely results in anyone understanding you, and it is a lonely journey.
- - -
Nikalte they kahaan jaane ke liye, pahunche hai kahaan maalum nahin
Ab apne bhatakte qadmoun ko, manzil ka nishaan maalum nahin
Barbaad wafa ka afsaana hum kis se kahein aur kaise kahein
Khaamosh hain lab aur duniya ko, ashkon ki zubaan maalum nahin
Dil shola-e-Gham se Khaak hue ya aag lagi armaanon mein
Kya cheez jali kyun seene se, uthta hai dhuaan maalum nahin
Humne bhi kabhi is gulshan ek khwaab-e-bahaaran dekha tha
Kab phool jhare, kab gard udi, kab aaee khizaan maalum nahin