3.11.07

Talking to myself (On the body part as character)

“Why do you want to write about your back?”

“Because it is as good a character as any.”

“Your back is a character?”

“It can be…”

“You said you have been pretty much laid up…your back then has no role to play.”

“Not all characters come alive, some are bystanders.”

“What was your back watching?”

“It was experiencing my pain.”

“Wasn’t it the cause of it?”

“Yes, so it knew it better than anyone else.”

“How can pain know about pain?”

“Even painkillers do not know about pain, yet we see them as possible cures. The knowing of pain is akin to introspection.”

“That is if you see your back as having a mind.”

“The brain sends it signals, but do you realise if the back is positioned differently it reacts differently to the same signals? Therefore, the back does make choices.”

“No, you do. You position yourself according to the level of comfort you can get.”

“The back is a part of me, perhaps it decides.”

“And what do you do with this character?”

“I treat it with both anger and concern. Sometimes, as I use the heating pad, I let it burn. The skin turns red. It revolts with its own spasms that come every few minutes. At other times I prop it up with pillows and since the pain is right up to the shoulder, I give it a squeeze. I feel it melt beneath my fingers.”

“If you weren’t in pain, would you still think of your back as a character?”

“Perhaps not with as much intensity. But I still would. Every part of oneself is a character. The individual as a whole is a play in herself/himself.”

“Who is the writer?”

“It could be serendipity, it could be destiny, it could be circumstances, it could be history, it could be imagination, it could be an accident of life.”

“That is too many…”

“These characters will certainly not be in search of a writer!”

“What sort of character do you see your back as?”

“Primarily as the sutradhar, the one who connects the threads of other characters and remains in the background but is the spine.”

“Well, that is…umm…obvious…”

“Nothing wrong about the obvious if it is subtle. But to make things interesting I might see the back as Macbeth talking to Banquo’s ghost.”

“Who is the ghost here?”

“Pain. Macbeth imagines Banquo to be there…therefore the pain could be merely haunting him.”

“Can I ask you a simple question now: How is the back?”

“Like Lady Macbeth with a dagger…”

My hands are of your colour; but I shame
To wear a heart so white.

9 comments:

  1. Very interesting.... you have the art of giving voice to the ones who cant voice it.

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  2. I have read some of your Talking to Myself posts and honestly, I don't know what to think of it. They have a weird effect on me.

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  3. FV:

    What is your back?

    A Sutradhaar...

    How is your back?

    Lady Macbeth with a dagger...

    The pain is like the dagger, after the murder (of whom - the initial pain itself and for what gain?)

    And where are the witches who prophesize? Act I, Scene 1; When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or rain?

    18 years have elapsed since I last read Macbeth (prescribed for the exam)....maybe my memory fails me slightly...

    Ce facile ou Très compliqué - I can't decide. Is my understanding limited or your work very hastily composed? Blame Musharraf and BB for it.

    Maybe a painful back with a spine is better than painless back(less) with a spineless. Poor try...aha...

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  4. Manzoor:

    Hmm…makes my back feel like a ‘backward class’ person :-)

    SM:

    I can understand it if you has said “sar ke oopar se chalaa gaya”. What weird effect could they have, my poor thoughts?

    Pune S:

    Hello! I was not doing a take-off on Shakespeare here that I have to bring in the full khandaan. Now, bear with me (you asked for it)…I have written a whole post about the process of such internal monologues, but here…

    Sutradhar = connecting threads, while remaining the spine.

    Macbeth addressing Banquo’s ghost (you left him out) = pain as an idea; idea as illusion.

    Lady Macbeth with a dagger = This is FV taking a potshot at herself and at her back as Macbeth, who had earlier said (off blog stage):

    Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
    Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
    The multitudinous seas in incarnadine,
    Making the green one red.


    Now Lady M responds,

    My hands are of your colour; but I shame
    To wear a heart so white.


    Polarising the bright hues of ‘illusion of pain’ with shaming it into a state of heartlessness. The pain is more real. A dagger is not a ghost. Dd nto get into the allusion here because I felt Lady M with dagger would suffice without belabouring the point.

    More lightly, let me respond to some other points:

    “And where are the witches who prophesize? Act I, Scene 1; When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or rain?”

    A bad back and a threesome?!

    “Ce facile ou Très compliqué - I can't decide. Is my understanding limited or your work very hastily composed? Blame Musharraf and BB for it.”

    Non facile ou compliqué, nuanced juste. All understanding is limited to one’s interpretation or lack of it. Haste is not always waste. I have no one to blame but my Ferrari burning the mental track.

    “Maybe a painful back with a spine is better than painless back(less) with a spineless. Poor try...aha...”

    A try cannot be poor. Not trying is a poor decision. Meanwhile, this spine of mine can handle any pain divine.

    So, stop the whine…

    PS: Seriously, I like the challenge of discourse.

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  5. FV:

    Why should discourse be a challenge? Always combative... and I though I was a fighter?

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  6. nahi nahi.
    sar ke oopar se nahi jaata hai. Sab Bilkul samajh aata hai. Sirf thoda ajeeb lagta hai.

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  7. I find the idea of looking directly at the sun challenging. It isn't being combative but testing myself...perhaps hoping to see the light with stinging eyes.

    Now stop fighting. Currently I qualify as a laidback person!

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  8. My above comment was for PS.

    SM:

    Agar baat samajh mein aaye aur woh ajeeb hai tau sawaal uthta hai ke baat ajeeb hai ya uska samajh mein aana?!

    The strangely familiar or the familiarly strange...

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  9. :)
    See, when I read this post (or anything similar, written by anybody) there's a strange feeling. Like a white vastland. It's....intriguing in a way something familiar would intrigue you if you came across it after a long time and you just couldn't recall it's name.

    Umm..not that I have read what you have written somewhere else.

    well...that's that, I guess.
    My time here is up.

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