I don’t know whether I define my writing or my writing defines me. I don’t know whether we defy each other and create a love that has neither a name nor a number.
I only know that when pen touches paper or the fingers tap on the keyboard, nothing else matters. It has always been like that and it always will be. It is a mercenary sort of way in which to explain one’s work and, in my case, even what I am. There is no competition with the self; it is an act of sado-masochism. In this, where is the scope to be pitted against when you are extending your paw one minute, in a bitch-like Oliver Twist manner, and biting everything from flesh to bone to plastic balls to newspapers the next? I am enemy and I am friend and the lines are blurred. I am mirror and I am glass. I am sword and I am sheath. And I am not one bit apologetic about the use of ‘I’ because when I talk about me I end up taking the onus of everything I say and do. There is no ‘we’ or ‘they’ to buffer me. That they, you, often come along and agree with me, question me, argue with me is the wonderful feeling I get as it takes me to other mirrors, other bones, other swords.
Today, these cogitations have a simple reason. We turned five yesterday. Yes, we. Not the royal we, not the humble we, but just the we who have partaken of this almost 2000 posts, 400 a year, a little more than one a day (not counting the other blogs attached to this one) space at some point in time or the other. I remember everyone; I recognise most of you by your views and your way of putting them across. The anonymous ones, too, soon got identities in my mind.
'Cross Connections' does not figure in any list of Best Blogs from India; heck, it does not even feature among the best jihadi apologist blogs! It does not need to be the best because in its distracted manner, the dissonance creates synergy. I can feel it each time someone anoints me with a label or takes a discussion into far more complex territory than I had envisaged, or feels ‘connected’ with my wayward thoughts or throws their hands up at the obscure nature of a monkey mind. I can feel it when I am told that this is home or when almost every weekend I get a cheerful greeting. I can feel it in the knowledge that those who now do not comment are still there. I know what some of you drink, smoke, what music you listen to, what kind of books you read, where you like to travel and where you pitch your tent. I imagine you yet I know who you are because of who I am; I have been accused of rudeness in my responses occasionally. One reader even sent an email to tell me that he planned to stop reading the blog because I wanted to have the last word.
There are no last words, but I will stand by what I say for not doing so means letting go. I cannot let go of what is a part of me.
This ‘partness’ has given me immense pleasure and my share of pain. The pain of being tainted for what I may have done or, worse, not done. The pain of being dismissed for imbuing rational thought with emotions. The pain of innuendo. The pain of the unwarranted whiplash.
What has been the first sin of ‘attraction’ for some transformed into projected guilt, projected disgust. Here, I shall share an example that hurt me to the core when someone who claimed to be enamoured by my words used those very words to hit back at me. It is not new; I just did not expect the vehemence. A doctor lashed out, “You can write thousands of articles, tens of books, it comes down to nothing. I save lives, you can never do that.”
There have been personal slights but none affected me as much as this. Because I am not every word that I write but my soul is entrenched between the lines. I do not save lives, but no one will die reading me. My hands don’t need to be steady to hold a surgeon’s scalpel. When there is blood on me, it is my own.
In this bloodied state I come to you, perhaps with nothing much except some honesty. There is a bit of hypocrisy when I write against religion and know that I wear a pendant with some verses engraved on it; I know that for all my sexually liberated thoughts, there is a slight conservatism. I am most brave when I am most insecure for that is when I battle the dark.
Thank you for standing by as I light the fire and scald bits of me. It is always a pleasure to be a barbeque meal. All consumption can happen only when something is destroyed at least a little.