Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poetics of Depression and Asthma as a Trope

I don't know how long I have been living with the things like depression, asthma and poetry. All the three erupted with puberty I think. My poetry is poetry of a depressed man, an asthmatic and hence depressed and asthmatic in its own imaginative way.My poetics are the poetics of depression and my tropes are the tropes of suffocation.
I pressed the panic button when asthma went completely out of hand after October 2006 and I started thinking seriously about some alternative therapy like Pranayama, Ayurveda or something equally exotic. Actually I had lost faith in all these things long time back after trying them. But then I thought lets give them one more chance.
I even consulted a counceller and a psychotherapist. From past month or two I am on anti-depressants.It seemed that they were working but after a recent bout of asthma a week back, the things are bad. I feel so low that I dont feel like going out or even leaving my bed. I just want to be alone and probably I have not cried to my heart's content. And what's more, I don't feel like writing too. Which is really bad. Poetry helped me to survive and if I lose it, I don't know what to do and where to go.
The contemporary Marathi poetry scenario is quite dispiriting too. I feel hopeless after looking and participating in various so called `debates' and `controversies' over contemporary Marathi poetry. People's views about poetry areso so crude and simplistic that it has become impossible to reason with them. I feel I should not have started writing criticism in the first place and I feel I should not have got so involved with my contemporaries so much. They are bad influences on your creativity at times.
Yes. I have to write with absolutely no expectation of recognition or even a sensible response. I have to live with these things and get used to them, I think. The real test for any artist, and I hold that poet is an artist, is to live without any recognition, after all what else does any artist hope for in her or his life? To write with perfect hopelessless, thats the test of your integrity as a poet and appearing for this exam. If I clear this exam, I am a very good poet indeed.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Asthma Bakhar?

My Yahoo360 Blog is turning into my online Asthma diary and that is rather unfortunate. My last entry says that asthma is on decline. But after five months, I can only say that it is still very much alive and kicking. I had three severe attacks in the last six months and many more minor ones.

On the fourteenth of this month, I had to be given steriods injection and a Deriphylin injection. Plus, the nebulizer. O it is terrible, if this is the state of affairs at the age of 34, who knows what is in store for me?

Rather strong medications have made me very restless. I have all these tremors and palpitations, courtesy Bricanyl and Asthalin and I have frequent urination and uneasiness courtesy god knows what.

All these papers to assess, papers to be set and social and anti social commitments to be honoured. Well I am definately stressed and distressed.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Of `Crowding' and `Purgation'

One of the very senior poet-friends of mine said to me the other day that as his mind was excessively crowded and overburdened due to his family life and social commitments, he watched `blue films' and drunk alcohol in order to relieve himself. I dont know if this remedy is the most effective one for the phenomenon he termed as `crowding'. However, this phenomenon is a real one for writers, especially in India, where one's social, occupational and familial life is cut off from one's creative life. I am undergoing `crowding' myself these days and in fact that my life is so crowded that I cannot even try out my friend's remedies.
For a writer, especially a poet, his solitude, the quality time he or she spends with oneself is precious as it is a source of his or her creative drives. Social obligations, occupational duties and family responsibilities swarm one's consciousness to such an extent that one cannot get in touch with oneself.
If you are a writer, you are using your own consciousness as your material and so your self is one of the chief instruments, the most important `means' to an end, namely the artistic creation. You cannot remain in the chaos of social life and get in touch with your source, you have to opt for the solitude. If India is anything it is this`crowding' of our life, thanks to population explosion and the looney bin of values we term as `Indian culture'. If you are an Indian, you are already crazy, and you cant escape this madhouse. If you run away from India, you will carry her within you.
If art is one of the ways we impose or extract order out of this chaos, no wonder art is thriving in our country. And if it is being overlooked, you are not surprised why.