Dissociation will come first. Then, the dissent!
How much do we yearn for our own kind? Here, I talk about those, who not only agree with our plane of thoughts but also, disagree with us on some terms without malice, in the process accepting that there are 10 sides to a decagon, with each side facing a different direction. It is rare, I tell you. It is just rare. Now, I know why pagans that lived in the earlier ages felt superior to mere humans. It is because mere humans succumb to the fear of scrutiny. The need to not only look good but better than others, the need to feel appreciated and, the desire to rule people’s hearts and minds silences the very voice from within – “Is it even required in the first place?”
And then, there are those who do not fear dissociation and dissent. And, very few, mind well, the genuine few make a humongous difference without making much noise. No one comes to know about them. And yet, their actions walk miles and miles, cross continents and oceans and yet, they choose to remain nameless and faceless. Their names may stay hidden. But, not their actions.
Carrots make us rabbits.
And, it pops a question – “Why we do what we do?”. Sharing anecdotes, snippets from our lives and, whatever we do that we do becomes a platter of delectable discussions, debates, appreciations and criticism on social media? Apparently, I realized a little before a couple of weeks, how drawn I was towards sharing my posts on social media, the handsome villain I continue to flirt with. I shared one, even today. But in the past, I was on a spree. The simple joys in parenting, the challenges that made the journey bumpy, the mistakes made and learned, the art of parenting and, blogging about the countless blessings were some of my pet preach topics. Too much of positive vibes? No negatives? Well, let’s say the world is a sad place already. Let me not add my share to it. So, I love to write mostly about happy things. (I blog about the otherwise too. But you need to find which ;)).
And, I will continue to. Why? Well, writing on the virtual space brings me a sense of acknowledgement that some people out there relate a little bit with my head space which is often in spirals, just like my intangible curls! A few years back, when I was just new to blogging, I had set some high aims on the blogging aspect. I wanted an audience. Human nature after all. Appreciation is that carrot we all rabbits gleefully run after! I did, too. I got featured on Smart Indian Women. And then, WomensWeb gave me a bigger platform to express. Parentous featured my post in their Parenting Decoded manual. I won a couple of blogadda contests and won two beautiful shades of Miami Blue sunglasses! It felt good. It really felt good. And now, after almost a decade of blogging, in which an earlier chunk of years were spent in gaining visibility, now I purely desire to do it with the intent to connect with a few select ones. The ones I talk about are those who read without assumptions. I believe there are so many dimensions and planes when it comes to thoughts. What if those planes intersected at points that could be touched only by few. Won’t it be a great feeling to meet those who catch what you throw without a miss?
The said people could be from anywhere…. some adrenalin pumped solo female tourist sitting in a tapas bar of Spain thinking about seeing Aurora Borealis in the higher latitudes some day, or maybe a woman sitting and knitting a sweater for her unborn in a shack in Mexico, thinking about the taco food truck she wanted to start, or some teenager in Sweden who feels out of place like Lizbeth Salander, the most beautiful character created by Stieg Larsson (rip) (Will I find them in my own country? Maybe. I am incurably optimistic about it.
Disconnect to connect is what makes a connection
A string of unconnected thoughts made me start this series – Disconnect to connect. And somewhere, it made me question the need for a connection. A connection between people doesn’t happen because one expects the other to be of help at some time in their lives. Connections that grow on obligations are not connections. They are bondage. Thoughts of dissent cannot be expressed freely in such a crowd. Rather, dissent would be sacrilege! There cannot be a voice that sings differently. Is that a connection? I don’t know.
But do connections between people happen despite them being in different zone of thoughts and actions? Maybe. Maybe, it happens rarely. It happens when a set of people not only believe in their thoughts but also in their course of action regardless of the fact that difference of opinions cannot affect their intent. Does that connection seem visible anywhere? In a family, that is next to impossible. After all, one is so tied with expectations from family, society and the extended network of friends that, even if one’s thoughts were to be radically opposite to the other, silence or resignation happen to be the only two ways to choose from. Why? Who wants a war over ‘trivial’ issues? There is already a boatload of reasons to instigate one against the other.
If you probably disagreed with your group of friends over an issue and, expressed your fundamentally opposite thoughts in a civilized manner, a few friends will still take offence. (The world is so antagonizing) Even if one friend goes manic over your opinion, you clearly get the cue – “Ok! This was enough to make him or her against me.” It is not a very comforting feeling. However, when it comes to family, you still take things in your stride. After all, blood is thicker than water. Right? Right? Maybe.
I have stopped putting forth deep seated questions. Because, most of the answers shall be what I may have expected already. Questions that are predictably misunderstood cannot have the right answers. And some shall advise on the importance of acceptance of the world, “the world is like that. Life is like that” and, that my questions are a mere rhetorical. Is it?
For someone who has battled myasthenia gravis and, had almost walked a tight rope for two months in the hospital, with a two year old son then, husband and parents witnessing the life in me hanging by a cliff, acceptance need not be explained. Of all people, I know what it means. If I may add, my own near death experience has taught me to accept people for who and what they are. But, acceptance is not one answer to the many questions out there. It is important. However, seeking answers is important too.
I am sure, there are a few select people who can perhaps understand my abstract questions about the lesser known, questions considered taboo, questions that are not only misunderstood but also, damned….and so much more….And, I know those answers cannot be found on social media. I don’t seek answers in books. I seek answers from people. The keepers of those answers after all, are the ones who have knowledge to give, and the wisdom to know who to give. I wonder if I will ever meet such a breed. To sit among people who discuss civilizations and Nature, about seasons, stars and planets, about languages that are on brink of extinction and so much more…To even sit in such a sisterhood where, the camaraderie flows like a river with every tributary given its space to dance around is, indeed a gift from the Gods that I can only dream of (a wishful dream like that makes me a greedy woman don’t it?)
The more I think about meeting such people, especially women of class and few words, the more detached I feel from the crowd. One could say, I now associate with people only in certain phases and, not as a whole. They are not connections. They are mere stations that I am crossing. I may or, may not remember them later. But, there are those very very few (I can count them on my fingers) who I know, will understand my interests, my words and, my actions. They are keepers. Always.
Too many energies distort the thoughts
And, that brings me to the core – “Why does a crowd make me feel miserable?” I have pet peeved the crowd for a long long time. But, I cannot quite remember the exact time in my life when my repulsion for crowd began. Being a part of social functions like marriages, parties and night outs or even groups on social media drains me. Initially, it does feel good. Gradually, the crowd wears me out. And, I feel drained even though my tummy may be full of delicious food.
I might sound very rude when I say that I exited my school group on whatsapp twice (I was added back twice before I went vocal about my refusal) and people wouldn’t understand why. When I explained that I don’t check whatsApp regularly and that, I have nothing to contribute, it did not make sense to people. But, school friends are gems. They understand that there is a whacko hidden in every child! But, can it be done for whatsApp groups among relatives? I cannot become a stone. So, I am a mute audience here. The only thing that has kept me a part of these groups is that, I get to know the birthdays and anniversaries of people. Besides, I have this annoying habit of not remembering important dates. It is not that I am unable to remember. I just don’t feel like treating them important. Considering that my husband has a similar amnesia regarding dates, I have stopped beating myself about it. But that said, I don’t forget to thank God everyday for the good things in life, especially for the second lease of life I got in 2013. Thank you’s, I believe are important, very important!
The point of dissociation
So, what draws me away from crowd? Is it the noise? Is it the actions of people? Is it the rules laid by a society formed by “I don’t know who”. (A woman never had any say in the making, I believe) Is it the discussions over mundane subjects? I do not understand propaganda. I do not reason with proofs for intent. I do not want to be a part of anything that forms a clique. That brings me to my next huge disappointment I have with the world. Cliques! I don’t fit in them. I detest them. I abhor them. Cliques destroy childhood. They destroy everything good. Cliques are what make humans weak, vulnerable, evil and reprehensible! It is these cliques that exposed me to the banal truth on how a woman can be mean to her own tribe and, how calling a spade a spade becomes more difficult than drinking water. I have exited groups because such group conversations made me burn. Visit some place in real or in the virtual world and, there is always some woman whose dignity is being torn to shreds even if she were a witch. Sometimes, the environment is negative. And, sustaining in a toxic environment created by women is like a closed room. You only meet four walls wherever you turn to. I have been pulled into such rooms of gloom too, where the walls close on you…. And, I have no qualms about admitting that I too have dissed women who have, at some point made me feel miserable, given their authority. But off late, something changed for me. There was this quote that used to pop on my timeline quite often. I don’t remember it but it meant something like this –
Try to understand why people are the way they are rather than, trying to fight the misleading arrogance with a misguided anger.
And, the recurrence of this quote felt like a sign.
So, I am not aware of the potholes and puddles ahead. I am also not aware of the pastures to be walked and the mountains to be climbed either. But, I am aware of the connection I have with myself now. I have my choices intact.
Choice to ignore what drains me
Choice to fight the odds
Choice to be content in my space
Choice to be silent when the urge to retort feels like the itch on a healing wound.
Choice to read what I feel like and, leave what I don’t want to…
And, that is the best part. There is peace.
That said, I am still a wanderer with a thirst for a sisterhood where ‘the camaraderie flows like a river with every tributary given its space to course…’
Dear Will-o’-the-wisp….Will I ever find my tribe?