Thoughts and other trivia...

Monday, March 20, 2006

By any reckoning, my life is in a mess at the moment. It’s almost as bad now as it was about two and a half years ago. I wouldn’t go so far as to compare it with the worst time in my life because, as much as I can help it, I’m not going to be in a broken relationship again...because, as much as I can help it, I won’t be in a serious relationship again. But, I digress…

I just got off a long distance phone call with a friend, who said to me, with a hint of admiration that she never fails to confess to feel, that “...at least, you have a purpose in life. Not many people can say that about themselves, you know...” I can’t argue with either the truth in the statement or the fact that more than one person has said this to me on more than one occasion. But I did laugh at her statement, as I have laughed on all those occasions when similar things were said to me. Because, as I said to her, it’s no good having a purpose if you’re not able to do anything with, or about, it. It’s no good if you’ve had a purpose for as long as I’ve had and if you’ve been able to do as little as I have...which, truth be told, amounts to nothing.

There’re two parts to my professional life. One I’m in the process of giving up and will be done with it at the end of the month or thereabouts, maybe early next month, by when that cricket book should be out. The second part of my life tried to give up on me but the shameless so-and-so that I am, I hung on by the skin of my teeth. Hard to say whether the effort has paid off, or is likely to in the future, but, either way, I continue to hang in. For how long, I don’t know.

I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member...I can’t remember the exact words but that is pretty much the gist of what Groucho Marx once famously said. Of course, he was being funny. But, oddly, these words find constant resonance in my life...maybe they do in everyone else’s too. While I’m not about to discuss instances from personal life, of which there’ve been a few, this is something I’ve often thought about as far as work is concerned. It may sound like an oxymoron but, if I were to get ‘sensible’, the first part of my professional life can set me up very nicely. But, for me, that’s a part of the problem: I don’t want to be set up by, or be a part of, something I don’t truly love.

The other part of my work-related life, films, is hardly moving in the direction I would like it to. What is constantly being driven home, everyday, is the thought that I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, the saving grace, if I can call it that, is that I am where I am, at the time that I am, for the right reason. But I wonder if this will provide any consolation to me when I sit back, a few years from now, and think back about my life. In which case, I also wonder if I will need some consolation a few years from now. Now that is not a very comforting thought.

Having said that, the film front, and I use the term film in a more generic manner, does appear poised to emerge from the very long and dark tunnel it has been in for so long. First, in all likelihood, our AIDS films, which I had mentioned in my last post and which are still up on youtube.com, will be telecast very soon. More than for us, I feel good for the NGO because, finally, they will have something to show for their efforts. Moreover, they seem like good people and the bestest clients I think we’ve ever had. Then, not being able to make any headway on my own, I’ve sent my film script to a director I like, to read and consider it for direction. She has made two good English films in the last four years or so and I’m hoping that she will like my script enough to want to work on it too. She has a lot on her plate at the moment, I know, but I’ll be really happy if she were to take it up. And, we have also been commissioned by a television channel to do a 13-part non-fiction series in English for their network. A lot of paperwork needs to be done and got out of the way before we do anything else. Real work will start in about a month and we’ll be ready to shoot in June-end or early July.

Most people in my position would be celebrating what seems like a minor victory but I’ve seen enough in my life to know that ‘There’s a slip between the cup and the lip’ is more than just a phrase. It has happened far too often in my life for me to believe that something that should happen will indeed happen. What is more likely, at least in my case, is precisely what the stupid Murphy’s Law states: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

But, contrary to what I might have led you to believe up to this point, this post is not about the two parts of my working life. Or about the strife that both have given me, one because it is doing well, and can do better without any effort on my part, and the other because it’s not. This post is really about the larger personal truth that everyone has to define for themselves. It’s about the guidelines we choose for ourselves, to show us the light in all aspects of our lives. It’s about personal philosophy.

I now have a new philosophy in life. I’m not sure I can, or even want to, launch into a description of my old philosophy at the moment…yes, contrary to popular perception, I had one…because there will be time for it yet. However, what I can tell you is that, sooner or later, the new one is going to land me in trouble.

As far as I could tell, reckless was the best way to describe my new attitude. But then I came across this term in a film, whose name I cannot recall immediately, but I do remember that Frances McDormand’s daughter says it to her. Anyway, it is only really a phonetic variation of the real thing. I remember that Arthur Quiller Couch had also used it as a part of his comment on some blog. As I said, the term itself is just a clever twist of letters, but for me, the philosophy boils down beautifully to two words: Feck it! I like the term very much and think it is a perfect fit for my current state of mind.

You may not have any good things to say about me but the one thing you’ll be forced to admit, if you knew me, is that I’m a fairly responsible kind of chap. By nature, I’m not a reckless person, even though there’ve been enough times in my life when I’ve been tempted to be so. But now, I’m really fed up! I’ve truly thrown caution to the winds and myself fully into the alluring charms of this new approach to life. While I’ve not become irresponsible yet, I fear, pursuit of the same may cause me to be that at some point. But, then again, till such time cometh, feck it.

For the moment, I'd rather not go into the changes this new attitude has brought about or the impact it's likely to have on my life in the near future. However, I do admit that I have been feeling relatively freer, even happy at times. There's this certain lightness of being, if you will. And, while I'm not going to encourage anybody else to feck it, I will tell you this: the new philosophy is bloody liberating!

32 Comments:

Blogger Manjari said...

the only thing i can say is never give up on ur dreams :) since u have a purpose in life...that is more than enough. congratulations on ur achievements...the ones so far...i wish u more and more success in life :)

1:38 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

just got through the first half. will come back and read it all

'in a broken relationship again'- strange - i thought u fell out when the reln broke - but yeah, to be still in after its broke wud kill, no?

'purpose' - yeah - i know what u mean. one thing to know where u wanna go and another to know how ur gonna get there

member of club (manhatten, right?) - i have a twisted rider of that. but will tell u when i come back for my second reading cz i it will take time and am late for work.

abt not ever being in a serious reln again - reminds me of my fav led zep song (going to california) - guess which bit?

will u pardon me for my bad language and typos - in HUGE rush but wanted to write.

later

1:53 pm  
Blogger Inkblot said...

"My road it might be rocky,
The stones might cut my face.
But as some folks ain't got no road at all,
They gotta stand in the same old place.
Hey, hey, so I guess I'm doin' fine...." Dylan

All the best and revel in it.

4:14 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

i didnt understand the references to aqc and recless in the end but i dunno - in my personal experience - this kind of a phase brings lots of grief. the not basically 'feck it' kind have major 'jimminy cricket' probs after 'feck-ing it' a while :) but all the best. if u pull it off - it will bring u much joy

4:37 pm  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

Let me die
In my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.
- Zimmy

My little chavanni -- I guess the hard bit is to find the best balance between Feck-it and Cold Man.

Or else, ooh, ah, and ouch :-)

9:36 pm  
Blogger km said...

Ghost, whatever else you may start to pursue after proclaiming "feck it", don't stop the writing, man.

10:39 pm  
Blogger cactusjump said...

good luck pal :)

10:49 pm  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Ah, artistic angst at it's best!
The problem with doing what makes you happy instead of doing what makes other people happy for a living is just one word - money. If your parents didn't put aside a small fortune in your trust fund there's only one way to get rich while expressing yourself as an artist (I use the term to include aspiring writers and film makers) -you have to sell out!
I'd suggest you leave the world of Aids awareness documentaries behind you and try to get in at the bottom of a better paying career - maybe advertising, television or journalism - and then work your way up slowly.
You have one life and a short time to find happiness therein. Although 'feck it' will give you some immediate peace of mind, it will compound the situation later on.
-MT
(btw, thanks for the comments on my blog)

11:14 pm  
Blogger wildflower seed said...

"And, we have also been commissioned by a television channel to do a 13-part non-fiction series in English for their network."

Thats great news!!! Wish you lots of success. Please keep us posted on how it goes.

6:45 am  
Blogger Ash said...

Hmmm.... We should meet up once. This is the second time since the morning that I have read about Murphy's law and it gives me a strange feeling since I have been thinking about it since yesterday. I am contemplating about quitting my job and telling those around me to feck off besides telling my job (if i can) to feck itself....cause I am not happy.
I need to feel liberated as well. hmmm... we should meet up mate :)

10:59 am  
Blogger kundalini said...

is this new series also going to be health/aids related? keep us in the loop here.

"...it’s no good having a purpose if you’re not able to do anything with, or about, it. It’s no good if you’ve had a purpose for as long as I’ve had and if you’ve been able to do as little as I have...which, truth be told, amounts to nothing."

those would be my lines :). you seem to be on to good stuff, so am sure it amounts to a lot more than nothing - keep it going.

11:04 am  
Blogger aria said...

Hmm .. life is sometimes comic sometimes tragic and always filled with insights. Looks like theres something unsettling going around you. But with your "purpose" and "dreams" intact you gonna sail through this phase too ..
As for me I have never had any philosophies in my life - and to have no philosophy at all is liberating enough.

4:50 pm  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

you are one fine writer ghostof. a wonderfully composed piece. interesting and compelling.

so where in the world is this tv series to be shown?

8:46 pm  
Blogger ~River~ said...

Recklessness usually works wonders. I'm all for a "feck it" attitude towards life. ~:D

9:38 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

lo: Achievements? Ha :-) Not really. But thanks :-)

prerona: Th 'broken relatioship' bit was meant to suggest that, since they break up and since I don't think I can go thru it again, I won't get into a serious one ever again...if I can help it.

'Purpose' is clear and I also know how to get there...my problem is not being able to try as much as I should. :-)

Manhatten? I don't know what you mean but if you're asking whether the Grouch Marx lines are from the Woody Allen film, they're not.

Not a big Led Zep fan...have a album and have heard a few others, including this one you mentioned. The lines...hmm are you referring to

Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams,
Telling myself it's not as hard as it seems

And, thanks a TON for taking so much trouble to read and write :-)

10:05 am  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

inkblot: "revel"? Hmm, I'll try :-) Thanks!


tabula rasa: Chavannis are good.

And, why is everyoe quoting Dylan to me? Not that I mind in the least :-)



km: After "proclaimig 'feck it'" I don't think thre is much I can pursue much else :-) But, either way, no chance of stopping this blog...it's pretty addictive :-)



cactus jump: Thanks! And, good to see you're back :-)

10:11 am  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

mock turtule: I wrote in an earlier post that money is not one of my prime considerations. No, I have nothing against it at all and will happily accept the fortune someone decides to bequeath on me...and they don't even have to be related to me :-)

I have been a part of the advertising and television industries and hated them both. And now both seem to have gotten worse. I know what you mean but I have no problem with not succeeding... because my happiness does not stem from other people's notion of success or failure. As long as I can pursue what I want, I'll be fine :-)



vetilatorblues: Thanks, pal. Shall post all new developments on the blog...maybe in the next two weeks :-)



ash: Of course, you can tell your job to feck it but, at the same time, my advise would be to think carefully if this attitude is right for you :-)



kundalini: No, unfortunately, this series has nothing to do with any social issue. It'll be about homes.

Not me, Ms., YOU "seem to be on to some good stuff". You've got the boys and a happy life...sounds pretty good to me :-)

10:35 am  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

aria: You're right about the unsettling stuff. But, isn't not having a philosophy a philosophy in itself? Just kidding :-)


cocaine jesus: Surely, you're kidding! But, as they say, never stare a gift horse in the mouth :-)

Will write very soon about the channel and the kind of series it's going to be. But, what I can tell you is that it will be visible in your part of the world too.



~river~: Finally, some support :-) But now I also know whom to catch if things go wrong :-)

10:40 am  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

ghost:
i think everyone's quoting dylan because of the way we think he's most likely to say "feck-it." you know -- "feck-iiiiieeeeaaaaaaattt".

one of those subconscious things.

?

3:35 pm  
Blogger Shivangi said...

You know these posts when you want to pour your heart out but have to restrain from giving what really happened... they're vague! I do it only to often :)
But coming to the point, recklessness is good, it sets you free, but what you really long for is stability, be it work or personally. I dont know how I can explain this, but often, recklessness seems like the best thing to depend on. Strange no? Recklessness and dependability and how they compliment each other...

11:03 am  
Blogger MockTurtle said...

Ghost, after our discussion on my blog I have decided that you are a true believer. There aren't too many around and most of them cross to the dark side when they hit the cynical side of 30. More power to you and I hope that the system doesn't grind you down.
-MT

11:08 am  
Blogger Cherie! said...

Liberating but not unbearable this lightness, is it now?

11:56 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

TR: Wonder how Springsteen would say it...or, even Cohen...hmm!



Shivangi: I see your point but I'm not sure recklessness has anything to do with stability...certainly not in my case.


MT: Believer? I don't know... actually the opposite might be true. :-)


Cherie!: Do you hear me complaining? :-)

11:04 am  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

Too few syllables for Cohen, too many for Springsteen! (Ok, ok...)

10:23 pm  
Blogger Selma Mirza said...

I read this post from start to end, twice over. I see you as a very strong man who is very vulnerable when he thinks about his past. Sometimes I wish we could erase our memories and start afresh. I wish I could make you feel alright. Or even happy.

1:03 am  
Blogger scout said...

I love 'feck it' too... I always have.. since I heard it in Almost Famous - that's the movie btw.

Keep writing!

9:45 am  
Blogger Inkblot said...

Springsteen might say "these are better days" and Cohen perhaps..
'I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.'
So smile!

11:39 am  
Anonymous hyacinth said...

hi, how r u doing? long time no post? :)

1:27 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

TR: You're pushing your luck, mate :-)


Evenstar: Erase memories? Sometimes I wish so too but wouldn't it be much nicer to tur them ito something more pleasant?


Scout: 'Almost Famous'! That's it!! Thanksa ton :-)


Inkblot: :-)


Hyacinth: Hmm, wish I could say things are okay :-) Just posted.

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