Friday, December 10, 2004

Haven't felt like writing

I'm beginning to understand why journalists and other professional writers do not manage to spend time writing freely what they actually feel. When you're in the rut of writing for a living and you're mentally caught up, you can't write, which is why authors are reclusive, and tend to isolate themselves to write. When I switched jobs, and had free time to write and write and write, I wrote and wrote and wrote. And now that I'm more involved with work and have some other pressing matters in my head, I am barely writing... Really admire people who are able to carry on a dual life (write at work and then blog). Two such people are Jabberwock and Kamakaze...
But I'm going to put all that out of my mind now and write about something that's left a lasting impression on my mind.
The other day I was driving to work and at two traffic lights before office, I looked to my right, stuck as I was at the light, and noticed a family of what looked like ragpickers or beggars. They had obviously made the pavement their home, and had chosen a tree as anchor. Possibly, it served as a landmark for friends. Where do you stay? By the tree at the traffic light on xy road. Why am I saying 'to friends' you wonder? Do these people have friends? I suspect they do. Do these people actually go visiting? I suspect they do. They do have a life beyond the bare neccessities, a life that doesn't just revolve around food, clothing and shelter. And why do I say this? Because that morning as I looked outside, I saw the man lovingly painting the fingernails of the woman, while she shyly tried to withdraw her hand. She withdrew, he persisted. I watched, fascinated. She then opened up a small plastic box which was full of nail paints, lipsticks and other such cosmetic accessories. I had never imagined that someone who looked like they hadn't bathed or changed clothes in years would have some amount of vanity, and would actually collect cosmetics. I know I have a huge amount of cosmetics that I never have used and never will use, but it shames me to say that I have never dreamt of going up to a beggar on the road and handing out a Clinique or a L'Oreal lipstick. Even as I think of it now, I can imagine it being flung back on my face. I would have always thought of donating sweaters and food and clothes and blankets (essentials) to these people while the cosmetics would go to a maid (someone obviously in a better position than a beggar, and thereby in my mind, 'allowed' her share of vanity). Or of course to a niece or cousin to play with, to spoil, to paint their faces and feel 'grown up'.
What utter rubbish. Who am I or you or anyone to decide what amount of vanity is fair? And what strata of society is allowed vanity? I know I learnt my lesson on this fairly early in life, and it was a harsh lesson. But I don't know if I can talk about it. Maybe when I am not ashamed of it anymore, I will.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jabberwock said...

NO strata of society should be allowed vanity. Vanity unfair.

10 December, 2004  
Blogger Jabberwock said...

Many thanks for the admiration, but actually I first blog and only then write at work (if at all)

10 December, 2004  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

It takes courage to rethink a stance, so why be ashamed?

Vanity Fair? Ol' Bill Thackeray should be suffering posthumous convulsions---for the " world of frivolity and idle amusement " (Oxford dictionary) he still manages to unwittingly/ironically present.

Saw Salaam Bombay? It had a point. Maybe so does this.
High-gloss does not necessarily mean low-brain.

16 December, 2004  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

A neat idea
is a neat idea.

Even if it takes
years n years
to whirl eloquent.

10 December, 2005  

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