That Which is Personal

I was at a photography event over the weekend. One of those creative awards thing… except this time, it was a little more personal because I had submitted a few entires too. I wasn’t sure if I would win… and I wasn’t particularly bothered by it either. I wanted to look what were the entries that would be shortlisted and maybe even win.

I expected brilliance. Particularly in the age of edited photographs and extremely illusory brilliance. I see so many awesome photographs, which aren’t real. They perhaps do not even exist, even by the standards of illusion we sometimes measure photographs.

But the ones that won were… plain. Like the ones I perhaps shot on my phone for my blog on a day there were nothing. Some were similar to installations… juxtapositions or a way to portray the existence of something through something else. The shortlisted entries weren’t particularly impressive… maybe because I was expecting something ethereal. Perhaps as a story line, it made some sense.

But it still seemed… amateurish. True, the images had potential. The exploration of sexuality is a powerful tool in any medium. As are social issues or environmental issues. But I expected… quality. Simply because we are bombarded by photoshopped images constantly. Every magazine, every portal has these photos. So it was refreshing to see these images, with a message. But it did leave me a little confused about quality that was expected in the awards.

Not to mention, every time people say “we had some awesome entries and we found it so hard to decide” I feel like rolling my eyes and saying get to the point. That sort of diplomacy just rings fake.

The other entries, though, were quite interesting. Creative writing… poetry and prose. Short stories and more. If the awards had to be decided the way one read a poem, I’d probably give it to this beautifully dressed woman, who had a throaty voice and really knew how to read a poem. The one that won was someone who didn’t read it that well, so I wasn’t paying that much attention. (yeah that sucks but i’m only human!).

And then there was the Kannada creative writing section – newly introduced. I have grown up with poetry reading. I have heard some awesome poetry in my life. All my life, I have heard certain poems with lines being repeated… and that was the why poetry was to be read, least in Kannada, though everyone said such lines should not be repeated.

Sometimes, I think you have to let go of that rule. The problem here is the people did not know when to let go of that rule. The first guy was good… with almost the right amount of stress and a nice diction. The woman started off better than the guy and then completely ruined it by repeating every line of half the poem! Bah!

But it was beautiful to hear such clear diction and clean Kannada being spoken. If you are someone native to this land and understand the language, you realise how rare that is. Even I don’t speak that clean a language anymore. Slang does ruin a language sometimes.

It was an interesting evening… and I realised I have lost much patience for ceremony. The platitudes, the generalisms and all those words that are an important part of this business.

I feel older. Restless. Tired. Confused. And scared. Scared most of it all… I have a path and I am headed on it, but when I wake up in the morning, I feel tired. Of course, that could just be that I need to change my pillows and put clean sheets on the bed. But… the red tape of life is bogging me down.I wish I could find a pair of huge scissors to just go chop chop chop and clear away this debris to find that clear path to what I am supposed to be doing.

I remember those dreams of old… which have changed so much! A lot of old friends are swinging by… and they remember those conversations and ask “so how is that going” and I surprise myself by laughing and say “oh those dreams have been replaced and I’m looking at something else now.”

Some people are confused… because they couldn’t believe I would abandon something I spoke with passion about. Some are confused. And some, that small rare breed, understand that dreams do change… that’s the only way they survive. It isn’t defeat. It is simply the way we are… all those things we learnt continue to shape our dreams.

I’ll leave you tonight with a line I heard at the poetry reading that haunts my mind – “She dared to tread those lands where even the Gods had abandoned”

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