Saturday, June 16, 2007

Distraction: A Double Edged Sword

Looking at my last couple of posts I have become painfully aware of how much catching up I need to do. I haven't gone back to the books I bought as far as four years back. The "latest" music I bought hit the charts three years ago. Gadgets people are about to discard have come to my notice only in the most recent past. LATE. LATE. LATE. I am late while catching trains. My colleagues panicked last time when I was travelling with them. (Aside: Mention of colleagues brings to mind that I am often late for the office. Hope my boss doesn't read this).

Time oppresses me. Clocks, watches and calenders are my worst tormentors. Every year my birthday gives me jitters. I am reminded of John Milton's ode he wrote on his twenty-third birthday. I don't think I will be able to write anything like that even on the twenty-third anniversary of my resurrection. Those who know me know how John Keats rattles me. He died at the age of twenty six, having written some of the best verse ever composed. Nietzsche published his first book at the age of twenty-eight.

Last night I watched the movie Lola (1981) by the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder . The man died next year, at the age of 37. By that time he had made about 43 full-length feature films. That's more films than he was old. The movie, by the way, was hugely engrossing. From the first frame where Marie-Louise aka Lola (Barbara Sukowa) is combing her hair till the last shot there was no let up. The dialogues, the visuals, and of course the performances were all class. One scene that stays with me is von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl) passionately playing on his violin.

But of course, I am getting distracted here. I am not supposed to be discussing the movie but my struggle with the relentless march of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades. That's a whole legion against a solitary me. And this solitary me cannot afford to be distracted in the face of this formidable opponent, guided by veiled or perhaps a faceless commander. Distraction is snake in the grass. Wish I were more disciplined, even like Fassbinder. On the other hand, it's possible that distraction is my most potent weapon against a single-minded obsession. On my MSN blog, Mindscape, I changed my introduction. Till now I had this written there: Looking at my life I am increasingly becoming convinced that God sends some people to be drifters. Floaters. My nickname there was DrifterAshish (I have changed that now).

Even this blogwriting is a kind of distraction. I had decided to utilize the off today to write the book review I have been planning for quite sometime. However, this distraction is endearing. I'd rather make a provision for diversions and digressions in the life-and-death battle of purposefulness.


mohit mittal said...

truely distraction is a double edged sword. but what u call distraction can also be a momentary stay against the confusion of the world (as frost used to say for poetry). it may prove to be a totally exhilarating and a different experience of life which has the potentiality to make u achieve the new horizons and understand life from a completely new perspective.

Ashish said...

Well said buddy! I can't agree more.