Words, jingoisms, phrases, phases – that’s what someone’s reality often encapsulates.
So many labels, tags, identities and communities to swap and flaunt about and yet I remain the ubiquitous alien- a shadow to feel enthralled, a presence that emerges and disappears like the whispers of that old lady down the street. Yes, the one who used to sell old clothes in return for used goods.
A storm that barely registers a presence (NO Wi-Fi-over here folks).
A looming scent that gives off that reeking scent of past and future mysteries but rarely lingers around in one presence.
Yes Boys and Girls! Ladies and gentleman! Transsexuals and Pansexuals! That’s the story of my life – the coherent matrix of the person in body, matter, soul and spirit named Siddharth Mukherjee and the ramblings through space and time of a persona that juggles multiple realities both inside and outside.
This incongruent and rather merciless hater of Grammar Nazis, Fundamentalists and self professed moralists was born to be a quiz-master (at least that’s what my parents thought) but the haphazard bumps and the soothing divergences made me into a writer. My story is a veritable saga of choices and opportunities, some embraced in good faith, others followed with devilish musings. I was always a rather standoffish kid at school and at home. While others found comfort with Harry Potter and Pokemon – I preferred the words of Charles Dickens and Maxim Gorky. While others played happily on the see-saw, my squinted but limitless imagination tended to tinker around with Dad’s big engineering books and fight for my mom’s rights without ever surrendering and giving up. My fear of anything new led some doctors to keep me sedated. (You can safely say that that was my first real ‘trip’ – with a high of unpleasant dreams and imaginary kisses) while others proclaimed that my advanced Asperger’s or mild level autism rendered me a willing candidate to mingle and merge my universe with those who remain semi-paralyzed. But I unsettled everyone’s plans and despite the turns, twists, touches and betrayals, went on to become a wizard with words – a writer who screams – an opinionated person who prefers (BUT DOESN’T AT ALL LIKE) the grace of anonymity.
In a land of a zillion absurd contradictions, where taboos melt and re-configure themselves all the time, I was always bound to remain the outsider. The perverted one- the dirty one. Hormones to me became the precarious laughter and the depraved satisfaction of certain individuals for whom being a quiet classmate and a absolute failure at maths meant that I was tailor-made for sick experiments and ridicule, while a recorded video of self-masturbation during my ‘corrupt’ days in college meant that I was to be shunned like a naked feral animal. (This, despite my best friend having 1 TB of sexually explicit videos on his laptop!!)
For people like me, futures and presents, past and thereabouts always tend to be made and remade without permission. Yes my social skills are not A+, it takes time for me to open up, often I am unable to take the first call. I admit that I do watch sexually explicit videos if not rambling about philosophy or the entity called ‘God’. But that doesn’t make a bad person. My fear of bikes doesn’t make me a ‘uncool’ person. My fear of escalators doesn’t make me a simpleton. My ignorance of lyrics and who the first girlfriend of Paul McCartney was or the last love of Kurt Cobain was doesn’t mean that they are NOT MY FAVOURITE ARTISTS.
I wish that people would go beyond the painful glass ceilings and casings, and probe me further, but people don’t. Yes, I am extremely afraid of dogs! Yes, I can’t drive! Yes, I always take the elevator instead of the escalator! But that doesn’t make a ‘bad’ person.. Yes I have my mood swings, I shout at others at times, I hurt others’ feelings, but that’s human – right? That’s ‘normal’ right?
Sometimes I believe that I am part Sartre, part Marx and part Keynes. I often think that I have dual sides to my personality – I know that I am totally unstructured and absolutely unorganized. I also know that my sense of humor is absolutely pathetic if not absent! But that’s just who I am, I can’t claw back 27 years of my life to change everything. I seriously can’t, so please accept me if you can!
Because THIS IS WHO I AM, AND I AM UNWILLING TO SACRIFICE THAT!
P.S.: Most buildings in the West are at least 5 floors tall if not more. Escalators don’t matter at all over there!