Thursday, January 12, 2006

Obsession

Sanity, I think, is the line that divides passion and obsession. Passion can lead to creation, but obsession usually leads to destruction. Fortunately, obsession has the tendency to destroy itself before it becomes dangerous enough to destroy the obsessor.

But then, the human mind isn't a thing to be analysed in such a scientific manner. In fact, science does not even recognise the existence of the mind. But if you, for a moment, consider that mind was made up of matter, then, in that, case, a non-thinking mind would conform more to scientific analysis than a thinking mind. Come to think of it, a non-thinking mind is nothing but matter. Like a vegetable.

A woman, while in college, falls madly in love with a classmate. She is so obsessed with him that she pierces a needle into her wrist and writes his name in her blood. The very thought of his absence makes her lose her apetite, and his presence makes her want to jump up and touch the stars. Then one day her father discovers the affair. One scolding and two slaps from him and she returns to her senses. She tearily marries the man of her father's choice but once she is married, she lives happily ever after. The boyfriend becomes an 'ex-lover', someone to be avoided like plague. In other words, the obsession destroyed itself before destroying the girl's 'future' -- something science and the society would agree upon.

Now take the case of a woman who is capable of thinking and whose father is in total contrast to the evil dads you see in Bollywood movies. Since this woman has a mind that thinks, she manages to juggle effectively between her studies and her love. And then one day, the love leaves her. And since she has a mind that thinks, she does not take the extreme step of plunging a needle into her veins and writing his name in her blood, but her obsession is no less. In fact it is worse, though it escapes the attention of the society and also her father: she lights up the remnants of the cigarettes stubbed out by him and smokes them just to get the 'feel' of him, she pulls the T-shirt left behind by him over her breasts again and again just to get the 'feel' of him, she makes it a point to read the books he read, she makes it a point to remember the lines he mouthed, she clings to the lyrics of the songs he liked.

The next indicator of the obsession is her wanting to hear bad things about the lover. If you tell her, "Oh, that fellow! He is a sunnovabitch. A cruel bastard," she will immediately agree: "Yes, yes, that is why he is out of my life." But don't believe her. She, in effect, means: "He is still not out of my life, even though I have made peace with his absence." In any case, Freud has said that the more you express your hatred for someone, it only means you want his or her attention.

At the end of the day, such a woman is left with a lasting sense of longing. Nothing can ever compensate for the absence of the man she had wanted to possess but could not. I do not know why I wrote this. Maybe I know. Maybe she knows too.

14 comments:

uknowwho said...

This or that Bishu knows best. Good analysis.

Sharmishta said...

This seems too extreme to me. Either u only know women who are obsessive or u just dont know enough. Or ur opinion of women is quite low, or were u just refering to "girls" here? I've had my fair share of heartbreaks, and I dont agree that things get so out of hand. Thats immaturity, not love or obsession. And any man who would want to get involved with such a woman is immature himself. He's then not a man, but just a boy who thinks he can! My opinion, but thats just me!

GB! said...

you are right BG! Women make men an all consuming part of their lives...its a piece of their primal instinct to nurure and preserve...

In my late twenties, when my ex and i divorced, i was completely broken.My wonderful dad who was devastated by my sadness told me one tearful night,'Sweetheart. Trust me. No man is worth crying over. Start to believe he has more to lose than gain...'

That was a life changing moment.

From then on , men simply became ephemeral 'incidents' in my life...
In the bigger scheme of things they were small and insignificant...and this is exactly how a man views his relationships.The stance has since kept all my interactions with men healthy, mature and meaningful... while some men got unnerved and others had their egos busted and some others got stirred enough to 'hunt'me with a vengeance...i have gone on to make some phenomenal, long lasting friendships with the opposite sex...

The earlier women get this, the better off they will be...
So it's passion,anyday for me...

Akruti said...

Women being obsessive?Which world BG?or is it that you met only such women till date? Absolutely right of someone who pointed out already,Women or GIRL?
Obesession has no gender,it is the same when it comes to a Guy who lost his girl.I know instances where they dint stop with a cig in their hands, they went to the extent of banging their heads,cutting their wrist or whatnot,What do i call it? i heard someone calling it "Madly in love" and if you were there you would have said "Obsession"
For me its neither,Maybe insecure,of life,of failure,of self.
We all,or mostly everyone goes through a painful journey in the process of finding that someone special,do we all get cornered into being a Looser, selfish or practical or obsessive? Comeon,are we not more matured that that? i know people who are perfectly same even after a series of heartbreaks, they dont live in shells filled with cig smokes or neither they endup joining the bangwagon of getting married to someone their parents got for them,so where do they stand?
Totally my opinion,There exists a third word,Maturity which can lead to love or passion,but it dosnt lead to obsession,If it does then its not or was never LOVE.

Anonymous said...

I call the second case a case of cherishing unsatisfied desires and dreams, and not obsession. If she does have a thinking mind; she will not cry over the sad demise of her desires, just like the reaction you had mentioned in your earlier post about the sad demise of a pet. Nevertheless, she can definitely remember the pet. She can also connect to the lost desires through little “commonplace” things. I agree that she is unable to get the thoughts of lost desires out from her mind, but then, is it really important to do so? What is wrong in remembering something that can bring a smile on your face, BG?
Mind is not a compartment in which you can have just one thing at a time, then throw it out and bring another thing. It is an on-running stream, which does not allow you to taste the same water twice. And each feeling, each desire, each experience thrown by the mind, leaves you being richer, mentally and emotionally. But then, it again is my opinion.
A very good, thought-provoking piece, BG. :)

visithra said...

of course there are ppl like that but im going with akruti - both sides of have such obsessive followers ;)

Anonymous said...

On second thoughts: who is the second woman?

ravi said...

hey bish is it really easy to differentiate between obsession n passion. How will one define for ones passion or obsession for sex n scotch? Coz its a purely relative term. I liked the comment by GB n thats the way one must live. N bish obesession for anything or anyone can begin anytime coz its nt related with the rationality of the issue. What seems illusion an obesessive mind tend to preceive it as the reality? But bish how will u define that obesession of BAL GOPAL or Lord Krishna who got obsessed by that Piece of Full Moon n How he got it? His mother Yasodha put the water in the THALI n showed HIM the reflection of the Moon n that BAL GOPAL preceived this as true n that wrong sense of belonging made HIM happy too But again HE IS a GREAT MASTER n this way he wanted to teach a lession to all that this wrong or false sense of belonging is just a MAYA n that gets stirred when he touched the water with his fingers n lo the image got troubled n so does that obsession go for that belonging. A day after tomarrow is the festival of PONGAL n its full moon day too n so put the water in ur thali n see that reflection of full moon in ur thali n try to have it n u will come to know abt the false sense of belonging n bish put water n not anything else i mean wine scoth or white rum etc..to c that image of that piece of moon n u know why coz one will then get addicted with that...Happy Pongal Bish.

Arundhati said...

If women are obsessive, men are equally so. It depends, I guess, on the person and their level of involvement. In fact, have seen women recover faster than men, after a heartbreak or even the loss of a spouse.

If a man, in your example, could move on faster than the woman, I would say he was not involved as much. If you are involved, no matter what gender you are of, you will hurt!

The article, however, as always, is well written, Bishwanath!

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Thanks to all of you, who cared to read and leave comments and express your points of view.

Alexandrienne said...

Obsession is not only something that females can fall into.. in fact, lots of males fall into the same trap at times..
I have been in a relationship before where it started as ab obsession but then changed into love.. but was that easy to do? It required lots of effort and struggle and in the end, you can not totally get over it..
Now, obsession is one thing I try to avoid and run from whenever I sense it coming..

Medical Blog said...

The very thought of his absence makes her lose her apetite, and his presence makes her want to jump up and touch the stars.

Anubhuti said...

You know Mr Ghosh, it's like I am having conversations with you, every minute.
I too have obsessed over some people, some left, some stayed.
My obsession with them is intact.

Anonymous said...

hiii SPARKLING MAN...

wish to make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, living a life full of love and lust.. yet.. tempted to touch the soul.. make an ideliable mark. what to do.... But you have to try, cause if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.
-sam