Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Me And I

If you scroll down a little, you can see a few pictures that were taken during my recent visit to Mahabalipuram, about 50 km from Chennai. As usual, a couple of the pictures show me -- in one of them, striking a pose at the shore temple, and in the other, smoking a cigarette. The idea for the latter was my wife's: you can see the setting sun almost touching the tip of the cigarette, as if I was lighting it from the fading ball of fire.

Some of the commentators, quite understandably, called me a narcissist. After all, I was posing. But they were fun poses. If I really wanted to keep looking at myself, I would have uploaded pictures of myself staring grimly at the sea in the backdrop of the setting sun. Perhaps with a cigarette touching my lips. I would have looked like an 'intellectual'. Or a 'thinker'. In fact, that's usual my pose in real life: even as I write this post, I am typing only with my left hand (I am a southpaw), while the right hand, which is holding a cigarette, is also supporting my forehead. And the forehead happens to be wrinkled because I am wondering what to write next.

Ok, I've thought of the next sentence, and that is: What's wrong in being in love with yourself? Everybody likes to take a look if a mirror happens to be at hand. People who don't do that are narcissists in other ways. Politicians, for example. They don't look into the mirror 15 times a day because they know what it will show: a rotund, old man. But they can't wait to see their pictures in the papers.

Why do women fall in love with men who possess qualities that they like? That's because they love themselves and want the men to cater to that self. Narcissism! Why does the average Indian man love to have a wife who could also double up as a maid? That's because he loves himself so much that he hates the idea of entering the kitchen. Narcissism! Why does a boss dislike certain people and like certain others? Narcissism!

End of the day, we are all looking at an invisible mirror and admiring ourselves. And why not? Because end of the day, we are nothing but ourselves. We all are alone in the journey assigned to us in this world, and there is no other faithful companion than our own mirror-image. The image never deserts us.

Everybody in India loves Amitabh Bachchan today, but who was with him when he slept hungry in Bombay's railway stations in the late 1960's? People love his success, not him. Even Jaya Bhaduri would have ignored him if he had not shown the signs of a promising actor. If someone truly loves him, that's his own self. And that's true for every living human being.

Ten years from now, I don't know what will become of me. I could be a successful writer, which I aspire to be; or a failure. In either case, when I sit down to take stock of my career then, I would find myself having a drinking with -- who else, but myself! Ok, the wife might be there. And maybe a couple of friends too. But my most trustworthy companion will be me.

14 comments:

Leena said...

That be so true.....me,myself and i are always the 3 best friends:-)

Anonymous said...

You are handsome.

- Swathi

Sadhana said...

It is okay if Bishwanath puts up his photos...why should one make a big deal of looks any way? We come to this space for his writing...and that is not always narcissistic.

Anonymous said...

How defensive one can become, you are good, looking no doubt, your explaination for posting pics, ha ha ha, a pic is a pic, whether it is near the sea or you with the cigar. In retrospection, I think I love only myself (truly).

Anonymous said...

lrvisited your blog after a long time, was hoping to find something to read..
let me first tell you that your wifes choice is good (am talking about movies!:-) )and konkona sen is another brilliant actress..
some pics are good, but the comments, well!!
ur art on 'down syndrome kids' was good and will be helpful to some kids i know..
an yes BR is an excellent writer, just that he's perfect and preditable - 2 things that don't exist in my dic :-)

Anonymous said...

you just confirmed what i allways thought of you,that you can never love anybody except yourself.maybe thats the reason that happiness allways eludes you!

Anonymous said...

@anon before me: At first you seemed to be a jilted ex-gf of BG, but then I realised that he won't touch with a bargepole someone who wrote 'allways' instead of 'always'!

wildflower said...

Let us not be hypocrites, we can't deny that we are seriously in love with ourselves. I am My Best Friend.When the whole world leaves me alone...I am to stand beside mysef!
these are your genuine feelings...n I appreciate that!

Anonymous said...

Well, well this space is becoming a battleground of sorts. BG, what’s happening, your fans, seemingly fighting for you and your writings.

Anonymous said...

what about the world? are you so selfish to be in love with only yourself? hmm, narcissism!

Anonymous said...

you are so pathetic sometimes :)

Anonymous said...

why write and delete things? u are entitled to one liners once in a while!!

Bohemian said...

Quite a bold post must say.It takes guts to speak the mind, and to confess that one is in love with the self. At the end of the day, it is the inevitable truth.If you don't love yourself, you cannot love others !

As usual, a thought provoking post Ghosh....

hopikrishnan said...

Man has things to write, with cigarette, wrinkled brow, tolerant wife, and occasional alcoholic drink. It is amazing that with all these distractions, he has got time and gumption to write. It is not the beauty of his navel that keeps him going -- it is that dream he talks about at the end - of becoming famous and perhaps moving on to better brands of cigarette and alcohol. Good luck to him !!