Forgetfulness, I once read was a bliss. People who tend to forget are usually happier than those who lack the lacklustre of letting go. It was the high school English textbook with an essay titled ‘forgetfulness’ – one of the first writings about the human mind that I thoroughly studied. The excitement of having figured out a fundamental understanding of how the mind works was profound.
My concerns were conforming towards the bliss and romance of being a forgetful person. I did used to forget about the mundane stuff. “Did I lock my room? Were my notes concealed? Did I leave my diary on my table? Where did I put my socks?” and a plethora of other trivialities. It was more the idea that drove me, not its factual essence.
As a grown up, now I rarely struggle with such faculties. My systems are well thought of and they are designed to serve me. I know exactly where my things are, where they should be, and everything has its own dedicated space.
I believe it is a question of systems and routines, not a rote memorisation and awareness of your belongings and the space they claim. But when it comes to people and experiences, it is a paradigm shift.
Sometimes, the neural connections and hormonal relations are too strong and vivid to even forget. There are some feelings, events and people that leave a very lasting impression of their existence. We seldom forget such tragic and dreadful experiences.
Who forgets their first love?
The neural networks in our brain are logical in function though. Good or evil are the subject of morals and ethics, which have more to do with the mind rather than the biological design of the brain.
The bad experiences can potentially become a recurring nightmare, when a mere mention brings the experience back in its entirety. In worst cases, we see people develop PTSD. It is almost impossible to have the same essence of normalcy ever again. And in such cases, the harder you try to not think and prune out the details, it only etches deeper and stronger in your mind.
Naam is a song about this uneasiness and anxiety. I, being an over-excited ‘yes man’, jumped onto all wagons and tried everything that came in my path. Some of the experiences changed me as a human, helped me discover my true self, while others tragically hampered my state of being, existence and peace.
kaisi ye chahat, marham bhar na paaye
kaise karoo.n kya ibaadat, khuda bhi sun na paaye
‘what was this love, my wounds fail to heal
who should I even pray to, my God never listens’
The artwork for Naam is an abstract collage. My romantic partner of college days had a habit of giving me gifts all the time. I have a majestic collection of things that remind me of her and myself. I took some of those magazines, etc and cut out all the interesting things and just pasted them onto a sheet of cardboard. Neither did I have a vision in my mind, nor did I have any solid structure.
It was just the process of going through the material, ripping off the pages, cutting off the illustrations and figures and without thought or direction just paste them onto the sheet. This process of absolute destruction and creation proved very healing by the end.
My little cousins, Sonia and Amrit, helped during the process of pasting and finalising.
baaho.n mei.n na abhi, dil mei.n samaao na
bhar do mere aagan, ghar ko aao na
‘no, not my arms, come live in my heart now,
bring spring to this garden, please come home now’
I have framed it and now it hangs gloriously on my bedroom wall. It is a reminder of all the good things that she brought into my life, and how she changed me into who I am! I shall forever be grateful for having loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.