Jan 30, 2010

It is indeed over

The separation is huge. It's a bit too much for anything earthly to plug with. The mannerisms, the vocabulary, the humor, the accent, the food, the drinks the priorities, the questions, the answers, the priorities, the values - everything is different. For quite a while, I myself couldn't believe if we were of the same blood. My paranoia about me being adopted by my family was reignited.

Why should they refuse to have a dinner? Why should I be made to feel embarassed for my band mates? Why should I be embarassed about their nutrition when I had perfectly edible, albeit kosher, food for them in the refrigerator? Why should I feel that I was being judged for the 12 hours of re-acquaintance, of which 6 were used up for sleep?

Could this be really happening? How could we possibly explain this? I've been away physically for 5 years from home - she 10. I've been virtually married for 3 years. She's been married for 9 years. She's been in and out of non-clinicial readjusted depression for 9 years - I've been in and out of clinical depression for which I'm receiving treatment now. I've been mentally liberated for 10 years, and she's been jailed for 9 - a coincidence, I bet not?

There used to be hope. Now it is over. Wait, wasn't I hoping it would be over? Yes, that's the last line in the song that I sang for her - 'I hope it is!

I'm sorry to have hurt, if I indeed have. I believe that honesty is the price you pay for being nice. :-(

Jan 20, 2010

The right to having creative variety

People have asked me many times how and why a musician can perform in more than one band at the same time. Of course, we are talking about professional musicians here, and only those who aren't freelancers. I myself consider to be a professional musician who also freelances if an profitable opportunity comes my way. But otherwise, purely for the purposes of artistic creativity, pleasure, and satisfaction, you should have just one band - or so the world thinks.

Such comparisons are probabably drawn from other fields like regular employment, professional sport etc. I consider music, especially that in a band, as a radically different field primarily because of the possibilities of collaboration, collation, and calibration of different ideas of a variety of forms, such as musical, lyrical, presentational, and performance related and many more.

Different individuals and personalities with varying ideas operate at multiple levels during the process of writing, arranging, and performing a song. The process itself creates environments that could be so different between apparently 'similar' bands (to an observer, that is) so as to provide a refreshing experience for the musicians involved. Ah, the wonders of creative freedom and liberty.

This is why I enjoy what I do - play with two different bands, jamming with a set of musicians to possibly form another band, sing in a choir, write my own songs and perform etc etc. This liberation keeps my spirit alive and presents opportunities for the occurence of moments to cherish. I adore this and I would never want to not be deprived of my freedom for creative variety!

Jan 18, 2010

The deep dark shades of masochistic depression

I have had a tough year last year when things went wrong almost calculatedly, and I went wrong almost as if I were on autopilot. Wrong would me a wrong word to describe the condition - inadaptable would perhaps better explain the condition. My life during this period could be compared to a set of dominoes which collapsed the exact opposite way they were meant to.

I, as a system that worked pretty efficiently in scaling all the hurdles that my previous life had presented me, capitulated to such an extent that I started picking up apparently ambivalent things (apart from the true negative phenomena) and conjured up ways to demonise them into the ultra-negativities, which were later incorporated into my life's realm. It was like how an evil force, a la comics and their fantastic story lines, would feed on all sources of energy, soul, and life, to enhance its own size, thus eventually causing an apocalypse.

This effect, unfortunately, is due to the fact that I'm, by default, hopeful and optimistic. By being so, I let negativity hurt me more that it should. I belive that this the big fat irony of hope and its resultant expectation. When you get stuck inside such a situation, you tend to wonder why such things happen to you. You have a strong feeling of righteousness and it seems that things/life are/is unfair. However, inside the mind of a depressive person, who might also be a tad masochistic, thoughts swarm up to find reasons for the apparent cruelty and the need to endure it for prolonged periods as if to 'suffer' for the 'sins' that must have been committed, albeit unknowingly!

This is why people like me resist help and go deeper and deeper into the proverbial shell. In my case however, thanks to Vinokur primarily, who orchestrated this marvelous heist of my mind with the help of two of my dear friends, the depressive spree has been halted and I'm now on therapy. Presently, I'm feeling much better. The negativity, instead of clinging on to, passes me by like it does for all others. I urge everyone who has had similar experiences to take that huge step, maybe with the help of your near and dear friends, to seek therapy!

I would like to quote my friend/musician/bandmate Sidd Coutto - "... make your own bubble of happiness, and stay in it!"

Stay happy!

Jan 14, 2010

Thank you - I am back

The winter might be wreaking havoc up north and in the West; I too experienced its bite when Shor Bazaar went up to Gulmarg to perform for the New Year's bash arranged by the J&K government to usher in the decade of snow tourism, but the hell-freeze capturing my mind seems to be thawing. It's interesting to note that the pure whiteness and sheer beauty of the virgin snow up on the slopes exists almost symbiotically with the unyielding bitterness of the cold. When I was up there, I wished if my mind were wiped clean off all what's done and those not won, of all the pain and those not gained, of all what's lost and those who caused.

I have survived once more, almost by a miracle thanks to the one and only soul who stood by me all along, albeit half the world away, the two women who took care of me gastronomically, a set of seven musicians in two bands who were generous enough to bear with my thymic chorea (out for which two, you and you, who have helped me the most), and a generous set of friends who have reached out with their heart more than once, so touchingly, and finally, a wonderful set of colleagues who have adjusted to me like how glove adjusts to a surgeon's hand. I must not forget to thank my shrink (Dear. R) who prescribed an SSRI, an anxiolytic, and anantipschyotic that are making me stay mellow and warm.

This year has begun wonderfully well. I have renewed hope. I truly hope that I have turned the biggest corner of my life and am running away from the past! For all of who who have helped me, thank you! I wish you a wonderful and happy new year!

Jan 2, 2010

Snowy slopes of depression

On new year's eve, I was in freezing temperatures with my band mates, not enjoying really enjoying the time that we spent at what appeared to be the most beautiful place on the planet - Gulmarg, a hill resort right in the middle of the Himalayas. This disenchantment - no, disenjoyment - was purely due to climatic reasons, I must clarify. At the warmest point in the day, it was a chilly 3 degrees Celsius. With the Sun beating down, however, it was more attractive, and a tad closer to what postcards of hill stations make you feel that you are missing out on.

As I watched Mr. Omar Abdullah and other officials skiing on the slopes, a few dozen meters away from the porch of ill-heated guest house that we were halting at, I wished I could have fun in the snow too. The white snow. As pure as it looks, but way colder and more dangerous than you expect it to be.

I realized how this paradox paralleled the state of mind during depression, when everything that looks as inviting and innocuous as snow could send the coldest shiver down your spine; - when you are in direct contact with it, that is. For example, social situations like pleasantries and greetings would make you freeze into socio-phreno-plegia.

The whiteness of the snow resembled the vulnerability of the depressive mind, where any shade of color, even a single drop, could taint it colossally - yes, you are vulnerable when you are depressive, to even the minutest of things - people don't often realize that, and sometimes when they do, they abuse the vulnerability - and choose to spit out their venom in different shades of red, thus damaging the beauty of your mind-scape forever.

Bipolar disorder can be analogized to the phenomenon of seasons - the former not so regular perhaps - and people could be compared to different places on the planet differing in latitude and altitude - thus explaining the cyclical occurrences of bipolarity. Ice ages could be compared to suicidal depression, thus killing the vulnerable, eventually evening out the mental flora on the planet.

The analogy had to end somewhere, and it sure does. Unlike the pristine picturesque winter, the mind does not thaw out and wash itself clean like the snow would melt during the spring through summer, only to form a virgin snow-scape during the following winter. The mind doesn't really get the chance - the stains remain, the chills recur. The only hope for a depressive person is to have an ice age. Good riddance, aye?