Lost

For over a week, I did not step out of the apartment. My phone was dead too. Hadn’t spoken to a soul in all those days.

After so many days when I stepped into company of people I was lost. I didn’t know what to say or how to act. I wanted to run back into my cave. I was comfortable there. Alone in my room, I didn’t need to play the game for which I no longer seem to know the rules. Or maybe I know them too well.

I know the rules. I know the game and my part in it. I played it before, and I played it well. Said and did all the right things. I was successful, I was adored by everyone. At the time I did not know that I was just following the rules. The innocence created a sense of romance. I am not innocent anymore. The romance is lost. I know that if I play by those rules again, I will be successful/liked again.

It was never about me. It was always just a matter of playing by the rules of the game. The ones who play it well win. I know that now. Once that romance is lost, it doesn’t feel great when someone says “Srivani is kind”. Because I know now that it has nothing to do with me. I just played the game right. If it doesn’t make me feel special, why should I go out of my way to be kind to someone? Why should I ask how they are doing or say they look great in that outfit?

I am losing interest in this game. But what else do I have?

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14 thoughts on “Lost

  1. spo0nman

    Innocence is like virginity, once lost it never can be regained.

    We are living in a period of decadence and reaction, full of obscurantism, willful ignorance, and self-deception. I, like you am trying to make the world comprehensible, but, it’s anything but that.

    How can you have any pudding if you don’t finish your meat?

    Reply
  2. anu

    I hate the world today
    You’re so good to me I know but I can’t change
    I tried to tell you but you
    look at me like maybe
    I’m an angel underneath; innocent and sweet

    Yesterday I cried; Must’ve been
    relief to see the softer side
    I can undertsand how you’d be so confused
    I don’t envy you; I’m a
    little bit of everything
    all rolled into one

    I’m a bitch I’m a lover
    I’m a child I’m a mother
    I’m a sinner I’m a saint
    I do not feel ashamed
    I’m your hell I’m your dream
    I’m nothing in between
    you know you wouldn’t want it any other way

    So take me as I am
    This may mean you’ll have
    to be a stronger man
    Rest assured that when I start
    to make you nervous and

    I’m going to extremes; Tomorrow I will change
    And today won’t mean a thing

    I’m a bitch I’m a lover
    I’m a child I’m a mother
    I’m a sinner I’m a saint
    I do not feel ashamed
    I’m your hell I’m your dream
    I’m nothing in between
    you know you wouldn’t want it any other way

    Just when you think, you got me figured out
    The season’s already changin’
    I think it’s cool; you do what you do
    And don’t try to save me

    I’m a bitch I’m a lover
    I’m a child I’m a mother
    I’m a sinner I’m a saint
    I do not feel ashamed
    I’m your hell I’m your dream
    I’m nothing in between
    you know you wouldn’t wanna it any other way

    I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
    I’m a goddess on my knees
    When you hurt; when you suffer
    I’m your angel undercover
    I’ve been numb; I’m revived
    Can’t say I’m not alive
    You know I wouldn’t want it any other way

    Reply
  3. srivani Post author

    @spo0nman You are very right. Once you know something, there is no turning back. It is only as long as you are ignorant that you are safe.

    A relative of mine was concerned that I am becoming too philosophical for my age. Well, its not that I try hard to be what I am. Its just that I can’t help being what I am. Of course, I can distract myself and not think morbid stuff, but even when I distract myself, I KNOW that I am distracting myself. So you are right, “Innocence is like virginity, once lost it never can be regained.”.

    Reply
  4. srivani Post author

    The lines that I like the most are –

    Just when you think, you got me figured out
    The season’s already changin’
    I think it’s cool; you do what you do
    And don’t try to save me

    Even if you hadn’t signed the comment, I’d have known ki tune post kiya hoga lyrics 🙂

    Reply
  5. Priya Menon

    I have a tiny question thgh… You say,”Said and did all the right things. I was successful, I was adored by everyone.” So basically, my interpretation is, if you do the right thing, then u r liked by every one! shallow,no??? The problem is people do the right things expecting others to respond in a certain way, when that doesn’t happen, they get disheartened and see no value in it. It is not about mundane things like commenting on somebody’s picture, even if you dont feel like it, I dont think people judge u based on that. I know loadz of people, who generally dont compliment at all, and when they occasionally do, it is heartfelt and genuine and much more valued than random redundant social norms.
    Priya

    Reply
  6. srivani Post author

    @Priya

    This is what I mean … All the right things we do, we always do them to gain a brownie point. Whether the brownie point is external to oneself (where others’ opinion of you is affected) or internal (personal gratification). We always do something because it gives US something in return.

    Even when we are kind to people, we are kind because there is something for us at the end of it.

    And there are always rules that can be followed to get there. Following the rules translates into being accepted by people (whichever group of people is your target audience, including the people you mentioned). The rules might vary depending on the target group whose acceptance you seek, but they are rules of a game all the same. (Ever caught yourself behaving differently with different kinds of people? You are basically playing a different game every time.)

    Now that I know that I have just been playing a game all this while … where do I get the motivation from to make my next move? Especially when survival is really not motivation enough.

    Does that make sense?

    Good to hear from you, though. Thanks for the comment.

    Reply
  7. Priya Menon

    Personal gratification or not, by the end of it,if it translates into a good deed, doesn’t it sit pretty in the big picture??
    But I guess you aren’t really talking about that.
    Coming to following the rules, who dictated the rules to begin with?Who decides which behavior warrants what outcome? And would we really be an outcast if we don’t do what is expected of us??
    I remember long time back during my graduation days when I was doing all the wrong things(I mean talk in a certain way or behave in a certain way) just to fit in…I am not friends with any of them now… and I realized there is a very obvious reason to it. When you are amongst like minded people, thn this game play doesn’t come into picture. And even if you are around people with a completely different mind set, as long as your behavior is consistent, they let you be..
    “Motivation”…I ask why play the game at all :P… you might be labeled aloof, moody etc etc…but thn everybdy would know you are the real deal and appreciate it! 🙂

    Remember reading somewhr on ur blog that you were joining stonybrook,NY… if you ever plan to come visiting boston and need company or a place to stay… let me know!! 🙂

    Reply
  8. Srivani

    @Priya

    Those are some good points.

    “by the end of it,if it translates into a good deed, doesn’t it sit pretty in the big picture?” – that’s a classic example of personal gratification. You feel gratified that you are doing something for the “greater good”. But yes, as you said, that is not the central issue of what I said.

    “I remember long time back during my graduation days when I was doing all the wrong things(I mean talk in a certain way or behave in a certain way) just to fit in” Do you see how even when you were breaking one set of rules, you were following another set of rules to gain acceptance from a different set of people?

    When I say people, I don’t just mean acquiantances. I mean everybody, including your parents, kids, spouse, best of friends etc. We are always following some set of rules or the other, whether those rules are consciously negotiated or not.

    What you said in your comment provides a very good example. “When you are amongst like minded people, thn this game play doesn’t come into picture.” – When you are with like-minded people, the rules are not consciously negotiated. Compliance to the rules, in this case, is built into your system through a variety of mechanisms – companionship, respect, love etc., so you do not see any conflict when interacting with like-minded people. But the game and the rules are there all the same.

    My problem is not about what people think of me, or how they behave with me. That is secondary. My problem is about how I should behave with people. What rules do I follow? And to what end?

    I couldn’t find answers to those questions.

    Reply
  9. Priya Menon

    When I gave you that example, I was trying to say, that was one of the few times, I behaved in a way I am not proud of and felt forced (forced by myself)and pressurized to gain acceptance. And what I was trying to say is, that temporary acceptance is of no consequence because I eventually moved on and realized friendship’s you make out of doing something averse to your character can never last.So yes I followed a certain set of rules, but I made them myself. Now that I think about it, may be I would have gotten accepted, if I would have behaved naturally., instead of assuming this is how the group dynamics worked.

    Ok…so I am not sure, but I am considering “Rule” as the accepted social conduct. Now when I talked about like minded people, I am not talking about the one’s you can discuss mathematics and IT with… I mean like minded in a more behavioral way.. so basically these r people u can be urself with… they dont expect you to be bubbly or full of enthusiasm or hyper if it isn’t in ur character and they dont get bothered if it is primarily your character. the periodic mood change is natural…if you suddenly decide you aren’t in a mood to socialize, they would let you be… love and respect that you consider mechanism for compliance of a rule, stem out of the space and understanding they give you… and if you decide not to respect them for it, they would still not hold that against you…anyways, I am not sure, if it is too much of an ideal world I am talking about,
    May be the most important question is if you decide to for go all the so called rules that you are talking about.. what do you think would happen? And if you eventually do figure out how you should behave around other’s, what would you expect out of them(I am saying this because you say”what rules do I follow and to {what end}?”)???I have generally seen people who are attuned to how people expect, expect a lot out of other’s too.

    Another question: So if you like something in some one and you want to tell them that, do you feel awkward about it or doesn’t come naturally to you?

    I wouldn;t say make your own rules, that would be another pit fall… but if you are not comfortable behaving in a certain way bcoz it doesn’t come naturally to you or bcoz you feel forced ,thn I guess just don’t.

    Reply
  10. Srivani

    @Priya

    Okay, Maybe the word “Rule” doesn’t fully capture what I want to say. When I say Rule, I don’t just mean those that we need to live in confines of … but I also mean those that give us most success. Consider Chinese Checkers. When I say “Rule” … it includes two things
    1) That you can only move one step at a time, or by jumping over an opponent’s peg. That the pegs stay within the board at all times. 🙂
    2) Another rule is that you will typically be successful if you take the path with most moves which has most displacement. (a strategy, if you will).

    I put the two kinds together and called them a “rule” because they both drive our behavior.

    Maybe now what I said makes more sense.

    “But … to tell the reader anything that his own imagination and insight have not already discovered would need not a page or two of preface but a volume or two of autobiography.” – Virginia Woolf

    It was a journey of 3 years (or maybe more) and I don’t expect you to understand all that through just a blog post. I will definitely be visiting Boston sometime (I don’t live that far from Boston 🙂 ). We can talk then. May be then I will be able to understand your view better.

    Reply
  11. Samar

    Rules rule!
    man the Mule
    ****************

    Rules ‘re roads ‘ve ends
    endless ends n bends n bends

    Whats worthy of thy pursuit
    Raison d’etre void?

    I revolt with herd
    no trading ,till i know what to find

    Is this a pang deep?
    or justa complaining lazy me:)
    game’s of deception me on me

    PS: I see them worshipping the sun,
    their’s souls in conformance, at peace,
    escaping the why’s, am envious of these

    Reply

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