Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Broth of thoughts

Thoughts are something like boiled red kidney beans – if overcooked they crumble down; pieces and fragments float in the curry which perhaps is on its way to become a broth. Well, there could be another perspective: since they are crumbled, they mix-up well with whatever you add to them. Dissolved and assimilated, they take a new shape and get re-shaped in turn.

I remember reading recently a comment made in the aftermath of attack on girls in a Bangalore pub: “A republic without pub is a relic.” Funny, witty and thought-provoking. A pub, a café, a bar – history has shown us – have always remained the sites of thought-formation in the West (French cafes in particular where wine, cubism and talks about mistresses flowed seamlessly over the rim of the goblets); in fact quite very much akin to what an adda or paada is in Bengal and mehfil, gosthi and majlis are in other cultural zones spreading from Iran to Indonesia. You drink and you think, sometimes you also think that why does one drink, and you drink more to think more over it. Not necessarily it happens in this sequence, but well sometimes it does. And then you realise that perhaps you’re making an ugly broth of your even uglier thoughts – just like crushing those tender beans with a harsh stroke of banal imagination – that needs none of your intrusions. May be the protectors of our collective Indian morality, whatever the source of that morality is, be it the Kamasutra or the Bhagvad Geeta, need to drink more to realise that they are as ugly as their thoughts are.