Siddharth's Daily (μ/micro)Blog

aspiring advocate or something


December 2014


You enter law school. You don’t know how you did it, but do it you did. Your NLUD entrance score doesn’t match up with your CLAT score and you wonder how you got in in the first place. Combined with your Class 12 marks, your evaluation of yourself as a student raises more questions than it tried to initially answer. You reason with it the way you always do and try to accommodate this along with the million other pieces of information you’ve gathered over the years about how the world is claimed to work. Or avoid work.

You make your way in and your mind is still on the past, still self-obsessed, still a precocious little foetus waiting to ripped out from the seething guts of a putrid self-satisfaction that only a socially approved success can bring. It lasts, for a little while. The descent is slow, but sure. The first five months – what are they exactly? They’re like the first few minutes at a party you’re convinced into attending where you only expect a few familiar faces, and instead you find the inevitable surprise of the lack of a single soul you’d be at ease with. At the end of them is a disappointment that you still haven’t realized, from something or another. Disappointment from grades. Disappointment from friends. Disappointment from relationships. Disappointment from family. From health. You take your pick. It’ll be there. But remember, it’s your friend. This is just the kick up the arsehole that you needed to point out to you that all is not as well as can be. For, being the lollipop-sucking unprioritized toddler that you are, you’ve had your head stuck up in a cloud’s proverbial all along, hardly mustering up the goddamn modesty to take in something significant around you and actually engage or get involved with it.

What next. By now you’re well and truly embedded inside the ecosystem. This swamp is your home now. You’re a part of it. And some slimy disgusting part of it, can lay an equally authoritative claim on you, no doubt. And being the greasy amphibian that you now are, there aren’t many other places you’re going to go when you’re thirsty. So when you feel that thirst, when you need that slake, it’s just the same old pond scum that you’re going to rinse, gargle, and regurgitate, like so many of the pond before you. And it tastes just fine. Because everyone else is drinking it, aren’t they? Are they complaining about it? Do you see them contorting their faces in utter disgust at how much it reminds you of human shit? So what possible problem could you have? What is wrong with your taste-buds that they feels the need for such protest? You teach them a lesson by gulping down some more. Soon enough, like all exponents of vocal disobedience, they learn. They learn, and they cooperate. You begin to exploit the variations in the pond scum that you find in different areas of the glorified cesspool. You train yourself to become a connoisseur in the varied vintages of the pond, thus picking up a valuable tool to raise your standing in the Order of the Pond-infesting amphibians. You learn which types you can digest, and which one you can’t, which types you’re likely to find more friends tasting, and which ones you need a weekend recovery-period from. Once you’ve sorted these out, you’re much better equipped to deal with the machinations that you’re paying to collude with.

And that just gives you the tools to do the things you choose to. That was your education. You haven’t been tasked with any actual decisions up until this point. Till now you’ve just been learning. Now you gotta make some decisions, and you’re on your own. The tools help fuckall. Because they don’t help you take decisions, they just help you execute them. They don’t tell you which choice is better than which, which one has better odds of good results, which one is going to be crowded out by a majority of everyone else, or which ones you’d suck or be good at. But heck, what do you care?! You’re fucking omnipotent, remember?! Surely, if you’ve made it this far, it’s only because of your ability, those hitherto awesome skills that would even make Stevie Wonder cover his eyes. Hell, your ideas should probably be used in the World Bank or something! What could you possibly get wrong here?

I’ll give you some credit. It doesn’t turn out as bad as I make it out to be. But you know as well as I do that it is in fact pretty fucking pathetic. I hope that makes you feel better. You haul another bag of loot to your private piss-pot of winnings and await the next big porno that’s offered to you to be a part of.

the spice cupboard

I’d be doing it for the wrong reason. I’d be opening the spice cupboard while I knew that it wasn’t spices that I was looking for. Well, maybe not knew, but had a mediocre gut feeling about it. So, you know, why open the spice cupboard?

But I was hungry. I was looking. I wanted food. The spice cupboard looked exactly like the kind of place where people always told me you’d find food. So I gravitate towards it. Strongly. I’m not saying that I actually move. But I gravitate towards it. I can feel that pull. But I resist. I question it. Without stopping. I get answers, I get cross questions, I get exasperated outbursts, but never alter my simple strategy: reply, question, probe, take apart, put back together, re-examine, contextualize, de-contextualize, and just keep on pushing. I really never tire. I mean, I do, at times. But I never really think about deciding to give up. I get distracted, sure, that’s in the nature of the damn thing (or just in mine?), I get tired, but my resolve nevertheless doesn’t change in any significant manner or magnitude for the entire episode.

Which is why I manage to stay away from the spice cupboard. Because it isn’t really food, is it? It’s basically a bunch of condiments, when it comes down to it. You don’t eat spices. You flavor, or garnish (do you? I don’t know), with spices. You don’t eat them.

So why would I look in the spice cupboard? Why should I? I don’t want spices, I want food. Glorious, wondrous, food. I want the innocuous yet beard-tangling juice you’d get from a seemingly dry piece of meat. I want to feel the contrast between the husky outer layers and the smooth filling of a sandwich. Heck, I’d even settle for that incredibly frustrating sticky sensation you get on the roof of your mouth after you’ve eaten a sapota ‘of a certain age’. And I’d take them all together as well. Or just one. But something. Most definitely something. I was hungry, as I mentioned, and distractingly so.

Which brings us back to where we were. Staring at the spice cupboard. Contemplating. Wrestling. Should I? Shouldn’t I? What have I got to lose? What if a genie appears in the spice cupboard and grants me all the food that I could ever want?

Ah yes, the lure. It is luring, for sure, a more devoted servant to her purpose you would never find, that damn lure.

I’ll make a full disclosure at this point and reveal to you that I passionately hate the lure. The zeal with which I loathe this being gives my love for food a good run for its money. I suppose this is because the circumstances connecting both these emotions are so closely connected. Wherever food has been known, or thought, or rumoured (as it mostly is) to lie, I have always, I repeat, always, found her to be present, never far off.

And it’s her whom I constantly argue. I wish I could say that I duck, dodge, and avoid her arguments while returning in kind. I’d like to say that I know all or most of her tricks and deal with them in a demonstrably competent manner. I don’t. They come at me, and being the bull in the china shop that I am, without a hint of grace of strategy, I catch them with my bare hands (and at times face), and grapple with them. It’s messy and it’s complicated and it’s difficult. But it really is the only way to carry out my inquiry that I know how to execute. At this point I’d like to say that that’s because I’m honest by nature. But I know that I have suspicions about my seemingly equally natural stupidity as well. So with a considerable amount of effort and lot more mental agonizing, I stave her off the scene each time. Until the next time. When I do it again. Sometimes I lose, and sometimes I win, but I always know that I can expect her to be at that next location, always sharp and waiting. I’m forced to ask myself at times whether it’s her that I’m after or the food.

So she was here as well, sharp and ready. And I, as ever, was hungry. And for all the times that I repeatedly face her, I’m still pathetic at taking her on. A simple maneuver that had stumped her a million times before was all I needed, but it just never comes to mind, and the fight is dragged on to several times this possible length because of it. My reactions in each battle are so vastly different, there is simply no formula to my fighting. Sometimes I doubt myself here as well — am I simply that incompetent that I must make such an episode of each fight, or do I actually enjoy them in some secret corner of my mind? Irrespective, I never stop fighting.

It’s a cupboard isn’t it? A cupboard in the kitchen. Kitchens deal in food. This is a cupboard in the kitchen. You put two and two together, and you have a definite imperative to open it. Look inside it. Because that’s what the imperative is. You’re hungry, you look in the kitchen cupboards, no questions asked. Because mistakes always happen. Someone or the other is bound to put the wrong jar in the wrong cupboard, and that chance is all I really need. It’s what I live on when the other cupboards have failed me. This sliver of hope is enough to make me take up an entire goddamn fight against the lure just to check that one cupboard. Such is life.

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