To Jeff Buckley – Do We Really Know Anyone?

4459_2

“You can never really know someone completely. That’s why it’s the most terrifying thing in the world, really—taking someone on faith, hoping they’ll take you on faith too. It’s such a precarious balance, It’s a wonder we do it at all. And yet…”
― Libba Bray

Dear Jeff,

It’s like I don’t know who you are anymore.

My sister said this to me the other day, and it struck a chord much more sensitive than I could have anticipated. And then I remembered you. Well, not really you, but the actor who played you in the film Greetings from Tim Buckley when he said something like, how do we ever know anyone, really. I realize that he’s not even close to actually being you or like you but that one dialogue struck the same chord my sister’s words did.

What does it mean to know someone?

Does it mean living with them, breathing the same air 361 days in a year, knowing their habits, likes and dislikes? Or does it mean knowing their utmost desires, ambitions, aspirations, the reason they wake up every morning?

I watched this movie called Gone Girl, you must have heard of it, all of earth is talking about it, I’m sure some of the talk spilled into the world of afterlife.

I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but it completely illustrates my point. The husband doesn’t know his wife, the real her, at all. And it seemed like he truly tried. They are like stranger under one roof who lie to each other, keep secrets.

Is that it then? Does knowing someone mean knowing all their secrets?

I’ve heard humans are complicated, Jeff. Intricate and complex like the fine weaving of a silk scarf.

We have so many different relationships and every individual in each of these relationships knows a different side of us.

We’re a mess, Jeff. Human beings are relatively fucked up. We don’t even know ourselves completely and we think we know each other.

And then we say things like: Jeff wasn’t the kind of person who would take his own life.

And:

Jeff was an enigmatic person.

And even:

I didn’t know you, Jeff Buckley. And I don’t know if anyone really did. But your music makes me infinitely happy. And this may be selfish, but just for that, I think you deserve all the forgiveness, happiness and bliss death has to offer. Even though I wish everyday that you were alive.

Yours Truly,

Anupama

Advertisements

To Sylvia Plath – I Can’t Hear My Heart

IMG_20141227_175126

Dear Sylvia,

I was sixteen when I read The Bell Jar.

I remember thinking how your voice felt like it was being carried into my blood vessels, echoing through them.

I remember thinking that if I listened close enough, I could hear you in my heart.

I can hear you in my heart, but I can’t hear my heart.

I try to listen to the brag of my heart, Sylvia. But it’s too loud outside.

It’s too loud inside.

I can’t hear my heart and I can’t hear the sound of my own thoughts in my heart over the noise.

You know what it’s like?

It’s like talking on the phone in the movie theatre. The voice is so close, right here, right next to my ear, but everything else is louder. So it doesn’t matter how close the voice is, I’ll never be able to hear what the voice is trying to tell me. I’m just going to be sitting here, in the dark cinema hall that smells of butter and stale popcorn.

And if I shout?

That’s the worst part, Miss Plath.

If I shout,

The silence consumes everything.

If I shout,

The silence is loud. No, it’s deafening.

I want to hear the brag of my heart, Miss Plath. I want to know that I am.

But sometimes, it just takes too much effort to simply be.

I wish I could get rid of the self awareness that comes with being.

Then maybe I could hear my heart.

Did you ever have trouble listening to your heart beat?

Did the strain of trying and trying to listen heighten everything else but the typical thudding you anticipated? Did you hear muffled whispers instead of the illuminating echo you seeked?

Did the chaos consume the answers—the answers you needed, needed, needed—as well?

Then that makes two of us, Sylvia.

And maybe there are more.

Maybe we must join our hands and close our eyes and synchronize our breaths and listen together.

Perhaps then we will hear that odd thudding. And the wise echoes that come with it.

Or perhaps we should just stop listening.

 

Yours,

Anupama

A New Beginning and an Awkward Sign-Off

 

So, when this blog was not actually a corporeal thing (it still isn’t, technically, since we can neither touch or feel it) or rather, when it was only an idea, it involved one of my pseudo-writer friends and me writing to each other back and forth in letter form. Well, that blew, obviously.

But I still wanted to stick to theme of this blog. Regardless of my friend’s involvement, I needed this to happen since a very long time. But if I was to stick to the letter-format, who would these letters be addressed to?

Then it belatedly struck me—the letters could be addressed to anyone I wanted! People dead, alive, fictional. In an age where everyone wants to be heard, who could be better listeners than them?

Once I got over the initial sorrow I felt for them (for they obviously couldn’t object to my rambling to them), the only consolation that kept me going was that I’d be addressing letters to them not to use their names just to fill in the blanks, but as remembrances. Because I honestly wanted to share that something with them.

Also, this is where I can explore words, their feel and essence around me. Here I also let loose the nerd/geek (I still don’t know the difference) in me. Talk of books, fan-culture and proof of lack of social life are some things you can expect from me.

Not to mention occasional melancholy (former emo kid—old habits die hard).

So, in conclusion—Happy Reading!

May the Force be with you,
Anupama