The Birth of Writing

This is not the name of a course or a reading in a course offered by the School of Literary or Cultural Studies. This is more of a testimony of my Writing. I would not be talking about the birth of Writing in a socio-historical or a so-called ‘anthropological’ sense of the term. I’ll be talking about it in my own personal capacity and how Writing was born to me or how the Birth of Writing happened to me. As many of you might already know, I have been writing in this space for the last five years now! I have grown a lot, learned a lot and most importantly, unlearned a lot. It has been a life-altering experience and I will never ever do anything thing differently if given the chance. Here, therefore, I would like to talk about my transactions with Writing and how it came to define me. 

When I read about the origin of creativity, all I read about, mostly, are words of divine inspiration or some out worldly experience being the genesis. But for me, I’d say, the beginnings were not so rosy at all. 

I met Writing as result of an act of Violence! Yes, an act of Violence.

I’m very conscious as to the connotations of that word. I remember being a school student, extremely excited to get my words out in the public domain after realizing that I could write a word or two. I had already seen my friends write regularly in the hallowed pages of the school magazine. I remember my mother requesting me to put out something but I did not really care. I believe that there is a point of time in life when maybe we’re all supposed to meet each other; even the qualities meet you at one point of time. I met Writing, one could say, when it was probably too late! I was lost in the talent hunt fiascos of high school. The gyrating opera of ‘Exposure’ as an illusory cover for unpaid labour was starting to unfurl in its naked glory in front of my eyes. I thought I would never be able to create a niche of my own in this dark comedy. 

Then it happened!

A glorious opportunity seemed to tumble down and stop right in front of my feet like a no contact delivery from Amazon. It felt like a godsend. It felt like a miracle. My fault? I was not really aware of the politics that Writing entailed. I remember sharing my first write up with some close people even before submitting. That was my mistake!

I thought Writing was meant to be shared. Now I know it is meant to be owned.

The fruits of my labor got rejected (As I naively mentioned that I had made others read. Plagiarism, however, is a monster I met much later.) Much later did I understand the deep waters I was engaging myself in. It didn’t feel as if my writing was rejected; it felt as if someone rejected me. Seldom have I cried as hard as I did that day. It kick-started a brew. A fire rising from the deep fissures in the nethers of my heart. And one day the brew got too hot to handle.  The day was 26th August, 2015. Five years ago. 

Since then, I have always tried to write my heart out and think aloud as much as I can. And No! writing in a journal does not have the same lure to me as writing in a public space does. For some people, writing is a very personal act. For me, it is public. I write because I want to make myself heard/read. Just like an artist who paints for others to see. I think of the online space as a kind of an e-c(h)osystem which enables more people to read and also a place where a text can easily morph and meander its way to find and cling onto myriad arbitrary symbols. And then, when it will walk back to you, though they are your words, you might never be able to recognise it.

Thus, thepenarchist was born. Not out of love, but out of anger and a desire to make a ‘mark’. To cause anarchy with the ‘pen’, when the ‘pen’ was not even there. The pen is the hand. It is very interesting you know, using the word ‘mark’ in the context of a virtual space. It would have been understandable had I used it for writing in a peace of paper as it would have literally left a mark on the pages following it. Metaphorically however I feel, the internet to be an infinitely e-lastic (and not plastic) place which will keep increasing no matter how much someone drags it by the ends. This e-lastic place also leaves a mark, a digital mark for that matter, not only on the next page of your notebook, but on the whole tabula rasa called the internet, where it is universally ephemeral and ephemerally universal at the same time. A beautiful paradox. It all began as ‘roywritesblog’, but I believe ‘thepenarchist’ was there all along. It was me who found thepenarchist a little bit later, or perhaps it waited for me. The existence of thepenarchist was forged in fire and it must keep burning in order to sustain itself. If that is what is needed for Writing to live. So be it.

Conflict Politics

It isn’t necessary to put words in bold or neon to make someone understand that conflict is perhaps one of the defining features of the human condition. The fact that we, as human beings can enter into conflict with other people, resolve them and move on without biting each other proves that we are as capable of aggression as we are of compassion. I know that this idea of tolerance as in the acceptance of difference or diversity is being challenged by the day. Events around the world make us rethink if we qualify to be seen as people after all? How can the same person, who claims to be sane be the source of such vitriolic hatred in times of conflict? It is in these junctures, that in my personal life, I try to be as self-reflective as possible. Not all conflicts can be resolved over a cup of coffee. Conflicts in real life tend to be fatal, literally. Therefore, whenever I see people at arms or trying to one-up each other, I try to reason by appealing to both their intelligence and their sense of empathy. I make sincere attempts to reason with myself to see both the sides of a dispute. Though this does not work out mostly, I strongly believe that in the end honesty is appreciated by both the dissenting individuals and groups. In a patriarchal society like ours, most of the conflicts stem from the ever fragile male ego. The inherent toxicity leads certain men to prove that they are no less, which leads to all sorts of mishaps. It has its roots in the upbringing where boys are told not to cry or asked to play with guns and not dolls. It is this inherent relation of identity with power from such an early age that makes them blind to the feelings of the ‘other’. That is why when they come into conflict with others they cannot let go of what they want which gives birth to violence. Be it acid attacks or petty gang wars, they stem from an attitude of not tolerating conflict or difference. I feel that this is the most important lesson that I have ever learnt, which is to respect opposing beliefs (to a certain arbitrary degree). Outside institutionalised education, it is Life which teaches us the most via interactions.

During the later part of my school life, I joined the classes of a rather popular teacher whom I expected to be no less than the usual run of the mill. To my great interest, my teacher did not fit that model. As I started opening up, we would often end up talking about anything and everything other than the venerable ‘subject’. We have had fiery debates and one such long-standing debate or a conflict of interest has had a long-standing impact on my life. He pointed out that our ‘English Medium’ generation is losing out on the immense beauty that regional literature has to offer. The problem lies in our orientation to our mother tongue. Since forever, we have been subtly taught to treat something ironically named as the ‘mother-tongue’ as something secondary. This treatment can only be justified if the other language was called ‘father-tongue’. The syllabus also, it seemed was very politically designed, as it contained mostly obscure texts whereas the English counterpart was much easier. The generation growing up with the illusory blanket of ‘Globalization’ must be encouraged to love their roots. This was my argument in response to my teacher that the syllabi were very politically designed to veer the students away from their mother tongue. He did agree to my proposition, but also replied that if we, do not take responsibility to start a culture which would lead to the re-popularization of the regional culture, then, who will? These words rang deep inside the chambers of my heart and made me re-think on whether I been too complacent! I saw a new window of perspectives open in front of me. Then I understood, all we needed was a little push. We did not have that. The fact that I have to resort to English as a medium of communication for this subject is very apt and deliciously ironical drives the point home even further.

As I said earlier, not all conflicts can be resolved with such ease. Certain conflicts are manufactured and installed in the social psyche to keep the hate factory alive. Such a conflict is that of India and Pakistan that has to some extent shaped our identities. With the wave of nationalism currently prevalent, some people would go so far as to say they are Indians just because they are not Pakistanis. Same was the case with me who started with ‘demonising the other’. I remembered distinctly that it started with cricket. It always starts with cricket. Any random Indian mobile cricket game would instantly pit India against Pakistan. This is how violence and conflict are kept alive through the micro spaces of culture. Whenever there is any national issue or religious tension, people indulge in the common rhetoric of hate. The idea of conflict is built into the human condition but that cannot be a basis to say that humans do not lean towards resolution. Resolution is also a part of human nature. The need for normalcy in a liberal democracy, no matter how much of a free fall it is in, is as important as the existence conflict. Unfortunately, more often than not, the hunger for the violence of conflict supersedes the need for resolution. Let’s try our best to douse the fires of hatred in whatever small way we can while weeping and bleeding somewhere inside for the sake of humanity.

Künstlerroman?

Human beings, while being individuals, are also social animals since it is but crucial to maintain relationships with other people in order to survive in an order or a system. One can be as fashionably introverted, be it influenced by the likes of Sheldon Cooper or Sherlock or otherwise, as they intend to, but at times even they have to wander outside of their fancy little cocoons in order to interact with the surrounding ‘environment’. Interaction with other people at multiple levels is crucial for one to be human in a very broad sense of the term. These interactions however, are not limited to a ‘type’ or formula which could be applied to all and sundry. No! They vary from person to person and the so-called typical interaction and its personal overtones change depending on the person one is conversing with.

This is where, I believe, the question of identity crops up. Identity can be seen as the kind of a person one is when he or she is with another individual, shaped by the perceptions each one has of the other in any given situation. For example, I being a student and interacting with a teacher would be different as compared to the same ‘I’ interacting with a friend. The interaction alters if and when the surroundings are different. I talk with my teacher differently in the presence of other students, than how I do when I am by myself. Little roles and the codes, be it of conversation, attitude or behaviour in general alter in relation to the people around an individual. People close to us such as father, mother or partner share a linguistic code with an individual which is strictly personal and could appear indecipherable to an outsider. In all these cases of interaction, the identity of the individual actually morphs its way from one to the other in a seamless manner. What actually remains, if there is a ‘type’ at all, is that of the fluid identity of the individual who has in themselves, imbibed bits and pieces of all the attributes from all the little ‘roles’ that they play on a regular basis.

Does identity only comprise who a person is when he or she is with someone else? In other words, is my identity derived through the process of mutual interaction with my fellow beings or does it have an intrinsic character to it? I would vouch for the view that the core of one’s identity lies mostly in how we relate to ourselves! The relationship that an individual has with him or herself largely determines the dynamics they share with other people. If the intrapersonal relationship with one’s own self is in constant sync then there should be no difficulty in sustaining the fluidity of one’s identity in relationship to other people irrespective of who they are. Therefore I would consider, the central and strongest aspect of my identity to be the relationship of me with my own body and mind. If we are true to who we are and can live with it then there is nothing to replace that sense of accomplishment and well-being. This is easier said than done as the mind is a foxy little thing and can very well play tricks on you. One needs to work these things out with oneself and with others in the most careful manner possible where one’s individuality and social togetherness are in tandem with each other. It is in times of fragmentation when we are unsure of the course of action we need to take that we have to ironically fall back on our own selves to transport us of the dark dungeons of pure self-indulgence. It is only if we are able to work things out with our own selves that we are able to navigate the little roles that society has bestowed us with. Thus, me and myself are always in a constant dialogue with one another which often induces reflections on the world around oneself.

If I see my writing as but an expression of the self, then I would say that what I write interrogates my identity to the same extent that my identity interrogates how I use words. Feel free to disagree but as someone who uses writing as a tool of self-expression, I strongly believe that it is out of this inner dialogue that the ‘creative’ in my writing is born.

Well Past Midnight

It is well past midnight now and I am here sitting in the railway station with you. Countless earthen pots are lying beside me as you can very well see.

Heyy! Look!—What? Don’t you see?

See that young lady over there, gracefully mixing with darkness at the horizon. She is out my sight now. Fear not! Her silhouette is with me and I will tell her story, yes I am determined now! I will only tell her story!

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And you, will you listen?

She was stranger, true, but in this godforsaken place, she became a stranger to herself as well. She felt lonely. Nobody knew her and she knew nobody.

The isolation was eating her by the day

She had no one to say ‘hey’

We are a rational animal they say

And True!

A social animal, yes, so was she…but an animal without food

Isn’t that an insult to the neighbourhood?

She didn’t know how this world worked; she was an amateur, a hungry amateur.

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Come on let’s get on this train, it’s the last one! We’ll continue our story there. Make sure you put on your woollens properly, it’s chilly.

Ahh! There’s a seat, come.

Whooo does that yuckkkk! Look at that kinky poster and it is stuck with a gum, how cheap is that!

I can never get these people with stupid agendas you know, I mean, how foolish do you think people are huh?  To fall for these cheap tricks? The government must do something to protect the innocent people who perhaps are getting fooled by these tricksters every day! My head is so on fire you know, I will write a letter as soon as I get home to the highest of authorities.

I have a LOT of connections!

Ohh! Damn it why isn’t the train moving yet?! I need to have a chat with the driver, pronto!

Come down the platform with me……

I need to talk to the driver about the problems and the damn posters people are sticking, incorrigible!

Oh, your story! I am so sorry, I almost forgot, happens to creative peo—-

Isn’t this that girl??? Yes, it is her!

What is she doing? Is she, OH MY!

She is putting up a poster… it is the same poster…

IT also reads…

RIYA WANTS TO BE FRIENDS

CALL  **********

She’s the one who really needs the FRIENDS.

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You see I may not be the most popular guy in the world, but I have you as my friend and I am grateful to you for that, and I will be in this year and in the next!

Make friends; talk with people… because you never know who might need one!

Don’t just wish Happy New Year,

Make someone’s New Year, Happy!

CIAO! This train was for the Car-shed anyway.

Image Courtesy:

 

Google

 

 

The Last Ball

Two groups of women were battling for supremacy on a foreign turf. But, the fight, irrespective of the context, seemed familiar to many others who observed it from a great distance. The world had never seen anything like this before.                                                   Like many other high-born women, Raima was also traditionally sold into another household.   Putting her dreams in the dumpster, she took charge of the kitchen during day and kisses during the night. The noble Pal bongsho had just acquired a new scapegoat.

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The match was nearing a nail-biting conclusion when the gods of thunder from all mythologies joined heads and decided to intervene. The ominous clouds came from all directions to dampen their spirits. To their utter shock, nothing could deter the spirits of these amazons.                                                                                                                             Raima wanted to be a player herself but failed, as maintaining a chaste demeanour was considered more important than the very unwomanly barbarianism she was interested in.

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It was a do or die situation now, the last moment of action would seal the fate. On one side, a burly lady was charging in to deliver at a great pace and accuracy; on the other hand, a meek Raima was attempting her first roti. Stakes were high: pride of the team and the soshur-bari were at stake on both the sides. The lady delivered with great pace but it was dispatched with equal vigour. Raima flamed one side of the roti for far too long: it was burnt!

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The girls’ team were distraught, it was the first time they had reached such a stage but couldn’t capitalise on it. Raima was shocked on seeing the shape of the roti and had started imagining the unimaginable.

Just when everything was falling apart, the girls saw the entire stadium giving them a standing ovation. Kottababu was taken aback by Raima’s grim look. He went beside her, smiled and said “ashte ashte hobe” and hugged her tight.

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It was then that these women realised, the apparent defeat is just another stepping stone for success.

What if a war is lost? The battle is there to be won!

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Glossary

bongsho-family

roti– a type of flatbread

soshur-bari– in-laws’ house

kottababu– head of the family

ashte ashte hobe-give it time

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Peace,Protection,Patriotism.

A hand rises amidst the sea of heads…

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*silence*

The speech begins as the mic lays out a high-frequency screech…

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Hello,

You might want to sit back and clear your mind (or your bowels if you want to) for this. The matter is serious and has already gotten out of hand. So, I have decided that enough is enough, and speak on behalf of my community.

Considering the majority of my audience, I assume that most of you might have used us over and over again till we have given your senses a sore.

You have oppressed us, ogled at us and even thought of exchanging us, but we didn’t complain. You judged us by our “brands” and our so-called features, we suffered in silence. We charged your soul with hours of emotions: laughter, anger, angst et all! Yet you resorted to other means of entertainment leaving us high and dry! Did we retort then?

Then why do this to us now?

Why do you keep breaking us over and over again? It is true that we can’t speak or say a word against your supremacy, your control, it seems we are to only dance to those signals you throw at us!

So, think before shattering us, breaking us with your pseudo-brutality, because remember-

What goes around comes around!

Yours Truly,

The Television Union

and its predicament after the face-offs of arch rivals.

11

The silence is broken by a young guy draped in mono-colour…

How can you be so cruel, madam? You can be a very good orator and everything but you can’t randomly sexualise this matter for your ends! Do not think that we all are sitting ducks here! Do we not understand your propaganda? You are deliberately trying to make us empathise with your problems by giving it the subtext of a sexual harassment! We do think that your issue demands an answer but please don’t use one of the most pressing issues in our society for your benefits!

The young man has to stop now as he realises that the lady has already left without paying heed to his comments.

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I, myself, standing right at the corner of this very room was carefully observing the proceedings till now with a solemn brow while impersonating a serious Sukanto. But, me being dormant thus far now feel a need to say something to you, my friend… Be it the communal, sexual issues or the protection of certain lactating herbivores- every issue demands our undivided attention, true, but do you know what we need more at this crucial juncture…. unity. Why do I, a mere narrator/writer thus far, feel the need to say this to you (without being a character in my own story)? I do because it is not the race for the throne which is a real threat to us it is the things that lie beyond the wall. Period.

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Oh God!

The darkness of the stage is broken by a momentary flash of blinding light and loud cracks.

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The light silhouetted darkness is now pervaded by two characters who enter from both ends.

[drum roll]

enter Oh and God!

Oh, a highly cynical lady of age surveys her surroundings and keeps stuttering towards the middle of the stage while letting out a puff or two. On reaching, her eyes fall on a young man who wore deep purple robes, a cap and a shiny long necklace, which was the cause of much amusement for the lady.

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God!, a young lad, most probably a teenager, perhaps the calmest one there ever was; casually strolls into the stage and looks at the smoking old lady dressed in a curious manner. Her head was covered by a cloth, like a hippie! He couldn’t control his chuckle and let out a loud sneer.

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[The coincidental bursts of not so subtle scorn swiftly gained their ways into each other’s ears.]

[Long pause and melodious violin plays as the characters start to dance towards each other and stop at once when they meet]

Oh: So, why do you dress in such a fancy manner eh? RELIGIOUS ARE YOU? Don’t you know that there is nothing called God! How can you be so backwards that in spite of living in the modern times you still cling on to these ancient beliefs? Allow me to illuminate you, YOUNG MAN!

There is no proof about God! Science triumphed way back when Darwin paraded the minds of the intellectuals with his groundbreaking theories! And yet, you crackpots…still believe that someone is up there who created us, eh? Do you even Science, huh?

Religion was introduced as a mean of oppression to thwart the voices of the subaltern! It was nothing more than a fancy narrative, meant for striking fear in the hearts of the laymen. The oppressors enjoyed the shunning of these classes as that allowed them to reap the fruits of their “sinned” lives! How else do you explain the concepts of sin and retribution or whatever measures they have for wiping sin away in a jiffy!

And, you know what, all of y’all think that your faith tells the absolute truth and all the others are absolute nonsense! And that’s MY BOY is the root of all evils in the modern society!!!!!! The devastating wars are wiping the universe of anything human that is left in society, Why doesn’t your God look after us now? Do you have an answer you ignorant fool?

[The young man, after a long period of constant ranting, finally opens his mouth while fingering the insides of his ear]

God!: Calm down madam, such rage is not good for your pursuit to heaven.

[The lady’s face turns purple and she prepares to throw her walking stick but decides against it at the end]

Why are you so angry madame? The evil forces have taken your soul over I am sorry to say. I do understand what you’re trying to say, madame.

See, we, the so-called religious people do understand the reason for your frustration as you all will never be accepted by the almighty. So, you all decided to rant against him to hide your deep seated angsts.

[The lady manages to keep her cool, in spite of shaking vigorously with anger]

And with your science stuff, with all due respect madame, your lot are always coming up with new explanations and theories every day…

Which one do we believe?

Are the modern explanations true? Not even you can guarantee that! Can you?

Coming to the tortures and making others to forcefully believe in your belief,

Is that not what you were doing to me till now?

[The lady opens her mouth and every sane living being could foretell the ranting that she’d be going on right now]


But, whoops!!! Powercut !

All the cast and crew are left irritated with this mishap, the room was pitch black.

The final rehearsal of “Oh God!” sadly met an abrupt end.

The director was forced to scream “Pack-up!” and promised that he would try and squeeze in another session or two before the first screening of the already full house production!

The main characters Oh (played by Adidi Warrens) and God!(played by Hitchen Dawkins) were left disgruntled but hugged each other out after a virtual phase of mutual scorn.

Before leaving the set, Hitchen came running towards Adidi and returned her cross necklace which she takes everyday to church. He almost threw the necklace to her and ran homewards.

“Have some respect!” the lady yelled.

“You and your religion..ugh!” came the reply.


Rumour has it that never again were actors so committed.

One can show their bodies in spite of reluctance but,

Can one reluctantly acknowledge the other side of their beliefs?  

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He is Manik and He is Felu!

 

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Satyajit Ray

Contributed to Ink Elan for observing 23rd https://www.facebook.com/inksfromyoursoul/photos/a.1388273137878638.1073741829.986575891381700/1740521299320485/?type=3&theater

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Deconstructing Sheeran!

There is always that song which is stuck in your head! Ed Sheeran’s latest phenomenon: Shape of You is one such track. I have listened to this song so many times that I form new critical viewpoints every time I hear it again! Vomiting my rather ‘uncanny’ thoughts on paper can be seen as a way to get rid of them which has been troubling me for quite a long time to get out, a dirty place my mind must be!

In accordance with the en vogue way, the songs present themselves in a tripartite manner: the audio, the lyric video and the video. In this case, these versions add to the diverse interpretations.

The song in itself is very catchy with its peppy tune, sharp beats and free-flowing lyrics. Apart from that, if anyone listens closely, Shape of You has much more on offer.

The club isn’t the best place to find a lover
So the bar is where I go
Me and my friends at the table doing shots
Drinking fast and then we talk slow
Come over and start up a conversation with just me
And trust me I’ll give it a chance now
Take my hand, stop, put Van the Man on the jukebox
And then we start to dance, and now I’m singing like

Initially, it seems like any other boy’s pursuit to ‘find love’ and dance ‘at the bar’ as ‘the club’ clearly isn’t the best place. The narrator here is recounting the events of his past and moves on to talk about a song which he sang to his partner while dancing in a bar. So, it’s a song within a song!

Girl, you know I want your love
Your love was handmade for somebody like me
Come on now, follow my lead
I may be crazy, don’t mind me

The first part of the song within a song is that of a boy who directly addresses the girl and carries his flirtatious attitude forward with a lot of subtlety by accepting his weirdness.

Say, boy, let’s not talk too much
Grab on my waist and put that body on me
Come on now, follow my lead
Come, come on now, follow my lead

The wilful coyness of the boy is shattered by the girl as she doesn’t pay much heed to the foreplay and almost orders the boy to keep dancing, rather sensuously, and insists on following ‘her lead’!

I’m in love with the shape of you
We push and pull like a magnet do
Although my heart is falling too
I’m in love with your body

Moving on to the refrain, the boy finally confesses that he is in love with the ‘Shape of You(her)’ and that he is in ‘love with your(her) body’. This is where it interests me the most, but more on this later! In spite of stating that they ‘Push and pull like a Magnet’ and ‘Although my (his) heart is falling to’ reaffirms the fact their relation is one of mutual participation and not platonic in any sense of the term as they have their own viewpoints and do disagree with each other on certain aspects. It also suggests their intimate physical relation by hinting at the sexual movements with the image of the pushing and pulling magnets.

And last night you were in my room
And now my bedsheets smell like you

The physical image is extended in the very next line to almost a metaphysical sense where the boy states ‘last night you were in my room /And now my bed sheets smell like you /Everyday discovering something brand new’. 

These lines heighten the intimacy, quite similar to that of Andrew Marvell’s declaration where he requests his coy mistress to ‘roll all our (their) strength and all our sweetness up into one ball’ indicating an organic whole.

Every day discovering something brand new

I’m in love with your body

Every day they discover something new which proves that there is no monotony in their relationship, they don’t need to roam the world in order learn something and can easily do that in each other’s company! This statement alludes to the poetry of Donne where he counters the Elizabethan spirit of discoveries by stating that ‘

And makes one little room an everywhere. /Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, /Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown, /Let us possess one world, each hath one and is one.’

Faiz Ahmed Faiz also shows similar sentiments in his famous Urdu Shayari:

‘aur kyā dekhne ko baaqī hai /aap se dil lagā ke dekh liyā’(what else is there now for me to view
I have experienced being in love with you)

Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I’m in love with your body
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I’m in love with your body
Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I
I’m in love with your body
Every day discovering something brand new
I’m in love with the shape of you

 The repeated Oh-I’s in the next few lines can be seen as a reaffirmation of his admiration for the girl, or, can also indicate the moaning sounds made during sexual activity.

One week in we let the story begin
We’re going out on our first date
You and me are thrifty, so go all you can eat
Fill up your bag and I fill up a plate

The song progresses as the narrator proceeds in recounting the phases of their relationship. The ‘story’ apparently begins after a week when they set on their first date. It interesting to note that, the first significant date takes places only after the relationship has been consummated, so is the body just a key to the mind/soul?

We talk for hours and hours about the sweet and the sour
And how your family is doing okay
Leave and get in a taxi, then kiss in the backseat
Tell the driver make the radio play, and I’m singing like

The deep bond that they now share is vividly shown through the lyrics here as they take interest in each others’ families! As the driver plays the radio, a hyper reality is projected as the refrain appears through the radio itself indicating a transcendental approach.

Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on
Come on, be my baby, come on

Once again ‘Come on, be my baby, Come on’ is repeated many times to suggest that they are taking their relationship to greater heights. In spite of discovering something brand new every day, he is still in love with the ‘Shape of You’ shows that he is not materialistic or hedonistic in his approach.

The lyric video not only substantiates to the claim made in the song but also unlocks another viewpoint.

The refrain part is seen as text messaging indicating the active participation of both individuals.

The graphic associated with ‘Body’ changes from a James Bond style image to a basic text as the song moves on which suggests a deviation from the physical pleasures as lovers mature in due course of time.

The discovery of something brand new in the lyric video has been associated with the images of a half circle transforming into an imperfect full one representing the ‘heaven on earth’ that they have created for themselves.

 

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The most striking image in the lyric video, however, is that of the heart sign in which ‘Shape of You’ is written. This raises a question of duality in the depiction of ‘shape’: is it the shape of one’s mind/soul or just the body?

The video of the song is the actual game changer as it deconstructs the entire concept as it has been built till now from the audio and the lyric video.

The video shows a ‘boxing scenario’ where the girl is a boxer. From here on, the entire concept of physicality changes as it is not limited to the objectification and commodifications.

It is very natural for an athlete to admire another athlete so as for being inspired by him/her. The ‘Shape’ here indicates the fitness and the perfect shape the girl is in and the boy is intimidated by her perfect shape and also is trying to imitate her.

The ‘dance’ can be an indication to the moves which the boxers practise in the ring.

Their mutual admiration takes the relationship forward where they indulge in the basic pleasures of life.They push the limits together and try to stay together through thick and thin.

The last part of the video shows the boy getting beaten into shreds by a sumo wrestler…

…and just when every hope was lost, the girl suddenly intrudes from the audiences and ‘attempts’ a kung-fu kick at his opponent.

The video ends as the screen freezes where the girl is flying mid air and the sumo has just realised about the impending danger.

By doing this, a finite closure is denied which forces the audience to think! 

This song along with another hit number: ‘Galway Girl‘, holds a mirror to the vibrant city life of the United Kingdom as evident by the repeated use of the ‘shots’, ‘bar’, ’club’, ’friends’, ’jukebox’ etc.. In the hindsight another hit, ‘Castle On The Hill’ puts more focus on the country life and its uniqueness. These songs present to its listeners and viewers a myriad of experiences and feelings whilst taking ‘em on a virtual trip down the memory aisle. Moving on to the little more serious and very relevant topic that ‘Shape of You’ puts forward is, of course, the treatment of ‘the body’ or ‘the shape’.

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On hearing this for the first time I was taken aback by the audacity of the artist to use the connotation of physicality in such a light hearted manner. Had the same opinions been put forward through a groovy item number, activists wouldn’t have wasted a single second in taking to streets and blatantly scream for ‘equality’.

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Another question that I would like to raise through this platform, is that why do we see objectification with such a perverted mindset? It’s nothing but an admiration for something which constitutes a human being. If someone is in love with one’s mental faculties, sassy terms like ‘Sapiosexuality’ is used to denote the superior intellectuality of that individual, but a person is immediately branded as a ‘meat-lover’, ‘objectifier’, ‘pervert’ and what not if the admiration is based on the physical aspects. At the same time, it is also true that taking these admirations to a level of infatuation or obsession is indeed not desirable, but that applies both in the case of physicality and the mental aspects.

The physical and the mental aspects together constitute the whole human being and without any one of these, a person is simply incomplete! 

So, let’s not unnecessarily discriminate between these, as “Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar”!!!

Note:

Many images used in this article are taken from the Youtube videos of Ed Sheeran, the rights are of-

Written by Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, Johnny Mcdaid • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

The other images are taken from:

https://goo.gl/2af36b

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The ‘chamber’ was up in flames; every nook and corner of the much dreaded ‘machine’ set ablaze by the monster himself. The entire place was drenched with the stench of ‘crudity’. He couldn’t take it anymore, his universe seemed to crumble in front of his eyes and he could do nothing about it.

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His mouth is shut and he must scream, his feet are tied and he must run.

The contradictions of his life had shot through the roof so he decided to burn. Empowered with many theories and fictions alike, it was the only suitable option left for him.

He shaved his hair, trimmed his nails and took a long bath to try and clean himself for the ‘final cleansing’.

He felt his senses alienating themselves from his body as he started to devour them, one at a time. Having ripped himself to the ‘bare essentials’ he began his journey in the search for truth.

A foot long trail of blood formed like a red carpet behind him as he walked to welcome anyone who was willing to accompany him.

The main ‘brain’ behind the whole operation was hidden in some deep dark dungeon and he had to overcome the obstacles of the soul in order to reach there.

So, when he came near, he wasn’t afraid, he dived forward and attacked it with all his might. One after the other he eliminated all his obstacles and was left only with the ‘brain’ behind the entire conspiracy.

As soon as he saw it, he felt a darkness, a tangible darkness engulfing him for eternity, but he wasn’t the one to give in so easily.

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He fought with all his might but couldn’t help as he had to rip out the heart from his body to survive in front of the brain, and so he did, as a heartless zombie!

The man was a man of letters and reason, anything without logic and explanations had no place in his life at all. Therefore he had set out on a quest to resolve and find the logic behind all the mysteries of the universe and so he did. He did get what he aspired for: complete rationality but a price had to be paid in return, a sacrifice had to be made; which was his subjectivity and individuality.

In his quest for rationality, he had given his all and had lost the ability to comprehend the basic pleasures and joys of life.

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image courtesies:

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