Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beautiful Fantasies

Being a Ph.D. student, or indeed any kind of full-time student, has several disadvantages – one is more often than not poor, bogged down with school work and lives an exceedingly dull life. Is it any wonder then that wild Spring break vacations and copious amounts of drink and drugs are associated with students? After all, students all over the world have tried in vain to either liven up their lives by going over the top in sensory pleasure, or dull their senses to the commonplaceness of it all by indulging in mind-numbing activities. The opiate of every student is different – it is wild partying for many, or videogames, or obsessing over physical appearance, or dungeons and dragons, or ... The list is endless. For me it is books, movies, telly and the internet.

And what do I get from all these sources? The lives of others – characters who don’t really exist, celebrities who exist but live more fun lives in my fantasies than they do in real life, people I have never met and probably will never meet, fellow-bloggers who anonymously allow me the pleasure of reading their minds, online flirtations affording my banal life some spicy diversion… There really is something very child-like and innocent about the way I weave my fantasies in and out of the millions of other lives which will never really ever intersect mine. Just this morning, I invented a make-believe romance with Ben Badra - an actor I saw in a movie the other day. It was something out of Shakespeare, with touches of an Eastman color Hindi movie. Byron’s poetry was spouted liberally, and it prominently featured incurable wasting diseases and other similar tragic circumstances of epic proportions. It did have a happy ending – my dreams always do.

Having an over-active imagination is a wonderful gift, but I also often wonder if it is not my most painful curse. I am never ever going to meet Ben Badra, let alone find out we are compatible or fall in love. And I am sure he knows nothing of Byron and has probably never read Shakespeare. I also hope he never is plagued by the horrific diseases I nursed him back to health from. One day I am going to have a rude awakening from this world of make-believe romance and goodness. Most men and women aren’t heroes, and no one is completely good. The idea of romance for the next person is probably dramatically different from my unoriginal ideas that have been unashamedly plagiarized from books and television. One day I shall wake up and be completely grown-up and laugh bitterly at these ridiculous ideas. All innocent hope will be lost and I will never again dream of Ben Badra. And that will be worse than anything else. But I bet it will come someday – utter, complete disillusionment. But until then, Ben Badra is crazy about me!


ian skidmore said...

I think the best Lynd to start with is the Everyman edition of "Essays on Life and Literature". It contains a sample of his general essay writing but best of all his biography of the great Dr Johnson, which I read as a small boy and was turned on to Dr Sam for life. Largely to keep boredom at bay I am starting to write, wihout hope of finding a publisher, the biography of a "singing"girl who married a Welsh aristocrat and then found she was a changeling. In fact she was the abandoned daugther of the Duc d'Orleans and after the revolution became, though never recognised, the rightful Queen of France.....

Beautiful Mind said...

An active imagination can only survive with innocence ,else they may turn to hallucinations.And each imagination is as strong as a drawing in a plan.It will materialize.All your imagination will come true since I had known the real power of imagination.All you now need is the intention and attention ,then manifestation happens by itself.

thats why i always say be very cautious about your desires.

think ,what is it that you really require?

Aarti said...

Being a full-time employee doesnt really take away the "exceedingly dull life"! We have atleast 2, if not more dull days per week!... :)

Azalea said...

Mr. Skidmore.... I'll put the book on my list. Also, do tell me when your biography is published... I want to read it. I still haven't found a copy of the new "Forgive Us...."

Anoop, if half my dreams came true, the world would be a better place - at least for me. :-)

Aarti, 2 dull days is better than 7. I envy you guys!