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The art of kintsugi

Forthright and truthful I am but that is because there’s too much effort one has to put in to lie and frankly, it’s not worth it.

Published: 29th May 2021 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2021 06:36 AM   |  A+A-

The author with her friends and family

Express News Service

BENGALURU: I am perhaps old school, and was brought up in an old school manner with an old school education. Even though my ‘epoch erasing’ detractors would like to snigger that, perhaps I belong to the Jurassic age rather than the age of Aquarius, I would like to point out that by old school I mean ‘genteel’ and not crass! Though people call me upfront and forthright I would like to mention that I baulk at hurting feelings and bandying about names freely.

Forthright and truthful I am but that is because there’s too much effort one has to put in to lie and frankly, it’s not worth it. So today I am going to be frank and forthright with my readers. I am not doing very well. I am withdrawn, moody and unhappy most of the time. I am quite done with trying to find the positives (oh boy! Now even ‘being positive’ is a scary word) and fighting off the tides of despondency, despair and hopelessness. My relationships are fractured, and my emotional stronghold is crumbling. I rely on myself more and more and along with an unfamiliar world I find myself in an unfamiliar mindscape.

I have inadvertently opened a door into the twilight zone. I feel like Alice in Wonderland where sometimes I’m too big and sometimes too small for a place. My world is teeming with madness and the unfamiliar. Sometimes I feel claustrophobic. But I am a bright and ruminating individual who thinks things through. Perhaps this is the one quality that, as the French aptly put it, doesn’t allow my mind ‘Un moment calme dans le temps’, (a quiet moment in time). If I am to believe the WhatsApp degree in medicine, being afflicted by Cardi- V has severe repercussions on the already vulnerable parts of one’s body.

So a mildly diabetic person’s sugar may go through the roof, a mild heart condition may be accentuated etc. This in local parlance is called the ‘Corona Fracture’ and may be applied to one’s state of mind, relationships and well-being. My two best friends in the world, two women whom I have known since school and after, are not doing well. I haven’t laid eyes on them for over a year and only the universe knows if I ever can. I think of all the wasted time meeting people that didn’t and still don’t matter, sharing my aura and energy when I knew I only had to turn my back to have them scatter and chatter... and now I’m trapped in this world where I erase mental pictures of people who went away.

We all make plans. I am a mother of adults and have never expected them to be under my wing forever. I prepared them for flight but I imagined myself in that picture... visiting them wherever they were situated in the world, sharing time filled with love and laughter, exchanging stories of work and play... where I would have my world and they theirs. This forced proximity filled with fears, financial uncertainties, death and sickness has brought relationship fractures to the forefront. A partner, who has been a part of my life forever, someone I took on the world for, and now, we don’t exchange four civil sentences... my bonhomie has turned to bitterness while his stoic comforting silence has turned to hostility.

Fractures that will leave us with a permanent limp or nothing at all. Nowadays, the only conversation (on WhatsApp) the family from different corners of the world signs up for, is to exchange health bulletins on my still desperately sick nephew. We are all fractured but alive. There will always be a ‘lie’ in believe, An ‘over’ in lover An ‘end’ in friends and And an ‘if ’ in life. Maybe we should try the Japanese art of mending fractures with gold... thereby enhancing the beauty of the broken. The art of Kintsugi... can it save us?

RUBI CHAKRAVARTI

Writer, actor and funny girl



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