Thursday, December 16, 2004

Iconoclasm in the air

When I finished reading Ramasamy blog on 'Doing the thing you really love'. I felt I had to write something about this. The weight of my musings grew so much that I had to create nothing less than a post for it. The whole point is about the fundamental question that stars right in front of our face: Are we doing the one thing which we REALLY love to do? It is so simple yet so frustrating to realize that we, whom we claim to be successful in our lives are after all doing things that we really don't care a damn for.
Though, I consider myself a person who is not inspired by pessimism, the cynic in me, tells me the following argument:
True we are not doing the things we really care for. But that's a problem of with your schedule and not a problem of volition. Ok, I am a little cryptic here. What I meant was the kind of things which the article (in India Today) talked about: People living their lives with a delusion that they are successful and soon find themselves leave their career and go for that one thing they really love to do, aren't as liberating as they seem to be. For each person there are a few things which seem to be important. They are important because the person inexplicably loves doing them. It is only logical to say that you will be the most satisfied if you are doing that one thing. Those people afflicted with that obnoxious disease called we-are-different-syndrome (ironical that I have also put up the iconoclastic Apple Ad), blowing their war-trumpets for an all-out war against practicality, arouse everybody to quit their jobs and prove to the world that they are the masters of their own little niche. A simple problem arises here. When a person leaves his career and all his practicality behind to do what he loves to do, he must realize that the world cares very little about what this person considers a thing of beauty. And I predict it will be a unnecessarily frustrating experience for that person to prove to the world about the profundity of his work.
Consider a person who is a gifted painter. By definition, he like to paint. He has a amazing gift to express himself so eloquently with his brush. Even though painting a masterpiece standing all day in his studio is a burden on his ill-fed body, his soul gets its only source of artistic gratification from that very act. To me, I find it contradictory when this painter attempts to prove to the world that his painting is after all a masterpiece. Though it is a little heartless of me, theoretically, true to his art, I expect that he must not feel an ounce of pain when his paintings are rejected. He must be sensible enough to accept the fact that his audience is not as sensitive to those strokes of his brush as he is. If his paintings are accepted, then the painter can rest in the bliss (not elation) that the world has the maturity (or the insanity) to look at the world in the same frequency of the painter. More importantly the moment that painter, in his desperation to earn a living, attempts to do anything other than pleasing himself, like trying to appeal to the world, puts the final nail on the coffin of his beloved art. Indeed his art has suffered a sad and unnecessary demise.
This tells me only one thing, never try to sell your thing of joy to the world. According to me, the biggest disservice you can do to your art is by debasing it to a profession and making yourself dependent on it for your physical needs. As I always say, at least for now, Our professional lives feed our body while our intellectual lives feed our soul. (Man, I hate this cynicism)
Having said all of this, I cannot but envy at people like A.R.Rehman who are hopefully true to their art and still remains successful and accepted by the world. (the understatement of this century)
After all, there is still Hope in this world.


Gokulakrishnan S said...

"The Agony and the Ecstasy", a biography of Michaelangelo talks about this genius with absolute lack of material needs and unflinching passion to his art. He lived and died in abject porverty and all he felt bad about was his failure to finish some great pieces before his health failed him in sculpting marble.

Share ur sentiments on phoney upstarts.. but lord, we have awful few of the real ones who (I hate this cliche) follow their heart.

Prasanna S said...

He still felt BAD. What then did he gain by "following his heart"? - I am just curious!

Gokulakrishnan S said...

read the title dude... his ecstasy, i gather lied in sculpting.