“Am I romanticising it too much?” I thought before I started to write this story. Questions are the weirdest things. They make you want to have an answer. They give you query, they fill you up with curiosity, and then you can’t help it. You think, and try to find an answer that satisfies you. That’s what answers are — a satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment. You stop protruding when you are satisfied.
At LinkedIn, a while ago, my headline read, “Inventor; Engineer; Writer;”. A friend asked if there is any reason for the order. At the first instance, “I replied with a shrug, meh!” then something changed.
I thought about it.
We understand our world through complements and contrasts. They say, the artists and neurotics don’t differ much in their ways of consuming the surrounding world, but the artists retain their sanity by forging means to channel the hefty chunks of society they swallow. Being out of their minds, most of the time, ain’t an alien description for most committed artists.
I am living in Bangalore since 2012. It’s the longest I’ve stayed anywhere other than Durg, my hometown. This long in a place and you learn to call it home. I don’t know Kanada, and neither do I know Chhattisgarhi. But, that doesn’t make it any less a part of my identity. I have had my best years here, most of my best trips started from here, love and heartbreaks, promotions and resignations, visa and vacations, all started from here.
I was in attendance at the Bangalore Literature Festival this weekend where I encountered @pagesweturned sitting under a tree with her beautiful, portable typewriter. It has been a while since I saw a typewriter and the sound of her poetry in creation was mesmerizing to my ears. When she was casting her mind on the paper, I was accessing how we have moved from physically collecting our interest and surrounding ourselves with it, to digitally owning them. But,
Excessive order kills creativity. Amidst this decorum of codified existence, serendipity often rescues us from stale monotony, often revealing a conspicuously evident yet unseen truth. Today, at work, I was seeking a collaborator, a soundboard to discuss a subject that has captured my imagination a few years ago. I was playing with the idea for a framework to codify ethics for Artifical Intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence’s journey had been a solitary one for a long time. They were handling specific tasks and often in silos. Recently, the efforts are converging towards a more communal organization of AIs — where they share learnings, lessons, and hacks with each other like a society. As humans, it might work well from a utopian viewpoint but the reality is too creative to appreciate order.
Reasons are many for me to stop,
to turn back, returning to paved paths,
dark nights and these unknown trails
hold secret promises, never unveiled.
Untamed dreams come pouring to eyes,
old songs of separation passing wind revise
in a long journey with unnammed destination,
my beating heart refuses any reason.
“I notice a journey in your words and your passion to stay on the course. It’s beautiful, heartfelt and honest. But, tell me, what is your destination? What do you want to achieve? When in this journey will you say, “I’m here and I’m done and I’m happy.”? Does this journey ever end?” she asked.
It was a simple question yet it took me by surprise. I wasn’t prepared for this. I became inarticulate and couldn’t say anything convincing. I don’t think she noticed. There was more to come.
Do you remember the character of Professor ON from my story I mentioned a few months back? He was the one who had a year to live, last September and now there are only 8 days left for this character. He was the one whose confidence is limitless and working on him made some of it rub on me too. He has his strengths, and I believe sometimes his absolute dedication to his work can make him his own heart’s worst enemy.
Do you know the problem with art? It’s shy. It is insecure, vulnerable, and hyper-sensitive. I have spent most of the last couple of days working on a poem. After dozens of crappy pages, and hundreds of lines, I couldn’t gather enough for a few verses. It seems that the writer, the poet, the artist in me just couldn’t work on timelines. It never could. For him, it’s about the timelessness of the work. Sometimes, a few minutes are enough and sometimes months are short.