Thursday, May 10, 2012

She used to sign off as 'H'.

She used to sign off as 'H'. It was simpler to let that letter, that alphabet, stand in for her; who she was, and who she was every moment becoming. It had none of the burden of her 'real' or 'given' name. Harmony. Talk about the responsibility attendant to a name like that. You have to cultivate, propagate it - sometimes at tremendous odds with what you might really want to do to/with those jackasses you share the road with - live it, goddamnit. Then there's the musical implication. How could a Harmony - any Harmony - not harmonise? And well at that? Bref, she used to, as I said, sign off as 'H'.

She read an awful lot, did our H. She only wrote a little. She heard an awful lot of music, and sang with a band thrice a week for the better part of 13 years. She only composed a little. Her biggest fear was mediocrity. She wielded her erudition like a weapon; prayed it would pass off for genuine intelligence - and, of course, that nobody would discover the difference. She used aforementioned erudition too, as one ought to be able to do with any good weapon, like a shield. To hide behind. Hide what? Well, that wrinkle newly appearing on her face, that little roll of fat around her once tiny waist, the feeling that she was (somehow) an impostor in her chosen field(s), the sinking realisation (or presumption - she was never sure which) that she was more of this world than she liked to believe, that she was heartbreakingly human despite her assertion that hers was an alien creed, and finally, whether this really was all there was. This she cloaked in what most who saw her deemed confidence or arrogance, depending on the generosity of their spirit, or the capacity in which they met her.

She loved, sometimes. She suspected she was a cold-hearted bitch, because she could switch off, retire into her mind which was always her favourite play thing, and contentedly sit out most storms there, snug as a bug in a rug. This was not to say she loved in half-measure, but she was scared by how quickly she was capable of being disenchanted; or worse, indifferent. She was scared of everything and nothing simultaneously. This was largely because, at age 15, she awoke with a start one night. She realised she had been sobbing and gasping for breath in her sleep. H was convinced that this was her last night on earth - alive, anyway - and she was scared of sleeping again for the fact of the yawning neant waiting to claim her for itself. Since then, she seemed to make an uneasy sort of peace with the idea of death. No, she didn't have some sort of revelation that each sorry day needs to be seized or anything as dramatic as that, but she did decide that she had to pack her life with as much seeing and doing as she possibly could. Also, selfishly, she hoped that she wouldn't outlive her parents - the only two people she loved decidedly more than (definitely as much as, at any rate) life [you would too, if you were lucky enough to know them] and the few others around whom the planet that was H revolved or rotated or whatever it is planets are meant to do around their axes.

H would like you to read this post as an obituary. Not because she is deceased, but because she believes we change every second of every day. Not in dramatic ways, perhaps, but change we do. Why, there are some events in her own life which seem so remote, she can't believe they ever transpired. But they did. Is she disowning her past life? No. Is she seeking absolution because the person she is this minute is a different one? Again, no. Why? Because the people that we become are the by-or-end products of the people that we were, and every last thing we've seen, heard, dreamed, touched, felt, abandoned, hurt, carried, loved, shot, eaten, plucked, planted, shorn, revised, bitten, swatted or glued together, bloody well counts. So, this is an obituary for the Hs that were, to make room for those that are, and those that will come.
She wrote this post today as a response to something a friend (dear; so dear. and talented - so bloody talented) sent her a few days ago. From him she took the idea of masking autobiography by couching it in the form of an Obit. She got distracted along the way, as has been the story of every H there has been yet, and therefore mused on the form-proper and what it meant to 'be' or not to 'be'. More, to 'become'. Hanged if I know what, though.

And now, back to the thesis. *sigh. I was actually quite enjoying this.      


Calvin said...

I know this one, this H. Worked with her for a while too. Though, all I usually did was to watch her write a little and then, put it on the newspaper style sheet of Page 19. She seemed to be hard-wired to be flowers and sunshine most of the times. Though, I guess mostly between her "act" of erudition and the genuine intelligence of her mind, she managed to create a world of words that were always filled with empathy. Maybe she learnt it from her parents, maybe she just picked it up along the way as she grew up with her childish smile, but you could happily sense her love even when she was abusing you in the most original combination of abuses that you might ever hear in your life.

I guess I am just glad that I was a part of her carnival for a little bit and maybe, just maybe, I will join her again someday.

Harmony Siganporia said...

Ranjit Singh, you are a beautiful, beautiful person. You bloody well will join my carnival again someday, seeing as there is always a place on my travelling freak-show for one so 'apt' as yourself.
The Hs tell me to send you love.

Quicksilver said...

I loved this post. IN fact, every other sentence made me wish I'd written it!

Anonymous said...

She is eccentric, true, but for me, there is this brilliance (which she never tries to hide :} ).
I am glad I shared a road with one remarkable H. :}