Tuesday, 8 November 2011

On Losing the Meaning

My childhood thesaurus put melancholy as a synonym for sadness. But life taught me the subtle difference. Sadness comes with tears, anger, indignation, denial. It blocks out everything else. Sadness heals. We give Time, time, and sadness heals. But melancholy? Melancholy comes with a tired acceptance. It stays. Softly, unobtrusively but it stays. It never stops anything, but like a tinted glass, it dims the brightest of sunshine.

“And everyday life loses a little bit of its meaning.”

Thus read a friend’s text message while we were philosophising on the phone. Strange how depressing observations reach across people. No one died today. No dreams were shattered. No one cried out for help. No shots were fired. There is melancholy, not sadness.

And yet there is a ever-deepening sense of loss. Each day goes by with the feeling that it left me a little bit poorer than the previous. Small, almost imperceptible, but undeniable. Every day I lose a little more and I know I will never regain it back.

For someone who grew up believing in the glory of life, the brittleness of the meaning of life in the face of the world is hard to swallow. As I pick apart all that is around me, everything unravels with an ease that is almost scary. And it all echoes emptily with a single question, “What does it matter?”
So is that it? I remember shaking my head, and thinking “Crazy fellow”, when I first read that life is something that happens to you on the way to the grave. Somehow, I don’t do that anymore. Shake my head disbelievingly, that is.

No one died, because no one lived. No dreams were shattered because we lost those long back. No one cried for help because they learnt way early that there is no one to hear. No shots were fired because there is nothing left to fight for. And there is melancholy, not sadness.

They say sorrow shared is half. Perhaps it didn’t hold good for this because as I said, there is melancholy, not sadness. There was small comfort that two people, miles apart in terms of geography, ideas, age and background, both shared this depressing (and accurate?) view. The walls the world builds between people effectively prevents any real exchange of emotions, except perhaps in rare unguarded moments. We did not talk about this anymore beyond those five minutes.

My reply was that “If everyday life loses a little bit of its meaning, and you are still not done with it, I would still call you lucky. Because it means you started out with a whole lot of it in the first place.” Old habits die hard, and the eternal optimist says perhaps, just perhaps, this is the meaning of life. That in spite of it all, we still had this conversation.

[photo courtesy:http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-amCJ_L5BW5o/Trk3NVgPy2I/AAAAAAAAAKI/3boRBn5Zdks/s1600/Lost-Soul.jpg]


  1. Lament

    A lament resounds
    Through the forest
    Of a failed long gone lore.
    Drops of dew
    Like silent tears
    Grace the tips of the leaves.
    Every passing moment
    Witnesses the passage of
    Myriad emotions.
    Leaves have withered.
    Buds have perished.
    Flowers have dried
    And a new day dawns
    Marking the funeral
    Of last night
    Its revelry of death.

  2. Nice.. Dark... like Bournville :D

  3. Its great that you can express your deep thoughts so openly. A well written post but yes with a touch of melancholy...

  4. The first para of your story & the last..are absolutely brilliant..pity people don't read stuff like this any more..of course bitching about others is far more popular stuff..Will be back..in fact you reminded me of myself.

  5. Beautifully written piece Rupsa, I love the way it starts and the editing is brilliant. Very impressive.
    -sometimes all we need is a little altruism, a smile from the security guard who works all day so she can pay her son's way through college, just so he can be 'like us' or even recognition from the waiter at a restaurant. The small things that tell you that maya or not, it's the energy you send out that matters to the universe.


  6. yo mannn. we should like be friends and like chilll. coz lyk when i read this i was like- coolio bro!we got some major heart-to-heart stuff goin onnn here! like yea! keep writing the smashing stuff :D

  7. thank you. if you felt that the words were somewhat like what you wanted to use, i would have done my job.


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