Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pritish Nandy - My separated at birth twin

The pleasures of being a bore

Pritish Nandy
29 May 2012, 12:03 AM IST

I am an itinerant presence on Twitter. I am not on Facebook. I rarely trawl malls and try out new brands, new restaurants. I avoid pulp fiction and Hollywood blockbusters don't excite me overmuch. Dating a celebrity is not exactly my idea of a great evening out. And no, I don't go to Ibiza to party or Bahrain for F1. I don't even own a Blackberry or an iPad. I haven't worn a watch in years but am almost always on time. And no, I don't consider myself famous, never did.
Now doesn't this make me the perfect bore?

I write for my livelihood, paint for my pleasure. I make movies because they are fun. I work out because it makes me feel good. I yoga because it wakes me up early and allows me to watch the city come to life. I tweet when I feel like and I enjoy the response of others to what I say, even when they are not always polite. The interplay of ideas sharpens my thoughts. I walk into bookshops, sit in a corner and read. I travel a lot because it allows me to escape the ennui of routine. You can recognise me anywhere by my faded jeans and white shirt. A grey waistcoat and sneakers complete the ensemble. I never dyed my beard which greyed in my thirties. I shaved my head by accident and liked it so much I never grew my hair back.

I listen to all music, enjoy them all. From Elvis to Gangubai Hangal to Nusrat to Adele. But yes, I love music where the words touch my heart. I love Sahir and Kaifi. I re-read old classics. But I enjoy watching The Simpsons too. It bothers me when Inception tests my intelligence, and my patience. But that doesn't mean I watch Houseful 2. I would rather watch ZNMD or Kahaani. My idea of a perfect date would be in a tiny café in a place where I have never been with someone I have never met and am unlikely to ever meet again. Mystery and magic are what I seek from life, and the occasional miracle of love.

So rarely do I go to parties that people have stopped inviting me. The company of one beautiful or intelligent person excites me far more than people in the collective trying very hard to enjoy themselves. I find the world a charming place, best savoured on one's own or with someone you love. Group celebration is as unexciting to me as group sex. I find both tedious. Sex, like love, is at its best when you experience it with someone of the opposite sex, which makes me doubly boring in a world where almost everyone is bisexual or (in Samantha's memorable coinage) trysexual. I really wouldn't know what to do with a naked man. Only women exist in my sexual universe.

Even there I am deadly boring. S&M doesn't titillate me. Mozart may. I passed on drugs when I passed out of school. Alcohol makes me drowsy. And the current obsession over food I find gross. I eat little, speak less, grab the passing moment. Neither greed nor gluttony excite me. I wouldn't notice if Gordon Ramsay was in the kitchen. It's the person I am with who makes it happen. I never eat alone. The only food I miss is what I don't get. Ergo, nostalgia food. A meal I had on a steamer in Bangladesh. My mother's cooking, even though it was never great. I miss food from little known places that have shut down. I remember a city by what I ate there, usually happenstance street food.
I believe our hearts teach us how to react. A book, a film, a song may move me to tears at a special moment. On another, they could leave me untouched. That's why it's so tough being a critic. You have to carry your moment with you. Trees, dogs, cats, birds, flowers, squirrels running on the fence, the sound of laughter work any time for me, and the delight of walking through unknown streets, empty fields, unseen dreams. I love them all and wish I could pass on the memories to those I care for instead of the trinkets we gift each other and so easily forget.

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