Method Living

Pre-Script: No spoilers ahead.

In Christopher Nolan’s brilliant period sci-fi drama* The Prestige, an old Chinese magician lives his act. It means the following: He understands that his flagship magic trick, to look surreally magical, needs a heavy personality quirk. To ensure that he can pull this quirk on stage, he lives with that quirk off-stage. Every day, through his life, he ‘lives’ his act. It’s quite a small scene, and almost irrelevant to the movie; but for some reason, it hit me that there is this guy who is willing to live an act, consciously, forever. I will not get into acts that we live unconsciously, or sporadically, or with temporal profit in mind for some limited time. This is an act that a person lives – forever. Method Living? Perhaps.

Today, I had a night long conversation with Yakshi, and as we go to a couple of people we know, he claimed that they were Method Living. It reminded me of a close friend who Method Lives. The quirk is in his voice. He’d know it if he reads this. It made the movie seem far more real, and far more hard hitting.

These quirks that Method Livers inculcate in their lives are mostly profit driven. I either want to make the world believe that I am something that I am not, or I have a far simpler commercial motive like the magician in the movie. The former is something that we are all capable of: we either don’t, or we don’t notice; or we do. The latter, though, is something that would require me to possess a degree of passion towards my profession that would transcend my life.

Speaking of passion, along with Susan Orlean’s character in Adaptation, I keep wondering if I will ever have a passion that will consume me – at least make me cut a finger or two, let alone give my life.

* – Christopher Nolan’s quote describing his movies: The term ‘genre’ eventually becomes pejorative because you’re referring to something that’s so codified and ritualised that it ceases to have the power and meaning it had when it first started.


No significant update. Just removing dead links.

Ages ago, the Intellectual Whores website (now a 404) had given me some solace; but not much hope though. The masterfully written Ladder Theory explains why things are so screwed up; but, yeah, but, so we (whores?) don’t lose hope, there are the ever so entertaining whore avoidance tips. Now, after all these years, I finally manage to read Woody Allen’s short story, The Whore of Mensa.
-End of Aside-

It made me reminisce my own guilty trips to establishments of that sort. I remember how the Penguin Classics shelves at New India Book Depot in Connaught Place had seduced me. I had no hope. But that was just once though. Not the case with Fact and Fiction Booksellers in PVR Priya though. I got lured there many times; oh so many times. I went there for the smell. But no, it’s not easy; I absolutely cannot stand dust. But these people have somehow managed to make the smell pleasurable – the right mix of old dust, new page texture, looming shelves, cozy corners of wood, and maybe they subtly spray bibiliodisiac all over the place. I wonder what will be my stopword this time? How about ‘stop’? But before all that, I helplessly writhe and reach out for Simone. I know I have not been able to do her the last time, but hopefully this time…hopefully.

Then, there are the concubines at home. I have left them spread haphazardly on my bed, under it, on the cold steel shelf, on the hard floor, everywhere. And all these are the more prized ones: I could call each one my own Khartoum. I go back to them everyday, I caress their initial pages now and then, but only a few I have managed to take in fully. Well, some day – some day, there will be that grand marathon session. Or some day – some day, there will be that long session where I will reaffirm my intellectual youth by using them with all the rigour that they deserve. Or some day – some day, I will just take them all one by one, till I collapse.

I love them though.