Saturday, March 06, 2004

Holi Wars in Pacino-mode

Twenty people broke into my room. They did this by breaking my door (read broke the wooden panels). My favourite T-Shirt was torn, my favourite pyjama now looks like the revealing dress which Arabian belly dancers wear and my lucky underwear (sob sob) – don’t even ask about it. And then an entire rainbow was painted all over my body. If you are alarmed for my safety, relax. This is exactly the way Holi is played in IIT. This is the way uninterested denizens of the hostel zone are seduced into playing Holi with a vengeance that would have put John McClane (Bruce Willis in Die Hard) to shame. Violence/Anger is a very potent adrenalin booster. Enrage someone and you can make them do the impossible (side effects not withstanding). Thus I became wrath and I played Holi after many years today. After the initial rush I calmed down and actually enjoyed myself. The door got fixed easily. After seeing the torn T-shirt and pyjama I realized that it was time to move on to other things. But my lucky underwear, that damage is irreparable. Oh well! I was never fully convinced that whatever little luck I had was because of that underwear. But now I need to find another candidate from the ranks of my wardrobe (if it can be called that) to replace the Genuine Jockey boxer brief as a good luck charm.

As an afterthought I remembered the reason why I hadn’t played Holi for all those years. Holi has always been a violent festival. People loose their minds playing Holi. Violence brings out anger and anger brings out the best and worst in me (mostly at the same time). No wonder I am always able to pull off angry, contemptuous and conniving roles with ease. Every mono act I write plays on my ability to use all the pent-up anger (I suppose I should call it energy). Though most of us are capable of emoting a whole plethora of emotions, we all have a basic emotion which takes us to a deeper level of consciousness, connecting us with ourselves in a better way. For me this emotion is contempt, contempt of everything around me and a holier-than-thou attitude. This contempt is not real, neither is the holier than thou attitude natural to me. It’s just that when I behave in a contemptuous manner I really have fun. No wonder I am such a big Pacino fan (see The Devil's Advocate and Scent of a Woman and you'll understand). For some people the basic emotion is jealousy and for some it is vanity (more of a sin than an emotion).

But contempt can lead to dire consequences, especially when your friends are involved. That is the sole reason why I never act crazy (the way I was born) when I am sober (was that an oxymoron - crazy when sober). I wish I could but I can't. Alcohol has no effect on me. I can stay completely sober under excessive amounts of booze. But being drunk gives me the opportunity to act contemptuous and still not emotionally hurt anyone. I can always apologize later by saying that I was drunk. I get to be in Pacino-mode and no one minds. Everyone is happy. Period.

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