I always wanted to do this; I am aboard Etihad Airways which just took off from Abu Dhabi. I am typing furiously into my keyboard as a challenge to the businessman who is doodling over his spreadsheet next to me, just for the sake of competition. I get tired of it as I get no benign ideas to write a blog. So I surrender to boredom and pick a pencil and a rough sheet.
I consciously push my wannabe-creativeness to its limit; my tongue is stretching my lips tugging it at its asymptote. Or in other words an expression/smiley that provides any insurance to any insecure joke [:-P]. I end up with a stick man, fairly satisfied with my penmanship I look about, seeking fandom. A curious girl on the aisle seat looks at my drawing and giggles and says “Haha you don’t know how to draw, your man has no neck”. I am flustered I look back at the sketch and say “He has a double chin”. She looks at me confused
and I say to her “Ha-ha you don’t know what a double chin is”. The kid gave me a cold look and complained to her mum. I could surely tell that her mother wasn’t bemused. Anyway this post is going to be about how we view creativity as an indigenous population.
I introduced myself to a girl next to me who said she was studying Archeology, and I seriously could only picture her with a hat and a whip- Clothed of course (References strictly to Raiders of the Ark-(Harrisson Ford/Steven Spielberg version). And I couldn’t for the love of reason understand why anyone would take such a curious course; I thought to myself perhaps she is rich. Perhaps creativity is an act of vanity reserved for the riches.
Of course the cynicism over creativity is an acquired one, each of us had our moments in the past or will in the future where we would liken some of our quality and enjoy it committing ourselves to it. I recollect a field trip to a garments factory in our school days. Our guide passionately explained how creativity is something that is very important for a garment factory. We were asked to put share our suggestions to which he took passionately. Of course the girls were better at it suggesting various shades of colors which I thought didn’t possibly exist.
Me on the other hand trying to outwit them counseled with my boys, and suggested that underwear’s should be stitched to pants to make the effort of wearing both the garments, less laborious. I seriously thought it was an idea of marvel; Alas we were laughed at, apparently our suggestion was ridiculous. I still don’t understand why. If they hadn’t laughed back then who would have known I would have been dressing up top models now, which is a tough job if you ask me; especially if you are straight.
Our curriculum offers enough opportunity for being creative, I have seen students who are otherwise less interested (not less intelligent) in regular subjects than others but excel in extracurricular subjects like craft and art but however they weren’t encouraged much. I think we as a country still have to go a long way in recognizing creativity as compared to the Europeans and Americans (Though that is not the reason why they are bankrupt and we are not. We are just corrupt).
We are expected to bust guts and make a living out of things that sound pragmatic to us, and if there isn’t a monetary incentive the passion towards the activity is seen as being ridiculous. The point that they miss is that there are very few things in life which bring unbound joy such as relishing one’s creativity. There needn’t always be appraisal, but the sheer effort in putting them draws a smile across one’s face that is very difficult to erase. Think of your grandma who by the stilted window buried under a yarn of wool trying to knit a sweater for you, there wasn’t just love in that. There was a passion for an art of knitting.
The time when your mom asked you to taste one of her culinary experiments, which well might taste like an ogre’s toe burned in paint but still if you could have captured her face during the act, you would have seen happiness. Think of the street dancer and stage artists (Koothadi’s as referred to in Tamil culture), they hardly make their ends meet. But when they are at their act, they seem to be the masters of their fate. Of course this explanation might be considered as naïve romanticism with the poor and underappreciated, but that would be missing the point.
In truth there are very few things which we allow ourselves to do unconditionally irrespective of attention or criticism. Creativity is one of them; of course my voice will surely be lost amongst the annals of consumerism and paychecks.
But for the dreamers who still get that sugar rush while being creative will continue to foster their passion and be masters of their fate, however short lived it may be.