White paper, blank thoughts, cracking knuckles and a Sunday face hung-over from the dissolved week stares out from the hollow-eyed look of Mr J. He’s contemplating writing (the truth being he can’t even work out a day’s itinerary) a novel, based as he says on the pitfalls of living in a “kingdom with a boredom syndrome”.
He was a curious little dirty kid who’d taken up becoming a “gatekeeper” to the movies (seeing as he did the number of free movies the gatekeepers could watch). He’d later abandon the gate-keeper-ship for the more glamorous role of “truck driver”- the clincher being the fact that a truck driver had a house on wheels he could drive anywhere he wanted. Schools taught Mr J the importance of grades over knowledge and wisdom, not that he’d gone to school to gain in knowledge or wisdom.
College was a matter of trying his best to rein in the long boredom of doing about absolutely nothing for half a decade - pretty long time to get that certificate that said, in a serious font, “Bachelor of Arts”.
Truth was, Mr J didn’t really know and didn’t really care. The issue of time and day to management was inherently embedded. The intrinsic boredom of all those years manifesting in works of literature Mr J’d devour day and night.
And here he was, four World Cups later and older, rummaging through the scraps of his memoirs. Poor Mr J had come to this. He looked into the scraps and he looked deep into the memoirs. There was nothing in there - just a few scattered shrapnel and shreds of supposed revelations drifting about in an existence of nothingness.
The Sunday boredom infuriated him. The Monday work excruciated him. The weekend fuss irritated him. The Tuesday dryness exasperated him. The Wednesday humdrum annoyed him.
The changing talks of the same old people in the same old bars and cafes tormented him. Developments on the political front and the wants and the needs of the politburo pissed him. The decay in communities resulting in violence, drugs, sex and booze incensed him. Even the old mountains and hills began to take the shape of mocking patrons, daring him to see things differently.
The old river and its sleep-inducing song began to whistle cries of repeated anguish.
Mr J had hit rock bottom. The juice of life had been squeezed dry out of him. There was not a droplet of enthusiasm. Inspiration had died of boredom and been buried deep, long rotten and forgotten.
The story doesn’t take a twist. It gets worse. Mr J had decided he’d become a writer and a traveler. He seemed to write and he seemed to travel. Funny thing for he had indeed written (doodled here and there) and traveled (broke and jailed here and there).
And today here he was back home - making a living out of writing and writing on a pretty average note. Truth was, and Mr J knew it; there was really nothing substantial about his occupation. But Mr J was smart, because he knew there really wasn’t anything substantial about the world as well. He did social and political commentaries in a monthly magazine and the odd opinion for the local paper.
It really didn’t matter how he worded his article and how touching or right the column sounded. For that matter, he even realized the fleeting nature of his subject-matter and the tired and bored-populace-at-large and their attention span. As an impressionable young man, he’d ravaged the books of wisdom and quoted them ad hoc here, there and everywhere. He’d listened to the great teachings and admired the great teachers following them incognito. Whatever he’d written smacked of plagiarism – Mr J now almost seemed to despise that. Perhaps it was patronizing self-criticism but now he dare not draw dreamy parallels when he wrote. Mr J had at last realized the futility of trying to impress the world; specifically a world that was bored to death. Hence he’d become more like his own writing avatar.
He wasn’t bothered about the garbage but would take care of his own. When people expressed spontaneous Dharma-fueled declarations he’d take them in with a cheesy smile. For those who wanted to save the world from the world he’d offer naïve encouragement. He ate the meat with a look of guilt in front of vegetarians and fruitarians. The presence of self-righteous people turned him into a patient villain and when the rich complained of excesses, he’d disagree. Poor old Mr J! He’d often wondered about the Buddha and how it’d taken a good part of 2000 years for the Four Noble Truths to sink in. The thought of Christ being nailed told him more about the nature of man than anything else.
Keeping all these variables in mind, Mr J had reached the pivotal junction where he’d weighed the pros and cons of penning a novel of revelations, and at long last, come to the penultimate decision that there were hundreds and thousands of dusty old libraries stacked to the shelves with writers who wanted to share in their revelations with the general citizen. He’d decided to stay away from the ashes and the dust; focusing instead on wrestling the boredom in his kingdom. No mean feat, that!