Thursday, 17 December 2009

Masks and faces


“In the room, the women come and go
Talking of Michaelangelo.”

The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’ never was one of my favourite poems until I realised how much I could associate with it, and how much more it is true of our lives today. I came across this poem in my 11th standard poetry text and was not too fascinated by it. But somehow it has managed to stay in my life, and sauntered across my path a million times over after that. So it credits some mention today.
I was thinking about the above quoted lines yesterday, at a poetry meet at the Taj Mount Road Hotel. It is a posh and beautiful place, but somehow, I knew that I was out of place. I couldn’t place myself amongst the talking multitude of people muttering seemingly-sweet nothings into each others’ ears. It forcibly reminded me of this poem. It was the same circumstance, and I, here, was Prufrock. Over and over again, through the night, these two lines would resonate inside my head, and I mentally thought of penning it down in my blog. So here it is.
Maybe last night, we all were preparing “a face to meet the faces that (we) meet,” like the masque, where we do not need to show our true face, but rather a facade. [I wonder which word came first- face or facade, and whether the root of the two words are the same]. These faces are easily stripped off when you look at yourself in the mirror, and force yourself not to lie. It is tough, is it not, to face the truth? Hmm... another meaning to the word face- to confront. Interesting that the word ‘face’ seems to mean both confronting as well as masking. And thus Janus is justified. Though she looks at both the present and the past, she is also a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
And that is all that we are. We are mere imitiations of dark and light merged into one being. We are masques and images that refract light, like million pieces of glass, except it doesn’t have an original sun. We are shadows of a non-existant sun. We are thus, nowhere and everywhere, and thus mirages of reality. The real does not exist, but only the simulation. We are, then, the simulation. And it all boils down to the fact that,
“In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michaelangelo.”

1 comment:

indi said...

Mirages of reality....
Beautiful.