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Tolerance – Is there another word that has such self-importance and patronizing tone built into it? It suggests, nay, declares that the one who is doing the “tolerance” is being generous to the one towards which this “tolerance” is aimed at.  There is a word “Upkaar” in Hindi or “Ehsaan” in Urdu, which loosely translates to “favor” or “benefaction” in English. For me, “tolerance” is loaded with “upkaar/ehsaan”! So when someone (or some society/nation/organization) says “I am tolerant of all races/religions/nationalities/sexual orientations, etc.”, I smell self-righteousness in their claim of “tolerance”. For true equality, there shouldn’t be a need for any tolerating, there should just be “acceptance” of “you are who you are”.

Pain – It’s not new news that a majority of the great artists from around the world, from the past or the present, were people who harbored great pain. Whether it be pain due to difficult childhoods or unrequited loves or substance abuse or personality disorders or financial issues or abusive parents or conflicts (war/ideological conflicts/persecution), each one of them were troubled in their own way. This pain translated into some of the greatest pieces of art – music, paintings, sculptures, films, performances, books, poems, etc. There seems to be a direct correlation between creativity and the degree of pain the creator is experiencing. So by deduction, great art is borne from great pain. As I said, not new news! What intrigues me is – do the artist’s have a predilection to continue to nurture this pain, not let go of it, to seek out even more pain, in order to keep their creativity alive ? Do they consciously not want to heal their pain or attempt to alleviate it? Is pain their addiction, do they really enjoy pain, do they even crave it ?

Lately, I have been doing some self-evaluation and introspection, what I have noticed is that I have been the most lucid in my writing when I am in a place of emotional turmoil/pain. Once I am in this state, I see things more clearly, I feel energized to exercise my creative side while all other parts of my biology want to shut down – sleeplessness, restlessness, snappy behavior with close relations, and a general lack of focus at everyday tasks – such as my job, household chores, socializing, etc. During this period, I feel like two different people are inside of me – one, which feels like it’s drowning and sinking into an abyss and another – who is charged up to “create” something. It’s an extremely confusing and exhausting period, but what I am coming to understand is that maybe, just maybe, there is a chance I actually enjoy being in this state. If this is true, does it also mean that I have an affinity to pain? And does it make my actions that cause this pain, masochistic?