Down the River of Pain

At a meeting the last week at Rude Lounge(Tinder, obviously) I was with this beautiful exotic-looking specimen of the fairer sex. Though I was instantly attracted towards her, something about her appearance revolted me. It took me some time to understand this dichotomy of my reaction towards her appearance. This girl was wearing a diamond nose ring and she had each of her ears pierced in six places. She was wearing beautiful ear rings (12 of them) and was looking very ethnic in her cotton salwar. So modern yet so traditional. I wish we could go longer (atleast as long as I am in Mumbai. Long distances doesn’t work with me unfortunately).

Now I have no problem with people using their bodies as a medium of self-expression through various kinds of body art – tattoos, piercing, etc. In fact I think a tattoo or a piercing at the right place looks extremely sexy. And I thought this particular girl looked very hot because of the piercing. However, I cringed at the thought of her or anybody else inflicting such pain on their bodies. Friends inform me that the process is not at all painful and it’s just like getting injected with a big needle. The process is also very swift because these days they use a device which resembles a nail gun (a shudder just ran down my spine while writing those two words). I remember accompanying a four year old cousin to her first ear piercing some few years back. I also remember her laughing all the way back home and me having an expression of sheer terror on my face. It had taken me a month to get over the barbaric ritual I saw that day. The scene still haunts me sometimes in my dreams (I need a beer or two to calm my nerves).

I am back. Nothing is more haunting than the old memories.

Now I was a chicken when I was a child. As a kid, doctors had to face a lot of  problems  injecting me. I even winced at the sight of a large injection (and oh boy! I got many of those, me being a clumsy dolt as a kid). Even my hair cutting scenes were a lot pain for my parents as soon as I see a scissor I used to cry in a way which would put Karan Johar’s famed character to shame. But things changed with time and then came a time when I used to laugh after getting beaten because I knew I was going to beat that person to pulp later on. And yet I would never have the courage to get a tattoo or a piercing (not that I want one). Something about this whole piercing business smells of masochism. I understand how creating an image for oneself (through the clothes we wear, brands we sport, etc.) is so important these days when the first impression means everything (I would have never called the girl exotic, sexy or hot sans her piercing) and yet how far are we ready to go with this. It has to be a certain pleasure we derive from inflicting pain on ourselves which warrants such extreme (think nail gun) measures.

Personally, I am big fan of pain. Pain can do a lot of good. Its power to inspire is unmatched, and till my search for a muse remains fruitless, pain remains the acting-muse. Not that I have to go looking for someone to pain me, but there have been instances when under the effect of Bacchus’ greatest gift to mankind I have asked a few inspiring pugilists to land the real McCoy bang on my face. One chap actually obliged me and I was left with a cut an inch long inside my mouth which made eating anything impossible for the next one week. I will always remember that chap because it turned out to be a very fruitful week in which I wrote feverishly. But never would I condone the act of piercing.

Remembering the advice a friend gave a few years back –

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on
Don’t let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on

’cause everybody hurts. take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. don’t throw your hand. oh, no. don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.

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6 thoughts on “Down the River of Pain

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