WHATs, HOWs and WHYs: When I told my friend about something titled ‘Sixth Non-sense’, that I was planning to write, he asked me if it was a spoof of that epic movie by Manoj Night Shyamalan called Sixth Sense. I said that I didn’t know. I had not seen the movie. How would I know, whatever I wrote, might eventually turn out to be a spoof on the movie purely unintentionally?
The Background: Spoofs, I have never believed in. I think spoofs are fun of others’ original work and it is bad to do so knowing that so few people do original work. Unlike most of the writers, I always do the original and once done, I always believe that it was original like….. most of them. It may be a piece of shit but at least its original.
With such high regards for originality, I had long been looking for some sensible topic to write on. I, obviously, could not find any. Finally, when none of my efforts seemed to be bearing fruits, I decided that I won’t sit idle and would write nonsense till the time, though later I realized that it’s easier said than done. One could be non-sense without sensing it but to do non-sense in ones senses is really appreciable. And then these people around you…… they have this uncanny ability to draw some piece of sense out of any non-sense. I didn’t want my work to anyway appeal to the sensibilities of even remotely sensible person. So I titled it ‘Non-sense’ to warn the prospective readers. I had no particular reason to add ‘Sixth’ in the title therefore I added it. It was only after deciding upon the title, I realized that it sounded similar to “Sixth Sense”. But that was purely coincidental.
Unlike other works where title follows work, here first I decided upon the title and then started looking for stuff good enough to fit in it. Hell bent on originality, I found myself completely clueless about such content. And in the situation of utter desperation I thought that I would discuss it with people to get the head start. This completes the background with which, I was talking to this friend of mine.
WHATs, HOWs and WHYs Continued: I chose to talk to him as he was an uninterestedly inquisitive person. He loved the curves of the question mark “?” and would make sure that they are always there at the end of each sentence. He hated to use the not so artistic full stops “.” which end the discussion fruitlessly or the exclamatory mark “!” which end too fruitfully. In a nutshell, his was a questioning personality for a questionable topic like “Sixth Non-sense”. He did live up to his promise and the latest of his query was that how and why I could decide to write something when I had nothing to. This was stupid. Do news channels stop giving news just because they didn’t have one? No...! They make news, exactly the way I was doing. To make myself clearer, I gave him the example of new Ramayana telecasted these days. Logically, why would anybody need a new Ramayana, if the story remains same? One cannot twist the story of Ramayana the way Farhaan Akhtar did with DON. Leave apart the story; in fact, even the dialogues, scene sequence or the costumes of characters cannot be tempered with, not to mention the title. Still, people made new Ramayana. The Director of new Ramayana couldn’t sit idle at his home waiting infinitely until he had something to make. So, in the mean time he made Ramayana. Channel had a slot of half an hour available to them so they made Ramayana. I had a good title ready with me, wasn’t that a good enough reason for me to write. He gave me a strange look, one generally reserved for nuts and left, probably with a lot of questions unanswered; He didn’t dare to ask. Still clueless about the content I headed towards second person.
Simple Random Wisdom: Unlike previous person, this time I randomly chose somebody to talk having no prior idea about him. I was apprehensive that he would even listen to me. But, he gave me a long and patient listening making me skeptic about his hearing abilities or may be…. mental. He actually started thinking about the title making some sound like hmmm….. A sensible person was concentrating hard on non-sense. Only problem was that the sound did not seem to end, turning me impatient. I got bored and broke his concentration to ask did the title ring any alarm bells in his mind. With a lot of guilt in his voice, he apologized at not being able to think anything on the topic. The pain in his voice turned me sad at his helplessness in being helpful. Being a human, I felt compelled to console him. I told him not to feel low. The topic was actually tough and even a creative writer like me could not think anything on this topic except of course the topic; and that is why, was seeking others’ ideas to write. Unexpectedly, this turned him angry. He said that this attempt of mine seemed like a market research done before launching a new product. He didn’t like the idea of asking readers themselves to write something and called it non-sense (Of course! it was intended to be so.). To clear his doubt, adding to his parallelism with marketers, I gave him another parallelism. When one goes to a restaurant, waiters do not just bring anything they would like him to have. How rude it would be? They would always ask him very politely, “What would you like to have, Sir?” Didn’t the readers deserve the same kind of hospitality? He liked the example, but felt that it was demeaning to compare ‘writers’ with ‘waiters’. No! why demeaning? Both are works and work is worship, we know. Writers and waiters are actually same. Both have to care for the tastes of their customers to continue in their career. Didn’t he see writers adjusting scripts to include songs, kisses, bathing sequence and what not just because viewers wanted to see it? Every time, some writer writes a script he accommodates at least 9 songs preferably at equal intervals in all possible moods because viewers want it. I don’t know how much it convinced him about my methodology but I left him there, to find somebody more meaningful.
Noisy, Nosy Meaningful Guy: I did not have to look for the third person. In fact, nobody ever has to. Third persons are always around you to poke their big nose and are by default always meaningful. In this case, somebody who had been listening to all this discussion, himself came to me to tell that it was all rubbish from beginning till end. I felt grateful to him for listening to the entire discussion and expressing his truest feelings in possibly the most polite way. I knew it was rubbish to ask him that why he listened to the rubbish discussion till the end if it was all rubbish from the beginning. He was most definitely a critic. It’s their job to go through all the rubbish things in the world to tell others that they were rubbish. Quite a rubbish job, but somebody has to do it. You can always identify critics from otherwise non-intellectuals by the choice of their words. They are soft spoken considering the kind of work they are paid for and I love the way everything is so intellectual about them. Not getting any response from me, he once again started. He said that it was all non-sense to which I happily agreed. The brief smile which unknowingly flashed across my lips annoyed him further. The happy expression perhaps challenged his ability as a critic. So, he took a tougher stance. He said that he was utterly disappointed with the kind of performance I was putting up and I had better stop it than becoming a subject of national shame. Performance! National Shame! He could not be a critic, I felt. Taking a clue from his dramatized comments and supremely confident body language I asked him whether he was the judge of some reality TV show. He took a pause and told me that though he had not yet been but he was looking for a break. A break as a Judge! He was seeing a lot of scope in this career and had applied in two-three soon to be aired TV shows. This was the biggest non-sense I had ever heard and did deserve the place in ‘Sixth Non-sense’, so I continued listening to him. He had a lot to say on it as a career option, the gist of which was:
1) It is great to judge others.
2) The better judgments are the more dramatized ones done in harmony with Camera-close ups and background music.
3) The tears in the eyes of performers are highly appreciated. Audience love to see that.
He also told that all Indians had natural advantage when it came to judging others and therefore needed no additional qualities, qualifications or past achievements to back their candidature for the job and even I could try my luck. Judges were really in short supply and, in newer shows, were relatively unknown compared to participants in the same show. Well, he did sound logical. After all, we don’t watch cricket matches for umpires but for players, so who cares who the hell judge is. I, however, had some more important non-sense to do, so I thanked him for his advice and his contribution towards ‘Sixth Non-sense’.
A Personal Comment- “No Comments”: I have had the discussion with 3 people and I am sure that, given a chance, they had the potential to contribute much more than what they did towards the realization of ‘Sixth Non-sense’. I hope the way whole thing has got shaped, cannot be termed as anything but non-sense in line with the title of the work. But you might still be wondering that what is so sixth about this non-sense. Well, I did have an ulterior motive behind adding the adjective ‘sixth’. From the moment it clicked to me, I knew that the title ‘Sixth Non-sense’ sounded great and would do better than had the title been only ‘Non-sense’, which was plain, dull and had nothing literary about it. Because of its evident similarity with Sixth Sense it further aroused an initial curiosity hugely increasing its chances of being read. I knew from the beginning that I won’t be able to justify the adjective in the title by the content I would write and even a title “Fourth Non-sense” could have done as fine from my side. But I trust the abilities of the readers more than I do mine and I believe that perhaps by the end of this article you might be able to draw some relevance with the word “sixth”. I still remember watching a movie named ‘Jeans’ which had everything except anything anyway related to jeans. I assume that it was my intellectual capacity which limited my ability to understand the clues aptly present in movie to justify the title. I am sure others unlike me are abler and would have deciphered the clues. I have often found myself limited by my capacity in many such instances. I could never understand what is so secular about the secular political parties in our nation. I could never understand which ones are the likeminded parties and which ones not, in our political system. I don’t know how changing the names of the cities help but it does, as evident from continual changes happening. I have always liked to watch the K-series of movies and serials just because of their title starting with ‘K’ and not for anything else, I swear. There are numerous such examples which helped me introduce myself to my intellectual level. So, I assume that my supposed failure, to justify something in this work, is actually my failure to know that I have justified it somewhere. What else, best, can I say for such sufficiently justified things except “No Comments”?
Pack Up: Now, when I have already stretched “Sixth Non-sense” to its fifth page, I think it’s time to end it. But before I finish writing “Sixth Non-sense”, I would like to tell about the “Fifth Non-sense”. I am sure by now you know the first four. In addition to them, fifth one is the task I did of compiling them and for those of you who match my intellectual level and look for justification more than anything else; you have just completed committing the Sixth one.