What will become of us?

Around me are men, mostly,
And all afflicted with boredom;
They don’t do anything,
As opposed to their white collared and busybodied other;
The tireless ladder climber that:
Has a stomach to feed,
Ambition, grit and determination,
And to whom life’s all figured out, mostly.
My friends however,
In some way or the other escaped being that guy;
They are, to themselves, unstraight, unsquare, and bracketless.

But they’re all so afflicted;
With the angst of finding oneself
I have some of that same angst burning within me;
But I’ve been lucky; and besides, I can’t afford it;
Nor can they, but I have a gloating feminist and woman in me,
And I am sometimes more concerned with the burden of being a woman among them.
They adore me,
And therefore I’m singled out to think about other things.

These are actually men worth a lot;
Some frustrated young man stood on a car on MG Road yesterday with a sign around him
saying he’s selling himself for 10 lakhs;
the police whisked him away.

We sit together, my friends and I, smoke, philosophize, listen.
Whether or not we’ll amount to anything or much is of great concern,
And we’re all art students.
I mercilessly rebuke them with my disrespect;
They don’t know I face the same questions as they do.

And I understand it’s terrible;
The concept of doing nothing in an altogether purposeful world,
We want to be artists but we can’t shirk the gaze of middle class judgement;
And have to prove ourselves though we don’t give a fuck;
Or prove ourselves in order not to give a fuck
Go away world but with your awe and respect;
What’ll become of us?

Will we be in our middle age, contented and mellowed;
More meaningful?
Or less bitter and smart and incisively scornful; all the things we pride in.
Losing our nasty edge for the next generation of ranters to tread the paths of purposelessness?
Why must we go through this?

Consider judgement itself:
So, what’re you upto now?
What’re you going to do after you finish college?;
That dreaded question that’ll reduce you to just a single answer,
That measures success in a sentence, in a cliché;
How about “I wont tell you.
I hate how it makes me think.”

7th July 2004.

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