Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Are you an Open Book?

A simple question " Do you think it is good or bad to be an Open Book?"....On a personal introspection trip, a friend posed this to me....and now as I sit in my second storey perch in far away Brighton, nursing a sprained knee, I'm in the mood to ruminate...

Am I an open book? About five years ago, I wouldn't even have batted an eyelid before saying 'YES'...I was...everything I thought or did would reflect in my actions or words...The simple principle then was, what do I have to hide? The less I have to hide, the easier it is to be honest and forthright with my opinions...If my plate is blemish free, I can point out the spots that someone forgot to clean out - (in a noble sense..I have never been a meddler)

But today, the answer wasn't that simple. Am I an Open Book? Relatively...My life is no more in black and white..the greys have started creeping in and settling themselves well between my opinions and viewpoints. I allow some place for a Maybe too amongst the Yes and the Nos that I'm quick to settle upon. I still prefer a complete Yes or No...but I respect the Maybe too..That's what I was trying to say.

If I were to picturise myself as a book, five years ago, I'd have been a wonderfully bound leather tome with gold letters. The pages arranged coherently, one after the other, little confusion with labels or numberings, on blemish free pages, printed in fine black India-Ink...Open it and there would be a smile that often creeps across your lips when you are in a bookshop, leafing through a new volume.....

So where am I today? I'm sheafs of paper...loosely held together by a leather folder..Not punched in, but just gracefully arranged within...any sheet can be moved into a chapter ahead or a later one...the paper is hand-made - with little bumps and nothings sticking out here and there...the texture is coarse...the colour a pleasing cream...if you try to move your pen over them, there are bound to be bumps and ink blots...It won't be smooth cursive.

But I like the flexibility of arranging my life in a sheaf of papers in a leather folder...The bounded pages compelled people who entered and left my life to tear away the pages where they featured...sometimes gently, leaving a stump behind like a sort of book mark...mostly harshly leaving dirty ragged edges about...Now if one paper has to be removed from a sheaf, I just lift it off the folder..replace the page and I'm whole again....

It's an Open Folder...No more a bound book....Less tolerance for nonsense...More leeway for various shades of strange to fit in seamlessly into the pages....You may leave behind a dirty thumbprint...or a water blot...my new papers soak it all in, and make them look intrinsically part of me...unlike my pristine white self that glaringly exhibited these trespasses...

I'm now 100% handmade, crafted from the soul - scars and all....open? Maybe... :)


  1. Loved this one. I think we all go through these phases. Either we move from the 'Bare it all' to 'Baring with caution'. If only life was as easy as arranging and rearranging a sheaf of papers. Guess the key lies, like you said, in leaving the moments only loosely tied...rather than binding them firmly, often suffocating them.
    This post took me back to many 'thickly bound' phases of my life. The roughened, crooked edges of pages ripped away mercilessly still haunt the memory at times.

  2. beautiful post.
    also depends i suppose whether the book is illustrated and filled with pictures or just words. also how much is there to read in between the lines!
    a lovely write!

  3. I used to have the same view. If you have nothing to hide let people see everything, warts and all. With age I have become a bit more guarded, but refuse to turn into a of those very private people paranoid about letting anything out.

    These days I often hold back with some of my most passionate views for the sake of an easy life. I see myself now as more of an open glossy magazine where what I reveal is more of the trivial and light hearted personal side of me.

  4. Absolutely loved your new post...As we grow older we learn to compromise and stop seeing things in black and white.

    I am an open book, always was, will continue to be. I rarely learn from my mistakes, perhaps I don't want to.

  5. does your book has room for new words?

  6. wow...loved your post...I liked the metaphor and how you have compared your life to 5 years before.

    I was not an open book ever...always had some mysteries hidden within...these days the stories have become less adventurous but still remain exciting :)

  7. Sree: Thanks...the ragged edges are a reminder I feel never to tear pages out of someone else's life...:)

    Purba: I envy you...I wish I could say the same..:)

    LP: My sister is like you and she is less shaken by stormy weather...I go like a bobbing buoy in choppy waters...up and down, left and right...sink and then rise..and finally in fair weather it looks like this was how it always was...hehehe, very heavily metaphorical, isn't it?

  8. NRI: Welcome to my humble e-abode where we shall proceed now to have some e-chai...and discuss what you wrote..hmmm..interesting, you know why...I get that feeling when some people write that they are just giving me a sneak peak of their true personality...As for me, I write as I think...

  9. A Big Thank you to All for the warm words of encouragement...

    Magiceye: Now why didn't I think of the illustrations and pictures...a lot of memories are on the margins like doodles...but maybe I need to make a scrapbook out of my handmade paper too....

    Sourcebound: There's always paper to jot in new words and anything new is always welcomed...And when the new becomes old, they leave their imprints behind too...

  10. Feels like i have written parts of this or you could very well have written them for me.. 5 years ago and until all the time before that i used to be more or less open book, quite earthy, unconcerned about where and in which condition i am kept... but now going through a kind of metamorphosis ... may be still open but open more at different pages.. inclined more to show the gloss and the shine to the world which earlier i let get covered by dust lying around... and show the raw earthiness only to the ones that are bothered enough to read the whole book..

  11. nidswriter: hmmm...thats a wonderful thought...all the comments are such great value additions to my post...Thank You..

  12. Am I an open book? No. I am the God damned publication! :)

  13. The Virgin Author! - Haha, no wonder you are quitting blogging..:)

  14. In my half century on earth, my book has been all sorts of things...from open to shut tight (bound with a elastoband)...but one thing that shines bright from it is HOPE, hope for a better tomorrow! And I hope the last page acknowledges a life well lived.

  15. Nice post. Some pages will always be stuck together even in an open book. You gotto put ur hand in between those pages and gently with the sides of your palm caress the hidden face of the page inside and draw ur hand across that page...thereby slowly tearing those stuck pages away and as they lay bare there to show both sides of their plain faces...just let them be....Dont write on them...just let them be...an open book with plain pages is such a mystery than a closed book which may or may not have black and white in them....and life is so much more prettier when it is plain...alle?

  16. Nalini: You are indeed the best quality handmade paper...:)

    Anonymous: Hmmmm...as always more food for thought from you...:)

  17. I don't think anyone can be a complete open book. We all have secret chambers in our hearts. Moreover it is one thing to be a carefree twenty something student and another to be a married responsible person. As we age, the spontaneity goes away by bits, though it is up to you to define the limits. But being open is definitely less of a burden and u sail along happily in life.

  18. Daffodils: Thats a very valid observation. I have learned so much more thanks to all your comments..

  19. I should say I was never an open book. Sometimes the charm lies in keeping the secret. As Charlotte Bronte says in her poem
    “The human heart has hidden treasures in secret kept, in silence sealed; the thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures whose charms were broken if revealed."

    btw hows the sprained knee?

  20. Analyst: I'm sure that makes your life less goofy than mine..;) my 'openness' has landed me in more sticky situations than I'd care to admit!! The sprained knee is much better, but it was a nightmare for nearly a week..Was virtually a bloody prisoner in my second floor room with my friends sympathetically bringing me scraps of food at 'appropriate times'!!!

  21. My dear Deepthy,

    I'm sorry I've come late into a beautiful post and some wonderful thought-provoking comments.

    It's courageous of you to reveal this side of Deepthy to us. We are all vulnerable, but when we put down our thoughts as we think aloud we say we are comfortable with our friends.

    Thank you, for being yourself. And taking the time to explain yourself.

    When you flesh out that "reflective" character in that great novel or wonderful short story you will one day surely write and we will buy, this post will have been the "rough notes".

    For, we pour ourselves into our creations.

    My blog is a fairly open book of my life, though for the last eight months, I have not opened its pages.

    Peace and love,
    - Joe.

  22. Thank you Joe, hearing encouraging words from a teacher you have admired and looked up to is always a wonderful feeling.

  23. Lovely post. I will think about this for myself. I hope the book is full...open or closed! Wish you that fullness.

  24. It is indeed an excellent space to float in.....to fly free, for a while.....and, to treasure all mirth within cloak of those fluttering wings that sweep and shun a teasing breeze of memories.....
    I adore a lovely dream of myriad leaves—some sorted, some not—gently shaping up into a book—bound or stacked.....and, draw a few sketches of it upon another soiled leaf before I fold it.....with all care and innocence of a child in me.....and, I leave the paper boat to set sail.....float upon the ripples of moments along a great stream of Time.....my dreams fail to follow it.....I know not, if it will ever find a bank, or will sink much before or if the events of life that are scripted upon it—some in greys too—will finally dip into the great pool of nothingness with glimmers upon the cheeks of a valiant captain of that shipwreck.....truly, I don’t know.....
    Yet, your rich expressions have inspired me to renew bond with all those bygone boats of unknown voyages.....maybe, each carried nothing except a leaf of my life with little inscription of its destiny thereupon.....
    Thanks for offering me such a valuable space to share my thoughts.

  25. Saibal: Welcome to my blog and let me say a big WOW....you have come out with some wonderful thoughts that far outstrip mine...Complex, but I picturised each frame that you described...Cheers..You just made my day..