BTW I had mixed reviews from last column, some said it is brilliantly written and some slammed it as too heavy and some remarked as one sided view. I agree to all and actually happy that people had patience to read that highly long expressive article and that too on such a paradoxical topic. Trust me I don’t.
However, it depressed me after a while since my focus went on the people who read my article not what I had written and how would I be writing. I am a firm believer that whatever I am creating is mine and for myself though my presentations are available for everyone but if they like it or not should not move me anyways, because it is my work my creativity. And something hits me here, this entire week I have been writing about creative exponents who have been conferred with great awards and recognitions, I asked, and all confirmed it is a motivation and it is good to be recognised. Somehow I concluded that this entire awards and recognitions are the emergence of this feeling of getting recognised.
Our whole life’s structure is such that we are taught that unless there is recognition we are nobody, we are worthless. The work is not important, but the recognition is and this is putting things upside down. The work should be important, a joy in itself. I feel we should work not to be recognised, but because we enjoy being creative, we love the work for its own sake. If the recognition comes take it easily; if it does not come, don’t think about it. Our fulfilment should be in the work itself.
The world has trapped us in a miserable pattern. What we are doing is not good because we love it, because we do it perfectly, but because the world recognises it, rewards it, and gives gold medals, Nobel prizes. This has created the desire of recognition in everybody, so we can work peacefully, silently, enjoying whatever we are doing.
One of the great poets of this country, Rabindranath Tagore, lived in Bengal. He had published his poetry, novels in Bengali but no recognition came to him. Then he translated small book ‘Gitanjali’ “Offering of Songs” into English.
He was aware that the original has a beauty that the translation does not have and cannot have- because these two languages, Bengali and English have different structures, different ways of expression. Somehow he managed to translate it, and the translation is a poor thing compared to original – that has received the Nobel Prize. And suddenly India became aware about Gitanjali.
Every University wanted to give him a DLitt. Calcutta was the first university to offer him an honorary degree but he refused stating that the degree is a recognition to his work not to him and the work is already available in more beautiful way that nobody has bothered even to write a review of it. He felt that recognition insulting.
Jean-Paul Satre, a man of tremendous insight into human psychology, refused the Nobel Prize, because he rewarded himself while creating his work and a Nobel Prize cannot add anything to it. For him the recognition is for amateurs.
Actually he had loved whatever he had done.it was its own reward and nothing can be better than that which he had already received.
The question is of our own inner feelings; it has nothing to do with the outside world. And why depend on others? With our work we can only be prod on ourselves there is nothing else to be proud of, and if we are dependent then we are proud of the Nobel Prize not our work.
And this is the way I think is to become an individual; living in total freedom, own our own feet, drinking from our own sources, is what makes us a really cantered, rooted.
The more valuable our work is, less is the possibility of getting any respectability for it. We will be condemned in our lifetime- Then after two or three centuries, our statues will be made and our books will be respected –because it takes this much time for humanity to pick up as much intelligence as a genius has today. The gap is vast.
Being respected by idiots we have to behave according to their manners, their expectations. But what will we gain? We’ll lose our soul and gain nothing.