If you just draw what you mean, that’s art — not writing. In order for this to be writing, the symbol has to stand for the word.
Pizzas or Hotdogs? Oh and how about Clocks, too?
“I’m sitting here in the (suddenly) boring room
it’s just another rainy Sunday
wastingtumbling my time
I got (almosully*) nothing to do
I’m lazying around
I’m waiting for Tues(day)
I look at the clock and i wonder..”
If you haven’t figured out still, I’m inanely bored. The play i had with paints today, is drying and needs to be ignored or run the risk of getting spoilt. A movie has been watched. Books have been read. Online reads dusted too. India v/s Pak match tweets endured. Food relished. Music absorbed. Sarcasm exercised.
And just when i couldn’t figure anything more to do on this dreadful, dying Sunday evening, i saw an image of a clock online somewhere and i thought,
“Hey, why are clocks always round?”
Now before you begin to question my state of mind and/or my knowledge on history of time-keeping of mankind, please tolerate a few more lines and (perhaps) you shall see, too. So, why are clocks round? And why do those needles, everywhere, have to go ‘clockwise’ only - why isn’t anticlockwise, the clockwise? Some of the top-of-the-mind reasons:
- The earth rotates around the sun elliptically (almost round)
- Our first time-keeping was through sun dials. Again, round. Or at least the shadow bit of it.
- Pizzas are round. That doesn’t count? Okay.
- Most of us run in circles our entire lives. Err.. next!
- Clocks were adapted from Sundials, which were in turn invented in the Northern hemisphere. The shadow on a sundial in this part of the world moves in a ‘clockwise’ direction and hence. Sorry southerners, just wasn’t your time, eh?
That’s many a reasons, you’d say. But all those are rooted in a time which no living human today even remembers. So we can do away with this roundness (or since some decades now, squareness)?? Aren’t ye all just fed up with this worldwide consistency?
Well i am and that’s all i care about. Yes, this is the selfish me and if you don’t like it you can go back to running in your circles. *smug look*
I did a bit of googling (it’s time that all spell-checkers recognize this as a word now. Period.) and it turns out that i aint the only fed up one. I’ve given below the various designs i came across, including an ancient looking one and one which ain’t actually a clock but more like a reminder device but hinges on the same idea. And why should we go in for these clocks - a quick line up:
- It’s a change and change is almosully* for good.
- You can’t eat Pizza daily. Hotdogs are great too. Oh c’mon, this ought to be counted!
- I like them. That’s right.
- Poor kids in school wouldn’t struggle to draw that perfect circle with perfectly placed numbers. Just draw a line and hey presto! At least i got the kids’ votes on my side.
- Linear clocks take up lesser space too and we all know how crowded Earth is these days. Extra points, yeah! And minimalists love this, so more votes. Yay!
- Clockwise and anticlockwise will be replaced with left and right. So much easier. And shorter to write/type. Energy savings! And now the environmentalists, too, are in my pocket.
- Seven is a lucky number and i’d like to rest my case here.
And since I was as bored as aforementioned, i drew a basic version of my own linear clock too (the one in the end, if it isn’t obvious). (The idea of googling for similar clocks dawned me on after i’d designed it and now my ego doesn’t allow me to not display my effort. There! Now i can sleep peacefully tonight.)
Face it - a ‘linear time’ sounds more encouraging than a circular one, right? The latter makes me pukish with all that circular motion.
*Almosully - something that lies between almost and fully. A word me and a twitter friend, Kushagra, have come up with. You can clap.
Oh and the spoofed song lyrics in the beginning are from a song called “Lemon Tree” by Fool’s Garden.
Stories R Us
God, in his wisdom, has created millions and billions of people, but the expectations of those people are far from satisfied. They say, “Now we want to create people of our own.” So as the gods played with their living dolls, people began to play with their own dolls, dolls they had created themselves.
~ Rabindranath Tagore in his book He (Shey)
Stories are the cradle of mankind. They are the amniotic fluid of the birth of everything new that our world creates. The connecting threads snaking through centuries of generations and civilizations. Storytelling is perhaps one of the first Arts to have been practiced by Man. From sounds and gestures, to carvings and music. From parchment and paintings, to radio and photographs. The whole gambit has been majorly fueled by our innate urge, bordering on desperation, to share what we know and to leave behind a part of us.
Little surprise then that most of man’s path breaking inventions, discoveries and technological shifts have been related to sharing stories. Which has not ceased even after the youtubes, idiot boxes and twitter has touched every corner of the world. Some of our greatest spiritual leaders have been our best storytellers. And never will this subside cause after all,
There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.
Without stories, how will the greater questions be asked or our fears and joys become common? A lot of grandmothers will be out of business. Our flights of fantasy and our visual imagery will decay. How else will we deal with the discomfort of dealing with the unknown?
Stories feed into our collective unconscious where all that we all know is hoarded; and then they travel into the personal unconscious which in turn is the puppeteer for our conscious thoughts and actions. Imagine a vast volume of water contained in a tank (ocean) which collects stories through the rain and then through its innumerable pipelines, rivers and springs, spreads those stories across the terra firma of Man.
In our quest of storytelling, we have lost something - not our need, but our talent, our faculty for the same. We bombard each other with too much, at all times. And during this onslaught, the art of storytelling has suffered; the ocean is impoverished.
“Listening to stories and telling them helped our ancestors to live humanly — to be human. But somewhere along the way our ability to tell (and to listen to) stories was lost. As life speeded up, as the possibility of both communication and annihilation became ever more instantaneous, people came to have less tolerance for that which comes only over time. The demand for perfection and the craving for ever more control over a world that paradoxically seemed ever more out of control eventually bred impatience with story. As time went by, the art of storytelling fell by the wayside, and those who went before us gradually lost part of what had been the human heritage— the ability to ask the most basic questions, the spiritual questions.”
Stories are our grandest attempt at immortality. Are we giving up?