The Performer & The Spectator

The scene ends, the curtain drops, and I await the call to on to the stage—to bow and gather all the praise for a job well done, but another scene begins. I have to change into a new role and make new conversations. It is a film that does not end. Where do I draw the line? They ask me about life, about how it fares. I tell them it has just begun. I tell them this on all days, in all moments. They cannot refute it, either. There is always a new scene beginning. It is always going on. Perhaps, that is why I like sitting in a theatre and watching films. I get to see the credits roll.

In this grand performance, we are both the performers and the spectators. I look at my life like a historian, finding all I can, building all the connections, finding the true narrative and running with it, reciting it with utmost accuracy. I also fight the same battles I chronicle and survive all the tales I write. I do this every day; you do it as well. We are stuck in this solo show. It is always only just begun—a perpetual matinee where no one but we show up. We watch it over and over, and we perform over and over, and somehow, even after years of this charade, we never get close to a sense of an ending. It always seems as far away. It does not say on the scenario when it will end. We flip the flimsy page over haphazardly, creasing it, marking it forever. There are no timelines on it. There is no schedule. In our hearts, we know time has passed.

We are the critics, too. Our words harsh and surgical, hitting the weakest points of the story quickly, unravelling any attempt to hide them. But our notebooks brimming with notes scribbled in many directions never come close to compilation. All we have are some parts we did not like, some witty one-liners describing a dialogue that does not fit well, a scene we want to forget, a moment filled with our fumbles and foibles; all we have are our nitpicks.

This life—what a spectacle, what a tragedy. Look at all of us caught in the middle of it forever. The beginning keeps getting further away, scene after scene.

The end? Never in sight.

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