A Bad Character – Deepti Kapoor

It is funny, isn’t it?

After decades of passionately poring over words, words, and more words, written by men and women who took time from their lives to tell us stories, right when you think you’ve heard it all, along saunters another story that grabs you by your hair, yanks your head back, looks you in the eye and slits you.

Slits you straight from your skull downwards in one screaming whiplash.

Leaving your body still perfectly shaped and unmutilated for seconds after the impact, making you doubt even the stinging pain. Then the body, still shivering incredulous acknowledgment, sluggishly falls in two halves of perfectly dissected slabs of warm meat groundwards.

Oh, did I not tell you what is funny?

The truth is I do not know. I think I was stalling. Wait. Maybe I do know, but am struggling, fearing it might not be as funny to anyone else.

It has something to do with passion but I don’t think there is a punchline. Here, let me try and explain.

Deepti Kapoor’s – A Bad Character

Passion.

Where do I start?

At the insouciant everyday usage of the word passion when in reality the term “mildly interested” would be better suited?

Every time someone says they are passionate neon sparks crackle in my brain. I expect insanity, irrationality; Mad seething eyes, searingly primal evocations that overtake linguistic capabilities reducing speech to frothing gibberish.When someone declares passion, and I question it, I expect to be in mortal terror. If I am still alive after questioning, the strain of not hurting me must torturously show on their taut tendons and violent tremblings damming an outburst.

The only trouble with passion is that it is dangerous.

It consumes.

But what has all this to do with the book? I think I sensed passionate irrationality in the characters as they descended into a vortex of darkness and primitivity. Exactly how I wanted passion served. An all-consuming unquenchable thirst. An existence oblivious to the real world into which you are abandoned.

If you make it back alive, it is only by temporarily dimming that passion, arguing that to realize that passion, one has to live.

In my world passion is not a doe-eyed mild-mannered muse. She is multi-limbed and drenched in murderous intensity. She is scalding hot and prickly skinned and fork-tongued. Every time she leaves me heaving and retching on my fours, twitching involuntarily, as her hooved footsteps echo away into the darkness with disdain.

Excuse me a Minute

To me, unless you are not a lunatic, you are not always passionate.

We are passionate for blisteringly brief moments. Other times you are a safe distance away from passion, stalking it warily, revering it, coaxing it to peaks and crescendos, nervously stress-testing the chains that bind it, rechecking the levers to unleash and to restrain the beast at crucial times.

Passion is also a spectacle. It hypnotizes all those nearby. It repulses away or lures in unwary bystanders. I have seen individuals who can unleash their passion, grow in stature, flooding spaces with their life force and smother everyone. Some can control their passion and some crash and burn. It is a dazzling sight to watch an impassioned moment.

Somedays I wistfully wish to be passionate.

I want to be propelled deliriously, the rushing wind flattening my entire body into a smooth plane, even when prospects of metal bursting through my skull is a certainty. I want to see white. I want to self-ignite and char defiantly in its throes. I want so badly to will myself an entire universe that viciously implodes into a black hole sucking everything in its self-destructive wake.

I think I might have found it funny when I thought I felt passionate about the book.

I think I might have realized I was merely mildly interested in the book.

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