September 7, 2013

Unpredictability of Characters

Dear M,

Don't you sometimes wish people were like robots? That they would stop being so strange, and that they would simply follow the rules of life?

How much of pain that would save us, if everyone behaved in a decent, cultured, prim and proper fashion! There would be no unkindness, there would be no pretensions, there would be no unpredictability. Everything would be pre-determined and pre-defined. The world would work like a complex, well-oiled machine producing desired output - whatever that may be.

Even as I think that thought, one of the first things that come to mind is - if that were true, I would not have a job. If people were like robots, there would have been no place for creativity. There is nothing creative about a set of human robots behaving "as expected." It is our unpredictability itself that makes us human. If we did everything as we were programmed to do, no artist could create anything new to excite or surprise us, because such newness would not be true. So if humans are predictable, there would be no painters, musicians, writers. We feed on the humanness - which can mean anything, because if I can define it, it ceases to be unpredictable.

If we all behaved as programmed, a person on his way to office would not change his mind and go to the cinema and would not unexpectedly meet a wonderful woman who he had been introduced to at a friend's surprise party a year before...
Instead, he would have gone to office just as he did a million days before and will continue to do a million days after, and the wonderful woman would be doing what she had been doing for a million days before and they would never have met unexpectedly anywhere because there would be no surprise parties...
You get the drift?

There would be no place for jealousy, vengeance, anger, love, surprise and all those emotions and responses and reactions that we artists eye with almost a sadistic fascination.

But even in unpredictability, there is an order - says Chaos theory. If there is no pattern, no one would be similar to another, and no one would be able to identify with another. Which is something else we thrive on - the ability to tell one man's story and make another feel it is his.

Without these imperfections and inabilities and impulses and the patterns that run between them, though we blame people of harbouring them, none of us would have a career.


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