I in Togetherness: An online performative series by #jeycouple for 52 weeks in which they grace their growth as individuals and as couples.
Week 43: Theme: Ageing
Jey Sushil: How to age is an integral part of conversation between Mee and Jey. Mee is very compassionate towards older people and Jey has no idea how to behave with with old men/women who have lost all hope. Jey doesn’t like to get so old that he needs anybody’s help. Jey knows he will live a long life but he dread getting in a shape where people will lift him or he gets bedridden.
Jey wants to age gracefully with lot of kids around him who can mingle with him. Kind of cool dude old man who can have a hearty laugh and gives no bullshit.
Jey was quite serious in his college days but he started reverse ageing (metaphorically) after Mee came in his life. Jey feels like 23 year old boy these days and wants to conquer the world, he dreams a lot and doesn’t want to grow old.
Though he knows he will age but now he treats age as a number. He is Jey for a 10 year old and Jey for a 70 year old. That’s the way he wants to age.
Mee will age gracefully with a motherly glow on her face with love for one and all that’s what Jey knows. She will be one encompassing old lady , a mixture of wiseness and love.
That’s the way we want to age. Where Jey will tell stories and Mee will scold him to wrap up the stories.
Mee&Jey are child at heart. But being the youngest in their respective families the common urge to be responsible, grow old faster and be the elder one came naturally to them. But as Mee and Jey crossed their second and third decades of life, the idea of ageing struck them in different ways.
Mee has grown up under the caring supervision of 4 grandparents. For Mee ageing means a humble figure unimaginably compassionate to all children, engaging in all sorts of creative activities like making doll out of old cloths, clay and corn, threads and buttons, singing songs of night, morning, invoking god’s and banishing demons, stories of fairies and mythical animals, lands and unseen worlds.
For Mee ageing is a phase of life that gives humans a chance to give back to their children’s children what their grandparents have bequeathed them. It is an age to relish life in slow pace, contemplate and give up the unnecessary worries. Read and travel the unseen places.
However for Jey ageing is not a very comfortable idea. Jey knew two grandmothers and one of them was not even a good mother, let alone a good grandmother. On the other hand Jey’s maternal grandmother was more loving than his own mother. But perhaps the lack of an Old Man in his house is a major reason why he is not comfortable even thinking about it.
Though in past couple of years living with Mee, Jey is accepting the fact that aging is part of life. Jey wants to age with all vibrant colors of his adult life.
Week44: Theme: Rasa
Mee and Jey believes that human beings are made of rasas..The nine rasas in Indian arts and aesthetics namely Shringar, Raudra, Hasya, Karuna, veebhats, adhbut, Veer, Shanta and bhayanak Rasa.
Everyone has all the Rasa but some are predominant in every person. Jey has shringar, adbhut, Karuna and Shanta rasas predominantly. Srinagar Rasa deals with beauty. Internal and external beauty. Jey is not only always careful about being smartly dressed, he also loves watching and experiencing Srinagar Rasa through good movies, music, performances. He believes Srinagar rasa also concerns with self-worth and self-development.
Adbhuta rasa is another important aspect of Jey. He is always searching for something new, something interesting and something experimental, unseen. He is also very unpredictable in nature and tends to not follow pattern even in his own working style.
Extremely compassionate and helpful towards younger ones, Jey likes to care for those who look up to him.
With these three rasas dealing with outer world, there is a constant urge to look inward for peace that is driven by Shanta Rasa in Jey. His Raudra Rasa ignites anger at times but he tries to keep it under check most of the time.
Rasas do not define human Being but it definitely helps to understand them. Rasas have a grand role in various arts and Jey is still in the phase where he is trying to understand the idea of Rasa and what he is capable off. Sometimes Jey feels that in him all the rasas are dominant and those were the times when he feels that he has multiple identities in him. He wants to be a writer, artist, journalist, traveller, storyteller, teacher and an actor all at once. May be the Rasas are playing games with Jey but that’s what Jey is. He is too many personalities in one. #navras #rasa
Rasa literally means juice and in Indian art it means emotions (bhava). In total there are 9 rasas that humans expresses their emotions, namely- Srinagar, hasya, karuna, adbhuta, veer, vibhatsa, raudra, bhayanak and shanta rasas.
Mee and Jey believe they have different sets of rasas that dominate their personalities. As per Mee she has Srinagar, hasya, karuna and shanta rasa dominating other ones.
For Mee Srinagar is the essence and condition of good life. Srinagar for her is about beauty in the form of thoughts, words and action. A person with dominant rasa of Sringar word be a sensitive and sensible person. Her constant urge to create something new and interesting is her idea of sringar.
Hasya is another very important rasa for Mee. It is the humor that keeps a person alive. Mee only befriends people who laugh loud and with their heart. She believes those who laugh a lot naturally are simple and honest people. Those who do not are complicated and fake. That is a simple but effective criteria for Mee to make friends.
Karuna is not just a rasa dealing with compassion but also with sensitivity towards nature and humans alike. Mee suffers pain seeing an injured animal or bird just as she cries over her own. Karuna is a very strong rasa in her personality.
Shanta rasa is very new to Mee. She has explored this rasa in last 10 years. She is learning to keep peace with herself even in the worst of the worldly scenario.
The rest other rasas remain dormant in her showing up for a fraction of second once in a while. It is a constant human urge to control excess of any one rasa in order to maintain an equilibrium in worldly life.
Week 45: Theme: Pain
As kids Mee and Jey both have suffered prolonged physical problems especially skin problems. Mee experienced her first acute pain at 6years of age. Her mother tried to extract puss from a large boil on her neck.
Mee could never endure pain like other kids in her family. She cried loud, screamed and made all possible moves to rid herself off from the deadly grips of elders.
As soon as she was let go after this acutely painful act, she ran to the nearest railway station to catch a train to Delhi. She was running off to her father.
Later Mee had prolonged sessions of injections, which she grew immune to. But even now as she sees syringes, her heart beat stops.
Now she only suffers occasional viral fevers.
Similarly Jey has suffered from prolonged severe skin infection at an early age. His condition worsened with every passing week. No medication helped. Finally a tribal healer gave him a small herbal wooden locket that healed him completely.
That infection never relapsed. Jey still has the marks of that infection.
Though we were very cranky kids , we gradually leant to endure pain silently. Primarily it is to disturb the other partner as little as possible with our pain. Since it is very painful to see the partner in pain and moreover our helplessness in their condition makes us feel pathetic.
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Mee and Jey had their share of physical pain as kids and mental pain as grown ups. Our reaction has been different but now both of them react almost in a same way.
Jey had a terrible history of skin disease as a kid and once doctors advised to cut his legs when he had eczema or some other kind of skin problem in his legs. Key’s father objected and went on to get some tribal medicine.
Jey vividly remembers his days when his socks used to get stuck on the infected skin and how he removed the dead skins on his own. Doctors prescribed medicines including spirit which use to burn the skin.
It made Jey tougher as he cried the hell out of himself. All the neighbours use to come seeing the howling little Jey. A memory still stuck in the mind of Jey.
As a grown up Jey is kind of tough now but facing the mental pain has been a tough task. Jey being an emotional man breaks down easily and he couldn’t take the mental torture .
Now he has learnt his lessons. Few years back when he had a tough time in his career he decided to do something creative which helped him in overcoming the stress and mental agony he was facing. Artologue was born out of that agony in a way.
Pain helps in understanding who you are. How you can grow. How to face a situation and how to become and remain human in adverse situations.
Week 46: Theme: Hobby
Recently Guardian published an article titles: If you want to happy at work, have a life outside of it’. Mee and Jey had realised this year’s back. While Jey found his other world in Mee’s colors and travels, Mee had a tough time acknowledging her dream of learning classical dance.
After months of encouragement and coaxing, Mee decided to make her first move. Soon she was initiated into the world of classical dance by her first ever Guru.
No sooner than joining the dance classes, Mee realised dancing in her head and dancing on her feet are two completely different things. Latter is a difficult and extremely demanding process. But she continued regardless of initial hicups.
A year later, Mee’s Guru’s talks, performances, information’s and lessons gave hope to Jey who has been yearning to learn flute for years.
Finally he too was initiated into the tradition of music.
It requires tremendous effort and commitment to travel (40km for Key and 20 km for Mee) to learn their hobbies regardless of the weather and physical conditions.
It is tough to make a fresh start from scratch in mid career. But it was possible for Mee and Jey because they believe in parallel growth of a couple rather than an unbalanced growth of just one.
It is a not easy to follow such an interest when one has to carry on with their professional and domestic responsibilities, but definitely it is worth following because it helps one keep up with ups and down of life.
As a kid growing up in eighties Mee and Jey never had the chance to develop a hobby. Reasons being lack of money or exposure to a cultural environment.
Jey use to love stage as a kid but he lost interest as drama and acting was something he got bored off. With his growing interest in music he always wanted to learn a musical instrument.
Mee had a cultural background as her father was quite active in dramas and singing but somehow Mee never got any encouragement to have a hobby.
When Mee and Jey met many years ago they talked about their hobbies and Jey remembers that Mee wanted to learn classical dance not to perform but to feel happy.
After marriage we decided to pursue it despite the fact that we were grown ups and people might have laughed at us but then we had crossed that thing of what people will say.
It was Mee who begun to look for a Guru to learn Bharatanatyam and padmshree guru Geeta Chandra took her under her tutelage few years back.
Mee is learning the dance and quite happy.Jey followed after few months and he started taking flute lessons. There are hundred reasons why Jey picked flute rather than any other instrument but will not discuss it here.
Jey is slow as he is old a bit but he learnt a bit. Though lets confess that Jey has not been practicing from last three months and he is agitated. He did t wanted to mention about this hobby in the I in Togetherness series as he is not practicing properly but then Mee convinced him.
Who knows Jey might start practicing again. Jey wants to perform after 10 years of learning. If Mee learns dance for another 6 years they might perform together. But thats a dream.
Everyone should learn something. One has to have a hobby. It helps. We can say it from our experience.
Week 47 : Theme: Influences/Guardians
As a human being, Mee and Jey evolved under direct or indirect influences of several people from family, schools, colleges, university, their respective work fields and from each other.
Mee learns from people differently than the way Jey does. Mee likes somebody for a very particular reason and figures out that quality. She then consciously tries to inculcate or hone that quality in herself. It is also her favourite pass time games to trace her habits, strengths and weaknesses to her ancestors, elders and guardians from different times.
She knows her compassion and skin color comes from her mother, her artistic mind from her father and grandmother, her reading habit from her uncle, contemplative nature from grandfathers, her short body and fish like eyes from her Nani, her interest in spiritualism from her Baba. There are a lot many things she cannot trace directly to someone specifically.
Mee is very particular about choosing what to lean from whom. She is careful and meticulous.
While Jey has a completely different process of learning. According to Mee, Jey is a diver who dives deep into the sea until he has seen the Beauties and dirt, all. Then he comes out, takes the best and leaves the rest.
It is the way Jey knows a person. He obsesses about a person until a saturation point. Then he overcomes and develops a critical approach towards them.
When Mee wedded Jey, she leant a very basic lesson from Jey; to voice her opinion. Until then Mee would not speak her mind, she was a meek and obedient girl. Jey taught him to that it is necessary to speak about ones discomfort, problems, expectations and happiness. It was the most important quality of Mee today. Perhaps she is an artist because of this very influence from Jey.
Mee and Jey have different kind of Influences from family friends and individuals. Mee is pretty sure about her specific qualities and where do they come from. For example her granny use to paint and do a lot of creative stuff though she was not an artist. Mee learnt a lot of folk songs from her mother and her spirituality comes from her grandfather who was a spiritual in his own typical reasoned sense.
Later Mee got a lot of other Influences on her work and attitude with travel and Jey.
Jey is a bit mishmash kind of a guy. He tried a lot to figure out abt his Influences but except one quality of love of occult which he can trace from his grandfather, he don’t know what he gathered from his family as influence. Jey is drastically opposite in terms of looks, behaviour and attitude from his family. One person he loved madly was his grandmother and he learnt the concept of unconditional love from her.
As a student and later in life he was always looking for people from whom he can learn. Jey was in awe of his two editors and learnt about books from them. From his guide pushpesh pant he learnt that one can learn anything at any stage of your life.
But now he is lost. He rarely find someone to look up to and couldn’t trace where to learn from. Jey finds a nice influencer and a friend in Mee and learnt few things from her.
Jey is fond of people who have something to offer in terms of knowledge and he hates those who have nothing to share and that’s one reason be always makes friends with people who have lots of experience.
Be might be getting influenced by lot of people at the moment but what exactly they are….Jey will get to know in next few years.
Because we are also what our company is and who our friends are.
Week 48: Theme: Sexuality
It is easy to say that every person has male and female elements present in them. The feminine elements in men make them caring and nurturing while masculine elements in female makes them aware of their rights and independence and fight for their dignity.
Mee and Jey knew it early in their life. Mee was a very boyish girl given her closeness to her naughty elder brother. While Jey was very motherly to his niece and nephews. When Mee and Jey began to share their lives, Mee realized it is absolutely fine to fight for your freedom of speech, rights and dignity even with ones parents and Jey realized it is a very beautiful quality to be motherly to younger ones as it shows the leadership quality of a person.
This was the first gift Mee and Jey gave to each other. Since then there has been many many stereotypes that Mee and Jey broke in each other’s company.
When Mee wore her turban hiding her beautiful long hair, Jey appreciated the crisp look that completed her ultra feminine features. Similarly when Jey started growing his hair, Mee ensured in all possible ways that Jey should look very cool in different hairstyles. She bought and designed all hi dresses to match with his unmatched mind and personality.
This give and take of realizations made Mee and Jey not just acknowledge male and female aspects of their personality, but also explore it further through their daily life, and arts.
Mee and Jey were aware of the fact that every individual has male and female characteristics but it is up to us to explore and nurture those things. As an individual we are aware of it but it is difficult to explain and feel it.
Once Mee and Jey started living together, discussing everything from underwear to sex positions it was imperative to think about our inner and outer behaviour. That was the time we started observing each other and commented about the female in Jey and male in Mee. In last seven years we know exactly how the male in Mee grew and how the female in Jey developed.
Mee already has the typical female characteristics but she has developed the male things as well. Though she was boyish in her school days and thought about herself as a rebel but then things changed.
She understood the masculine part in her in a slow process. Venturing out, travelling alone, takingcharge when required. She can boss around if she wants. She can fight and She can be on her own. These are things which were not developed in Mee and may be she was shy about it. Now she has embraced all these things and she is happy with it.
Jey on the other hand was fully aware of the feminine in him but he was not sure whether its a good thing on bad thing. He can cry when he is hurt but he always avoided. he learnt with Mee that crying is not a bad thing. One should cry if he wants to. Picking good clothes, feel good about his body and bargain are other things which Jey was not sure of but learnt with Mee in last few years.
Jey is learning to be caring these days because that is something Jey lacks. He likes people but he can unintentionally hurts them with his typical outright speaking behaviour so he is learning to be gently and caring with Mee.
The journey to explore the feminine in the soul has been the most rewarding experience of Jey in living with Mee and he cherishes it.
Week 49: Theme: The dark Side
It is a known fact that God resides in us. It is equally true that the devil too resides in us. It is the play of these two that our character is formed of. The Godly elements help us stay focused, positive, true to ourselves and just to others. At the same time the dark elements (tamas) keeps us sharp, fuels our ego, logical and also at time incites the idea of revenge, vengeance and immoral actions.
When Mee and Jey became friends, Mee was full of anger against a lot of people and was very restless about the uncertainties of her life. Jey was a humble, peaceful and understanding person who helped Mee keep a check on her dark thoughts and anger through reading books on different creative subjects.
These dark thoughts are basically our energy turned negatively towards some person. These feelings could result from a mistake committed by someone, some vindictive move or a foul play.
It is at these moments that the dark elements try to over power the boldly elements and entices us to stoop low and take unjust actions, nurse vindictive feelings against others.
The best way to keep a check on these dark elements is to acknowledge that they exist and are in action always. This way we can be alert against its every action and suppress it regularly in order to keep it from overtaking is completely.
It is a simple play of mind and heart. Heart is always right and mind can play tricks easily to try to fool us.
Mee & Jey keep a strict eye on each other and themselves for a hint of rise of dark elements.
They not just help each other realise it but help each other focus on Godly elements to regain positivity, focus and belief in Devine justice.
We all have our dark sides. Mee and Jey are no exception. There are times when dark side takes over you and you do things which one would never do.
Mee has a way to deal with it. She explains to Jey that it is to be recognised and then fight with it. Think about the larger picture, the larger aim before cursing anyone, hurting anyone.
Jey has a prominent dark side. When he gets angry, he feels like he will destroy everything.There have been bad times and Jey fall in traps of others and suffered without any reason. He cursed people and the curses became real. It left Jey with a bad taste in his mouth.
He learnt in last few years about good karma and bad karma. If someone hurts you don’t hurt him back. God gives many chances to hurt anyone but seldom you get any chance to help someone.
The experience taught Jey that devil in the soul can be contained so what he does when something negative takes over him. He runs runs and runs. It had helped.
Now he is not easily hurt so the dark side is tamed. Jey became a kind of believer in good karma and life became better.
Everyone has to deal with the devil inside. Everyone has find a way to deal with it otherwise you end up in a garbage.
Week 50: Theme: Animals
Every human resembles a creature or creatures. It is sometimes very clear sometimes not very obvious.
A couple of years back Mee began to humans as animals or birds or raptilea. She would look at a stranger and would declare he/she looks like such an animals and must be like this.
Jey tried to test Mee. He showed images of a few of his friends Mee had never met and she would immediately figure out that he looks like an owl so must be very clear even in darkest times and wealthy, she looks like an hawk so she would be a hight flyer and swift predator, he is like a funny dog so would be a sychophant, he looks like a hippopotamus so must be very mild and harmless unless disturbed, she is like a cat so very opportunist and she is like a tigress so would be very protective and authoritarian as well.
Jey smiles in amazement and agreed to most of Mee’s predictions matched his observations.
Mee sees a harmless snake in Jey. He is so straight in his body frame and so supple that it is unbelievable to see him run and swim like he is flying.
While till date Mee has not been able to figure about the main creature that my she resembles to but she emotionally connects to fish. They are delicate, strong, supple and love water like Mee does. Though there are many.more creatures in Mee than Mee knows.
It is interesting that Mee & Jey now rely heavily on their instincts in order to finalize to their stays and meetings with strangers for their art projects.
#i #identity #togetherness #instincts #divine #innate #sixthsense #animal #birdman #snake #owlvision #hawkeye #artologue #artforall #jeycoyple #meeandjey #meejey #newdelhi #india #photooftheweek #photography #photoart
Mee has this fascinating theory about human beings that every human looks like an animal and has all the traits of that particular animal. She started pointing out these traits in some people few years back and it became fun with friends.
But then Mee and Jey looked back to themselves and traced what animal they look like and after carefully thinking out Mee decide that Jey not only looks like a snake but also has certain qualities of a snake.
The slender shining body, changing her outer appearance in every few years and not disturbing anyone. If no one bothers Jey, he will not bother others but he is vicious when troubled. Otherwise he is on his own most of the time. Another snake habit of Jey is that he is fast and furious when he is at work but otherwise calm. Snakes are either liked by people or hated by them. One can say the same for Jey.
Having said that, you might be wondering what Mee is. She is an absolute fish….fragile out of her own zone, supple, beautiful and creative in many ways. She is in love with water and can survive extreme predators.
One can go on and on about fish but I will stop here and let you think what you are.
Week 51: Theme: NUDITY
When Mee wedded Jey, Jey would often walk out of bathroom naked and sometimez dance naked imitating Michael Jackson and his very own typical style. The idea of someone being naked itself used to unsettle Mee.
Mee grew up in a big joint family where there were as many males as females and all of different ages. All the kids and grown up were always very decently dressed and there was little private space for any one other than the couples in her home.
The only bare body that she had seen her was her mother’s breast. She is a religious woman who worships in single unstitched cloth daily. So for Mee only mothers were allowed to go bare breast and no one else.
But now the scenario was different. Mee was living with Jey in his house and the rules of the house were different. One day she finally voiced her discomfort. Jey listened quietly. Then he said: We were born nude meaning without ego, we will die nude meaning leaving behind ego. In our life time we got to keep this ego or any other mental camouflaging to as little as possible. Why do saints walk around naked? It is because they see humans as one. By baring our body we accept who we are. We accept our body and physical-social identity in totality. This helps us over come different complexes about our body, and ‘I’. Later Mee and Jey met Kasia, a supermodel, mother and a trained mid-wife. She said that nudity is the first step towards loving oneself. Our society fences us by body shaming us for our skin color, body type, hight, eyes, nose etc. What we can do to counter all that inferiority complexes is to accept our body in its most natural form:Nude.
It took Mee a full 3 years to out grow her social conditioning and truly accept her body as her first element of identity. The day she started getting comfortable with her own body, she started transforming into a new person. A new Mee that she is today. Jey is instrumental in making Mee ‘MEE’.
Living as a couple , Nudity is one subject which was bound to come in our talks and we had very very different viewpoints about Nudity.
Mee was more about wrapping up his body in clothes Jey was a man with absolute no regard for clothes at home. he is not exhibitionist but he is very comfortable without clothes. he wears less and less clothes most of the time. he loves to be without clothes.
Jey never thought abt any philosophy behind it but when Mee objected to Jey being half naked most of the time, he went deep inside his own mind and thought about it.
It might have come to Jey (the comfort with his own body) from the tribal people he lived with and loved every bit of their life. The naked body felt natural to Jey.
Those who relate nudity and sex are basically perverts. how we were born and how do we die is the real question. we were born naked and we die naked. isn’t it. then why so much of clothes.
another influence Jey could relate was his Nani (grandmother) who never wore a blouse and she was always comfortable hugging her grand children and answering questions about her breasts. That taught Jey a lot and it was way back when Jey was a kid.
Jey is still fascinated with breasts like any male but for her they are not sexual objects but a natural extension of life.
Being Nude is being natural for Jey. They know it sounds controversial in the modern times in the changed atmosphere of modern moralities but try at home. Being comfortable with his/her own body is emancipating in many ways.
Week 52: Theme : Death
Mee and Jey love to talk. Talk about any thing under the sun is their favourite time pass. They talk about life with as much interest as about death.
It is not a coincidence that death in Mee’s family brought Jey closer to her and her family. Griefs in general brings people together.
Mee and Jey have lost many dear ones in the years they were getting to know each other. This made them look at death as a natural process and something they grew very comfortable talking about.
They talk about how they want to die, at what age or condition do they want to die and how do they want to be remembered post life.
Interestingly Mee and Jey both want to die in their sleep. Peaceful death without any anxiety is the death they fancy. Though Mee wants to die as a loving and very adventurous granny, Jey wants to die as a cool budha (old man) or Daddu.
Since we both cherished our lives together till now, we want to be remembered or talked as some really cool people. Mee wants to be addressed as a highly infectious creative energy to her last breath. While Jey wants to be known as a man who redefined his identity in different decades of his life to reinvent a new self every time. A dynamic multi-faceted creative being.
At the same time they both want their memory as two crazy lovers to surpass all their other identities.
This is the tale of Mee&Jey.
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It might sound a bit weird but Mee and Jey talked a lot about Death. How do we want to Die. How do we want to be remembered.
Jey had seen some deaths in the family and of friends and it impacted him immensely. especially death of his dear friend Rakesh and his eldest brother few years back.
Jey always decides about things in the perspective of Death. when he is angry with someone, he thinks of this…If this person dies the next day will you regret having a fight with him. if the answer is yes Jey apologises. if the answer is No then Jey moves on.
Mee is more about How she wants to remembered after death and she initiated this in Jey as well. There have been night walks when we only talked abt death for hours and hours. Death the ultimate Truth.
So Mee wants to be remembered exactly how she looks in this. a bubbly cheerful artist who lived life to the fullest and loved people who mattered to her.
Jey wants the world to remember him in his different forms. Jey has so many people in them and he wants people to remember that There was only One Jey but it was actually many of Jeys in One.
Mee-Jey hopes that even after death, their Togetherness should survive in all the lives they touched, with all the people they met, with all the people who knows them.
with this the series comes to a halt. Who knows we will do it again.
#Death #life #I #Togetherness #jeycouple #philosophy #life #artologue #Performance #photography #photooftheweek
To read the whole series.