Tuesday, August 12, 2014

O Captain! My Captain!

As I woke up to a sleep deprived grumpiness today morning and sifted through my twitter timeline, I read a tweet – the first of many which said “Rest In peace Robin Williams”. I rubbed my eyes hard to shake off the grogginess hoping what I read was just an error of my sleepy eyes. It was crushing, the eyes had read it right, it took me a second to realize that the man I adored the most in Hollywood, a man who has had so much influence throughout my growing years is no more. Even he was a mere mortal. A hand just pierced through my stomach pulling out my guts with searing pain rising up to my quivering lips, my eyes went moist and there was no dust to blame the tears on. A celebrity’s death had totally crushed me.

I wandered into a limbo, with my mind staring at the slowly rotating fan remembering a loop of great moments from his movies, stand-up and talk shows. Great moments etched into my memory. Moments of uninhibited madness, moments of irresistible enthusiasm, moments of deep empathy, moments of acting brilliance, every single human emotion I cared about was finally personified by a single man and I realized that today – a day when he is no more amongst us.
He was someone who proclaimed he dreaded “Art”, sitting on a bench with a shabby beard and unruly hair under a cap, he delivered a wondrous monologue – a monologue which defined the essence of life for me, made me take my first steps towards achieving something, and made me sit down and think about a goal. He stared into my eyes, half broken, lingering and told me “Your move, Chief!” I came back to reality, the fan was still rotating, nothing had changed he was actually no more.

I curled on my bed not able to accept it, and a fine Mr.Keating entered the loop. He was exuberant, childish, and witty. He showed me the intoxicating charm of a language, danced around, used seductive words, made me take an interest in the fascinating world of literature. He whispered in my ear - Carpe Diem. He enticed me, shouting out with that impish smile “But only in dreams can a man be truly free, it was always thus and always thus will be”. That whisper still rings in my ear, that impish smile has started to make me slowly accept that I won’t be able see that live on a stage anymore, a regretful deletion from my bucket list. I wished it was just a dream and that tweet was just a truly free brain wandering. I see the fan, rotating, showing me it isn’t a dream. I broke down. Two great lessons as a child and the man who taught me that was no more.

He was a superhuman, he could be whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and still stand out as an individual. The voice of so many endearing characters Genie, Popeye, the timekeeper, robots. He was a cartoon stuck in a human body. A human who made animated graphics take on a character, gain a personality and made us either love or hate them. Suddenly he shouts out loud breaking my limbo “When in doubt, make a dick joke.” I chuckled a bit, even in death this man had made me laugh.

I remembered him sticking up against his boss when he said “You are in dire need of a blowjob than any other white man in history”. He moved around explaining to me what loss is – losing someone you love more than yourself. He made me laugh and then just sit down still and cry, all within a moment. He spread laughter to millions around the world and still died depressed. As the academy tweeted, Genie was finally free.

An astonishing story teller, he could make a board game come alive and thrill our senses. A man so versatile every act, every movement of his was a discovery in the field of comedy. A genius untouched by bad taste and committed to entertain people. The man who dreaded “art” made entertainment an art form. I return back to my dazed state, slowly realizing it is best to let go. I have a day ahead, I remember O captain! My captain - a specific verse :
“Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead. “
It is bittersweet, I switch off the fan and lock the room. The powerful play goes on and I have to contribute my verse to it. Rest in peace my crazy diamond.

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