Is fiction an outlet for reality

Ali’s hands wriggled in the yellow pockets of  his blue dungarees. Of all the days, the paint had to fall on him and he had to keep his wallet in the back pocket today. The soaked black wallet sloshed blobs of yellow paint on every squeeze, forever staining the sparkling white marble. When Ali rubbed off the sweat from his forehead, rubbing in the paint at the same time, he lost his protective calm over the turn of events and began to weep. He gaped at the paint and his own contorted face in the yellow-white marble. His hands held the wet oval of emotion that steadily became more yellow with the wails. Ali’s career as a museum intern came winding to a fast-end after three weeks and two days: before the first pay of his life; before the last discharge of his mother from St. Anne’s Hospital.

The above paragraphs may have shuttled you to a museum where a boy/man in dungarees was having a time of his life painting the place. All our Alis are different, so is the wallet, museum, and yellow paint. The story didn’t exist till you read the words on the page and most of us will forget all about the page at the next phone beep.

The writer still struggles to make-up these words, in this order, in that space, for some reason. The reason is sometimes clear for the writer, sometimes for the reader, sometimes equally unclear to both of us. And yet, we write, we read. We create videos and we enjoy the entertainment that bursts out of the screen. Nothing is real. The entertainment is a passing they say, something in-between work and responsibility: a break.

Be it cute cats purring inside a box or Hulk smashing a 10K ton train, we live that moment of fiction as if it were real. No matter how down we are, how stressed we are in our lives, a smile will trickle on our lips when we hear a joke. The chicken will get run over by a poultry-farm truck when it crosses the road, and we’ll laugh or feel entertained based on our moods.We believe that anything on screen, fiction in particular, is a story that will pass over us like the wind shuffling past our faces on a long drive.

All acts of entertainment point to fiction: that surreal world where everything is possible. News, reality shows, documentaries just take most of us to the brink of reality and after that we jump down and land on our toes on the ground. What happened, happened. Nothing will change that. So why bother pressing into it? If we start aggregating facts in our minds, it will explode! After all, there’s just too much misery in the world to give our attention to all of them.

So what do we choose? That’s my long-winded question at the end of this post. Do we choose based on our lives today or the past? Or is it an expectation for the future? Or is it a blended contemplation of ourselves from a higher perspective? Is fiction an outlet of reality? Or is it the other way around?


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