One of the very senior poet-friends of mine said to me the other day that as his mind was excessively crowded and overburdened due to his family life and social commitments, he watched `blue films' and drunk alcohol in order to relieve himself. I dont know if this remedy is the most effective one for the phenomenon he termed as `crowding'. However, this phenomenon is a real one for writers, especially in India, where one's social, occupational and familial life is cut off from one's creative life. I am undergoing `crowding' myself these days and in fact that my life is so crowded that I cannot even try out my friend's remedies.
For a writer, especially a poet, his solitude, the quality time he or she spends with oneself is precious as it is a source of his or her creative drives. Social obligations, occupational duties and family responsibilities swarm one's consciousness to such an extent that one cannot get in touch with oneself.
If you are a writer, you are using your own consciousness as your material and so your self is one of the chief instruments, the most important `means' to an end, namely the artistic creation. You cannot remain in the chaos of social life and get in touch with your source, you have to opt for the solitude. If India is anything it is this`crowding' of our life, thanks to population explosion and the looney bin of values we term as `Indian culture'. If you are an Indian, you are already crazy, and you cant escape this madhouse. If you run away from India, you will carry her within you.
If art is one of the ways we impose or extract order out of this chaos, no wonder art is thriving in our country. And if it is being overlooked, you are not surprised why.