When one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest and most illusive playwright was asked for the meaning of one of his works, he replied, “I meant what I said.” He was none other than the Nobel Prize winning Irish playwright, Samuel Becket. And he was never thrilled about discussions on the meaning and style of his art. And that itself was his style, so to speak. As illusive as he may be and his works may be of a minimalist bent, but a loyal reader of his works like myself can easily sniff the Beckettian in a piece of work. Simply put, one who knows Beckett knows a Beckett when he or she sees one. But what then do we see? For the need of a word for the sake of communication, let us call it style. Watching a boxing match from the last row, one does not need to see the face clearly as to know which one is the great Mohammed Ali. Not everyone ‘flies like a butterfly’ in the boxing ring. When I was in Japan, that was many years back, I and some of my friends went to the backstage to get a glimpse of the Japanese super pop singer Amuro Namie. A group of girls came out and most of them had their heads covered, either with hoods or some clothing over them. Among them was a girl who was dressed similarly like the rest but was wearing large rings on her index finger and on her little finger. I immediately knew that it was the lovely Amuro Namie.

But it is not only the famous and the celebrities who have styles. Everyone has his or her own style. We may be obsessed about it or totally have a no care attitude concerning it, that is, we may be style conscious or not, but we do shape ourselves into one style or another. The style we put on, to a certain extent, mirrors ourselves, whether we are aware of it or not. It tells something about you, and in many cases, it was intentionally done so. Like wearing a wedding ring gives out the signal that you are married. Though the type of wedding ring you wear may, intentionally or not, give a hint of your other personifications. There may be times also that you might even use it to hide something, like removing your wedding ring. Style also has nothing to do with good taste. In fact, there is really no good or bad style.

But of course, like most things in life, style, when one comes to be conscious of it, can be polished and developed into the way one likes, or to be able to express oneself in the way one wants to be expressed before the others. But one thing we must take note is that, everything we put on may be sending a message. And people do sometimes judge us based on the styles we keep.


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