27 November 2009

The Way of the World

What is happening to the world! I mean, like heck! What the hell is wrong with things?

Okay, calm down! You want to know what went wrong, right? Like heck you do! Bless me poor soul, like heck I do too! Things fall apart, that’s what it has been!

It all started with M. M who for long had nursed passion for C. He’d told her some time back, yes, but basically it started with him. There we were, G and I, waiting for him by the ramp: at peace with the world, innocently denouncing some hapless teacher. Suddenly the discussion turned to him. To M. To his lamentable case. His fall. The very remarkable nature of this self-same fall. Of other falls. Of my fall. G’s fall. His shady past as he put it. ‘I can’t believe what I said! I’m like ashamed to even own up!’ Yes, quite shady; G talking about it to me of all people- shady indeed! Do all of us have some shades of grey to our past, some mushy cupids in our ivory cupboards?

It seems we do.

For what else am I to believe after old B’s tale? B who of all humanity I thought incapable of such concealment! It was she who bore it, so perfectly hidden from all eyes as to not exist at all! She, so open and trusty, her life such an open book, she put it deep down, so deep as to almost be out of reach for her own self! Such passion, such suffering, all disguised behind that varnished fa├žade of easy familiarity! The more I listened, the more I thought; the more I thought, the more I pitied. I could sympathise with her, yes, but more- I could understand her pain, feel it through that old severed bond. A sad tale, yes, but with hope…

Alas no! I thought I was done for the day, done with the quota of shocks, surprises and falls. Not so, not so!

I came back home and got talking to M. We discussed C; he told me all about it- how, when, where, all of it. Then, talking of falls, he told me of P.

Good heavens! Even P! P, that sturdy, stoic rock of sense and solitude! That lofty personage, so aloof from the base passions of life, so a man on his own, an institution unto himself! P too had fallen, and long too had it been since the fall- long days, long weeks, long months, a long year perhaps…P fell, but not alone. As last man standing he took with him a whole system, an entire way of life: of affection, of camaraderie, of friendship.

Indeed, of friendship. For B apart, we four formed that old-fashioned type of gentlemanly friendship- all good chums, each for the other a fine chap. We lived on discussions, talks and debates, an exclusive life of ideas, ideals and ideologies. We talked of the world; the glories of civilisation, the follies of man, art and culture and all that is noble and high and true!

No more. The group lies broken, the loyalties dissolved. To each his secret heart, the call of love, the cry of desire. What of the world now? The world looses its charms when all your world gets condensed in a single person…

Does it always have to be this way though? Is there no escape? I used to think Sherlock Holmes the epitome of pure reason; pure objectivity untrammelled by the subjective fallacies of common humanity. Aloof, above, beyond- the unflinching rational man of world. But even he had a blind spot. There was always ‘the woman’, Irene Adler of ‘dubious and questionable memory’- she whose one photo he treasured above all gifts and rewards; she whose memory, perhaps, inspired so many of those mournful violin originals. Yes, there was a chink even in his armour, a fault line beneath even his own surface...

Yet, imagine…what if a person could really be out of the structure? Agreed, not as Bohemian as Holmes, not as misanthropic as Timon: somebody gentle, genial and wise, somewhat like the good Doctor without the wife. Someone above the lures of love and its manifold traps, in that calm, undisturbed serenity of perfect harmony. Not ascetic mind you! No, rather someone in and yet out of the system. Understanding love but unaffected by it: a heart not closed but open, so wide open as to remove all possibility of love. Affectionate, yet not desirous; caring, yet not covetous…

Not unless you’re god. Perfection.

And that we humans cannot be. It’s the only consistently human trait we’ve got, perfecting imperfection, loving desire, want, need…it’s a good thing perhaps. Certainly has been very nice for me! We cannot stop loving; even hatred stems from love. Love is universal.

And that is the way of the world.

7 comments:

rupali said...

hey dear,i am thoroughly impressed by whatever you write...hatttssss off to you...please impart some skills to me also,i really want them....as you know...i hope i didnt write any short forms

Anonymous said...

Thia, sir, I thought I would call Jabberwocky! But then, that would be sheer insult to Lewis Caroll!

Silly ol' Rat said...

There lies an escape, you know, there actually exists that fine idealistic balance. And no matter how wise you may call yourself, you are still young. And youth without folly cannot be called young...

AP said...

To Rupali, thanks!

To Anon, indeed?

To the dear ol' Rat, I'm glad to know that! Truly am! Yet, is not the folly ingrained with a wisdom of it's own? Though, of course, I am young!

Silly ol' Rat said...

Quite a thought you've got there... Hmmm... Let me think... "Folly ingrained with a wisdom of it's own..."
Yes, that it is. But then that wisdom is not true. It is folliful(obs.), corrupted, isnt it? Or perhaps it is veiled... Watching the drama, having a good time and waiting to sprout when it has come of age...

AP said...

I bow to greater wisdom...

Ishaan Mital said...

I say LOL