Monday, June 15, 2009

Of Strength

When in younger days, we wandered on streets as blissful children, we knew not what it was to care. Never were we burdened by the weight of all the many things of the cursed world and never did the sheer enormity of existence smite us hard, as it did oft in later days. A child's apathy of the world, was its ignorance, but so it was also its gift. As children, we thought not, that as we grew in a human world, care and contribution, is not merely expected but demanded of us, for we soon learn that the primary constraint to survive in the human web is that, 'to take' is also to 'give back'. In no time, did we lose ourselves in the vast web of things. And so as we grew, we learnt the ways of the world as it were designed, and accepted them, often without question and so we did the very deeds that all men have done, for a span of time immeasurable. And, we cared, for many things, not necessarily in a very altruistic way, but we nevertheless bore the weight of innumerable human and earthly elements that for reasons beyond the control of any, became inseparable and integral parts of our damned lives. We lived our lives only to be entirely spent at the end, caring about these things whose significance outside the reeking human mesh is undebatably void.

In rooms where dead men lay, the living stood in silence reflecting on the triviality of a living and the enormity of the end. Lessons we learnt as we grew, but what we took from them, we failed to comprehend. For, the human mind quickly renders itself stale with learning. Within only a few years of growing out of the children that we once were, we formed our ways of life, and seldom thereafter did we listen much, and our so very adorable attitude of openness to learning and an innocent curiosity, ever eager to absorb and contain a tad bit more of all the immeasurable beauty of the universe that is, soon ceased altogether. And so as we aged, we found ourselves being in conversations, where oft we let our opinions and our so very wise views of the world out, but seldom did we take anything back with us, that was spilled by other learned men therein. And so we shut ourselves from the words of the wise and kept caring for all those things in our own wayward ways, things that for reasons of ill luck, had interfered fatefully with our lives.

I was apathic once more as an adolescent young man, with all the uncontainable wrath that I had back then and the numbing weight of being existential and all that, and though terrible it then was, now I realize that, a gift I had re-gained by chance, I have now, alas, let go, irrecoverably. Back then, in my apathy, I was strong, and I had then felt that no mighty blow could knock me down, because I cared of things less, and loved not much. I was not to hold on to my nirvana and empty state of nothingness for too long. As my friend once so nicely, funnily and simply put it to me, being existential does not prevent one from relishing a cup of dark chocolate. To escape the void then, I had learnt to fake my role in the mesh and to indulge in the everyday trivialities, and I did that day in and day out, and soon it became second nature to me also. To be fair, it is true also that, I even learnt to enjoy them quite a bit despite the internal conflicts, and soon the feeling of the void receded to the innermost and nearly inaccessible depths of the brain. And then I cared too. Of blood and kin, of land and shelter, and gold and earth, I cared also, but to what good it was to me, I now do not know.

Care, in an inconsistent and hopelessly complex web of things, is a desperate attempt to balance things from falling out of place, without realizing that in reality, they never can be, by design. A bent for rationalization is to be shunned entirely, if one were to come in terms with what is so, in practice.

To care, is a way of life for sure, but one must beware of getting stuck in an irresolvable maze of things that seem to hopelessly fall apart. With infinite care, comes infinite pain also, for the drive for perfection conflicts with the inevitable need for harsh compromises of an unforgiving reality. When strong men rode their steeds through battles and smote the enemy down, they were driven by an inner flame, an unquenchable and blind faith in things that they fought for, and an apathy for the life that they pitilessly rendered naught. If one were cursed with care for all, and respect for the things fellow men lived for, there also results a potential for passivity, as often times, simply to act could mean to hurt also. And, when one bore all the weight of the collapsing mess on his delicate and frail mind, he was strong no more, and then he would sway with a tender breeze and burn when there was a spark of flame, for he cared for all things that were. And, in his pain, he would fight and be spent ere the end of days.

And so, to what good, it is to care much, I now do not know. It seems certain though, that - to be strong, apathy is necessary also, and an outright, and if need be, blind, belief in one's views of the world, something one could live by in times of trouble and feel justified to oneself, with utter disregard to what the others in conflict cared for, even were it to be right in their own individual regard.

1 comment:

சர்வோத்தமன் said...

"In rooms where dead men lay, the living stood in silence reflecting on the triviality of a living and the enormity of the end. "

ஒருவர்
சாவதும்
ஒருவர்
இருப்பதும்
வெறும் சாவு
என்பதைவிட
இது
மிகவும் குரூரம்
இதைச் சொன்னதும்
சுசீலாதான்
- நகுலன்

Nakulan is a Writer's writer in Tamil Literary world. He has written lot of existential poems. It seems there was big existential wave in Tamil Literature in 1980's.
Albert Cameu and Kafka were much celebrated writers then here. Cameu's Stranger was translated as அந்நியன் in Tamil. If you are interested about real Tamil Literary world you can see nagarjunan.blogspot.com , jeyamohan.in, sramakrishnan.com

- Sarwothaman.