An abstract thought – an oxymoron. Can a thought truly be deemed abstract? Or do you simply relive that which you already know but choose to be ignorant of? So many questions, so many more answers. One dramatic year – What did you learn, what did you forget, what do you learn to forget. So much a year can do to a man. It can make him believe; it can wreck his nerve, it can change his destiny. It can teach him love, hope, fear, defiance, betrayal, what have you. You live, but do you? Were it not true, are you and I only minute specks in an infinite web of parallel universes visionary-ancestors foresaw? Critics once thought gravity was absurd. Mankind sided with these cynics. Don’t we all??!! Could they have been more mistaken?
The breeze outside our dosshouse whispers. A strong steady whisper, of land that has long known the ravages of the ocean, being one of her many ever connubial loves. The ocean, she has many faces. Her might, her joy, her anger, her sorrow – for she has seen it all. Her breeze carries whispers. Of sailors and fishermen desperate to sight shore. Of rodents grappling with belligerent fate in the hope of a forgotten morsel. Of at least 300 souls waiting for their destiny to be delivered. Of foregone desires. Of forgotten dreams. Of quixotic memories.
“Never forget the favours people have done you, boy”!!- An old Ghurkha’s priceless advice. Strange how the best counsel you ever acquired in your gloomy existence thus far was given, not by your blood, or friends or teachers or convoluted better halves. But by an old ragamuffin watchman. God old Padgo. Padgo watchman, we called him! The point being driven at, thus, is wisdom. One need not seek enlightenment under a tree or in a classroom because great men, immortal men once did. Immortals have also risen out of sand. In dusty, dirty rotten, useless tracts of merciless dry, arid lands that only census officials choose to call villages. Many a man from thence has risen to unfathomable heights in this naïve, kind and bleeding mass we call our motherland. These men never saw classrooms or projectors or PPT’s. Yet they learnt, from people around, from friends, family, the news and the papers, from posters and billboards, from pain and love and hate and life! For a greater existence, for a better tomorrow, for sunshine and rain. For pride!
The world never really changed. Feudalism, for starters, never died. It is as prevalent in the air we breathe and the food we eat as it is in the deviously crafted system that governs us. All we fools claim to be free. We pin little flags to our bosoms and sing proud songs. To what end? What are we free from? Only he who is truly ignorant is free. Only the fool is free. How can any sane man in today’s day and age declare himself free? For if he is, why can he not yearn to make a trouble free living with his craft? Why can he not lay claim to his own land without rolling in the shadows? Why can’t he have three proper meals a day? Why can he not yearn to educate the female child? Why is a corrupt, manipulative foreigner being allowed to rule a country that was looted by many like her, before her? When martyrs who truly fought for this fallacy we call ‘freedom’ have been disremembered? They were true men, brave men. Men who loved and desired, just like you and I.
How bravely they fought!! How nobly they died! How easily we forgot!! They dreamed and died for a better tomorrow. And what of that?! Should, God forbid, they someday rise from their graves to learn what has become of us, then God, ‘please be with them’! For the freedom they died for, died with them. And in its place lay a hungry evil monster that we all feed, only so that it can devour us someday. So either let it! Shall we say, ‘ to each, his own’? Or shall we not succumb? Shall we not bow down? Shall we stand up and fight? Shall we not forget!
By ~ Vishak Senthil