Friday, February 28, 2014

A tremulous candle in a raging desert storm...Has the war begun?

A tremulous candle in a raging desert storm...Has the war begun? ....

May 28, 2013 at 5:44pm
Its long, its boring, and its taxing on one's pateince- this note; another one of sunnymindcaves luxuriant indulgences . There are better things to do than read -- or write -- long facebook notes between strenous hours at work . So you might as well not read, and no one will say you missed much.   Unless of course....
May 28, 4.00 pm
Jaswant Singh Aman :  Were it not for a name that I so profoundly respect - JSA - I might even have let it pass. Seriously,  you are right: its typical Indian trade mark: evade responsibility by blaming the victim.  But the story of victim-hood has layers that run deep into another Indian patent: do nothing except display one's victim-hood, and that too only in matters that pertain strictly to oneself - the neighbor can go wherever he finds a dark pit. Make victim-hood  a qualification, a medal, a trophy And victimhood too, not of the variety of noble innocense outraed, but mosly of a favour denied.... How many of us go beyond getting personal grievances removed, and  grievances too as " deep" as seeking transfers to postings nearest to one's residence. Armies of hundreds of thousands of jobless youth roam the streets while all that the "haves " can think of  is a reduction in the number of working hours and an increase in emoluments at par with whichever state offers the highest. Where is personal accountability among our citizenry.  A government can be voted out as  much for not creating enough jobs as for not obliging the employees with lucrative postings and transfer policy....These are our Pandvas - please don't mind - and we are also a part of them. ( And I am CERTAINLY NOT talking about Punjab nor about a government of any one political party in Chandigarh or New Delhi. The root runs deep --  and wide.
Nor does it absolve the governments of the day anywhere  of their larger responsibility. The system needs to be uprooted to be  reclaimed .. say some spotless voices . Yes it calls for a Krishna. I once a wrote  a piece along these lines in the Indian Express Delhi and Bombay: "Waiting for the Hero" and it was aptly described as " cri de coeur of the nation" by the then editor - George Verghese. If I can find that somewhere, I would like to re-post it, for your eyes only, Jaswant Singh Aman Sahib. That does not absolve me of my responsibility.

"Chashm-e-nam, jaan-e-shoreeda kafi nahin
Tohmat-e-ishq-posheeda kafi nahin"....

..I need to search deep within too, and look for the right armoury. Arjun was a great matchelss  marksman, but he wasn't a Bheem.  Bheem had the strentgth of elephants, but Bheem  could not hit a door with sledge-hammer - so poor were his skills at  weilding bow and arrows. To each one his peculiar skills and his peculiar weapons for achieving a common goal. Why, Krishna did not even touch arms, except that controversial wheel of the chariot...To each one, a dfferent role. Each one must search what that role is.

We will move on from just looking towards and at each other with helpless hope. Each one of us will turn our gaze to whatever little tool or weapon or skill or means which nature has blessed each one o f us with: someone with the skills to mobililise masses, another to  chart out a strategy, still another to raise funds, a fourth and a fifth to arrange logistics, a sixth to use his skills at communications -- number six: the sixth sense... and so on. No reason to lose hope.
History is unfolding every moment. The landscape is dark, and heroes are few and far between , and candles weak and storms rage. And yet, I keep faith in history and destiny and the people.

Sometimes I get presumptuous and like to see myself as  Robert Browning of this small act on this page: incorrigible optimist even in the presence of death ("Beautiful Evelyn Hope is Dead"  and he writes  an ode to tragedy at par in intensity with Shakespeare at his very best. :
 "She pluck’d that piece of geranium-flower,      
Beginning to die too, in the glass;                5
  Little has yet been changed, I think:
The shutters are shut, no light may pass   
  Save two long rays thro’ the hinge’s chink.""

And yet, Browning takes us through the vast prairies of death. But only to blow a conch at the end::

"But the time will come, at last it will, 
  When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say)    ......

Why your hair was amber, I shall divine,   
  And your mouth of your own geranium’s red—       
And what you would do with me, in fine, 
  In the new life come in the old one’s stead.      

So hush,—I will give you this leaf to keep:
  See, I shut it inside the sweet cold hand!
There, that is our secret: go to sleep!      
  You will wake, and remember, and understand."

Evelyn Hope is the promised land, the dream, the ideal.

Out of her  Second Coming will Krishna also arise and Pandvas finally peal off thier cowardice and lethargy. This is the story of human race...not just of India, of Punjab, of you , of me alone....

For the moment, this hope is al I have to offer to you. Its a weak and tremulous hope. And in the all-enveloping dark, it might even seem just a weak mirage.

But I prefer to chase this mirage  than sit on my haunches, delivering sermons of death. Yes,  I chase dreams and yes,  I chase phantoms. Yes, , I set paper boats afloat. The ocean is large. The boats are  humble. Always humble. But they keep their little paces going. The ocean keeps boasting, these boats keep moving, buffetted between tresses and troughs, tossed around, mocked, ridiculed.....But boats alone conquer shores -- without boasting..... I am a boatsman. I love boats. Everyone who wants to conquer oceans loves boats....I know you also love boats. That is enough to start the voyage.......And when a tempest comes, when a tempest rages, we will see  how tempests are tamed .......You will and so will many others.  

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