Saturday, September 20, 2014

Romance and (Ground) Reality


Once again shall Socratese be mocked. Once again shall the Cross be questioned. Again shall Chandani Chowk be frowned upon as " unrealistic, adventuresome, romantic".

Where shall we take a stand?

I take mine here:

Not daring to invest life with a glow that defies its mundane and pathetic surface -  not daring to romanticize reality and then blandly declaring  it  to be 'ground realities' , and refusing  to see that even the filthiest gutter carries the potential to bloom into a garden of  flowers of  stunning beauty, something that happens so casually everyday,  everywhere -- in short accepting dust as dust, bones as bones, muck as muck,  gutter filth as gutter filth: what else should be called  'burying  one's head in sand' ( a romantic expression by itself)?  Those who dare never to accept a  'particle' as ground reality but discover in it energy large enough enough to light up a whole metropolis - these , my brother, are the romantics who do not bury their heads in  sands of what is so fashionably called "ground reality".

Only a romantic could ask,"Why does an apple not fall upwards?" The ground reality prophets had ridiculed him: "How can anything 'fall' upwards?"

 Only 36 romantics could defy  your beloved 'ground reality'  to ensure that a force as large as 10,000  Afghans and Orokzai tribesmen was not large enough to overwhelm them at Saragarhi  on September12, 1897 .

Only  a romantic could call out five beloved ones out of a gathering of thousands and dare to  ask them to offer their heads to his sword, and then turn these "meek ground reality herds" into a  romantic force whose Kesariaas and Neelas still dare the infinite skies ?  Ground Reality is that I, you, our beloved parents and children are all bones, blood and marrow and a bit of muck:  it is romance in thine heart and thine eye that turns them into something for whom we are willing to die - any time, any number of times.

Only a romantic in the nineteenth century could eye the crown of Europe lying in a bush, haul it up with the tip of his naked sword and place it on his head. We call this romantic Napoleon Bonaparte. Does anyone here know more about ground realities than this 'little Corsican' did,  he who wrote hundreds of most glowingly romantic letters to his most beautiful wife - she  of the dubious loyalty did? What was the bigger ground reality? His love, her disloyalty, his sword or the fear of entire Europe that first ridiculed him and then ended up fearing and finally saluting him - for whatever length of time.

Was Garibaldi the passionate Italian freedom maniac a romance or a ground reality? Is the ground reality of an invincible British empire larger than  the romantic legend of one man - Bhagat Singh -  determined to look this ground  and this reality in the eye and declare, "My dreams shall overcome this reality"?  

Romance is the highest form of ground reality. And love, still higher.

 Romance is to reality what fragrance is to a flower and what music is to a guitar or  what poetry is to a poet or ,what a child is to a mother 

 If you have any doubts, put your arm across your child, your mother, father or  some other beloved one, and try saying, "You are just GROUND reality, as good or bad to me as any of 700 crores humans and many million times more creatures that walk this earth."

You will hear a reply. honestly reproduce that here, please

Two Comments from FB

Innocence , Trust and Suspicion

"How often does our obstinate suspicion over goodness in another's heart rob us of a chance to be good ourselves ! How often does our refusal not to see a saint in another stall our own walk towards saintliness !. How shall I ever become a saint if all I see in others is evil, intrigue and conspiracies ! When shall I get over this demon that whispers dark rumours of universal designs against me ! When will I begin to see that I was not the only one chosen to be good at heart in an otherwise completely wicked world ! How utterly idiotic that I keep refusing to see myself as just a random specimen of all that this world is made of - and what I think this world is what I symbolise ! Am I the really the only one striving to overcome evil in me and to be always good to others ? And in fact, am I even among those who constantly cleanse themselves of this evil?"
He was familiar with this voice within him.But he did not want to trust this voice. And other questions resumed.
" How can I be sure that its good to be good in this wicked world?
The jungle heard the question and smiled and then replied, breaking into a gentle early-winter morning breeze:
" Only through love. The moment your heart begins to overflow with love, you will feel trust returning to it. And with trust, innocence. Only the innocent can trust. Only the innocent are wise."
His cheeks kissed by a gentle breeze, he closed his eyes and began to listen, "But you won't understand this if suspicion and fear of being cheated still rule your heart. This fear is not fear at all. It is your own selfishness masked as fear. You need this fear to justify why you act selfish. 'The world's wickedness is your only justification for your own, and the excuse for not being innocent. You need this fear and you will never let it go. How else will you justify your own selfishness?"
The breeze got a little stiffer, and the jungle spoke on.
" Stop playing games with yourself. Stop cheating yourself. The moment you do that, innocence will return. With innocence, trust. With trust, peace and bliss. Did you ever see a suspicious man happy?".