I recently took a long awaited trip down memory lane (people also call this retrospection) and thought about all the times I was betrayed, by people whom I trusted and was also let down by people I loved and looked up to. These, by the way, included all segments ranging from friends, business partners, relatives etc., which also included people very close to home as well. Once I came out of the traumatic experience (which by the way was very fast!), I decided to sum up my experience — which probably is the way things are today.
I found a sensei called life, who is constantly training me on the blocks, punches, kicks, backflips and all that I need to know for the sake of self defence against such attacks, and really does reinforce the fact that indeed life is the greatest teacher of all. Therefore, I have decided to continue the rest of my eventful life mindful of these facts, and on the plus side, it does help you to choose the people you want to share your life with, but again … there’s no sure way of steering clear of what I had to go through! So, all we can possibly do is just let the learning continue and we remain the ever obedient student to the sensei called LIFE.
Life is a great teacher. Unfortunately, by the time the appropriate lessons are absorbed the disagreements would have created unbridgeable distances, or, quite often, seared souls would have little use for lessons learnt. For, while one cannot travel back in time to change well trodden tracks all over again, any received wisdom would be as much beneficial — at best a short circuited shot in the arm.
So how does one survive the churning — cross the rough seas? According to Hindu mythology, even the sinner journeying to hell gets help if he has gifted a cow to a deserving Brahmin. That one act of kindness to both entitles him to keep afloat. But if the response to a good turn is a shattering experience in return as many of us would have experienced, what good is it to be good?
Such mysterious questions haunt a sensitive mind as confused, disjointed humankind hurtles towards an uncertain destiny. The times when paths to heaven, however tedious and testing, used to be paved with good intentions are now only yellowing pages in a faraway memory. The present is a primitive ode to riches where values are prostituted in the marketplace. No longer is a friend a friend. He calculates, he weighs, he procrastinates, he pre – empts.
You give him the benefit of doubt because it has taken years to establish the relationship, and you realize that perceptions colored by circumstances can be wrong. All the same you give, and keep giving. And when the time comes not for questioning, not for give and take, but for a gesture that helps and heals, for a few moments spared to soothe a troubled soul, that simple act of kindness, that feeling of the other’s need becomes scarce. He has no time for you. No ear to lend.
So can a spouse be or a loved child. A trust is betrayed and something beautiful dies. As gain starts corrupting ones attitude, greed is substituted for gratitude. Human relationships turn phony and decay. Such decadence, alas, masquerades today as modernity — mistakenly equated with realism removed from misty, myopic sentimentality of a kind which has lost its currency among the culturally impoverished.
Where does one go from here? How is one supposed to live one’s life when nothing is held to be sacrosanct, when values are pretentious? Is it meaningless to strive for a meaningful existence? Is it futile to try and find some higher purpose to life, or is death its sole purpose? Why is man bent on regressing to his primeval bestiality when the gods are willing to grant him the joy of divinity? As this existential anxiety triggers implosions in an anguished mind, Bahadur Shah Zafar’s lines come to mind:
उम्र-ए-दराज़ माँगके लाए थे चार दिन
दो आरज़ू में कट गए, दो इन्तज़ार में
In a the casket of life, one requested for four days;
Two were spent identifying the desires,
And two waiting for their fulfillment.
By – Anoop Murali
Note : The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, readers views and comments are welcome.