Friday, May 28, 2010

The Meaning(lessness) of it All

A trip to cafeteria found a news report running on the latest train derailment that has killed 65 people. Again supposed to be a Maoist attack! Interleaved with it was the report where little girls in Rajasthan are being injected with growth chemicals before being pushed into prostitution. Then there are reports of Pramod Mutalick's alleged vandalism contract. An illness in the family of a childhood buddy is going to cost him all the money he has earned so far. I know about the struggle he has gone through to earn that money.

Visions of ugliness and meaninglessness around is overwhelming me at this moment. I often momentarily archor on such thoughts . I writhe for a few weeks in the pain of 'kuchh karna padega' (to borrow the phrase from the classic Hindi satire 'Raag Darbari' by Shrilal Shukla) feeling. Then the currents of everyday life take me away on my way. Sometimes, it feels as if the meaningless chores of everyday life are the only shelter from the burning flames that pierce our eyes the moment we try to look up, look around.

Am I doing anything good by even cribbing? Sitting in an air-conditioned office, being paid a salary which an impoverished fellow no worse than me except in the initial conditions of life would never dream of earning...As one of my dear friends rightly pointed out in response to my earlier posts, even talking about it brings up the question: 'Will you give it all up to save the world? So why talk about it?'

Really! Am I doing any good even talking about it, thinking about it? Wouldn't I better be busying myself feverishly in the chores of life without bothering about the bigger context. So, is that what Krishna meant by 'Karmanyavaadhikaaraste...'?

Did he say it because anything beautiful we make has an ugliness in the context that nurtures it? Because every thought of love has hatred hidden in it? Every building or highway we build destroys the ecology around? Every convenience we earn causes inconvenience to someone else we don't know? Every slurping sound we make over a delicious food is distilled out of the cries of helpless creatures dying? Because every instance of affluence causes many instances of poverty?

Or isn't there anything real called beauty without cruelty?


Pritesh said...

Sujit, I don't believe this! It's eerie! I had just started writing about the same thing! Somehow, being away from the country and seeing such horrific things happening there engulfs me in a worse feeling of helplessness! What is it that we, as citizens away from the Ground Zero, can do? I've no answers to the questions you pose but I wholeheartedly agree that I've gone through those questions myself! And am still groping in the dark for answers! :-(

Sujit Kumar Chakrabarti said...

What I feel is that there's no country-specific thing here. The woe is all around. Country-specific prosperity, justice, afluence ... these are no more meaningful than a bag of foodgrains at home when the neighbourhood is famished. If things are really so bad as they look, those grains will soon run out, or we'll be murdered by a hungry creature who has been brainwashed to believe that the cause of his deprivation is the bag of grains that we possess.

Probably, go ahead and write down your thoughts nevertheless.