Losing the World

The inscrutability of human life and its formless facets will perhaps make most of us to moan
"I couldn’t rewind the clock and travel to the point backwards when I was ignorant about everything. Oblivion was my oxygen. The void was venerable." [Image for representational purpose only.]
"I couldn’t rewind the clock and travel to the point backwards when I was ignorant about everything. Oblivion was my oxygen. The void was venerable." [Image for representational purpose only.]Pixabay

Graham Greene, the British author, wrote in one of his memoirs titled ‘Ways of Escape’ (1980) that “Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation.”

Of course, there is an element of lunacy and wretchedness embedded in each aspect of human life which at times becomes frightful to face and battle out. And if any creative work just chips in, it helps us cope up with the whole drama. It also opens up interestingly new and unexplored vistas of understanding related to any particular situation.

Going back to Greene, he in one of his narratives from the essay ‘The Lost Childhood’ recounts the precarious instant when he first discovered that he could read. He writes—“I distinctly remember the suddenness with which a key turned in a lock and I found I could read--not just the sentences in a reading book with the syllables coupled like railway carriages, but a real book.... All a long summer holiday I kept my secret, as I believed: I did not want anybody to know that I could read. I suppose I half consciously realized even then that this was the dangerous moment. I was safe so long as I could not read--the wheels had not begun to turn, but now the future stood around on bookshelves everywhere waiting for the child to choose--the life of a chartered accountant perhaps, a colonial civil servant, a planter in China, a steady job in a bank, happiness and misery, eventually one particular form of death, for surely we choose our death much as we choose our job. It grows out of our acts and our evasions, out of our fears and out of our moments of courage....”

Many of us have speckled experiences whenever we confront a new happening, a new episode, a new situation in our daily lives. There are some unusual truths and realities that one gets familiar with often, and is astonished at the atypical enigma that gets unfolded in the process; and the journey of life piles up our baggage.

The inscrutability of human life and its formless facets will perhaps make most of us to moan in the tone of Graham Greene and cry out silently :

I was safe so long as I could not come out of my mom’s womb to breathe in the mysterious world;  I was safe so long as I could not make out ‘what is what’ to judge the insignia of the life; I was safe so long as I could not guess ‘who is who’ to form an opinion about others; I was safe so long as I could not think about the intricacies of human behavior; I was safe so long as I could not believe that even human brains can be shady; I was safe so long as I could not imagine that sincerity can be termed suspicious; I was safe so long as I could not infer that blood is actually thinner than water; I was safe so long as I could not assume that friends can turn foes.

The vulnerabilities make lamenting unavoidable and realization further deepens that I was safe so long as I could not be happy; I was safe so long as I could not be successful; I was safe so long as I could not trust my susceptible students; I was safe so long as I could not compete with my brittle teachers; I was safe so long as I could not demur against my big-headed bosses; I was safe so long as I could not be a fanciful rebel; I was safe so long as I could not question the questionable; I was safe so long as I could not see what I am seeing; I was safe so long as I could not listen to what I am listening; I was safe so long as I could not read what I am reading; I was safe so long as I could not write what I am writing; I was safe so long as I could not murmur a word; I was safe so long as I could not sing what I am singing; I was safe so long as I could not be understood; I was safe so long as I could not close my eyes and feel that bad people have a bad end and world will be a lovely location to live in; I was safe so long as I could not think; I was safe so long as I could not hope; I was safe so long as I could not believe I am I ; And I was safe so long as I could not dream!

Now that I am unsafe, I cherish the bliss of ignorance, the moments of unawareness that were so calming and comforting, de-making the world a bad, brute place. I couldn’t rewind the clock and travel to the point backwards when I was ignorant about everything. Oblivion was my oxygen. The void was venerable.

I am vulnerable now. From every corner. I am snared. I am scared. I am snubbed. The claws of conjectures and criticism, crooked and criminal, mean and malicious, pounce. Perhaps on anyone around who is cheesed off. That’s why some of us have already ‘Lost the World’ ala Graham’s childhood. We are walking dead, carrying a smile and a face to live up to! Ironic.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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