In a contest between a beast and a beautiful, who should you cheer for. Depends. If we go by order, may be beast. If we go by life, certainly beautiful. And snowfall is one such beautiful thing.
We have lived with this beauty for ages. Our children know it down to the last flake. But now we are told that somebody has to decide when it is a snowfall; heavy, light or moderate. It's a blizzard in the realm of normal. (Krehun Sheen)
When law withers to bare letter, spirit prefers a burial. Along the way, under the lichgate, is a long line: sense, wisdom, humour, and all that makes life worth living.
Law is needed, but it is no substitute for life. Life is not just bigger than law, it is different than law. Any attempt to fit life within the frame of law, deforms life. It is tyrannical with a comical texture to it. This mix of tyranny and comicality is on display here.
Earlier we knew when it was winter, and when to go for vacations. The space called school was autonomous enough to take a call. And these decisions never went wrong.
We are the same humans, living on the same planet with the same climate. But our knowledge about ourselves, and our surroundings, is no more valid. It is now to be authenticated by the right level of officialdom, and we must receive it 'through proper channel'. Then only our eyes see what they see, and our organs sense what they sense.
Please don't giggle. Law can take you to its own course, and you never know where you will finally land up. These are gloomy days, so spare the snicker for some smiling times. And please don't cry, because that means you are alive. And on an odd day when law bumps into life, it can result into a casualty.
Just listen, and don't say a word. It is not cold when we shiver. It is cold when it is decided it's cold; by some office. No winter vacations even if cold comes to bite. It is not the dip in temperature, but the decision on the table that declares cold. Imagine a piece of paper on this table, with following lines.
With due respect, I beg to say that I may be granted leave for my sick child, who has caught cold, as there is no heating arrangement in the school, till the time your good office considers it fit to declare winter; and subsequently, or consequently, vacations.
Sir, with due respect I beg to say, I tried to convince my child that your good office has not declared winters as yet. Unfortunately his five senses, and a nascent wisdom, don't understand how diligently you work to the best of your abilities, rendering yeoman's service to the government, all in the interest of public.
Sir, with due respect I beg to say......please spare the child. I am sure as he grows, he will know the importance of your office. He will eventually know that secretariat is a place where a snowfall is declared as heavy or as light. He will get to know that unless the directorate announces winter, he shouldn't catch cold.
Sir, eventually he will understand that to understand is contrary to rule. This child is still living his own life, till the time he understands that in these times we are born when the Municipality authenticates that we are born, and we are dead only when our children get a certificate from the same Municipality that we are dead. Between these two certificates we spend our days and nights, our summers and winters, as per the orders issued by worthy offices, like yours.
Sir, I promise I will make my child understand this all, but right now please do me the favour. My child is after all a child. I hope you give a sympathetic consideration to it.
As directed by respected......, esteemed......, and honourable......, I get my communication duly signed by...... with copy to..........
Horizontally, Vertically and Diagonally
The journey that started with modernity finally culminated in absurdity. The journey that began with bureaucracy finally led to the loss of elemental human freedom - morbidity. Now you can't feel cold, unless you are told it was cold.
I know, as humans, our officers know it all. They feel it all. As humans they don't wait for their own orders to feel cold. But what if they retain some of this human while making decisions, or at least leave things without a scar of a decision.
Why is it so obligatory to take a decision in each matter. Certain things, most of the things, can be left to people's wisdom. Give some autonomy to schools, and see how winter vacations come and go without anyone even noticing it.
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.