A distant dream

May 25, 2010 at 9:53 pm 7 comments


The distant moon is the epitome of serene resplendent beauty and the shimmering light of a fading star across the galaxy is more dazzling than a Kohinoor diamond. The haunting melody of a long forgotten past still lingers on while the valleys and hills of distant lands are always the enchanting backdrops of many a folk tale. The lands of opportunities and of good life are essentially across the seas and the rich bounties are only for the few willing to drip their sweat on alien soils! We are perpetually fascinated by the distant, the bygone and by the splendid imagery of an unheralded future that we fail to appreciate the joy of the immediate, the worthiness of the near or the beauty of the now.   

There is something about the distant that bestows it with an aura of mystique. Perhaps it is essentially the undefined nature of its elements that affords one the freedom to romanticise with it breaking free from the limiting and the restricting shackles of the known and the structured. A suggestion that it could be beyond the grasp makes it all the more attractive and that which is not readily attainable has a seductive captivation on all of us. And in this obsession for that elusive ethereal, we become inert to the joys of the present and the cosiness of the close and take flight away from the realms of the real. Thus the life style of an alien land is more adventurous, its taste, sight and smell more exotic and its permissive culture immensely liberating to the one swayed away by its influence.  A quixotic engagement with the far removed is only matched with the absolute contempt for all that is familiar, all that is life sustaining and all that could truly be claimed as one’s heritage. This negation and the dereliction are not limited merely to the social and cultural environments but extend to communities, peoples and neighbourhoods that are inextricably part of one’s upbringing, a contempt not confined to the familiar that is proverbial, but to ones’ own true identity.

This contempt of the closest is no more well pronounced than in our dealings with our neighbours.  It is easier to shed a tear for the suffering millions of the sub-Saharan desert than to sympathise with an ailing neighbour and provide her a little moral succour. We can, at the most, tolerate our neighbours but can never really care for them; for they are our pitted enemies that the destiny has forced us to live in close proximity. A neighbour is a moron, unaccommodating and an unavoidable nuisance while a morphing facebook contact is the one we are willing to vouch our lives on.  We could chat on for hours with our virtual pals but can’t stop to exchange pleasantries with the soul next door.  Disdain for the real leads to escapism from it with the virtual world providing the perfect cover.

But just as individuals are guilty of contempt for their next door kith and kin, nations are equally at fault in not being able to conduct their affairs honourably with their neighbouring ones. Countries wax eloquent on their quest for lasting peace and harmony among the comity of nations while they scheme the next assault on their immediate neighbours. Though they share a common history, mostly a common language and culture and are invariably from the common stock of human race, yet neighbouring nations are the fiercest when it comes running down each other. They form alliances and even military pacts with distant nations with the sole purpose to checkmate each other. In international real politic, you cannot be neighbours and yet remain friends!

Even religions which have identical lineage and are descendance of a common philosophical viewpoint are today at draggers drawn at one another. Christianity and Islam, though emanated from identical cultural milieus, having common geographical roots in the desert sands of West Asia and propagating similar egalitarian religious faiths are never as alienated from one another as they are now, threatening  global peace. The fight for supremacy between the Cross and the Crescent is a painful reminder of how similar doctrines could be divergently interpreted to cause fiction and animosity among its followers.

Only when we attempt to live in the present, see the goodness of the people we are surrounded with and strengthen the threads that inter-wove us as custodians of a common heritage, would we begin to lead a life of blessedness.

Yours

Narayanan

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Entry filed under: To reflect.

The Mosquito syndrome Inside 2622- Tamilnadu Express

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayank  |  May 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Very well written, Mr Narayanan. Reminds me of a common phrase “the grass is greener on the other side”. So what is the solution? What will make us happier with our present and things close to us? Myopia can be a cure…

    Reply
  • 2. Mabel Graves  |  May 28, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    If only more than 75 people could hear about this!

    Reply
  • 3. umesh jairam  |  May 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    ????

    Reply
  • 4. Vidya  |  June 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Very well written Narayanan. The same adage (as quoted by MayanK) comes to mind. Tolerance is a trait that we are collectively learning to forget!

    Reply
  • 5. memoriees  |  July 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    You write beautifully.

    Reply
  • 6. shylalight  |  July 20, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Until we learn to love ourselves, we will not reach out and love our neighbours. To love the virtual friend is to further alienate our self belief and allows our fears to drown our soul. If children continue to withdraw to the confines of virtual relationships through fear of rejection imagine the devastation they could cause. The lack of awareness of humanity and the inability to reach out to touch another for no other reason than to help, to show compassion. The generations of our future are in danger of having the greatest destructive powers together with a detachment from reality, or the creation of a new reality that holds compassion to a neighbour in disdain. Technology is a wonderous thing but it is also changing the way we behave at a rate we have not educated our children to deal with, mainly because we are not keeping up ourselves.
    You make your point with such subtlety, a beautiful read but also a sad one for its message does not reach the ears of millions

    Reply
    • 7. chapter18  |  July 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks for the comment. The damages that the virtual world could cause to our children are very real unless we make concious steps to help them understand and value the real world and the real people around them. Living and accepting the present is the sign of inner growth.

      Reply

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