Every day I check the stats on my wordpress app on my laptop and smartphone to see if anyone’s dropped by to dip into my bon mots on this, that and the other. It fills me with an odd sense of satisfaction to see the graph show that there’s been one visitor, one view. I visualise this random person reading a gem of a post and walking away satisfied. And then there is a long gap of nul points. All the time, I’m of course aware that there would be more people visiting if I actually wrote something fresh. The machinations of a site like WordPress is all about disseminating freshly baked information swiftly. If that display chart were to speak, it would be a lot of whispers and long silences. If it were to be set to music, it would be an arty piece – a long drawn monotone interpersed with a few thuds. As if Beethoven fell asleep at the piano and banged his head on the keys when jolted awake as he wrote The Unheard Symphony.
There isn’t a real reason for not updating this site apart from the fact that there is a distinct feeling this past month and more, of standing stranded in the middle of a swirling whirlpool. What are we still doing in this mad, mad, world is a question I find myself asking a lot. Part of me wonders if we’ve reached saturation point in being an evolved race and the only way from now on is down. As if, after reaching the pinnacle to see what tolerance, peace and co-operation looked like, we’ve decided it’s too boring and have chosen the muddy path to slide down, preferring to connect with all that is base and regressive. There seems to be a surprising amount of comfort in believing in that approach. It could be murdering a Dalit couple for being unable to pay 20 paise at the shop run by an upper caste tyrant, it could be an entire country being whipped up by raging emotions of jingoism by Tyrant Trump, it could be crazed teenage boys slitting the throat of a priest in a medieval act inside a church or the tyranny of bullying within a workplace or even a political party.
In Doris Lessing’s Marriages between Zones Three, Four and Five, we are shown a near-perfect world run by women. When Shikasta, the Queen of Zone Three is forced into marriage to a warrior from a lower zone, she discovers patriarchy and soon finds herself becoming a subservient person, and to her surprise enjoys the experience and gives birth to a son. She is all the time sensitive to the fact that the men around her are far less civilised and brutish and that her son too will become one of them. When she’s sent back to her original zone, after being told to leave her child behind, she is now an exile in the land she once ruled – people don’t recognise who she’s become and she’s shunned and eventually comes to a tragic end. Shades of Sita from the Ramayana too. When Shikasta is dwindling into nothingness, she has a glimpse of how the higher zones live – being able to communicate without words, through a form of telepathy. That book was written in 1980 – nearly forty years on,we live in even more brutish times.
A lot of us imagined living in a more evolved world by now. They say that there’s a reason why women get elected to office – to clean up the mess men leave behind. That is probably true in Theresa May’s case. Hopefully she and Hillary Clinton (if she overcomes Trump), will inject compassion and calmness to influence the world and elevate our thinking to a more mature plane. This could be indulging in wishful thinking. Going back to where we began, this blog aims to provide a little oasis of relief, wit and wisdom for that lone traveller who chooses to sip from its fresh waters. Until next time…