It was a singing competition, the magnum opus of a TV channel. The grand finale was so glam and glitzy. Four contestants were in the fray to win the covetous award: a pent house worth Rs. 50 lacks.
Among the four contestants, B seemed the best pet. He sang marvelously well. Showing all the dynamics of the song he had chosen, he became himself the song. I voted for B. Unfortunately, A, the mediocre singer, got the bounty as he got more votes than B. I got miffed at my inability to go with the crowds. ‘Why amateurs capture people’s imagination?’ I thought.
A flamboyant politician, he only cherishes calling himself a sterling writer. He scribbles something and unabashedly calls them poetry. He, too, has been dabbling in Tamil prose for decades. ‘In the name of writing, he only indulges in pompous and bombastic verbose. All his writings are artificial, pedestrian; having no ‘Jeevan’ [soul]’. When I point out these lacunae in his writings to my friends, they call me a moron … a novice who knows nothing about the nuances of writing or the rudiments of literature.
He was called a born-actor in the Indian tinsel world. In fact, he showed rare histrionic skills in his debut film. But, after a few films , he oriented himself to the tune of mass liking and changed his acting patterns. His yelling, full-throated shout, knitting brows and crying in a falsetto voice were hailed as his excellent acting skills. The actor thus began to manifest himself in his characters and not vice versa. Unfortunately, those views of mine cut no ice with my friends as they called me an odd fish.
‘Which role of Krishna do you like most in Mahabharata?’ Prof Rao had put forth that question to my class, decades back. I stood up and said: ‘of all of His roles, I like that Krishna who protected the modesty of Draupadi. So, he stands tall in my heart forever’. ‘Stop,’ the learned Prof screamed. Looking at me as if I was a toxic worm, he said: ‘Sit down, you freak’.
‘Freak!’ So incomprehensible was the full import of the word when I heard it from my Prof, decades before. However, now, after getting kneaded by life and mellowed with age, I still have that sobriquet associating with my persona as people still treat me as the odd man out.
I still don’t know why I’m not able to swim along with the crowds and buy the stuff they are falling for. ‘Why I’m far away from the madding crowd? What nerves inside me prevent me from honoring ‘crowd thinking’ when it comes to deciding about men and matters? Am I in an ‘intelligent trap’, as described by Edward de Bono, not able to travel with the crowd instincts inside me?’ Questions galore in my mind without answers.
Looking for only perfection all around me and getting frowned at the cheerless amateurism in everything I see and read, I know that I’m not a man having high end of intelligent spectrum as intelligence endows one with an objective mind-set sans self-centered thoughts. Gosh! While I’m not by myself a wholesome stuff, why I want to see only perfection in others and flung down those in the gutter who don’t make the grades in their performance, be it in writing, dancing, singing and painting et al.
Long, deep introspection and a good amount of self-flagellation never let me know as to why I don’t go on beaten paths even in everyday mundane affairs. ‘Freak’ was the word my Prof had used long back to dig at my strange thoughts and my standing away from crowds. He seems right.
Not less stringent are the appellations I’m getting pasted on my person both by my friends and relatives for my living in the cave of my own thoughts. While one of my friends call me a ‘pseudo intelligent’ and vainglorious bloke, the other one attributes my trait [?] to a mind-set, which, according to her, is not wholesome, only frayed and sickened. Another psychoanalyst cousin, who calls a spade a spade, takes an uncharitable view on my thought-process. She says: ‘Easwar, yours is an imperfect mind and no wonder it seeks in others what it is not having in store. Simply speaking, your thought-process is that of a frog for whom his well is always bigger than the sea … an extreme fallacy that blinds itself to reasoning.
All said and done, I’m still going the whole hog with the dictates of my thoughts, keeping my crowd instincts at bay. For I believe in the following dictum of George Bernard Shaw:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to him. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
[Images courtesy: Google]