Friday, July 22, 2011

A Little Night Rigmarole

It was night and I was reading Cervantes or rather his book Don Quixote. Suddenly I felt an urge to write and so I fell to ponder for a little while. In the end I reached the conclusion, which is bound to happen in the end rather than beginning as it is after all a conclusion, that I had no idea what to write! So I fell to ponder for a little while again and I was about to give up and get back to Quixote that I realized that maybe I can write about anything I want to, without bothering about whether it is important consistent or even mildly entertaining. So I left my book (marked it though) and started rambling, what you see below is a product of that rambling. This introduction that you have just read was written after the following piece was written and so you can be sure that I tell you the truth that this is indeed a complete rigmarole, any attempt to find logical consistencies will be patently irrational on your part.  

Life at times may seem queer and there is a good reason for it because it is so. What is queer if one were to ask, well in simple term it means perplexing or unexpected; then isn’t every part of our life perplexing and unexpected or potentially so. If you are a person who has an eye for detail or follows routine meticulously, isn’t a small deviation from normal pattern queer? You get out of your house move towards the main road and see a bus departing, now that’s queer, what are the chances of that happening. Or take a glass of water that slips and ruins your shirt just before the meeting, now that is surely queer and bit aggravating too. At times you wonder if the big guy up there is actually looking after you or rather may be too intensely looking after you, both feelings might be discomfiting. We human beings, or rather most of us (let’s not generalize), are allergic to both spotlight and complete obscurity. We like the middle road where we can oscillate between the two, too much attention and then we want solitude but give us complete solitude we will cry for friendship and society. What we want is essentially the ability to choose and be in control, nothing rocket science about it but just simple truth. It is the fudginess, for lack of a better word, that we enjoy or rather live for. Fixation is something we abhor, continuous monotonous thing revolt us or does it.

Factory work looks pretty dull, how come they survive. Probably because most factory workers are not writers and if they are not then who will write about them? Surely there have been writers who wrote about their boring dull tireless repetitive work. Engels, Marx Gorky to some of the management guru’s like Fredric Taylor and others have written about them but can they actually know. I mean can you actually vicariously know how they feel. If you are writer and a successful one at that then you are exactly that, a writer! Once you become that you cease to be a worker or whatever you were before that. So even if by fluke chance you were a worker who became a writer afterwards then you weren’t a worker to begin with. Now I am not being judgemental by stating a worker can never be a writer but what I wish to posit is this, if we are talking about the worker who has a dull monotonous existence then by definition he cannot be the writer as the writer must have had something different in him which made him more than a worker. His very liberation from the worker-hood makes him incapable of relating to the class of worker we are lamenting about. Then could it not be that these workers, have a lower level of fudginess. For all we know they might draw great joy out of deciding which shirt to wear to work, come to think I usually spend in an inordinate amount of time doing exactly that. The point is our fudgi-ness scale differs. But how does it differ, why so and more importantly does it really matter?

Disregarding the last question first in order to continue with this inane verbose, since the answer is obviously in the negative, let us focus on the other two questions. It seems most famous people craved attention and solitude spasmodically, celebrities aside they don’t really count. It is difficult to comprehend that they created ideas, innovation or whatever they did solely for that purpose and not for gaining some public attention by windfall or is it too difficult for us to ascertain this precisely because we are not of that temperament. I guess Michelangelo wasn’t looking for accolades when he was painting but then again how do we know what he wanted, surely we are not Michelangelo. We have play acted before haven’t we, said something that we didn’t mean, or said something with the hope that it will create the opposite result “ Oh my writing is so poor, I am not at all lucid”, “oh no but you are, you are so eloquent”, why should famous people be absolved of such frailty. I mean just because they were great at something doesn’t necessarily mean they were more than human, Nietzsche or no Nietzsche.

It seems to me the more experience you have and the richer they are, which is another way of saying varied but just trying to make it sound nicer or may be some of you may think they are different in which case use both, the fudgier you are. You are willing to move further away from your straight-line imaginary routine path of life. Cant we view our life as a sum total of experience, surely we can philosophers have done it before. Surely we judge our experiences as good or bad. May be family initially gives us that straight unyielding thick line, the black line that divides the good experience from the bad once or at least tells us what should be considered good and bad experience. But as we begin to grow may be a tug of war starts between the line and the experiences. In one sense the line determines what kind of experience you will expose yourself to and that limits your space. In other sense random experience might confront you and might alter your line. Aha but your family might give you a tacit approval in the sense that some degree of fudginess will always be tolerated. This they have to because too rigid a line, greater the probability that random events will confront you and that might make you deviate from line quickly; kinda like brittle iron breaks, easily to make it strong you need to make it malleable.

After all what are random events, those that weren’t predicted by your model straight-line of experience. A model by definition is a replica of reality and not reality itself. If you are an economist then you know that with increasing beauty of a model comes increasing divergence with reality. A model cannot capture the patchy blotted reality not all of its complexity or color. So the more rigid your experience line is, greater likelihood that you will be exposed to “events” which your model line cannot predict. But too relaxed a line makes it useless and then you are left with no guidance. Sooner or later your line is bound to deviate from the externally imposed one but your family hopes that it won’t deviate much.

But in a world where you are bound to interact with others such lines will deviate. The private experience line, imposed by family, deviates and get closer to the public experience line, imposed by culture. It is only through greater integration and communication that we can expect to come together. Exposing ourselves to different experiences as much as possible might make us more open and acceptable to greater deviation from what we think what ought to be. It might just make our life less queer and hence more beautiful.