“ఏం సంబందమిది?”

Lange

“ఒక ముక్కు మొహం తెలీని రచయితకు, ఒక పాఠకునుకి ఏమీ సంబందమో – తల్లి తండ్రులతో, తోబుట్టువుల తో గానీ, చివరకు స్నేహితులు, హితులు, సతులు, సుతులు తోటి మనకెందుకుండదో మీ ఈ వాక్యాలు తెలుపుతున్నవి. అయినా ఈ రచయతలకు మనకు ఏం సంబందం? ఈ ప్రపంచానికి మనకు ఉన్న సంబందమా? వారు ఏడిపిస్తే మనం ఏడుస్తాం. వారు నవ్విస్తే మనం నవ్వుతాం. -అన్ని రకాల భావాల్ని వారితో పంచుకుంటాం. ఏం సంబందమిది?”

With this comment here, Thirupalu, the author of the comment above, went right to the source of what makes us humans.

Take a look at this picture.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2015473347193&set=a.1359629511507.2044052.1254621224&type=1&theater

Makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

I know you don’t think the man doesn’t matter. I also know that you are not insensitive. And it’s not even that you are cynical.

It is just that the mother in the picture crossed a threshold of kindness that you and I will likely never be able to cross.

It is just that, in one fell swoop, the mother saw right through the noise of the disgust, right through the broken flesh and right through that breaking humanity around her – in the isolation of the man on the sidewalk.

She saw that it was breaking not just because its flesh and bones were broken, but because a certain kind of glue has come undone.

A glue that once held us all together when we were dreaming young, when we were in a state of learning and not forgetting.

When we were not in a state of forgetting, we saw this glue – we felt this glue – across the boundaries of caste, class, race and nationalities. This glue, which nobody can explain what it is, is what made men and women reach out to each other.

But now, in our state of forgetting, this glue has come undone.  This glue has come undone, and as a result, I look at him, I see a rickshaw driver with oily hair, and sweaty forehead. I see her, I see a beggar woman. I look at this child and I think this child is ugly and I look at my fellow country men and women and I am embarrassed by their awkwardness. I look at those men and women and children at the railway station, at that bus station, running over to me and begging, and I think with disgust what animals and what ANIMALS!

I am rotting because that glue has left me. And I left it. I see inside me, I see nothing but emptiness but I am stern in my opinion, confident in my feelings of disgust. I see darkness everywhere, I blame the media thinking that even at such a dire hour, there is a conspiracy.

But is it? A conspiracy? And what has literature got to do with it?

I think we can agree that, in general, we humans cycle from a state of ignorance to a state of learning, then to a state of forgetting, and if we are self-aware enough, enter the state of relearning.

But we are not all like this.

A lot of us remain in ignorance, much like a lot of us get stuck in a state of forgetting and never enter the relearning state.

Remember how when we were young we knew so much, we dreamed so much; how we played with our friends so much, and how we spat in our fingers and wiped the dust from our knees before running off with the other caste boys and girls to play?

Then do you remember how, along the years, we somehow forgot these dreams?

Forgot how we played together but only see how different that other person is, how yucky the other person makes us feel because of her skin color, because of the way she talks, and how her little children made us feel uncomfortable when they entered too much into our homes?

How many of us, then, remember going from such a state of forgetting our dreams and forgetting our plays, back to a state of re-learning, back to a state of a decency and kindness?

I am going to claim, without sufficient proof, that there is one specific quality in us humans that determines who can be good at going from a state of ignorance to a state of learning, and from a state of forgetting to a state of relearning.

That quality is our potential ability to relate.

But this is only a potential ability, not a real capability yet.

It is like swimming. We all have the potential ability to swim, but not all of us possess the capability to swim. Unless we learn how to swim. We need to go to a swimming school. We need to learn the basics of swimming. We are not born with these basics. Then, and only then, we can swim effortlessly, without thinking about it.

Relatedness, and the ability to relate, is also like that. We need a school to develop this relatedness in us. And it is literature, more than any other teacher, that gives us a set of unique habits, a set of unique skills, a set of perspectives, to help us develop this human quality of relatedness.

Only when we fully develop this quality of relatedness in us, only then, we can go from a state of ignorance to a state of learning, and from a state of forgetting to a state of relearning.

So,

1) literature gives us the ability to relate, and

2) this ability to relate helps us to transition to increasing states of relearning and learning.

More on this later.

Featured image credit: Lange, Variation #22

Facebook image link without permission, credit: Mani Bodapati

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1 Comment

  • Thirupalu says:

    ధన్య వాదాలు సార, నా వ్యాఖ్య మిమ్మల్ని ఆలోసిమ్పసుసినందుకు.

ఒక వ్యాఖ్యను

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