Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Rashtrapati

Reality is at best relative, and this is the realization made by those of us given to compulsive introspection. I mean, there are times when we all think - Do we really feel what we say?
Can we do what we say? Is what we do that defines us and our persona and mindset? And the biggest of all - Are thoughts and actions a cause or effect?

Actually this abstruse rambling is inspired by an article by Nehru, which he wrote anonymously and titled it "The Rashtrapati". It goes thus -

" The smile passes away and yet again the face becomes stern and impassive in the midst of the emotion that it had roused in the multitude. Almost it seemed that the smile and the gesture accompanying it had little reality behind them; they were just tricks of the trade to gain the goodwill of the crowd whose darling he had become. Was it so?"

"....Is all this natural or the carefully thought-out trickery of the public man?....Whither is this going to lead him and the country?What lies behind this mask of his, what desires, what will to power, what insatiate longings?"

Whoa...what breathtaking intensity of thought!! Surely one is compelled to think whether its applicable to our lives. Whether we do actually put on a facade of make-believe, goodness and altruism just to please. Whether all our high-sounding proclamations are just bluster and rhetoric. Whether we truly believe in what we say. The trail of answers would surely be enlightening.

I thought about it myself, and to my slight amazement, I found that I too was guilty of this skulduggery. But, horror of horrors, or should I say, fortune of fortunes ;), I found that there is much more to it. Infact, Nehru is said to have indulged in such introspection as a sort of catharsis. The idea being that when we are aware of our faults, we are more wary of them. In this case, the more acutely aware we are about our predisposition to deceive, the more likely we are to refrain from it.

Soemone can try it as an exercise. The more we ask ourselves whether we truly believe in what we think and act, the more is the likelihood that the parallax is resolved, and our thoughts and actions coalesce into what we truly are.


Devika said...

I think most of us do practice this 'skulduggery' to some extent. Part of our adaptive mechanism, I think.

Akash said...

Well said, atleast u realise that we do. We are still better off coz we know what we r doing, and can aspire to correct ourselves. What peeves me most is when ppl proclaim righteousness when they are lying through their teeth, and I believe thats a sad situation