August 21, 2009 § 21 Comments
Once upon a time, I found a key. It opened all the doors I tried. And in one room, which I walked into , I found a madman.
He seemed to be talking to himself. Papers were strewn around the room. There was a musical Instrument , I noted(but I forgot which string it was) and also a football. When he saw me , he gave a rather rueful smile. Sorrow not his , but mine. He seemed to know, that I held the key. But he did not try to escape, rather he started talking to me. This was what I think was said between us. I have(for obvious reasons) excluded the initial part of the conversation. I regret keeping you in the dark about the secret, but then the war within me has not yet ceased and the land is still the ante, how can I spread ruse among the people , the bounty?
The madman:-Shhhh…its a secret..
me:- But why should it be?
The madman:-Because people don’t deserve to know it.
me:-Who are we to decide?
The madman:- Who can predict the masses? Nitwits lead by nitwits.
me:-But isn’t it our responsibility?
The madman:-You are responsible as long as you use are allowed to use your discretion.
me:-But don’t we have the choice? And when we choose to act , aren’t we accepting that we can withstand anything.
The madman:-True enough. That is why we choose not to be a part of it.
me:-But this a nation. We people are a part of it. If we don’t rise up the challenge, then no one will.
The madman:-Of course they will. You and me , will never be allowed to do what we imagine. We have a few good leaders among the thousands and they some how survive, some become sycophants , some are born into a creed and some are just destined to be.
me:-What if , we choose our destiny , by making a choice now.
The madman:-Tell me, have you ever felt at any point of time, that you should share this secret?
me:-Yes I have.
The madman:-Have you shared it?
The madman:-And, How did people take it?
me:-They couldn’t understand what I told them.
The madman:-Why do you think so?
me:-Maybe I didn’t put it properly.
me:-Or maybe I chose the wrong people.
The madman:-Then you agree , that the majority till date , in the sample space you chose can’t understand a simple matter.
The madman:-If so , can you think of the type of leaders they would elect.
me:-Yes, but isn’t it our responsibility to help them choose better?
The madman:-And how do you intend to do it?
me:-By simplifying it.
The madman:-You want to dilute it even more? What is it you are trying to do , add more water to the ocean?
me:-No…its not like that..
The madman:-Alright , tell , do you think people will listen to you?
me:-Why do you think they won’t?
The madman:-Because you try to make sense of things, you try to see the source of problems..and that is what no one wants to do , at least they are not allowed to do that..
me:-But aren’t they free to realize that?
The madman:-Freedom? How can slaves be free? From the second they are born, they are bombarded with everything that which we are against. It is not that people are bad or something , that is relative, it is just that life makes them such..You call it inertia, they call it determination; In the end who is right ? Its either or neither and not one.
me:-But aren’t you the one who told me , that there is a right and a left , a while back?
The madman:-Of course and I still stand by it. Yes what is happening is wrong. We see things differently and we realize. We have , even when we were small , realized that you are not supposed to do certain things. We have exploited our capabilities and our cognition is better developed. But tell me if I were to lock you in a room , how would you feel?
me:-Aren’t we all locked in rooms of sort or the other?
The madman:-We are. But how big the room is the question and also if it dark or if its got some light. Imagine you are in a small dark room , just big enough so that you can’t really touch the walls , when you are tied to one place. How would you feel?
me:-I get what you mean , but isn’t that our mistake?
The madman:-IS it our mistake that this world has people who are willing to exploit the masses? Is it our mistake that we cannot chaff with good stupor stuffing? Is it our mistake that all we seek is a peace? Is it our mistake that we become a kind of aliens if we were to stretch our heads to full sensibilities? What shall we do, slay the animals when we are against cruelty to animals? Can you tame a wild, fully grown beast?
me:-No we can’t , but we can help them when they are young.
me:-So? Let me go tell the secret to the young ones.
The madman:-To what vain? You would have to take it upon your self to make sure they perceive things the ‘right’ way. And yes , we are like this because of our circumstances.
me:-But it is possible, if we can separate them from the society?
The madman:-And then how will you show them enough of religion, so that they respect culture and understand the functions of it but at the same time they aren’t be draw to the mania. How can you show them enough about difference in classes , so that they understand not everyone can be a master for not everyone knows ‘why’ they are doing something and at the same time ensure that they feel that no one is superior than another?
me:-But isn’t that the truth?
The madman:-That is not the truth but the reality you see. The difference is bound exist . But all animals are equal. And it is not that some are more equal than others , it is rather some understand equality better than others.
me:-But then if they do understand equality why do they exploit?
The madman:-When people know smoking is bad why do they smoke? When they know hurting someone is bad , why do they hurt? Some understand equality but only a few can judge and answer the why. We believe in equality not because it sounds cool but because we need to be equal to everything so that we can talk the same language and make everyone feel inclusive and thus belong to everyone and everything. The reason for that is , we seek peace. We cannot tell a tiger to stop killing the deers but nor can we kill all the tiger. We cannot imprison the tiger nor can we reason to it, when it is hungry.
me:-Then? Anyway humans aren’t tigers.
The madman:-Yes we are not. But tell me can you talk about your riches to a beggar? You do nothing but tempt him. Is it possible for you to praise a dead leader in a land where he was loathed? You will only end up stirring unwanted emotions. Can you explain to a moderate that there are extremes? For him his grey , is bright enough and dark enough , if anything , he is happy to watch a silver lining on another cloud and say blessed are a few.
me:-But we are talking about Equality.
The madman:-Exactly. To the beggar, you can talk about the world. In the country you can talk about the precedent and the consequence. And you can agree that the silver lining looks good and blessed are a few, but then you can blow him a little so that he starts flying towards the sun.
me:-All that sounds wonderful , Yes yes. But how do you do it?
The madman:-That will be something you should search for. You have the key , you know it opens doors, but you should know what lies behind the door before you open it. A key without a lock is useless and the secret without cognition is worthless. And if you open the wrong door, you might let out the true madman.
me:-Aren’t you the madman?
The madman:-I am.
me:-Then did I open a wrong door?
The madman:-yes , you have. Your life will never be the same again.
me:-Will you be leaving this place , now that I have set you free?
The madman:-Ha but a home needs to be lived in and besides who will tell people, the others who open this door, the secret ? I cannot leave.
me:-But I insist. And I already knew it.
The madman:-Everyone knows , few realize it. You are a madman like me. I have locked myself , in my room and spread the keys so that people who I hope to meet , will come to me. You have locked yourself in your mission and you place the keys with a few, who know you. If either of us was free, we would never meet our kind. What is freedom, but the chance to realize our choices? Our freedom lies within and not in the world. How can we belong to a world which is not ours?
me:-I hate to leave you.
The madman:-We shall meet again, when we need to meet again. Our choices will lead us. So choose wisely.
And I left the room. I walked for a while, before I realized what had happened. As he said my life has never been the same again.
1)The title is borrowed from Gibran.
2) “All animals are equal but some are more equal than other” is a line from the book animal farm.