The Real Casualties

[This, is a rant.]

You had to hang him, I thought. I do not sympathize with Afzal and the people he stood for. I do not support their struggle. I believe they are fighting for a chance to jump into a dark chasm they neither understand nor have the capacity to deal with. I abhor them for inflicting pain at my countrymen and I feel quite righteous. But the death penalty was not only unjust, it was damaging for the integrity of this nation. That much I understand. So I winced in disbelief when he was executed. You want us to pay for your stupidities, I thought.

We are caught in a circle of a need that arises due to rampant insurgency and the corruption resulting from the power we have to wield to control it. The media is hand in glove with the government to create a haze of misinformation and bias. The end result is a collective conscience that tears apart this people into blind factions mumbling rhetoric. Or, so I thought.

How easy it is to blame it on “them”, as long as we are excluded. Media hides facts. Government does not act. Security forces misuse their power. What about us? We do nothing. Never in the history of this world has doing nothing felt more powerful. We ride these moral rocking horses, blindfolded, ear reverberating with reasoning and anecdotes that we take at face value, our mouths duct-taped to a continuous supply of intellectual faeces that bloats our minds, leaving it capable of only rousing into murderous rage for frequent but short-lived moments, whence we denounce the world for its mere existence, propounding our self-righteousness in the same breath, eventually subsiding into a state of greater incapacity than furniture. We are not even ornamental.

It does not matter what colour the terror is, because the colour of the blood it spills is always red. It does not matter if your loved ones are safe, because the survivors of a blast are those who get killed, the real casualties (of any terrorism) are the people who witness the massacre and (decide to) live in a world where another blast has been accepted and swept off as that dull, annoying, pestering thing called reality. It does not matter if and when are the terrorists brought to justice, because we, and our inaction, are creating them.

Progeny of Ideas

[Best read in Sir David Attenborough’s voice. :D]

One of the most powerful and elegant natural processes that has shaped all life on earth as we see it, evolution, is brute force. Organisms are not born perfect for their surroundings. They adapt to them gradually over generations, thanks to natural selection. Millions of offsprings with varying traits are procreated, but only those most suited form the succeeding generations, carrying the fittest genes ahead. The failure rate is astounding.

Our work and our creations carry the most basic gene the world deals with, our ideas. Every piece of work done by humans is an attempt to ensure the survival of their progeny of ideas. In this sense, the process of creation is the intellectual equivalent of reproduction, and the resemblance is remarkable. Ideas are not born perfect, they have to be improved over several iterations, and very few make it in the vast and unruly jungle of human knowledge and conscience. The strong ideas stick; persevering through generations and centuries, either directly or in various mutated forms. Though, the signatures they leave on their living or non-living bearers can not always be traced back, their legacy lives, long after they were first expressed. The weak ones either die obscure deaths at the hands of social predators (cultures, norms, and such) or starve because they fail to gather enough interest to thrive upon.

Consider this analogy and then think, who are we to ever give up? Be it ideation, creation or attempts at achieving a particular goal, we are supposed to be unabashed and brazen at failing. If nature needs brute force to create the remarkable world we marvel at and get inspiration from, we for sure should not mind picking ourselves up and starting all over again after falling ever so often, unless one doesn’t mind disappearing (without a trace).

Something is better than nothing

Ever wondered how ambiguous this idiom is? Apparently, it implies that the possession of some, however little, part of what you want is better than having nothing at all. Apparently! Well, making some profit is definitely better than just breaking even. I have a bone to pick, but not with its meaning. My war is with the contradictory wordplay this idiom uses to increase the ambiguity in my little universe. Ever since I first set my eyes upon it, it has coyly expressed an opinion exactly opposite to the one it asserts otherwise. Something, it whispers (as it winks), is not better than anything. And hence, something, it whispers (as it nudges), is the worst! And then it slithers up my sense of clarity, asphyxiating it as it warrants that there is nothing in the whole world which is better than something. You achieve a dream in its entirety or you achieve nothing at all. But you achieve “something”? Oh lord almighty! What pity! You got some of it?! Tch tch.