Have you carefully observed a railway track? Or wondered about how does it maintain the equal distance miles after miles? A little distraction, and you meet an accident. I was pondering on this thought. I just wish if my thoughts and my life had been so symmetrical – so balanced – so perfect. I have something worrying me inside when I see a little puppy being bitten by the street dogs, helpless and innocent. And at the same time, I have an exam in the next ten minutes. Or when I discover a “La Classico” music concert being held in the coming week – when my mid semester exams are scheduled. I feel disgusted to choose between a Bacon prescribed for my honours chores and a Neruda.
What’s there that tussling within? Is it an unsettled debate or an unending conflict? Why are some decisions like opening Pandora’s Box? It keeps hovering round and round your mind. It aches your heart; it troubles your mind. I wanted to watch Friends and Romeo Juliet, simultaneously, the night before my political science exam. I ended up making a “chutnification” of both the movies making it a tragicomedy and fetching me a near-fail marks in the subject. I tried to balance. But I failed.
I had once met a man in the middle twenties. He was dressed in a black coat, with an intellectual smile and a perfect gait that almost seemed to be robotic. He wore the nicely ironed clothes with a parker pen in pocket. He was a scholar in physics. He spoke of astronomy, solved problems of the international concern and was a typical erudite. I had been observing him for few days, and found how punctual he was! He was even married to a beautiful girl, also a singer. I was envious about them. I felt they were so happy.
Out of personal interest, I made my acquaintance with the man. Everybody called him Mr. Chesterton. They said he likes to conceal his name. Lord! I haven’t met a more pragmatic man than he was. He offered me a fruit juice. But when I wanted him to have a little whiskey and fried chicken, he rejected. He said “Why do you take such foods that would ruin your health and increase your cholesterol?” I was hurt by his strong reply. But again, I found logic in his words. When it was 1 o’clock in the noon, he excused himself to leave my company because he wanted to have his lunch. I requested him to have lunch with me and mentioned my gratitude towards him for favour. But he was a routine man.
I wanted to make him understand that an occasional breaking of the daily schedule won’t matter much. But he seemed disappointed with me. He had illustrated how life is all about rationality and punctuality. When he asked me about my whereabouts I tried to explain him how music seemed to be my great companion while solving maths. I told him how the daily BBC news seemed boring to me but JFK was so interesting and politically convincing. I talked about the beauty of the hill station I live in and how I love the kittens and kids. Looking through the dark glasses, he advised me that I should better concentrate on achieving my ambitions in life, in a more systematic manner. “Emotions only inhibit your capability to work. Do something worthy, boy. He said
“Nature and animals may be beautiful, but that won’t fetch you a good job or sign your name among the top ten influential spokesperson in the world.”
The following night, I wondered how his wife could tolerate such a robotic and unromantic individual. Or is it that she too makes a perfect match? Is she really beautiful as a flower as her face does reveal? Or is she just happy enough to have married a machine man? I made up my mind to somehow meet her. On my way to college, I found her getting down from the car and just dropped a conversation or two. I ensured her of my acquaintance with her husband. She delightfully agreed to meet me the next day in cafeteria. She was a wonderful woman. I swear. She was so melodious. She was good at art. She made me feel so friendly as if manna (sweet) dew had been sprinkled from heaven upon her and made her so dear. She was expressive and wore a red skirt with a blue shirt that was incredibly dazzling. In the course of conversation I found that she had been through miserable phases in her life. She loved her friends, her parents, her husband. But she doubted if they did the same. She grew emotional and broke down while sharing with me some incidents of bitter and sweet times, that I consciously asked her to stop and not stress herself anymore. It was 7 o’clock and she had to leave.
They were about to leave for a vacation, she had said. I came back home. I forgot to ask her name! Next time I surely would. Somehow I felt like going to see them off and thank both of them for a wonderful companionship. I found them. It was weird. Besides, there was not a single soul. I was pacing my walk towards them when I found the gentleman with the machine like look scorning at his wife. The latter, weeping. I felt so bad about them. I wish I could advice them to UNDERSTAND and be HAPPY.
A toy train came and I believe they were the only two passengers to get on it.
I saw them leaving and prayed to God for their happiness. But within minutes, I was startled by the roar of crowd. The train was little derailed and the two were trapped inside. it was sufficient enough to cause a disaster. I was running, confused what to do. The train had slowed down and almost could cease its motion, when I saw something unforgettable. The man jumped out of the train holding his wife and they fell down on the grassy ground by the side. Everyone ran to provide aid. I did as well. The wife had fainted. But for the first time I saw the man weeping! Tears that had probably been extracted from his wife’s pain rolled down. He was bruised. He was bleeding. She looked pale. But he let no one to touch his wife. After a while she opened her eyes. The man had left his wallet beside him. A poor child standing there noticed it. He was just about to commit a theft but the wife gestured her husband to stop him, fragilely.
How could this happen? How could the stark contrast in personalities get turned and twisted? The pragmatic man that he was, was no less bothered about his wife than a sincere lover . But that wife who was always so sentimental, could think of asking her husband to stop the thief at the crescendo of her own crisis. How could she be so materialistic or may be practical in her approach?
I personally asked them to get into my car and offered them a lift. Probably, the sun and moon bear a semblance and balance that permits them to rise in the same sky. The winter and the summer has an understanding among themselves to let things happen as they want to and in their destined times. I asked the two what actually happened in the train. The man told me that as soon as they got inside the train, something occured and they felt the side-wise movement of getting detracted. The women cried and the man was trying to figure out what to do. But once they looked into one another’s eyes, they realized that their life has been taken over by this imbalance and therefore they are prone to face frequent accidents – imbalance of thoughts, of emotion, of reasons and of feelings.
They analyzed. They realized. They admired.
They adored each other more than ever. And the consequences, we already know. I was wrong when I was confused regarding the behaviour of the couples in the climax of their crisis. Maybe the capabilities we are born with, and those of which we are not,somet ones shows up during a crisis. The society expects a man to be intellectual and practical and a woman “a creature of a little more growth than a child” as told by Rousseau. It was a moment of not just the justification of the extremes but a blend or moderation of all the antagonistic human attributes in the world. Life has to exist in harmony or you face an accident. Pragmatism and passion can only sustain their individual beauty and roles when blended. Extreme relationships sometimes need to face this crisis to repent and rectify their mistake. One is dysfunctional without the other.
We reached the destination. The couple thanked me and promised a dinner the next day we meet. Both of them left their cards with me. The cards read Mr. Eros and Mrs. Athena. (Eros – Greek God of Love and Athena – Greek Goddess of Wisdom). I stood there staring and watching them walk away from me, holding hands and hearts together. It was a sight of perfection- of aches and admiration, of head and heart, of practicality and passion and of redemption and regeneration.