The sere dryness has forsaken the air long ago. All that is left behind is the sad gloom of the wetness and the circumambient air, dank and sombre. In a matter of an hour, the weather has turned ominous and the clouds look like a floor left unclean for days, with patches of dark and light grey. It is about to rain.
I stroll down the misty boulevard with my hands deep down in the pockets of my overcoat, hidden away from the cold breeze, which feels like needles on the naked skin. Something tells me to go back home. But this thing on my mind - it has been troubling me since the last few hours. I feel compelled to think it through. Why is it that we human beings pretend to be someone we are not, a lot of times? I have seen some of the people closest to me fall prey to this extreme form of depravity. What is it that the reasoning mind tells the senses so that we assume a form which we actually are not? Why are we so ashamed of our past, of the things that we have done, when we know that they were wrong and we would never do them again? We would rather hide our true face from the world and live a spurious life, rather than espouse the deserved purgation - accept who we are and learn to respect and love ourselves. I have felt it myself - whenever I have to accept a fault in my character, its acknowledgement does not come easily - I have to work hard towards its acceptance, the relief and beatification experienced henceforth notwithstanding. This confirms atleast one thing - that human beings "want" to be perfect, albeit they would rather look towards the other side and pretend as if nothing happened, than have the gumption to face the introspection. Moral introspection does not come easily and people who are bestowed with its prowess go on to become leaders.
I fasten the topmost and the only button that was left open of the overcoat. A gentle drizzle has started and I can feel the tiny droplets of water touching my face, staying there for a while, and then quickly trickling down through the contours of my face that is a bit twisted around the forehead - it twists that way whenever I am trying to think hard. Yes, I think, this would explain why every great leader I have known is bestowed with a moral integrity which is inherent and undisguised at the same time. But it still did not explain that if it is all too germane and obvious, why are not the regular folks able to perceive this with as much clarity? Where does their thought corrupt? May be the conscience is killed and silenced so that the pangs of guilt and penitance do not haunt the mind. Is it possible to fall to such extreme baseness to cover-up for a few mistakes that we, the fallible human being, have made in the past?
The patter of the raindrops, now falling thick and fast, bring me out of my reverie. I make a run for my place. The drench eclipsed the penance, which could wait for another time, in a matter of seconds.
Who am I?
- Pranay Gupta
- I am not religious, but I don't mind calling myself spiritual. Religion, I believe, has, over the millennia, been used as a prop to perpetrate a lot of human suffering. Faith is what matters. I don't believe in the definition of God as a creator. According to me, my God resides within me. Some call it conscience, some call it the sub-conscious, some call it the soul. I don't mind calling it God. So by definition I am not an atheist or an agnostic, but by essence, I may as well be. My God does not reside in a temple, church, mosque or gurudwara. It is right here, within me.