Monday musings 225 - The Missing tile
I received a small clip by one Denis Prager on the Whatsapp, that digital mega-store where the answers to all human questions gets answered these days, sometimes after solicitation and mostly without it. Dennis talks about the "missing tile syndrome" that human beings usually suffer from - focusing on that one tile that is not present or perfect rather than all the ones that are. Many years back Javed Akhtar, the noted lyricist and poet wrote in his anthology 'Tarqash' -
Khushi se sabka faasla bas ek kadam hai,
Har ghar me bas ek kamra kam hai"
(Happiness, for everyone is only a step away; for every house is only a room short).
Cognitively we all know that it is a futile expectation from life but we still suffer from it - like the hugely stereotypical sardar joke in which the naive sardar on seeing the banaa peel exclaims - "Oh aaj phir girna padega" (gosh - will have to fall again). Wish it was funny! I also wonder why what is cognitively so profoundly understood is emotionally so poignantly ignored. What makes us so helplessly focus only on the missing tile? The missing tile is like the rouge tooth, which amongst the otherwise healthy teeth has this uncanny and frustrating ability to incessantly remind ourselves of its presence.
A leader i had worked with a few years ago had said after a few drinks, a time when he usually was at his pranking and profound best; "We gotta be at peace with ourselves". I have not known many at his level be actually be at peace with himself. What is it that prevents us from being at peace with ourselves? Why the agony of the missing tile always? I look around and i see most fuming and fretting on the missing tile of their ceiling, me included. It is an epidemic.
A doha which is attributed to both Kabeer and Rahim in various places,
Chah gayi Chinta gai, manwa beparwah,
jinko kachoo na chahiye wohi shehanshah
(with no desire or worry and a carefree mind; those at peace with themselves are like kings)
This is at odds with the zeitgeist of the times which unabashedly announces "Ye dil maange more". Ambition is the fuel for progress and also the seed for the missing tile. How do we retain the spirit of progress and yet resist the agony of the missing tile syndrome. Dilemma is the first step for the neurotic. I am in dilemma and in that case the portends are not good!
The ancient Indian wanted liberation from the curse 84 - the cycle of birth and death. The medieval Indian wanted liberation from want. The modern cubiclist wants liberation from the rat race, even though he enjoys the perks of it. The ancient and the medieval failed. What makes the modern so confident? I guess he has an MBA. They usually have all the answers.