Monday, February 10, 2014

WORK WITHOUT WORKING AND Manu Joseph



Manu Joseph resigned about a month ago. That's an old news. Few days ago was his official farewell party. It's not the end but a new beginning for Manu and, hopefully, for the Open Magazine.

That Manu is not a political animal is his strength. He writes very well on the practitioners of politics.   Consider this. A month ago, Manu compared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with an editor. I am not suppose to say this, in all likelihood, he is the editor. Because it's obvious. I have a habit of stating the obvious as something prescient. 

I quote Manu: 'Every editor in Delhi has a Manmohan Singh in him. In a nation where the preeminence of ethics in both politics and journalism is absolute in theory but ambiguous in practice, the prime minister and the editor occupy roles that require relentless negotiations with a higher authority from whom they derive their powers. Both have to fight for their independence, as it is not easily granted, and find ways to influence “management” to do what is right. Both make compromises for the sake of long-term benefits. And the only card they possess but cannot use too often is the threat to quit and walk away in a huff.'

And that Manu resigned, though wasn't a-walk-away-in-a-huff, and Manmohan Singh didn't for much more compelling reasons only shows, in Manu words, 'A man who quits his job on principled grounds may appear glorious to most people. But many times the more difficult path is not what appears heroic.'


Some humiliation of holding a position is far less than demitting it. Some get habitual to their existence that is reliving humiliation everyday. For others, humiliation is a necessary evil to achieve something less humiliating. There is certainly something heroic about people who have the insatiable capacity to absorb humiliation with humility. 

Nevertheless, we celebrated every Friday evening for last three weeks, partied with religious fervour.  I will miss him.
This is my latest and hugest painting inspired by the androgyny. It has nothing to do with the contents of this blog.

Now I am talking about me. I got drunk on every occasion. I don't have to work hard to get drunk. I just need one drink. The problem is that I don't confine to one drink when my employers are paying for it. It's a great feeling to be drunk. Senses blur, perception of things and people change; you are more accommodative and less assertive, in my case, less combative. My capacity to hear out others increases significantly simply because I am not listening to them. 

I joined the rest of them on the dance floor: shook, swayed, jumped, twisted, whirled, foxtrot and perspired on a cold evening. It felt like a run for fun. I was dancing with the same set of people I can't avoid in office, the polite word to describe them is colleagues. A dance floor is a good place to see people in the new light. 

More often than not, dance floor is a place you shed long held biases for and against people. I think motion has a role to play in this.  Dance, which is nothing but a complex mix of random dynamism, helps one get into a rhythm. It was good to see colleagues perform on a dance floor. Some of them looked awkward . I am glad I can't see me dancing.  

Change is good. But not always. Some changes are harbinger of a bigger change, which, ultimately, might be good. 

I might be suffering from a syndrome described by this phrase: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. That's why I, sometimes, feel it's sexy to be unemployed.

We all are struggling in our unique ways. Suffering is a subset of struggling. Or is it the other way? I am not sure. 
These days I meet new set of people on a daily basis, let's call them the Hoi Polloi. They are excited about what they have accomplished in the recent past, and are preparing to force change the future for better. They are jubilant. And many others, thanks to the jubilant, are fed up. 

People who are accustomed to wield political power, let's call them: Stick-in-the-mud, don't know how to deal with the Hoi Polloi. That the Stick-in-the-mud can't control the Hoi Polloi makes them furious. So they deride each other. 

When people make specific accusations about a wrong doing, they are actually describing, more or less, what they would be thinking or doing in that particular situation.
The reality is different from what is being projected by the popular media. The reality is hidden in the web of complexities and confusion. The reality as we see is perception driven. 

I am happy to see what is happening. At least someone is trying to make something happen.  

I am dejected to see idealism in many of us, why talk of others, me in particularly, is nothing but an adrenaline rush. 

But a bit of idealism, or delusion, is necessary to beat the rut of predictability, boredom and ordinariness. 

Things that make sense in the long-run may seem disastrous now. 
We, the humans, collectively, are and will remain unmitigated disaster, whatever we may do or not do, now or in the future, for the rest of the world. 

But that shouldn't prevent us from trying. Like I am trying to write this blog in the middle of the night.


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