The Game is afoot

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Jul 2017 15:09:51



By biraj dixit

Seasons, seasons!
We once were so sure of them. Now, they are giving the human the taste of his own medicine by making unpredictability their biggest asset. They, too, have been in human company for long and know that predictable earns no respect. The suspense must be afoot. So while the threateningly sodden sky withdrew without a thunder yesterday, a grey overcast today keeps the trepidation going. As I sit questioning myself whether it will rain, the Idiot Box announces again that the ‘Winter is coming.’

Harbingers of seasons bring such promise, such hope and such solace, that the wait becomes insufferable. Much like the monsoon, the seventh season of television series ‘Game of Thrones,’ too, assures to fulfill expectations. And though it is a mere co-incidence that the release of ‘Game of Thrones’ in India coincides with the Presidential election, it holds promise of a much greater suspense.

The Iron throne, the Seven Kingdoms, the love-hate family feuds, heartburning drawing room conversations, biting repartees, and words of wisdom that can be quoted anywhere – In short a season of high drama follows. History and histrionics, what more can a woman ask from a good TV show? I would indeed be glued to an imaginary life oblivious to the rains or no rains outside. The winter is coming.

“A wise man once said the true history of the world is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms.”
Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf with a long shadow in the mega series, indeed casts a lovely light on the close connect between world history, great conversations and elegant rooms. World history is replete with examples of how conversations in elegant rooms affected it. And what to speak of the conversations taking place in our own elegant spaces!. Our conversations are indeed elite if not enlightening. They may not win the heart but do possess the strength to pierce it.

I will keep all my dates with great conversations in elegant rooms of the Seven Kingdoms. For, though set in imaginary land, these rooms and conversations therein sound vaguely familiar.

“I am surrounded by flatterers and fools. It can drive a man to madness…
Half of them don’t dare to tell me the truth, and the other can’t find it.”

The words penned by writer George R R Martin put the general sentiments so well. Isn’t it my feelings and yours and ours about the growing tide of flatterers and fools? And though such facts can never be admitted brazenly, one cannot very much ignore the echo of it that keeps ringing in one’s mind all the time – flatterers and fools. For, wisdom demands a fair idea even about one’s own fair self and so at some level truth should be permitted.

Alas, men of integrity do not find many friends in our world. Just see how many ‘likes’ and nice ‘comments’ one can receive for inanities and how many truths are trolled. It is safe to surround yourself with flatterers and fools, rather than man who calls a spade a spade. It is so uncomfortable to hear it aloud but comparatively easier to see your reflection in those that surround you.

The poise, the grace and the language of the Seven Kingdoms apart, the thoughts are so recognizable. In our elegant rooms, too, less elegant efforts are made to broker truce, to forget animosity slightly for the benefit of the moment and to work-up misleading smiles. The characters therein are so menacingly us and yet hardly. For, they are shown to rise to the occasions. It isn’t about the surreal’s ability to pale the real. Rather, its charm holds in looking through the real and letting us see our ‘Alice in wonderland’ existence.

“If a man paints a target on his chest, he should expect that sooner or later someone will loose an arrow on him.”
Isn’t that’s our world? Targets painted and arrows loosened.

“We all need to be mocked from time to time Lord Mormont lest we start to take ourselves too seriously,” says Tyrion Lannister. And it is precisely my philosophy. Mocking is such good exercise and one which we are good at. So why shy away? Why not beautify it merely to startle (not rattle) the world of flatterers and fools. Such slight digressions add flavour to our conversations – particularly the monologues. For as it is said in the Game of Thrones,
“Once you have accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”

Vanity, I say, is our generation’s biggest flaw. Let’s accept it and be vain. In between, let us fill our elegant television rooms with more pearls from the Game of Thrones. For aren’t we all playing one? It won’t be too much of a digression from flattering and fooling online.

I say, while passing through the long journey of life, one must have the wisdom to digress. Steadfast on one road might kill you of boredom midway. And when death is the necessary end of life…What harm can a little digression cause?

“Valar Morghuls”, they say in the Game of Thrones meaning (all men must die) to the response ‘Valar Dohaeris’ meaning “all men must serve.” I do not know the high Valyrian for ‘all men must keep themselves entertained (playing Game of Thrones).’