The other wise

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Aug 2018 11:53:46

 


 

 


 

 

 

BY BIRAJ DIXIT,

I am wise or so I believe. How-so-ever one may oppose my supposition but I stand by it, completely guarding it. One might easily presuppose that with so much absoluteness in my own belief, I might have intentions to join politics, but that is not the case. One must also consider the amount of politics that goes into making of homes and offices. And absoluteness in beliefs and disbeliefs comes quite handy these days! So, with absolute finality I conclude that I am wise. The problem, however, is that everybody else is as absolute in wisdom as I am, and that lends my wisdom an undesirable commonality.


....And so I have decided to quit social media.
It is one thing to be absolutely wise and absolutely another to make do with run-of-the-mill wisdom. All one can gain is a fabulous vocabulary of cuss words, a following whereby you are followed, an opinion formed in matter of minutes and knee-jerk wisdoms acquired upon the already overloaded data.

I am done mixing wisdoms. They may seem therapeutic at first, but are actually toxic. See the fate of anybody who takes to social media - a Prince or a pauper - everybody and anybody, who is somebody and nobody, is at the receiving end of other people’s piece of wisdom on social media. But at the receiving end is a person standing tall with absolute wisdom. He hardly receives but gives back unabashedly. So, in this process nobody seems receiving but all are so giving that the junk of wisdom is enormous. And I am a great believer of this old wisdom of mine that you must not give when you are not likely to receive. I believe in perfect barter. So I would rather not join this bandwagon of wisdom which, on social media, has created so many wars.


The wars of wisdom are so evident everywhere. Everyone is wise enough to say something and others are wise enough to troll. Someone says something which gets recorded in the annals of social media than he goes on to say that he did say it but did not mean it.

That, too, gets recorded. All the twists and turns which one simple statement may go through are recorded to tell posterity that we lived in an age when saying and not saying, saying and not meaning, meaning and not saying, were all part and parcel of life. They may ask why just not say what you do not mean, to which, I so hope, we can say that our times were hardly like yours. We lived in the dark ages of social media, while you, by God’s grace, belong to saner times.


Recently, A President got engaged in war of wisdom with THE President and THE President returned the favour to A President and after some good spells of vice-versa, the wisecrack died down. But not before it had forced a few wise men to sit on the edge while the rest continued to be edgy. Had there been no social media, this died down business might have hastened. Keeping things alive may sound humane but has actually done more harm to humanity than not. And foolhardiness must be buried deep, I say. But then you can always trust the presidents of the world to find ways to keep things alive.


But I am no president. I don’t even preside over anything at my home. So no point keeping things alive and that is why I think I should give a real, nice burial to my association and affectation of the social media. It is not that I do not like being ‘liked’ or that I have not waited early to greet resonance to my world view. I cannot deny being a happy recipient of gossip or that I never wore the pretense of amiability. I confess that I truly enjoy wisecracks and have myself happily indulged in too many of those.

But now all these things have lost their earlier charm. The transparent cloak of absolutism is now showing its colours. My own wisdom, howsoever absolute, has never troubled me but hardcore, unchangeable views of others are absolutely abhorable. And their cloaks of absolutism do not have the decency to be thin and transparent these days. They are of hard colours and are so plain-surfaced that you cannot but see your own self in them. And it is this image of mine that I see in them that has given me my present blues. Oh, how I hate to admit that I am so like them! So despicably common are our ways!


I remember how my mother used to scold me for being so slow in reacting to things and situations. Why, she might get a shock of her life if she finds how quick I am to respond these days! I feel so mobbed with this feeling to react to events and situations that the good old habits of listening, thinking, assimilating seem to be dying. Of late, I have condemned so many things so many times that I have no count of it. Condemnation did not come that easily to me. Somewhere within is a crowd waiting to lynch. A crowd of unkempt thoughts, a crowd of polarised opinions, a crowd of impatient actions – all waiting to lynch any other wisdom that comes in my way.

And I was among the first to condemn the lynching by mob. “Who told them they are above law,” I had asked. Unlike them, I only lynch people in my thoughts. My speech, I admit, at times is bloodshed. I trolled and how! I have forwarded venom, I confess. But I can never stoop to those levels. I must quit social media. It is so offensive, these days. When everybody else is so wise, it might be wise to be otherwise. l