TOPICS: Life in isms

High on Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’ ‘The Communist Manifesto’, the world once seemed hellishly unjust, something being offered there as an antidote.

The world seemed excessively unequal. No particular theory had been required until then to comprehend the unequal nature of society; sight had sufficed, experience had made it known, and common sense had prevailed.

But the magnum opus of the revolutionary stirred the mind, dominating it for long, making intrusive entries everywhere.

Serious matters in life like religion, ambition and wedding ceremony were bound to find much deeper contemplation under its influence.

But as everything that rises must come down, their redness became diluted and they became milder, still leaving an indelible mark though that becomes elemental still at times.

Since norms and values grown up with and mistakenly thought to be unassailable and preordained appeared fragile and quintessentially man-made with time, emboldened further by the selective observance of such by many including oneself, the very self made space for some absurdism.

The vicissitudes of life couldn’t have supported more for such inclination -- the suddenness of the loss of people very close, the purposelessness of what one had studied and what one had to practice, with regard to ethical journalism for instance and a prolonged wait in vain as a citizen for better things to come all but bolstered the absurdist notion of the nothingness of existence.

A void, helplessness and impossibility of certain situations in life made sense and were to be recognized rather than ignored in the hope of them getting overridden by some misplaced optimism.

That ism also lingers on albeit with a much moderated force now and Samuel Beckett is as respected and read as ever.

Some time has passed since emotions have started running quite high and the heart yearns for a simpler life. Imagination and feelings seem to be albeit not entirely displacing the grandiose logic and ‘facts’ of life.

Freedom is the most important value which in no circumstances should be compromised.

All this could have been triggered by the witnessing of a child growing up right before your eyes, free and so very blithe, the beauty and the innocence writ large upon it; the heart leaps up when I behold, to borrow a Wordsworthian phrase.

Is it not being under the spell of romanticism? If it is, this ism has brought joy.