Wednesday, June 21, 2006

who is he?

I've known equations for a long time; not the simple or simulataneous kind but more complicated ones. No, not even quadratic or bi-quadratic but the ones even more twisted.

I'm talking about the ones anyone grapples with to come to terms with family, friends, life. A little tweak to his personality, a slight toning down or turning up of a personal trait and his variables settle into a pattern.

To his best friend he's this kind, forgiving, supportive person, to his childhood pal he's this dorky friend who had a weird, though funny, imagination in school, to his current girlfriend he's so cuuuute - this adorable teddy bear she loves playing with, to his ex he's a good guy but one with an insecurity that overrides everything else, to his easy going friends he's a bit of a domineering shadow that lurks over everytime they say 'no' to his demands, to his more independent and less malleable pals he's this easy going guy who is hardly ever pushy. The list can go on and on.

Who is he? I'm sure any character sketch going by all pointers furnished by his friends and relatives will have some common features but I'm doubly sure that it'll also throw up a wild assortment of extremities, making anyone wonder whether its one person being taken in context. We all wear masks to the world and hence appear different to different people. With each one we play a unique part; the parts are so many yet they seldom get mixed up.

And amidst all this, who does he think he is? Does he really believe any of this role play? Well, of course, he does. The girlfriend makes him believe he's so nice he feels good about his life, the old friend he had cheated once evinces a guilty distaste in him and he tries avoiding him. The bottomline is: Whoever makes him feel good about himself makes him reciprocate in similar ways. The ones who make him uncomfortable by laying open his ugly side or showing him what a hypocrite he has been make him react likewise.

And this is when the seeds of acrimony are sown; seeds which grow into plants and challenge the very foundation on which they stand. Sometime later when he tries to break the shackles of his stereotyped images he'll meet with resistance especially from the ones he thought he could count on. The girlfriend will wonder what happened to the cute teddy she loved playing with, the mother will mope about whatever became of her dutiful, unquestioning son and he'll brood over how he had been taken for granted all the time.

Truth be told, we are what we appear to other people and so we are actually a host of different people jostling for space and attention within one entity. And when we change which part of us changes? Which of the masks do we discard and which ones do we put on anew?

As in an equation, in life too, any tweak in the variables on one side will have to be compensated on the other side. Because this when denied there's no equation, no balance in a relationship. Because when it comes to, we all need the other side to complete our equilibrium. Our essence is valued by how well we fit into the scheme of things. A scheme laid down in society and followed by legions of men and women. And somewhere during this falling in line, this nodding of heads in agreement, our identities are lost and we roam about in fancy masks with our real expressions hidden.


Suhas said...

that was like deep man... that's the side/mask of baba that reads J. Krishnamurthy :).. truth is , most people tend to slot others to fit into equations that they are already familiar with; which is usually not more advanced than high school algebra , while others acknowledge the complexities and in a person and search for the grand unifying theory if you like...i for one am glad that i can be the sly fly one moment and the common man the next !

satyajit said...

i understand. slottting others makes things easy. u dont have to make an effort to know someone. u just have to know which category he falls into and then make the adjustments in you required to deal with him.

emeraldpond said...
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emeraldpond said...

what can i say...i know exactly what you're talking about?!(In a Morpheus kind-of-tone?) Guess this is one of the most prevelant questions in the basic human psyche but nevertheless one of the perpetually unanswered ones. Good to see someone's trying to make some sense out of the ordered chaos. and the art is good.

satyajit said...

thx sapta..and i hope i keep hearing morpheus' baritone:-)