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  • Sanvari Malik

Conversations with self

I was shuffling through the newspaper leaves, searching for the right words to deny their given meaning and weave a new one. There is something really soothing and therapeutic about Blackout Poetry. But that's is something for another day.

It was in the latter sections of the Sunday Tribune where the pages are divided in black and white colours. I always wondered why the newspapers had such evident hierarchy being as plane as it is. Pun intended.

It was a black and white picture attached with a write-up headed 'Many Shades of' Rajiv Gandhi'. It was our ex-Prime Minister with his wife, Sonia Gandhi and two other people who didn't strike an immediate resemblance soon enough to hold me from the thought that followed next.

It followed with an immediate dismissal of Sonia Gandhi as a wife. Or in other words, my brain dismissed any 'human' role that could provoke my empathy towards her. It felt weird enough to pause my reverie and I decided it was my time to have an opinion from a point of view that was mine and not loaned from a rather anonymous source. The apathy was not 'my' reaction. My reaction was to have my own reaction, which was thus: "It is so wrong to think of a family as not real. To think that they are made of something other than flesh and bone. To think Sonia Gandhi is just some woman from Italy and that's all that it to her identity. She was a wife of a man who died young. And there is nothing that can fill that gap. I know how humans leave spaces empty and so concretely empty that only memories can echo through in and out. No another human can fill that unfathomable empty space that we humans cannot even decipher. And to think this family owes something to the country in their defeats. The fact that this family was actively marking it;s existence in the most crucial time of India's history is enough. And it will always be just enough to stop anytime and not have their legacy washed out. I am not concluding that they had something to do with the independence. But the fact that they were interested enough to make a change is significant. They were there at a time when it mattered and nothing can change that. Not even the right and wrong dichotomy.

And also to think that the power their exercised after, in the leaders that led the country later, gives them enough privilege to mourn in indifference. being as human as they are.Unless of course if they are a robot or a clone out of a Illuminati conspiracy theory. "

My apathy, as a reaction, was weirder because I think their hands held the country together better. I think it a debate which involves a teeter-totter of extremism on both sides and a balance which the center strikes. The center allows a plane ground that can hold every even and uneven together, it allows for subjectivity derived out of the both extremes. And extremism just makes the things fall apart in inclination and the center cannot hold anymore. While the seesaw is inclining out of balance now, I think we had it held closer to the center then. Not in the absolute center but a lot closer than it is now. And still something made me dismiss it all in apathy.

This line of thought is not a narrative of the Gandhi's. It is rather about the apathy that instills undetectable. We, as humans, have the right to hold anything, empathy or its binary, but with a belief that identifies with us. And not something casually and repeatedly spoon fed to your unconscious on the days you were too tired/indifferent to make a logical argument to yourself.

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