Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Soul searching....

After about two months I had a chance to look at the e-paper edition of Times Of India. There was a time when I used to read daily. Now I hardly have a look over it.

There is so much happening in the world around me. And I am in a shell. The shell is protective. I prevents me communicate to anyone outside my family, friends and this I2IT campus. My shell keeps me happy, cos its me who has to define my Universe of Disourse. Whatever I like becomes a part of my shell, and rest of them are ignored. This makes me feel like a king, and this king feels proud of his small kingdom - the shell.

All this reminds me of 'A man who lived in a shell' - a short story by Anton Chekov.Its on the life of a Russian teacher Belikov, who preferred to live in a shell, completely away from people, the society and the world. He was paranoid, and he used to fear that some night his drunk butler would kill him and loot his house, when he's asleep.

Whenever he used to come out of his house, he would dress himself in hat, robes and galoshes, so that he's fully clad. He'd tuck his collar up, so that he could hide his head. He walked fast, looking nowhere but straight, trying to reach his destination as fast as he could, so that he could avoid people looking at him.

He didnt like women riding on bicycle, because he considered it wrong for women to use them. It was against the morals, according to him. He loved to speak on Greek, and would claim that there was no better language than Greek. Raising his hand in the air, with a finger up, he'd say -

- "An-thro-po-logy..!".

He was known for killing the enthusiasm and exceitment of people. And thats the main reason he wasnt liked. When anything new or pleasing was told to him, he'd make a single statement -

-"Lets pray that nothing evil comes out of it".

He was finally found dead one morning in his bed.People claimed that he was sick since a past few days. No one had seen him out of his house since the day when he slipped himself and fell near his colleagues house, and his fiance had burst with laughter - in public.

Not much people were there in his funeral. Twas kinda cold and raining that day, so the people in his funeral wore raincoats and galoshes, with collars up, and one could hardly see each others heads.

After a few days, life was normal in the village. And now the women didnt mind riding on bicycles.Now there wasnt anyone who'd fold his hands on every pleasing news and pray that nothing comes evil out of it. People were happy. People were happier.

I now feel that I'm turning into someone like Belikov. I am still a very very milder version of him, but its bad.