Hot weather. Noisy fans. Small desks. Sixty odd kids listened in awe as a teacher went on and on about the things that supposedly would be of great help ahead in life. How I wish I had known the truth back then ! Some fun it would have been, standing up and betting the teacher that in less than two decades she would be proved wrong. Besides, there were so many pony-tails and pranks to pull , and I missed out. Missed out because I was still naive, hypnotized by “The essence of Values – an introduction (I)” . And yes, that was a chapter.
As kids in a stretching Moral Sciences class, we were taught certain values. To love what we get. To be satisfied, to be “self content” and never wish for more than what we rightfully deserve. Religions all around us preached : Desire is the root of all evil. Its a sin to want. Its socially unacceptable to walk the less-trodden path. Its wrong to succeed by pushing someone else a foot down. No matter if you are being pushed down every day, each moment. Written rules never work. They forgot. If I could make a timeline out of my life and exactly point when I grew up, it would be when I realised that whatever we were ever taught was , well crap. The schooling I got was one aimed at success riding on ideals, minus the desire. Success fuelled by a non-existent desire. A paradox, rather an impossibility : an universal lie !
Instead life is all about desire. The one-up-man-ship approach to life is the passport to success, Education and beyond. A better job, a better car .. or sometimes .. ( a better WIFE for example’s sake ) , desire is our diesel. And desire is not bad. No sin, not at all. With desire comes rivalry. Yes there may be pretences of teamwork , camaraderie and “I have your back, you have mine” . But beneath all those masks, there is always rivalry. And rivalry runs the industry. Rivalry is what brings you “amazingly low air-tickets” and “buy-1-get-4 free” offers. :D. Rivalry is productive. Only the great flourish in rivalry, the meek bow out. And the great are good :).
A few more things I was taught. Don’t hurt others. Be selfless. Be polite. One great bespectacled fakir (and I do respect him a lot, though not to the extent of bearing a Gandhian tag) preached : Forward your other cheek once the first is slapped. Do good, and let bad be done. Life taught me otherwise. Life taught me that only dumb people follow this. And if the so called Cool Hunk or the Hot Chick of the class follow this, sooner or later they are bound to be termed dumb too.
Moral Sciences went drastically wrong.
And a few more. Simple social norms instilled with time. Smile at people. Make friends. Laugh at poor jokes, because courtesy demands such irrational response. Talk of the weather, sports, your latest wardrobe addition and anything you can think about when you run out of relevant issues. Simple social norms, as I put it. Who cares if the friends don’t last a month, even if you had dreamt up a lifetime with them. With your secrets being spilled out across social circles like Santa’s candy, are secrets even worth sharing ? When your smiles are returned with Mocking Laughter, does it matter ? It doesn’t. Because you have learnt to live with it. It doesn’t, because if you don’t stick to these norms .. the society sure will chuck you out. And believe you me, the fall will be hard. No cushions there, just plain rocky ground. And the choice between acceptance and rejection isn’t a tough one, is it ?
Another value : Stand up for yourselves is no more valued. The craving to mingle in has overpowered the urge to stand out.
Life has trained you to get used to the unfairness of it. So you quit resisting. Somewhere on the road to becoming the person you have “come to become” , you burnt out. You thought ,”This is it, am unpacking my bags and settling down right here. This journey has left me tired. I deserve some rest”. The journey ends. But on the inside , you are all nomads. Still looking, still searching. For that private black hole, where life is as you want it. No traitors, no fake emotions, no formalities. No rules, except for simple practicalities. No cliched social norms, and certainly a more balanced social spectrum. A blackhole where Moral Sciences still hold ground, and some value. A blackhole, which won’t ever let you go.
So pack your bags, and walk. Look for signs and omens. Follow your heart, and chase your dreams. I guess that’s what Blackhole Nomads do.