January 30, 2009


Bud stretched his legs. It had been a rough day. He had gone duck hunting with John and they had a whale of a time. He was tired after a long day, running after the ducks whenever John fired a shot. Even when John missed and Bud was on a wild goose chase, he wouldn’t mind. He loved John. He followed John everywhere. If he was a human and knew what Gods are, he might have worshipped John. But as of now, he felt the primal emotion called Love for John.

John had other dogs and was never the one to show any sort of partisanship. And yet Bud knew, or as the other dogs put it not so subtly, he thought, that John loved him more than any other dogs.

As they walked out of the marshlands, the wolves fell upon them. They wanted everything; John, the ducks and Bud. John was not perturbed. He had faced the wolves before. But Bud was a young dog. He didn’t know how the game worked. The wolves reminded him of his long lost brothers. Maybe, he could be happy siding with them. But then something stirred inside him. And he fought like never before.

That night they lost the ducks and barely managed to save themselves. As Bud limped behind John, he felt that he had understood one more human emotion – Loyalty.

I have never been able to define, understand or describe Love. I was chatting to a friend who just got engaged and she told me something strange. She said, perhaps you don’t need love. Two people can decide to like each other, be ready to make some compromises and wham!!! They are ready to be in a relationship. Maybe she’s right. I don’t know exactly. But that conversation got me thinking.

I realized that there was another emotion that came extremely close to love. It’s loyalty. And it’s a powerful emotion that can define who you will turn out to be. So I asked people around and here’s what I got. Loyalty makes you follow a senior blindly even when you know you are not right. Loyalty makes you align to alliances that lead to a dead end and earn you more enemies than friends. Loyalty makes a soldier make war for peace. Loyalty makes a crazy junior send us details of activities that none of us will ever attend again. Loyalty makes you answer a phone call from a person who has hurt you beyond measure. Loyalty makes you achieve the impossible because you do not want to let someone down.

Loyalty is perhaps the first tribute to Love.


arbitmind said...

You hit the nail on its head this time.
Loyalty wins over Morality most of the times....& frankly..I don't regret that it does.

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

and so starts most illegal activities.

Soumya Sen said...

Loyalty, love are mere perceptions based on subjective evaluation by individuals involved in an interaction. And moreover loyalty shouldn't become blind faithfulness.

Shreya said...

I think loyalty is self-indulgence in a way. We tend to think anyone and anything that we associate with has to be right, deserving, etc :)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Soumya - do you actually evaluate? Rather, can you?

@ Shreya - which comes first?

Soumya Sen said...

There is a difference between evaluation and quantification. You can't put a number to it, but you can always measure it, that is to say feel it. You can feel a stronger bond to some people than others, but a relative estimate is one form of evaluation too.