“Banjo you write well. But almost always you are politically correct. I would like to read slanderous posts in which you tear the traditions apart!”
There are many stages in an individual’s life. All of us are on a sojourn trying to figure out this mystery called life and as much as I would like to believe what my conventional education teaches me, I am extremely confident about my hypotheses that all of us are extremely different individuals at various stages of our lives. As we move up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we change our views and sometimes even our values.
I do not think you would be interested what stages of life I have been through. But I can take the liberty of telling you what I think are the various ways one can comment about Life, Universe and everything in between. Here is a list, obviously non exhaustive, of the types of commentators you would come across in your life. Of course, cricket commentators are in a different league all together.
The First and Foremost would be the Demolishers. A demolisher’s main task is to find flaws in whatever they see around them and rant about it ceaselessly. It’s not necessary that they feel passionately about it. Once they are bored, they move on without a second thought to the next issue that catches their fancy.
The Diplomat comes next. They are the ones who would tell you that while they think that you are wrong, they also have the feeling that some aspects of your argument are correct. A person can be a diplomat for many reasons. Sometimes, they are afraid to take a stance because of the repercussions, sometimes they just want to satisfy the egos of everyone concerned. Sometimes, it’s just that they do not have a point of view of their own and having a point of view on everything is a point of view they have on life!
The Non conformist believes that anything that is present today is outdated and there’s need for a change. They fight for change and yet when it comes, for better or for worse, they are never there to own up.
The Doomsayers hate everything around them. They would have a bite of a Cornetto and then crib about how it should have been kept at a lower temperature.
The Hollows are the ones who have a point of view on everything starting from Mumbai attacks to Indian elections. They are full of sound and fury, baying for politician blood at a night out in Jeffrey’s and then taking the 8:29 Bandra Slow to Office the next day. They signify nothing as they would tell you how important it is to vote but would book a guest house in Lonavla on the day of casting the ballot.
The Recluse however has been through various stages of life and has consciously decided to comment only on things that he can impact or is ready to invest time in. He knows that change brought about by heated rhetoric is temporary. It makes for good Page 1 news of Midday, but it brings about little or no change. He would rather plant a seed of change and be the Harbinger on a White Steed.
The Gardener tends the village garden, knowing fully well that his opinion counts for little. But he waits for the tired wayfarers and tells them stories he had heard the village elders recite in the evening under the Banyan tree. However, he has heard only glimpses of their conversation, so his imaginative mind makes them up as they go along with their story. His stories do not speak about issues in the farms or the draught. Rather, he would like the traveller to believe that there’s still hope in the world because the rose is still blossoming in his garden. That’s all that matters. After all, the travellers have been at so many places, have known so many wise men, he’s just an old gardener, happy with the jasmine that grows in his garden. They definitely know more than him. He knows his task in this world is to provide shade and a place to rest irrespective of whether anyone needs it or not. He likes the way things are, yet ready to change the soil if his trees need it and ruthless when the insects begin to creep up the stems of his plants. He wants nothing, except that when the traveller walks out of the garden, he or she carries a whiff of his roses.
Frankly I do not who I am, though I aspire to be The Gardener at this stage of my life. Maybe, we all are never just one avatar but an amalgamation of many. However, dear reader, what I am or I turn out to be, I have never been slanderous about anything or anyone by intention and as long as there’s wind in my lungs, I do not see the need to change myself. So one day The Gardener might break down a few walls but would never (hopefully) resort to slander.