Does that ring a bell?
Let me start off by clarifying that i believe in bravery. I might not be a brave soul per se but i like the idea of being brave. Inside my head, i’ve beaten rapists/molesters/pedophiles/bullies/etc. to pulp, helping this godforsaken world remain a better place than it deserves to be. But that’s also where i draw the line. I don’t see myself turning aggressive, let alone bellicose, any time soon. Why? Because i enjoy writing blog posts on the limitations of pacifism but i’m not immune to reality. I’ve been with myself for over 31 summers now and i fully understand my physical limitations. For reasons unbeknownst to me, i can’t dance. Similarly, i can’t be belligerent.
Call me a coward but nature granted us speech so that we don’t have to resort to senseless bloodshed. Interestingly, there’s no such a thing as sensible bloodshed either. However, somebody can ask me “What will you do if your loved ones are under threat? Will you still maintain pacifism?” Well, I don’t know the answer to that, just like i don’t know whether i’d be alive to see that happen someday. The more important issue is our collective failure as a society for failing to discard the concept of violence even in the 21st century.
Anyway, these are theoretical garbage; stuff i write to make sense of the era we contribute to. The ground realities are always different from what we read in the words. For that sake, let’s raise the bet here. Let my question to me be “What will you do if your wife is under threat? Will you still maintain pacifism?” Well, have you watched the 1999 film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? If you haven’t, no point reading beyond this line. If you have, you’ll remember the scene when Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai hitchhike a ride in Italy and the Roman couple behind the wheel wound up mugging our desi couple. Which is also when one of the striking moments in the movie takes place as Devgan refuses to part with his wedding ring thanks to the sentimental value attached to it despite the fact that his marriage is fundamentally invalid. As a result of his action, Aishwarya gets shot leading to a soul-stirring song by Hariharan.
If Palla and i were in a similar situation, the scene would have panned out quite differently. The muggers would have asked for my ring and i would have said “No problemo, amico” before proceeding to remove it. Not because i don’t love my wife but because i don’t bestow too much on too little. It’s a golden ring. That’s all. It has no extrinsic value. Marriage is much bigger than symbolism anyway. Nonetheless, the problemo would arise when i won’t be able to remove the ring. As you can see in the picture above, my ring finger is crooked. I twisted my finger in 2003 while playing football — yes, the height of irony — but in my defense, the asshole defender stepped on my finger. I don’t remember whether he apologized but i remember hearing a cracking noise. The point being, i won’t be able to get the ring out in spite of trying my best. While i’d be at it, straining and making faces out of discomfort, the muggers would grow impatient and pull the trigger on me.