I vividly recollect being sentenced to the gallows long, long ago for excessive usage of abusive language. (I also recollect furiously searching the dictionary under “O” for “obusive”, but that story I shall save for another time.) Yes, I had the makings of an epic badass way back in grade six. My favourite maths teacher (no doubt with the help of complex integrals and transforms) somehow decided that my constant references to the canine family were responsible for global disasters ranging from my 99 in the mathematics examination to stock market crashes to even Thalaiva’s only failure in the past two decades. It wouldn’t have taken me long to establish the merit of dogs and their ilk in a Big fight-isque scenario presided by the likes of Ms.Dutt, but as Murphy would have it, the news reached my folks and the rest as they say is history. Metaphorical aeons later, I found myself in the company of a few good men who were bent on proving that words other than the four-lettered one could be recycled and used as Verbs, Adjectives, Pronouns, etc. From Mothers and Sisters to Brothers-in-law to private body parts, nothing was spared in their ruthless endeavour to establish the might of desi expletives. The perpetrators always have the “It’s nothing personal, just good business” line in their defense but as Michael Corleone rightly pointed out to Hagan, “In this business, everything is personal”.
I’m not too sure I recall the time when the word “high” only meant flying on a jetplane. One of the few things I do recollect about aeroplanes is that the odd shape of the wings leads to the development of a pressure difference which in turn provides an aerodynamic lifting force. But I digress. I grew up in a society where a drunkard was always a bad man, where the cine villains always “high” and mighty (at least in the 90s, never mind the new age hero) and where an alcoholic was always a failure in life. It didn’t really help that my family went one extra step and labeled alcohol as “bad tonic” in Kannada; it was always referred to as “ketta aushadha” in family circles. Two years, some old and many new friends later, iconoclastic virtues have all been shed in favour of pragmatism. Hearing about the drunken revelry of an old chum hardly shatters any more glass, nor does being in the company of alcoholics anonymous. While the very thought of a period where I would have no control over my own actions is mortifying, the idea of cheap fun at the expense of an inebriated soul does seem tempting. The comparison between Churchill and Hitler is stuff of lore, and yet it raises pertinent questions about judging of character.
We at Morons Inc. have some inexplicable fascination for the world’s oldest profession. Before you get the wrong idea, this particular topic happens to be our stark favourite during debates and GDs, whose sole purpose as far as I can comprehend is to project the image of a group which is vela enough to discuss such issues of national importance. Two years and a million opinions later, I still don’t have an opinion. “Why do you care when the ones doing it don’t seem to themselves”, I had once argued just for the sake of giving the appearance of an intellectual. Inconsequential as it may seem to most, I have spent many a sleepless night pondering over the root concepts of good and bad. I have always had a bad habit of passing judgment on people. The guy who copies, the one who proudly pronounces himself to be another, and ironically one who is not as fluent as myself in the world’s most important language and yet might be infinitely more intelligent. As perverted as this may make me seem, what is the crime in flaunting one’s (god-given or sugery-given) assets to get things done in your favour? Any publicity is after all, good publicity.
An ardent devotee of elegance, I’ve always been smitten by dichotomy than taxonomy in general (though I’m sure some smartass would like to argue that dichotomy is merely a special case of taxonomy). Yin and Yang, Jedi and Sith, 0 and 1, nature has hinted to us in more than a million ways that there is no more to the world than a lazy scientist’s third law. Electronics has a taught me a simple way to classify signals; anything less than 0.5 V belongs to “Logical LOW” and greater, “Logical HIGH”. Till a while back, I used to apply the same to life. My NCERT-ish definition, “Anyone who does not indulge in activities that harm others or the society in general is a good person” once used to satisfy the thinker deep inside. I’m not too sure now. 16 Mutual Friends on facebook would probably agree with me. Any organizational setting has to exist in a framework of rules for its own sustenance. But at the same time, mere lack of conformity to social guidelines does not a bad person make. As corny as this may sound, and as much as I would not like to end a so-called profound post with this, when it is time to pass judgements, the judge would probably end up becoming mental.