Animation has always been a part of my childhood. I cannot recall when was the first time I started to watch series made in this medium, but it was love at first sight. The imageries, the drawings, the fascinating characters, and the amazing variety of plots have made animation my dearest. Be it He-man or Howl, Totoro or Kiki, each and every character has come with their own traits, their own flaws. I have always found this media a place where imagination can run really wild. “Paprika” is the greatest example of this. If one has to watch one animation movie in their lifetime, then this is the one!
Forgiveness is a myth.
It is a lie that we tell ourselves to hide the fact that most of us do not have any choice except forgiving our bullies, letting go of criminals and forgetting their heinous actions, and thinking of other ‘better’ things because we either do not have enough wherewithal to fight a legal battle, which gets prolonged most of the times, or enough muscle to seek other course of action.
I have often heard good-natured institutionally educated people say that they should not get involved in a fight with thugs as it is not befitting to the reputation of the former! The truth is, many of the genteel are afraid of fights and are not accustomed to such physical aggression, especially with those who earn their bread and butter by physical violence. So, it is not moralitythat stops them but sheer lack of physical capabilities.
This inefficiency to settle scores most of the times forces us to get philosophical about the whole matter. Now imagine, you have ample money and muscle, will you still forgive your enemy? Will you still depend on law alone to get justice or your pound of flesh that you deem to be your right? Most powerful people worldwide either build their own personal security force or hire one.
In the Asaram Bapu case, many witnesses who braved all odds and came forward got slaughtered. Some of them were dependent on government for their security. None of them could afford a private bodyguard. This is the reality. Their families will mourn their losses but will not be able to do much about it as they do not have the power. They are dependent on police and government. And the system too does not care for them.
Once my uncle told me that non-violence is not lack of violence but the decision to not use violence by a person who is skilled to use it. Most of us are not that person. We are too scared. We are too worried about the pain and retributions such an action will bring to our comfortable lives. Will big MNCs hire such a rebellious and ‘violent’ person? Will you choose to resign from your managerial post and seek justice?
And then there are those who are just too tired to fight or take on the powerful. They have lost all hope in the system and just want to lick their wounds and move on.
Change is an important part of life. Or, it could be said that change is life. The whole universe is changing every moment. To human eye, due to galactic distance, a star remains alive even after years of its demise. Similarly, the cycle of transformation, change, and mobility is happening always around us. We are simply unaware of those changes.
But in human life, it is sometimes difficult to accept change with ease. We often face a tussel among the need of change, the desire of change, and the challenge of accepting the change as it pushes us out of our comfort zones. After establishing our 21st century urban civilization, we are not ready to let go of all its comforts. That is why no matter how much we shout for saving the environment, we are quite reluctant to consider the ecology or stop our urban developments to accommodate ecological balance. On another note, change of designation or change in reporting manager also create an unease or wariness in some professionals. They remain unsure about the outcome of the change.
This brings us to our next problem-expectation. We humans expect things to yield certain results. It is this expectation that often makes us disappointed when things turn out different or opposite to the expected outcome. You expect a fast-moving queue, but it moves glacier slow; you expect a duty-bound public servant but face with a corrupt one. Expectation and reality often are different. So, for such a species accepting change if it does not match the expected betterment, the promised land, becomes very difficult, if not impossible.
And yet, change happens. Change is nature. Change is universal. No matter how uneasy we feel about it, we have to accept it and adapt to it at the end of the day.
I am not a believer in time-is-a-healer concept. I believe, with every passing time you realise that certain things have chnaged; you realise of the minuscule control you have over the chnaged circumstances as you can’t revert things to their earlier state; you learn slowly to accept this; this acceptance makes the pain and suffering bearable, a bit less excruciating and mind numbing. But it remains. It remains like an old wound that does not bleed any more but leaves a scar. An when you are alone, bare, and in the dark – the scar is visible. It does not pain anymore. But it is there, now a part of your body. Even the trauma of the hurt has also lost its sting, but instead it has become a part of your memory. Nevertheless, it remains. They remain. Now, they are a part of your story.
They started their journey at a brisk pace. No one knew about their destination. Then suddenly, they picked up pace and took a sharp turn and from there they started running. It seemed as if someone had opened a flood gate ushering a barrage of water. They jumped; they twisted their forms like a gymnast; they laughed; they cried; they embraced each other, and soon they touched the sky. There they hovered; they danced; they matured. And with equal grace then came down and landed on the soft surface of the earth as a new born would reach out to the opened arms of its mother. Then everything went silent.
He opened his eyes. His fingers were still resting on the strings of his sitar. The soft breeze and the slowly moving tree branches approved of his music. He smiled.
Blood was trickling out of the mouth, wings, and the body of the sparrow. The shards have penetrated just where its heart and lungs should have been. The air gun bullet has destroyed one of its wings. Shalini shivered. What a start to her new year! She looked at the cardboard that is now covering the broken part of her window. She thought of the tiny grave in her backyard. Her eyes welled up with tears. She looked at the “Note” app and deleted all entries under “New Year Resolution”. Then, she typed one word– “Care”.
He looked up and saw the dark clouds in the sky. “Cumulonimbus,” he muttered. Just then, his phone rang. The specially assigned ringtone told him who the caller could be.
“Hi sweetheart! What are you doing?”
“I am missing you,” she said.
At that precise moment, the first rain-drop landed on his shoulder.