"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




My baby nephew came up to me crying one morning. He had tripped on the carpet and knocked his elbow on the sofa. He was apparently in pain and blamed the sofa for it. He wanted me to do something about it. Instantly I walked over to the sofa and kicked it couple of times, at the same time shouting a few warnings about not harming the kid anymore. Seeing that the nephew smiled. I think he was satisfied. The pain did not matter anymore.
 
It had come to be that the tragedy of a loss, the pain of an injury - physical, mental, or emotional - is alleviated once we identify the cause of that tragedy and censure (or condemn) that said wrongdoer. That is exactly what I did, and my nephew turned out happy, didn't he? It was not needed to dig deeper into the accident and identify the root-causes. It was not needed to question why was the kid running around in a furniture-laden room, or why was the carpet placed near the edge of the sofa, or why was the sofa designed with edges at all, or why were we stocking so much furniture in the first place? Why go digging when the flame could be doused with a quick blame-game?
 
Science - the seemingly greatest achievement of mankind - had taught us to focus on the immediate causes; and kicking that sofa - the immediate cause - was enough to provide closure. Isn't this apparent in all our worldly affairs?
 
Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down in Ukranian airspace. Bombing a passenger airliner is such a serious offence - or maybe such an unreasonably inhuman one. Russia blamed the Ukranians, and the Ukranians blamed the Russians back. International media moved on to other issues. I am sure the families of the victims will not rest till they can conclusively blame one of the parties and, probably, punish them accordingly. What happened to flight MH370? Vaguely lost at sea, never to be found. The families have been mourning for nearly two years now. Their mourning won't stop until the reason for the crash is identified isn't it? It's okay if the bodies are not found - they would be decomposed by now - but the blame doesn't decompose, does it?
 
The pain doesn't rest until it finds something to blame: pain rests on the blame.
 
And when the blame cannot be placed conclusively, the pain carries on and on. Masses of Syrians continue to die - the ISIS and Syrian government continue to blame each other. Rest of the world takes sides. India and Pakistan blame each other and continue to massacre innocents in Kashmir. Israel and Palestine have been blaming each other for six decades and its chronology continues to be scripted in the blood-laden faces of people dying in Gaza and West Bank. The Shias and Sunnis blame each other as hundreds of bodies are uncovered in mass graves all over Iraq. Russians and Americans blame each other as thousands of landmines continue to get planted all over Afghanistan.
 
We are all rational beings, and rationality demanded logical answers. If logic can point to a cause, why break our heads over some inherently tragic existential conditions and all?
 
I pondered how blame solves our problems. 
 
Blame the virus for the Ebola outbreak. Whenever a corruption scam surfaces, blame the minister and force him to resign. If India loses a cricket match, blame the batsman who played slow or the bowler who gave away runs; and most likely ask the captain to step-down. Whenever instability is seen in any corner of India, blame the communal or casteist mindsets. If education system does not deliver results, blame the teachers. If culture is getting eroded, blame technology. If nothing, finally blame fate, destiny, or even, sometimes, God.
 
That night as we all slept soundly, the ground shook beneath us. It was a mild earthquake. Everyone ran outside their houses. The building at the end of the street had collapsed, and there were loud wails of people trapped under the debris. I ran towards it and found a child, of the same age as my nephew, stuck under a broken sofa. I pulled him out. He was crying inconsolably. I drew his attention towards the sofa, and began to kick it. I shouted at the sofa to not hurt the kid anymore. The boy stopped crying, and for a moment, actually smiled.
 
 
 
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