Monday, September 19, 2011

Slay that dragon

There is a phenomenon happening in the minds of new India, both young and old and for want of better terminology, it could be called a "Commitment Issue". Extended a little further, when one looks around and sees relationships (including live-in arrangements and marriages, both recent and of several years' duration) falling apart like a house of cards, one could gather that there are also several "Issues with Commitment" which seem to be the wind blowing away at the bedrock of relationships.

Why then this miasma attached to the word "Commitment"? An oft used quote is , "Man is a social animal". If that be the case, social interactions and the accoutrements that accompany them should come instinctively to us, whatever be the state of our evolution or status. All our childhood days we are nurtured by a family and familial bonding do entail commitments and yet the moment we reach adulthood, capable of making our own choices, this is the one choice that most people today find easiest to abrogate ? We offer our commitment readily to various other recipients whether it be parents, siblings, friends, colleagues et al. The problem (except for specific instances where it may stem from history) then lies  in the word as seen in the context of a non-platonic association.

The reason would not be obscure to ascertain , if one were to step back and look at the 'typical' examples of relationships of this nature around us.  At the start you would see two individuals who are capable of functioning effectively but independently, dealing with life's designs in their own unique manner, taking onus for their own acts, celebrating or ruing the outcomes of their choices/actions. Put cupid into plan and you have these very individual souls yearning for companionship (much more intense than comradeship) and the seed of a "relationship" or "emotional trapeze act" is sown.

After the initial euphoria of discovering and exploring the unknown (as is inherent to almost every reasonably intelligent human mind) wears off, one sees a paradigm shift happening : Independence often has to be sacrificed at the altar of Indulgence to another. There would be nothing catastrophic about it  if it did not require a complete metamorphosis of one's priorities, desires, preferences and so on; fine tuning vs changing the tune altogether.

A relationship would require atleast two persons and rightfully this should mean sharing - happiness or worries thereby adding or reducing the sum. But what we actually shrug is our own burdens; the onus suddenly  shifts to another person to be there when needed,  to take over in all times of crises and to even think on one's behalf (And heaven help if the outcome of that thought process is undesirable!). How does a relationship transform a person from a distinct entity to a vacuous amoeba like formless being, needed to take the shape and form as per another's whims ( a little extreme, I agree but the picture pans out such).

This negation of individualism to the so called wholeness of a twosome could be the root cause of the issue. The culprits, of course, may vary in turn from lack of compatibility to non-fulfilment of expectations, different thought processes, adjustment concerns etc. But the essence lies in recognising that the real dragon to be slain lies within. One has to have the courage to admire the man in the mirror and be prepared to walk the path of a lone ranger within oneself, respecting that another may also have the same desire and that boundary need never be transgressed.

Meeting of soul mates can happen without the merging of two individual personas into one, because when such fusion takes place a little abnegation takes place in each of the two. If I have within me a halo of love for 'myself' let me nurture that and respect it in another too so that the accompaniment of someone on my journey will not be an intrusion or invasion but will enlarge that circle to engulf one more; Two stars that twinkle with their own individual light without fear of blowing or fading out the irridiscence of the other.....

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