Living In Gaogang...Part 7
Walking the beaten track
[This blog has nothing to speak of Gaogang but well..the Heading of my blog series is “Stories from Gaogang and not Stories of Gaogang ]
I was away for a week to the sea for a sea trial of a newly built ship. The ship has to be taken for trial of all its machinery, to the sea once its construction is complete. It has to pass the stringent performance tests. Like all the children have to go for the final examination each year for testing whether they deserve to be promoted to the next class or not and the main stress is on their parents, so it is with us. The level of stress comes to a climax before the sea trial and after returning, the process of removing the defects and issuance of certificate starts.
Carrying out with the analogy of the examination of the school children, it is the time to see the report cards. Why I have liked the thought of the Exams of the School Children is that they are not really stressed, especially when they are very young. They do not understand why their mothers are so worried and so anxious about their performance. We get overtly anxious about our children and press them to perform, we give them the affliction of “stress”.
We compare them with other children. We compare them with their elder siblings or the kids of in the neighbourhood or of our relatives and friends, children of anyone we know who we know are bright in studies. We do the same when it is the time to judge them in sports, in performing arts, in anything. We judge them, we compare them, we criticize them all the time. In the name of motivation, in an attempt to inspire them to do better than they can, by constantly tell them about others, berate them, sometimes punish them emotionally or even use a switch when we are very angry. By doing this we kill the child in them for ever.
From being gay, bubbly, talkative children, they become, unsure, faltering, hesitating, reticent and recluse. They start avoiding being paraded before the guests, they start remonstrating. They become stubborn and disobeying and in their little hearts, they try to retain liking for the things they feel naturally inclined to. Sometimes they can keep the flames of their natural tendencies from getting snuffed, but many times they can’t and with the death of their natural tendencies, a part of them dies for ever and gets buried for good deep somewhere in their little hearts.
Most of us have been such parents, many of the young children will become such parents tomorrow. It has been going on and on like this since, this mad race of being better than our compatriot started when the focus of the world shifted towards commercialization, some hundred or so years ago. We try to pass this blame to the Western world, which we say made us materialistic, competitive, selfish, heartless and ruthless. We understand that something is wrong with it but we shrug our shoulders expressing our inability to change our attitude. We see ourselves as straws or the moths fallen in the raging river.
Only few of us have the courage to resist, to stand up and face the fury of the flood and dare to walk against the current, caring little for the ridicule and the cat-calls. Only few of us, can walk the “roads less taken” to show that it is ok to be different. And when they are depicted in the films as "Wonder Women" and Superman, the film become super-duper hit, grossing millions as the viewers can live their fantasies in the auditoriums where they sit through the thrills for an hour or two, disconnected from the challenging world outside, wearing the armours of their heroes performing impossible feats.
The actors who perform in those movies become household names, riding the wave of popularity, but some like Christopher Reeves (before, my mind could return the name “Christopher Reeves” google page had opened and I decided to look what Wikipedia had to say. I was surprised to read that so many people who played in Superman character in the movies or cartoon films died under mysterious or tragic circumstances before Christopher Reeves died tragically that it has got a superstition attached to it and it is called as “Superman Curse”. Christopher Reeves at the prime of his career fell from a horse back. After the fateful fall he became paraplegic and after living in the so called vegetable state for nine years, eventually died of a heart attack. Perhaps it’s nature’s way to make us stay grounded.
The thoughts come to me like floods and every time I drift from the subject, I decide to write about. Whatever I write is extempore. I just can’t sit, review and edit. If I try to do that, I end up writing something entirely different, totally new, a flood of new thoughts overwhelms me. Already, what I have written here is more than what people like to read in a blog. I don’t know how to get back to tell you about the story of the ship I took for a sea trial. I have a mind to end this blog here, but I must finish writing today’s thoughts or else they will be lost for good.
I will never be able to recall them, as there are hundreds of others waiting to be penned down…well, we can’t use this phrase now, this has become obsolete. I think thoughts waiting to be punched through the keyboard seems more appropriate to me, but to associate ‘punching’ with the thought even if it is for defining the activity of the keys doesn’t appeal to me. It’s like entering the temple with the shoes on or like extinguishing the wick of the lamp lit for the prayer by blowing at it. It’s not a done thing, my father would get angry, if I would do that. The exhaled breath is impure. The right way to do it is by stirring the air by waving the hand sharply near the flame. Any ritual may seem meaningless to one who doesn’t know why it is performed, but it has a deep significance for the believer who does it with deep reverence and love. I am getting too distracted. I will have to postpone, telling you about the sea trial until the next blog, but what about my Chinese fans who love to read my praises for China or those who like to read only that in my blogs, like the specific pages of erotic descriptions, young adults would read in the English novels replete with those, when I was growing up. Forget about video clips exchanged freely through WhatsApp and WeChat now a days, we didn’t have access to even stills for visual delights in those days and thus we had to invoke our imagination for all the pleasure. No wonder, I have it strong and going even still, although I don’t need to employ it for titillations, but means are there at my disposal alright.