Goring Syndrome

Continued from “Swap for Nope”

“Once we could remove our indignant blinkers,” he continued, “we had seen what a wonderful woman Sarala was. As our son and his spouse doted upon each other, Ruma and I reminisced over our own times, and soon as Sarala delivered Ramesh, we gloated over our grandson, and well before his second birthday as he had Ramya for his sibling, our cup of joy was seemingly filled to the brim; as if to meet the future needs of the growing family, our ventures too began yielding in their bountiful. After all those inimical twists and ironical turns as life went on for long without any hiccups, it appeared as if life had left with nothing up its sleeve to surprise us; so it never occurred to me that it could be a lull before the storm that was about to be unleashed on us by the inimical fate; like all of Gen-Next, Satish too was fond of fast cars; how often I used to tell him, ‘go west my boy for the roads here are deathtraps’, but he would rather prefer the comforts of the eastern life to the mundane luxuries of the west. Maybe at the dictates of fate, as he began pushing us to make it to the Mount Abu in his Ferrari, I relented only when he promised never to cross eighty; well, he kept his word but that truck driver was too drunk to have kept his course. What an irony of life is that it often tends one to be the victim of others’ follies.’

‘Sad though, it’s the reality of life.”

“Man’s folly at times might give a weird twist to the history of his land,” he said. “You might have seen the movie Dunkirk; in the World War II, the Wehrmacht cornered the British in and around the port town of Dunkirk, and all that was left for it was to push and prod the enemy into the sea. But Goring, the head of Luftwaffe in the Third Reich put it into Hitler’s head that Wehrmacht’s victory would be perceived by the Germans as the victory of their armed forces, but if Luftwaffe were to annihilate the entrapped that would be to the Fuehrer’s account as the air force was his creation whereas the army was as old as the nation. Luckily for British forces, the Fuehrer fell for it, and as Goring bit more than he could chew, Churchill had enough time to affect their rescue across the English Channel. But sadly for Germany and arguably for the good of the world, while it was his grandeur of delusion and not the well-being of his country that made Goring envisage that absurdity, it was Fuehrer’s false sense of invincibility that made him overlook the danger the move had portended. If not for Goring’s self-serving advice the flower of the British youth might’ve perished on the sands of Dunkirk and the Nazis would have been the masters of the World sans the Goring Syndrome – the self-serving ways of one that imperil others’ course would serve the unintended in unexpected ways.”

“I’ve never heard of this Goring Syndrome.”

“It did occur to me only now,” he said, “and you might as well give me the credit for that, unless, unknown to us, someone, somewhere, had already come up with it; you know such are known to happen more often than one might think it could be the case.”

“That’s true.”

“Maybe the corporate health sector symbolizes the Goring Syndrome like nothing else; the assorted diagnostic reports sought by the self-serving doctors that rob their patients’ savings would only serve the auxiliary health services; even conceding that the capital involved in setting up a corporate hospital is mind-boggling, begging for returns on investment, that the doctors there allow themselves to turn into con men to trick the sick is in deed sickening; I wonder how these are better than the pimps fleecing the whores; in spite of their daytime black deeds, the fact that they are able to sleep at nights shows that they have self-anesthetized their collective consciences; even as Hippocrates could be turning in his grave, wonder how these fare in hell as and when they reach there. Maybe death is no better than these supposed to be life-saving guys for while devouring your near and dear; it lets you go as if to derive a vicarious pleasure in seeing you thanking life in spite of it all. It was in that confused state of mind that I dusted the much vaunted Bhagvad-Gita for an understanding of life and death in philosophical terms.”

“I began to see death in its true perspective through verses such as these,” he began reading from the Gita that lay beside him. “You and Me / As well these / Have had past / Future as well; Clear are learned in their minds / Embodies selfsame spirit all one / From birth to death, in every birth; Spirit as entity hath no birth / How can thou kill what’s not born; What’s not real, it’s never been / And that’s true, it’s ever there / That’s how wise all came to see; Prima facie if thou feel / Subject Spirit is to rebirths / Why grieve over end of frame; Dies as one / For like rebirth / Why feel sad / Of what’s cyclic; Isn’t thy lament over that / Un-manifested to start with / Gets manifested just as guest / And bids adieu in due course, and, Dies not Spirit as die beings / What for then man tends to grieve. And that helped. Even otherwise maybe time would have healed the wounds of my grief but where else I would’ve acquired the depth for contemplation.”

“How mean is man that he turns to the scriptures only when he’s down and out.”

“Yet they are magnanimous to him,” he said. “It’s not their fault that we don’t derive benefit from them. But what eye-openers the end chapters of the Gita were to me; what a vile creature I was, I came to realize from these verses - Make all vile, rude guys all / Vainglorious ’n haughty too / Besides being indignant / No less are they indulgent; Gives as virtue man freedom / Keeps him vileness in bondage; Pride ’n lust, long wish list / Vile in conceit live impure; Seeing life as one to gloat / Vile by impulse go to lengths; Seek vile creatures ever shortcuts / On way to wants, they ill-get wealth; Think all vile, in like terms- / This is mine so let me keep / Why not have I more of it, Foe this mine I’ve truly floored / Won’t I tackle the rest of them / Sure I’m Lord of mine own world; Note all vile, gloat as such – / Besides wealthy, I’m well-born / Won’t I give and enjoy too, To their hurt in illusion vile / End up slaves of joys of flesh.”

“Why I never heard that before though I did attend some discourses on the Gita here and there.”

“Sadly, the stress is on the beginning and the middle chapters and even if you were to read some commentary on your own, you always tend to begin afresh, never to reach these gems of the last three chapters,” he lamented. “ But, it is from these that I came to see the affects of unruly passion on man - Ensures nature gets one tied / By Virtue, passion, or by delusion; It’s in pretension passionate live / Eye they have on name ’n fame; Deed passionate is quid pro quo/ Ever done with some end in mind; In want passionate come to live / Bogged down by, what they eye; Mind as covetous ’n thought impure / Crave passionate all things mundane/ Which them excite as well pull down; Perspective lack passionate right/ In weird ways they tend their lives; Things that seem to bring joys/ Ever passionate with zeal pursue, and, It’s the way with thy passion / To jump at all that what might tempt / That which turns sour in due course.’

“Oh, how true it is.”

“And what symbolizes virtue in man is made amply clear in the masterpiece,” he continued quoting from the Gita. “Indulge virtuous in their work / With no relevance to outlook; With no illusion but diligence / Carries renunciant his duties / Agreeable or otherwise too; Needs one work to sustain life / Relinquients avoid, overloads all; Virtuous ever in self-control / Steady they wavering mind of theirs; What fail sprint ’n serve long run / Virtuous know keep woes at bay; Taking well and ill at ease / Senses honed ’n ego evened / Detached virtuous ever engage; Deal virtuous in measures equal / Weigh they fine all deeds their fair. But what bowled me in the end are these from the Bhakti Yoga - Scores thought over mere rotting / Betters meditation awareness too / What helps man to find moorings / Are acts his with no axe to grind; Kind-hearted ’n considerate / Friendly natured, forgiving too / Lays no store on highs and lows / Suffers no pride ’n possessive not; Who's patient ’n cheerful / Self-willed as well persevering / Who's hearty ever at work / Makes he devout My beloved; Who’s simple, never in want / Covets he not in vantage post / Shakes him none, he keeps his nerve / It’s such who Me please the most; He’s My darling who craves not / Yet won’t shun the pleasures of life / Takes but things all as they come; Treats he equal friends ’n foes / Scorn or honour minds he not / Keeps he cool in grief and joy / Nurses for none soft centre, and above all, Pats ’n slights all in the score / Treats as equal score My man / Takes he lot of his in stride/ But won’t put the blame on Me.”

“Oh, if only we can imbibe that philosophy.”

“Well, when I was trying to grasp the import of the Gita to retrieve my lost soul and repair my ruined life,” he said stoically “Ruma’s relatives turned out to be the impediments; if not, you would have a different story to tell or maybe there would have been no memoir to write after all.”

Continued to “Back to the Basics”


More by :  BS Murthy

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