Dec 07, 2023
Dec 07, 2023
by BS Murthy
Continued from “Bellows of Delhi”
Chapter 12, Book One, Artha and Kama, Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life
It was the fears of the powers that be that gave Gautam the idea of manipulating them for furthering his personal growth and to develop the mechanism of success he resorted to the SWOT analysis.
Didn’t he have a dashing demeanor with a handsome look and a progressive outlook? His pushy nature and easy manner would come in handy too. Moreover, didn’t he imbibe the drive to succeed? Wouldn’t his capacity for hard work sustain his drive? Why, they were all his unquestionable strengths, which form the core values to make it big in the make-believe world. Convinced about the ammunition he had to back his ambition, he tried to picture his weaknesses.
Where was the awe-inspiring drawing room to dazzle the guests? Wouldn’t his two-wheeler prove to be a handicap to handle the prospects? How was he to entertain the officials in posh hotels and star resorts to announce his arrival? Even if he were to brazen that out, why should anyone take him seriously? Well, can there ever be a take off without a start-up fund? But, isn't it equally true that the first million one made would make other millions for him? As one would lead to the other, he thought he should work on the drawing room first.
The promising could be wined and dined at home itself with Sneha providing the fillip with her sex appeal and all. Surely, her strengths should open up the windows of opportunity. After all, men loved the company of desirable women! What with her allure wouldn’t she mesmerize any? Besides, what a delightful conversationalist she was! Why, she could interest even the indifferent and outsmart the smartest? And wouldn’t the male proclivity to go to any lengths to help beautiful women help? In aiding women how men felt they were favored indeed! If only Sneha could handle men with care, they would have many an influential hand at hand. Well, she could be the passport to success what with the ingratiating stamping our visa to wealth.
But before laying his hands on the levers of success, he wanted to check with the operational manual. And as he foresaw the features of the breakdowns, he realized it could be a hazardous venture after all. Wouldn’t Sneha’s self-induced proximity with men pose a peril? What if she was pushed into the vortex of promiscuity? And wouldn’t she develop her own agenda then! What could stop her from ditching him to hitch to a successful man? If that were to happen, where that would lead him to? Instead of coming up trumps, he would only find himself in the dumps. And in the high stakes game of life that would leave him at the bottom of the pack, wouldn’t it?
Thus, he thought it was like tempting the devil itself, with dreadful consequences to boot. Dampened by his self-doubts, when he was inclined for the status quo, he realized it couldn’t be smooth sailing that way either. Well, having himself sowed the seeds of ambition in her, didn’t he make her vulnerable, after all? Were he to stay put playing safe, wouldn’t the mobility of life stir up her frustrations? Why, that would surely magnify the lacking of the creature comforts in her mindset. And wouldn’t her hurt pave the way for his ruinous end? With him in no position to fulfill her fancies, wouldn’t she turn to someone who had the means to jaunt with her in the make-believe world? Wouldn’t her infidelity drift them apart inexorably? Thus, for Gautam, the probable outcome seemed no different, either way. Why didn’t he envisage all this when he preached her the sermons of success all along?
As he felt distressed about the realities of his life, he turned to philosophy for solace. He thought it was the soulless heart and not the ambitious mind that was the bane of the world. Why, blame the achievers who suborn their personal good to further a social purpose. If not for such, would have life crossed the stone age though need might have brought man to that stage!
On the contrary, what was corruption but the manifestation of human meanness? If only the mean were made to pay the price, man would have fallen in line well before bribe became the creed. Well, the world was too meek to fight the mean to usher in equitable opportunities. But, would that be a solace for his failure? At that, he felt that the choice for him was to either fight for his place or to perish in frustration. Prepared to perish, he resolved to fight.
‘How am I to fight?’ he thought endlessly. ‘And where am I to begin?’
He realized that one could cut a diamond only with a diamond, and that implied his taking to corrupt ways. But, as his conscience questioned him, he cajoled it with the proposition of ends justifying the means. At last, he made up his mind to try to checkmate success on the chessboard of life. When Sneha went to her parents for her confinement, he planned his gambit in the corridors of power.
More by : BS Murthy