INTELLECTUAL PURSUITS ARE TENABLE
After saying my bedtime prayers, and lying eyes closed, I usually take a plunge into realm of architecture’s fantasy and enjoy mentally drawing a ideal house plan in my own virtual space of mind; until such time the sleep grapples me hard enough. During the leisure, while wide awake as well, if ever a paper and a pencil found their way into my hands, I would invariably indulge in drawing another house-plan. Noticing my intriguing hobby, one Colonel Chauhan, my colleague at Air Force Station, Awantipura, J&K, warned me, that those who make house plans in the air never succeed in actuality. The colloquial phrase ‘castle in the air’ flashed across my mind immediately as part of natural reflex. I asked him inquisitively and worrisomely as to why? He said “ The desire gets satiated due to protracted flights of imagination itself and loses its potency to impregnate the ground”. He had a point alright, but does it in anyway mattered to unabated stream of my creativity? Does it mean that unrealised ideas are worthless? The taunt triggered off argument in my mind to defend and value my thoughts, ideas, feelings and desires which remain unrealised, unaccomplished or unexecuted for lack of will and courage. While, I pushed my chair back to straighten up legs and recline, the temptation to light a smoke prevailed. Nicotine would soon stimulate my mind and raining thoughts would come knocking one after the other.
First one that came alive in my mind made me blush, unbecoming of a middle aged man like me. Thankfully it went unnoticed as Col Chauhan had left my office by then. Into the flashback…..experimenting then, with the puberty and adolescence, I would toss in my bed whole night, compose poetry for her and secretly write letters only not to post them. Angelic love that sprouted and flourished in my heart, sadly remained shy of pronouncement and enactment. I, with no sense of regret, cherish the very thought of it today with so much sublimity. Was it meaningless because it never saw the light of dawn?
Frequenting Indian Coffee House in college days, we discussed Karl Marx aloud and fought verbal duels with those having bourgeois mindsets. Idolised Bhagat Singh and we denounced Mahatma Gandhi. Hailed a powerful statement by Vibhuti Bhatnagar, a fellow goer that “Gandhi was not born in Porbandar but in the minds of British”. We cursed American oppression in Vietnam and revered Dutta Samant a labour union leader in Bombay with hope and excitement. Yet, we never ever joined any street protest or a political rally. Remained like others, in the mainstream to flow with the current. Would it imply that intellectual pursuits we ventured into, as young men in seventies, was a waste of time or simply meaningless?
We grew up adoring Vijay of ‘Deevar’ (Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bollywood blockbuster), who would not climb the steps of a temple of worship. Yet, we never mustered courage to abstain ourselves from rituals at home or acclaim Atheism. Did we fake our feelings and conviction then? I feel no. We were genuine in our hearts and saw rationality, reason above blind faith.
I might as well put a lid to so many such thoughts that would keep erupting to justify their existence in a virtual world and never turned into a physical occurrence. Let's not talk of many recipes that churn out of my mind but never reach to oven.
In today’s age of roaring social media, sharing of ideas, opinions, philosophy and knowledge has become a popular trend. People have found new platform to hone their writing skills, exercise their analytical minds and attempt to attract as much readership. These are Intellectual pursuits which serve as nourishments to our brain faculties and quests for philosophical and empirical truth; the one we all remain in constant search of. Ironically, it's getting fashionable nowadays to ridicule these as pseudoism, meaningless outbursts or waste of time. Is it fair and just?
Of Course, we have those enviable doers, who would do it what they propound, and accomplish that they believe in totality. Most certainly, they are the midwives who actually deliver, through the intense labor and odds of uncertainty. Undeniably the doers are the gainer but it is not righteous to undermine the fertility of mind which conceives and sprouts seed ideas, concepts and philosophies, notwithstanding its inability to cast and mould them into physicality.
Will it not be vulgar to call Intellectual Pursuits alias’ Mental Masturbation? Some wordsmiths have flirted with the idea to my utter anguish.