Sitting across me he waxed eloquent on Shakespeare and his unforgettable works. I could see the professor in him come alive as we discussed the amazing ability of the Bard to bring his every character to life in so vivid a manner that the reader could never forget even the most insignificant character in any of his works.
Listening to this man talk on this topic has always had the same effect on me. He kindled the hidden craving in me to write. He made me want to give up everything else and start writing and write in such a manner that someone like him would talk about me someday in a similar fashion. Just imagining people discussing my characters as though they were real is enough to make my day!
So after lunch, all of us gathered around this man. Waiting to hear him speak. He had this amazing ability to hold his listeners enthralled for hours on end as he spoke about different authors, books, people, life and so on. I wouldn’t call him a great orator but he was a good storyteller. And we were eager to hear his stories. Alas it was not meant to be.
I’m not sure how it happened but suddenly we were discussing politics. This brought out another facet of his personality and that was of an enraged and aggrieved citizen who is unhappy with the political system in our country. He became someone else. He started sermonizing.
I have never been able to understand how this otherwise wonderfully gifted and wise storyteller can turn into a filthy mouthed, extremely racist, sexist, chauvinist person! He went on to verbally abuse some politicians and then used extremely vulgar language when mentioning some famous women from the field of politics, our literary circles and in the field of social work! I protested and tried to reason with him. Why? Because I cared about what he thought. Atleast I used to.
He then went on to discuss the Mangalore pub incident and started blaming the women who went to pubs. That was when I left the room. He tried luring me back but I’ve been through these kind of discussions enough number of times to have learnt my lesson. Nothing has changed. They know my stand. I know theirs.
How is it that someone so learned and experienced and wise, can still harbor such thoughts & cling on to such views, is completely beyond me. Can I continue to respect a man for all that is good in him while I detest all that is not good? If so, then we may need to see every criminal in a new light. Right?
Why can’t people focus on respect, love & equality? Who are we to judge anyone else? Why does it always have to be my way or your way? What ever happened to Free Will? Rather has Free Will ever existed?