The mind is a complex maze of alleys holding forth myriad sounds, smells, sights, synergies, each pressing its own response trigger, meshed with the present views, all clamoring for their own wails to be noticed by a video screen in a corner of that same small space, or perhaps, the soul. Analytically, it is a whirlwind, much like the bowels of a washing machine, relentlessly churning in its own cyclonic epicenter; experientially, it throws up images with crystal like clarity, and the most advanced stereophonic acoustics, leaving in no doubt the purpose of its call.
A year to this month, I was caught up in a series of catastrophic events, turning a perfect world upside down, hurtling me into a frenzied atomic motion from home to hospital to work and back to the hospital, trying to save as much as sanity that I could with no help from my dwindling energies. The warp and woof of those petulant days (and nights) still blights the tattered but recuperating nervous mechanism. My father’s by pass surgery, and the ten days of Apollo Hospital, are firmly etched on the grey vinyl record of memory, and the stylus, unforgiving and uncaring, falls into the dreaded groove in an alarmingly steady rhythm.
Sitting in the uncomfortable and uncaring beach chairs of the ICU waiting room, in the indifferent, anesthetic environs of the hospital s first level, surrounded by anxiety driven countenances of other patient’s relatives, with the frosty marble floor sending up spurts of sharp electrifying freezing pulsations of coldness up the sole and soul, every negative thought pounced on me with their hydra like multitude heads in obvious subterfuge, waving in front of my darkening eyes their ghastly grins, and devious dins; all, ready to swallow me in their vicious python-like jaws.
When I saw my father on the cold ICU bed, with wires and pipes and machines and masks, puncturing, covering and entwining his frail, naked, blanched body, the futility of life socked me with a deadly punch making me stagger and lose balance. Is life really a drama of noise enacted grimly between the womb and the tomb, with only one audience, who, it could happen, might not be there at all?
In this drama a lot of time is wasted on silly, juvenile relationships that do not really count, or account for, any value, any tangible trophy.
In the heat of time, sweet, aromatic, chocolaty relationships melt into a sticky mass of morass, the sweetness fermenting into a sickening acridity, and the aroma combusting into a foul putridity, leaving behind a dirty, gluey stain, which all the waters and detergents of memory fail to wash off; rather, they only oxidize it into a further darkened spot for posterity to look at and cry. Then why succumb to this urge, this demonic pull to get into a relationship; or, the reluctant will to come out of one, especially if it comes with a cost.
In the end what remain with you are but of course your own soul, your own self, and the blessings that you gather. But just before that, one more thing sticks by you, like a faithful dog that needs a wee bit of training: money. Its licks are humid and hurting, but they only assert its faithfulness, demanding a rough rub on its underbelly. All the monies in the world could not have saved my father at that time, had it not been destined. But neither could have all the relationships. Money only made the road to his recovery much smooth, less bumpy, giving him the best of treatments in the most advanced of hospitals. Money cannot buy happiness; it can buy a lot of means to that happiness.
I learnt my lesson the hard way; with this piece, I wish to throw a feeble torchlight to some other darkened path. In the balance of events, let money be the wife, and the relationship, the mistress, and not vice versa, as presented by all popular fiction and writers; because, in all fairness, money does not leave you on its own if you save it, nurture it, treasure it. Its walk out is a reflection of your attitude; it s not independent enough to just sit up and decide to go; a relationship, on the other hand, is much too dependant on the other person, who can leave, break off or die!
I have always ferociously maintained that praise for one should not be offset by the negation of the other; both can, and should, be viewed in separate lights if they have individualistic entities. My purport of the post is not to vitiate the importance of relationships by praising the virtues of money; no one can harangue their significance in the complex map of human subsistence, and I am too small for that, in any case.
It is only to warn and hark that should ever the hard choice between money and relationship thunder at your face, select money!
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