Ravinder was a fighter. But that was once upon a time. When youth boils in the blood like a witches’ brew, it’s easy to be a fighter. Time, however, puts out the fire beneath the brew eventually. Experience, rather than time.
You keep fighting with monsters for years, monsters some of whom are real, some illusions and some others are like Quixote’s windmills. Real monsters have varying motives. Some want to capture positions of power, some want to swindle money out of the system, and some others want to appear great by belittling others. Motives abound in the world of monsters. Monsters are the most motivated creatures, mused Ravinder.
And you keep fighting them all through life. Fight for your dignity, for your principles, or sometimes even for your survival. And then comes a time when you give up fighting. You get used to the arrows. Your skin becomes thick enough to be a shield.
Why can’t the world be a place of cooperation rather than competition, mutual support rather than mutual screwing?
“Because the world is always young,” said Arjun who had come to pay a visit. “The old will have to retire like this,” Arjun pointed at Ravinder’s leg. Ravinder was on bed rest with a fracture in a leg. He had met with an accident. Boys in metro-haste on a zooming bike had no patience for a snail-paced man with a stoop.
"What happened is for good, what's happening is for good and what will happen is also for good," said Arjun quoting Krishna of the Gita. Arjun was Ravinder's colleague.
"Dhritarashtra was physically blind and Duryodhana’s blindness was not in his eyes," said Ravinder. "But don’t ever think that the Pandavas possessed all the light. Arjuna fattened himself on the thumb of Ekalavya. Bhima was sidelined unjustly. Draupati was not insulted for her own mistake. Whose mistake descends as phenomenal wrath on us today? Multi-tier attack has become more common today than in those days of thumb-swallowing and sidelining. The Gita needs to be revised. By Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu whose mother would not fall asleep irresponsibly."
"You are that Abhimanyu," said Arjun. "The secret for penetrating the chakravyuha lies dormant in your breast. Covered with layers and layers of protective shields you donned for each arrow that came."
If you lie down, people will walk over you. Ravinder knew it. You can't blame people for doing that.
Come back as Rama
Forgive us for what we've done
Come back as Allah
Come back as anyone
Krishna nee begane baro
Hariharan was singing on the TV channel.
No. No one is going to come as anything. We are our own redeemers.
"What if I don't want to be Abhimanyu?" asked Ravinder looking wearily into Arjun’s eyes.
"Don't join the battle. Withdraw from it if you're already in it," said Arjun.
"You can't run, man. Your leg is broken." Arjun laughed. "Stay on the side. And observe. You'll learn. Learn the miasmic patterns of the battle. Learn the odour of blood and the stench of greed. Learn the lurid colours of futile quests. Then you won't have to run any more. You won't have to fight either."
"Abhimanyu will become the Buddha."