Jan 30, 2018
We are party to the inequalities in the world. Every day one report or the other slams this truth upon us. Sometimes we widen these inequalities, sometimes we bear it, and sometimes, in moments of desperation, saturation, we are wont to look away. To blame privilege that we inherit through birth, and through birth as homo sapiens, and by no choosing of ours, is an easier, all-luring escape. To edit the privilege after being endowed by it, like any other editing of what is personal and ingrained is terrifying. Kant’s enlightenment is aware of the forces that make a man a person, but to our dismay, it returns firmly to the actions of the self. Emergence from the self-imposed ignorance. The cloud of privilege encompasses us, looks us in the eyes, and puts to us a simple question: what are you doing about it?
The system of a landscape contains not just the physicality of the earth, but also lives that this physicality creates and sustains. The flora, the fauna, and both in and out of fauna, depending on the degree of your kinship with the non-human, we, the humans. The binary we create between us and them betrays our fear to accept & perhaps also atone for what we have done. It haunts us, and it haunts us so much that we would rather create another division - flora, fauna, human - than return to the horror. Some of us do return every now and then, not out of adventure but compulsion, unable to locate our promised peace in the binary. Having satiated the compulsion and back in comfort, the haunting vexes us. This promised peace, which some of us can neither get rid of nor understand, wedges us in between. It turns us abnormal.
There’s a certain gratification in being abnormal and being aware of it. I am not talking about the eccentric artist archetype abnormal. I am referring instead to something more basic. The abnormality of care. Why care to return? Why the compulsion? Does it all come back, ultimately, to the service of the human? Why do we care, apart from the fact that we breathe because of tress, for a forest to stay? Why do we care, apart from the fact of image-building PR for a region, for a heritage to stay? Why do we care, apart from the fact of pleasures derived from a landscape, for a hill to stay? Why, apart from the fact of our self-serving utilities which also includes narcissism in charity, do we care, if we do indeed? Is it possible, in right mind, to care for things that do not, even faintly, serve us? If yes, then why the itch? If not, then how wrong does the mind have to be? How abnormal? How close to madness?
I may be losing my mind.