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A Moment of Argument  – a vignette


“And like the ocean, day by day receiving

        Flood from all lands, which never overflows;

Its boundry-line not leaping, and not leaving,

        Fed by the rivers, and unswelled by those….”

Driven by intrinsic tendencies, folks intermingle, gather and gossip, converse with colleagues during the working hours in offices of business. This, absolutely, is bothersome, bizarrerie at busy and muted work places more particularly when the talks turn clamorous and disturbing. The noise is a nuisance to the working population and the duty-bound managerial staff , conscious about maintaining the decorum at the work place, hurries to hush up the hullabaloo. However, the seniors today had no concern to hold us from having a conversation for the number of people involved were just the two. Besides neither of us spoke noisily nor had any urgent work to be carried out. All the systems were disconnected and owing to the consequential downtime much of the working populace preferred to go on a coffee break and was so gone. Thus, with no immediate major concern of work for me, I with an intent to move out of the building to relax started for the door -out. However, on the way found Krishna, the KMA, engrossed in some activity, probably reporting kind of a thing- a routine stuff.

Krishna Mathur is from Jaipur. Always elegantly dressed and moved about manifesting gentlemanly gestures; hopefully, all Mathurs are so. The other side of him is that he is not that masculine; again probably or may be all Mathurs aren’t. ‘Sometimes I am driven by narcissus’ instincts,’ declared Krishna once. But this bothers none and it is good so. Perhaps it made him feel good. Coming to me, poking is not my pattern of behavior, believe me, but, as though instinctively that time, I decided to and so stepped into his cubicle. Krishna hated people disturbing him, as we too dislike someone disturbing us. Another reason for his hatred was that he was often over burdened with office work. But surprisingly, I was, then, welcomed with his usual cute smile familiar to all. I grinned in similar gesture to reciprocate. Meanwhile, he was murmuring and this didn’t escape me and I interrupted by asking,’ what is that you are singing? He smirked looking at me but, gave no reply. Again with a slight grimace, I asked, ‘what song was that?’ Now turning towards me wholly, he again started singing, in a soft and low voice, a popular, melodic song Dil Toh Bacchha Hai Ji…

More audible he was now than before. Singing the first two lines of the song blissfully, he asked me to sing. Stupefied by the request but not yielding, I answered, saying, ‘I cannot sing’. Not heeding to what I said, he still, for the second time, pressed me to sing, and again, I declined. Then, as if reminding me of something I ought to know, he retorted, ‘remember! only a talented one can sing’ ! I felt annoyed by his remark and took a few moments, almost withdrew myself, to gather all my senses to reply on how mere singing of a bollywood movie song cannot be said to be a talent. Thus commenced the debate between the two, on what talent is. It was unavoidable.

Neither I, nor Krishna then realized, in our discussion, we had landed into a new arena. Beginning with a mischievous minuscule act of poking the other, we basked and later sitting stretched a bit in our seats to attain more comfortable postures. Into the puddle, as if plausibly, both plunged to outshine the other or huddled to score the extents of intellect from the resulting intimacy. Overwhelmed by the preconceived meaning of what talent meant, I tried to dissuade Krishna who had, till then, been eagerly emphasizing his point that if an individual can sing any song, exactly in the manner of the original score, is talented. By saying so, I felt, Krishna, missed out on something. I thought Krishna equated fine replicating to talent.

To exemplify his notion Krishna went on, ‘if you, on a receipt of a telephonic call replied back courteously and impressed the caller then you can be said as talented’. I immediately and almost impulsively pitched in my personal outlook on what he said and called it an acquired skill. This baffled Krishna who now was striving to find something more appropriate to support his point. Probably, nothing came to his aid and so he sternly suggested looking into a dictionary.

Speaking about the conversation, it was one petty act to correct existing notions or free selves of conceptual haziness. At the time, I was not wrong in being inquisitive nor dropped, by any measure, at any moment, Krishna’s eagerness to answer me. Notably so, I was able to revisit and review my notions for clarity and definiteness and for this I owe much to the moments during the conversation which submerged me into the sea of thoughts. It set a turmoil internally, a turmoil that torrents my mind still but with a plethora of thoughts leaving me eagerest, hungry to rehuddle.

But now, ahead of the brigade has marched a thought making me more curious to seek some more satisfactory answers or may be poke him again, one can say. Amplifying its horizon, this train of thoughts, desirous of profound articulation, is destined to know whether the gifted one and the talented one are one and the same. And, whether an individual partly autism stricken if is able to perform certain complex mathematical calculations would be called talented. Put otherwise, whether an individual displaying an exceptional ability, due to the progress or development, in one faculty and shows notable retardation in the rest will still be called talented..?

To our disappointment, that time, the discussion ended abruptly. It was because the systems were reconnected and all were to go back to work. Krishna had to resume his work and, to say more, had to leave his further attempts to convince me. And now, we no more work together for different companies and in different cities..

I know today, at some other time, somewhere and from someone else, I will definitely get an answer to what I want to know. The reason for my distress but, is that it will not be Krishna again as he’ll be busy somewhere.. and tomorrow, who knows, I shall be busy too…

Monologue:  O Krishna where art thou? Centuries ago once a distressed one found you as a charioteer in the battle field and now to this distressed me, the inquirer, betwixt the battles of life I find none to bestow contentment. For, you are not an individual but an institution, an institution, inspiring and guiding its pupils. You are a tutor and above all a true one to befriend..

A vignnette from my personal memoirs on friend.

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