I am supposed to tell you this

  • Wing Commander Abhinandan writes his mind and heart out for public at large

I, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, an officer of Indian Air force, like many others on both sides of the divide, am a man who followed orders sans question and out of loyalty to my fellow soldiers and duty towards my land.

Being son of the soil, I did what I signed up for. And as they say, when you do what you are expected to do you win some, you lose some, you kick some and you get roughed up on rare occasions. It is all part of a soldier’s life.

And in times where lunacy is the norm, jingoism the only rational, fear the only state of mind and hatred of the ‘other’ the only emotion, what you get are countries called Pakistan and India.

Also, in such strange, strange times who needs to tell the truth? Just tell people what they desperately want to hear. And they’ll love and revere you.

I used to think in my silent hours that what we aspire to become, as an individual or as a nation, is based either on the dreams we believe in or delusions we cherish. Chase your dreams; either you’ll succeed or you’ll fail. If you aim to realise your delusions (read false beliefs and convictions) chances are you’ll ultimately reduce yourself to standing object of derision and ridicule.

Well, it seems the latter has happened of late to us.

Folks of my country thought they were chasing the dreams of Gandhian and Nehruvian variety, while in reality they were toiling under the pall of Modi-esque delusions.

India, read Vladimir and Pakistan, read Estragon have been falling for false Godots over and over again while they fight each other and punish each other for no sin than that they are the midnight’s children

Then there are those who are in the business of ‘snap’ predictions and final verdicts on the life and times of Pakistan and India. Every night, every morning around the clock, on countless news channels an entire army of analysts, pundits, experts and sages reduced the escalation between two countries to jabberwocky and utter nonsense. Every moment they sent both countries to hell. And repeated it over and over again. Them well-intentioned seers and dolled up sibyls presage the fall and rise and perdition in the fortunes and misfortunes of us all.

Amidst this we never bothered to catch our breath and ask one simple question: What is it that makes us tumble every time? Why we make use of emotions where reason and rational are required? Why we bound things together that don’t belong together? Namely peace and domination. What solace we draw from assurances of hindsight? Why we make tall claims on dunes and drudgery? And lastly why we refuse to see things for what they are?

I am no Jonathan Livingston Seagull, folks, but I know that our reluctance to free ourselves from the uncomfortable bleak reality of present will make us suffer more deeply. Past is a foreign country, people did things differently there. Yet we refuse to learn. So we are doomed to repeat.

Pakistan and India await their Godot

Beckett’s play ‘Waiting for Godot’ depicts the meaninglessness and ennui that both Pakistan and India suffer from. In Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, two boredom incarnate characters Vladimir and Estragon are depicted who wait for an entity named Godot. Master Godot, however, has other plans and is not zealous enough to grace the duo a visit. Godot, who never shows up during the entire play, perpetuates hope in futility-filled, dull lives of Vladimir and Estragon and they keep on living and longing for him as they believe he’ll save them by offering something that’ll end the circle they are condemned to.

Both Estragon and Vladimir believe that Godot will sort their existences out, not in bits and pieces, but in entirety. In a nutshell, Vladimir and Estragon thought that Godot-The Wise will unknot all that is twisted and tangled in their lives. The curtain falls. Godot is nowhere to be seen.

India, read Vladimir and Pakistan, read Estragon have been falling for false Godots over and over again while they fight each other and punish each other for no sin than that they are the midnight’s children.

Farewell, Folks and thanks for the tea and hospitality.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Over and Out.