Potatoes and Petrol


Deeply personal tragedies do not entitle you to concessions in the larger world.

Your father might be lying dead. You might have just survived a blast. Your son might have been killed at the border guarding the frontiers of the Motherland. But the world neither softens nor opens up for you.

Potatoes costs the same, as does petrol, as it does for anyone else on the street. That is how unrelenting the markets are. If the larger world can sense opportunity in your helplessness, it might even harden its stance. Costs might go up citing supply and demand. Profit can justify any perfidy.


Yet the cruelties of the larger world are incapable of hurting you. Pain is the preserve of the world we interact with. It is only those in whom we invest time and emotions that are capable of scalding us. Our deeply personal tragedies might affect them suitably. Potatoes shall still cost the same, but the payment might be deferred. You might hope for more sympathetic treatment. Words might be softer, glances might be kinder. You might not get fleeced but hearts and treasures are not going to open up either. Although you expect they should. Friends and relations would keep the appearances.

The interactive world is an artificial sphere of give and take. In this world of pretence, we ask and tell, concoct alibis, excuses and stories. The world of communication cannot move beyond gestures. It is only possible to search for one’s own soul within himself. Trying to locate the truth of existence in relationships is a charade, a pointless exercise designed to evade or postpone the terror of solitude.


To sum up, while an individual can only do commerce with the larger world, his interactive world is only capable of causing him pain. For bliss, one has to look inwards. It is in their inner worlds that humans dwell in most of the time.

Creation springs from inside us and flows into the larger world. Recognition and appreciation of beauty happens in the inner world. A man’s self-worth emanates from within himself. Realization of self is niravana, which Bodhisattvas attain during their lifetimes. Even sensual joys lift the mood within. A good deed is conceived in the mind before it is performed. A inner world is the whole truth even as the larger world is illusory. The transient interactive world can be transformed into heaven or hell with this knowledge.

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