July 24, 2008
Ever had the feeling that no matter what you do, you are going to be destroyed? Has your mind ever wandered in the realms of the state where victory or defeat, achievement or failure, cease to matter? Have you ever been damned? I feel I am.
Very funny, this damned feeling, you know. It creeps up on you surreptitiously, ever silent, though you have a hint it’s lurking in the background. And before you know it, it’s out in the open. It’s the feeling a murderer has when he kills for the first time, a hitman has when he pulls the trigger at his first victim, the hangman has when he sends the first of his charges to death or freedom, your choice. It is the feeling that says, no matter what I do hence, to absolve myself of my sins, to undo what I may have done or undone, I’m damned. There is no turning back, there is no running away. You’ve got to face it. You are damned.
The “damned” state is not just confined to the anti-social elements. In fact, every poet worth his salt is a damned soul. Peer closely into his soul and you’ll find that it is that of a man who doesn’t care, who doesn’t bother. Who knows that the Sword of Damocles hangs above his head, and he can do nothing about it. He eats the feeling, drinks it to its health, and goes to sleep with it. Maybe he can prevent it, or stop it, but he knows that it’d serve no purpose. It is the same feeling that a man has when he falls in love with a courtesan. He knows he can’t have her for his own, because she is for all. He knows that winning her favors is not a big challenge, yet winning her heart is perhaps next to impossible. He knows there is no hope for this love of his, but he can’t do anything about it. He can maybe stop loving her, but that won’t change anything. He is damned. That love will in the end destroy him. But he is past caring. He doesn’t give a damn.
The one who knows too much is damned. The knowledge of everything, or maybe everything about something weighs him out. Whenever he sees others in the same situation or circumstance, he fears for them. For the others do not know what he knows. But he knows. And he can do nothing about it. He can’t lose that knowledge. He can’t unlearn it. He is damned.
Mirza Ghalib was a damned soul. That poetry of his came out from the depths of his tormented, damned soul. The character Max Payne in the game Max Payne is a damned soul. Both the characters, Harry Potter and Voldemort, in the Harry Potter series, are damned souls – the former, no matter what he does, will have to live in the shadow of his enemy, seeking revenge, while the latter is damned in his knowledge. Every soulful writer, musician, artist, poet is a damned soul. Look around, and maybe you’ll find many damned souls. They are not to be confused with damaged souls, or pitiful souls. In fact, they are the farthest from being damaged, and the least in need of pity. They are strong characters, who can weigh any situation, read through any person, toy with any idea, dissect any object, without prejudice, without feeling, without emotion. Because they have been robbed of it. Nothing fazes them. The advertising industry has always been on the lookout to depict the man who is not fazed by anything, who stands tall among difficulties, who is cool. But they are looking in the wrong places. Silent aggression and killer looks do not a damned soul make. In fact, some of them are the most loquacious, most humorous, most endearing people you’ll ever find.
Only a strong force can make you damned. Love, Revenge, Anger, Passion – any one of these is enough to send your soul to a place from where it’ll never come back. And you’ll like it. And you’ll live with it. And you’ll live life to the fullest with it.
I’m damned. I know I can stop it, but maybe I don’t want to. Or maybe I can’t stop it. It’s beyond me. But, do not venture into damned territories, if you can avoid it. It is not a state one would recommend if you’ve only one life to live.
That’s all. And this is not my Thursday Night Show. This is just one of my ramblings. There’ll be no Thursday Night tonight. I gotta go find my soul, my damned soul.