Continued from "The Surpise ... "
"I have learnt great lessons!" said Kannan in a very contemplative mood to Meena, who was sitting by his side in the same park, where he had discussed many things with his friends, decided upon many matters and engrossed himself in interesting things forgetting the time and the world on many occasions. 'This evening too is remarkable and unforgettable in my life, because I am going to evaluate or simplify The Halo complexities for the last time.'
'Is there anything left out in your analysis of your favorite Halo, Kannan? You have wonderfully finished correcting all the mistakes of the complete novel. Then you have added many interesting points as per your plan in Parts II and V of The Halo. Then through me with a good covering letter of the proprietor of The Universal Printers, You have sent your first novel for the first time to the Raj Publishers of Bombay last month end itself. Then September came. One week has gone by too. You have received a green letter of acceptance of your novel for publication from Raj Publishers yesterday. Again you want to dig some more things in The Halo? I can't quite understand your mind now.'
'By a fluke chance mainly due to you my novel is going to get into the print. But in reality as far as my knowledge goes, authors see their materials get into the print mainly due to their luck. Many have worked hard in vain in this field. But those who have come up in this field are really lucky guys. Many have lost getting encouraging opportunities in their life. Elegy Written In The Country Church Yard by Gray is a great consolation to such authors. My novel is nothing. But the mild and innocent spirit in it can't be ignored by anyone.'
'You are under rating your own talent, Kannan. Your past failures and disappointments might have created such an impression in you. The present success is an achievement not come out of fluke chance but of your own intelligent efforts. This you should not fail to recognize. This will be of great encouragement to you to produce better work of art. Well, what about the simplification of the Halo complexities you were about to talk?'
'Yes, yes'. I am coming to the point. Many matters are floating on the surface of my mind. I don't want to say all the story again. You know better now. I just want to touch upon the vital points. From where shall I touch '?'
'Please proceed further, Kannan.'
'Okay dear. I never thought that I would enter the field of the writing profession. It all started after I met and moved with my friends. You know pretty well. I never had any ambition before I met them. After my friendship had fructified with them, I got the lofty idea of becoming a journalist. I was very much hopeful that I would do something grand in this line in company with my friends. But their wishes and ideas were not similar to mine. I believed that their interests and mine were similar. Naturally I was free and frank in expressing the wishes of my heart. As time went on, I was disillusioned. The experience I had after my realization, had taught me great lessons in my life.
The great lessons are that No. 1. One should not spell-out to others what one is going to do or what one's ambition is to the persons, who have no firm purpose to adhere to; that No.2. One should perform one's duties above all dogmas; and that No.3. When the object of your goal is in the clear range, your concentrating should be directly towards it. You may ask why one should have to be so. I have reasons from my own writing experience to quote. Once you declare to others what you are going to do, then there will spring up peoples to create special difficulties and problems for you. In times of such difficulties, especially when the question of dealing some precious work concerned with life or art, it is quite common for everyone to have effable anxiety as to how to complete it. If it is left as it is that may lead you to an irreparable blemish in your career. If you have to follow any codes or ethics or dogmas due to your family set up or society, you cannot concentrate on your object. That is why you have to be above all those dogmas in order to carry out your work.
Further it is a fact that when you sincerely believe and follow the suggestions of others you are mocked at and when you do not do so, on the contrary, also you meet with the same abuse. This is the general trend of this world. Your friends are no exceptions. That is why one's concentration should be always towards one's object at any cost. Your aim may be a simple one. It may look to be an easy thing. But there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. When your concentration slacks a little, the pursuit of your object is diversified. Then it will be difficult for you to go in the actual track and achieve your goal.'
'Simply terrific, Kannan. But how to tackle the problem creators?'
'First of all you have to find out who the problem creators are. Then, Meena it is very easy to tackle them. As far as I know the problem creators are persons who stick to some silly dogmas or dogmatic persons and silent men. To put it plain, usually dogmatic persons are the silent men who do havocs without uttering a word.'
'I see. Then let me hear your words of experience.'
'Sure. You have to be careful with their dogmas. I was stupefied to note that two of our Haloens were also affected by such complexities. That was the Halo complexity I have been explaining many years to eliminate. I cannot say that I am successful. I have left it to the Fate to decide upon. I am able to prepare only the novel by title, THE HALO. Let me come to the point rather than to put you too in complexity. Yes, '. whether dogmas such as self-reliance, perfection, etc. are totally feasible or not, those people have strong affinity for them and they try and try to follow them.. If anyone questions them on such matters that man will be the obstacle, these silent men think and they try to eliminate him so that it will be easy for them, they think, to attain their favorite dogmatic goals. If one of their own close friends like me asks them why they are not looking to be happy or not interested in participating in any kind of useful conference, they say they are busy with their duties and they have got problems to be solved and advise their friend to become a responsible person or question him when he is going to be self-reliant in life or something like that. If the friend asks them further what they consider vital between the two ' friendship or duty, they say automatically that duty is most important. Why? To be particular, if I ask two silent men of my own circle, they simply tell me to read my own editorial written once upon a time in the Halo by the heading ' Aim and End. They don't say anything further and divert my attention to some other confusing thing they have come across. If I refer to the editorial - Aim And End in my mind I come to the statement that 'Duty is the best defence for anyone in life.'
Without actually revealing to me what they mean by the general word, duty they use this statement and escape from further enquiry upon this topic. I find that they are incapable of performing what they propose to me or to my friends. As a compensation for their inability, they take it as a vow not to reveal what they actually do, if they do anything remarkable at all. And whenever I meet them they show themselves to me that they are busy in minding some urgent work or other. If by some inevitable circumstances they have to be together with me or with some of my friends, they somehow pass on the time on trivial matters and prove to everyone that in spite of their neck tight works, they are somehow giving company to us in order to cheer up our mood. Who wants them to do such things? Such dutiful persons are too many in our nation today. Mainly due to this reason I would like to write a critique on duty.'
'Is it so? What are you going to say on duty?'
'What I know I am going to say on Duty. Please listen carefully. Usually out of necessity only people are doing some work. If they are well to do, they think of spending the time in whatever way they prefer. Everyone like to enjoy life like the birds, fishes or some free natural creatures do. Every human being wishes to be so. But noble, clever and high minded people like to explore life, achieve things which others cannot do and feel proud of themselves. They live by their deeds they are interested much. They are all intelligent men. Indeed, Duty may be a great defence for humble people who could not achieve anything to fulfil their desire.
What does Duty mean? People with demerits and poor knowledge from unsuitable educational background take up jobs with the view to amass material wealth, get hold of a girl for wife so that others will think good of them, roam about the beach, cinemas, etc. put their children in unsuitable schools using money, do some works upto the age of 55, celebrate their daughters marriage by offering currencies, gold ornaments, etc. to the rich mill owners or landlords, etc., spend rest of the years going to the temples and die and go away following the worn out and beaten tracks of obsolete tradition leaving their children to fight themselves endlessly by going to the Sub Courts, High Courts and Supreme Courts and destroy all the movable and immovable properties acquired by their elders in the routes followed by their elders. That are not the meanings of Duty.
Duty means not an asylum, a place to hide or an emancipated paradise to get away from the track of development of the intellect, the emotion and the spirit of human beings. Life does not mean that all have to be childish in the world till the end comes. Duty means simplifying complexities, reducing burdens, alleviating pains for oneself and for others connected to oneself by birth or education or profession or acquaintance. Duty means increasing one's merits and knowledge to project to the world a better personality; doing the profession interesting with a good ambition; having the companionship of a discerning wife as a great support, assistance and cooperation to achieve that good ambition; fostering the children with better background of knowledge and talent for withstanding the future and for comfort to the parents; and dying fulfilling the ambition in order to leave others enjoy life generation after generation remembering the immortal parents. That's it. That was the complexity affecting the Halo too. I was about to produce the novel, The Halo only. That's over now once and for all. Now it is time for them to see that they are not Robinson Crusoes or Idiots simply following the stupidity of the traditional methods and living in a fool's paradise among stupid and fools in an island of no other alternative hope. That's all.'
'Then, Kannan, what is life and how life has to be lived?'
A wonderful question. I have detailed answer for it. Do you have the patience to listen to me?'
'Indeed I have patience to listen to your view on life. Please go ahead without bothering about my interest. Your views are enlightening me. So please proceed."
'Then okay, as you please. All the great works of literature answer to your questions. But I have my own answers for your questions. Literature is the expression of life. With the light of knowledge we are simply exploring what or how life is or searching to find out the meaning for the mysteries of life. Thereby we are understanding many truths and gaining meaningful experience in life. This experience is the real guidance for our future course of action. But to arrive to this stage one should follow an aim in life. Aim is most important.'
Kannan stopped for a while his analysis and looked at Meena for any comment. She was in need of still more information.
So, Kannan continued, 'Well, you know, no man is perfect as far as mental maturity is concerned. It is commonly come across that even aged people though they are physically well shaped are not mentally well developed. The reason may be due to insufficient knowledge of the fundamental aspects of life or the surroundings or both. On the other hand, if the case of a small boy is taken it is naturally an accepted fact that he is immature. The type of aptitude noted in childhood is usually seen elaborately developed at the age of ripeness if you get favorable chance to do what idea you have in mind. If the chances are not favorable to you, you would have become a timid fellow or a vagabond. So, it becomes the duty of the parents to see and appraise carefully the nature of each and every child in order to make them proceed in the right direction so that they can discover their talent and express what their line of thought is in deeds. Not only the guidance of the parents but also the knowledge fed by the educational institutions develops the mind of the youth. Therefore the fixation of aim is possible only when the education continues to give adequate back ground for anyone to think, analyze and understand independently about any issue concerned with one's personal problems, surroundings, national problems and everything one has to set right in life."
He stopped again his talk. He thought for a while. Meena did not speak anything. She was interested in listening to the expression of his views rather than to ask anything in particular. So the talk of Kannan on the same matter again started.
'Whatever be the thing, in general, mind is the cause for all the good or bad activities of mankind. Leaders like Napoleon, Hitler, Lenin and Gandhi became great in their own way because of the aim they had formulated in their mind. There was no conflict of thoughts. All thoughts were converged to the particular aim they had in their mind. That was why they could effect so much work in so short a period. Therefore your mind should be always in the direction of the cause for which your activities are started. There may be many follies and pit falls, yet the resolution of your mind should not be let loose, because that is the only way be which achievements could successfully be established. Big crises are caused by silly and petty matters. Human beings are just a bundle of emotions. When you are emotionally touched by an act, you incur displeasure to others and others react to you in their own way just like a speck of a spark which when flickers over a bal of wool, a great blaze of fire sweeps over the whole area. Enmity spoils your progress and healthy attitude of mind. They say acts reveal the true nature of a person. Hence it is better you think well before you do anything.'
As before he made a pause and continued his analysis. 'But, for everything interest is needed. Your interest is proportional to the intensity of your desire. Without desire you can do nothing in this world. Your desire to achieve something better is the root cause which kindles the curiosity of your mind. For, desire is the source of any sort of activity whether it is violent or non-violent. When opportunity joins hand with desire, your thought process develops without a break and you are able to achieve many things in the world. In such a situation there won't be much difference between interest and inspiration. When you undergo such a phase of life, you can be rest assured that the wheel of fortune is turning towards you.'
'Also, in reality, the progress of everyone is chained to one's own obligation, you see. It has to be said that obligation fixes or changes the destiny of man. Though you have talent, you cannot come up in life, unless you get adequate opportunity to show your skill in action. If you fulfill your talent alone at the expense of your obligation, you will be considered to be a selfish or self-interested fellow. That is the case with many people. But on the contrary, if you sincerely oblige to your obligation and show your talent in the field you are best at in the available time at hand, you will be considered to be a great person.
'In brief, the persons who are capable of achieving great things are rare in the world. Perfection in life can be achieved only by a handful of persons, who may be called by different titles such as wise, noble, sagacious, genius, etc. From histories, autobiographies, and biographies, you can learn how they lived their life. Their activities show that it is not how life is utilized that is important but how life is lived that counts much, because destiny never sees whether you are high or low and whether you have achieved what you thought or are going to achieve what you think. So, you need not have to build castles in the air and put the foundation below them. It is good of you if you desire to achieve what you deserve.'
Kannan after finishing his talk remained in silence. Meena did not know what she had to say or what to talk next.
'Finally I also agree, 'said Kannan as if he had come to his senses, after a sort of deep meditation, 'that literature is he criticism of life. For some life is romantic, because they are imaginative and sentimental in approach to life problems. By being so they try to overcome the rigors of poverty. Some indulge in satirical writing because they have suffered much and they want the society to be changed. Some search nature to cure the malaise of society. They are contemplative and intellectual. They regain life spirit i.e, interest of living through spiritual communion with nature outside their self. So, I have to say that people lead three types of life according to their social set up. The three types of life are (1) emotional or sentimental life, (2) intellectual life and (3) spiritual life. Then there is a fourth way of living, which is called simple life. Facts are very important for the fourth one. This is the best way to over come miseries, despairs and so on. That is my full answer for your question on life. How is my analysis? Is it a worthy one?'
Meena said, 'Your modern views on life are simply superb. Will you write articles on Duty and on life basing what you have said in your speech now?'
'Sure, it can be done. Okay, when can we have our marriage?'
"It has to be decided by you.'
'I think we can have our marriage in the New Year Day. Only a few months are there. In the meantime, we can purchase our dresses, contact all of our relatives, print invitation cards and carry out all the works in the best possible way.'
"Yes, I also like your plan regarding the preparations we have to make before our marriage. As far as your profession is concerned, what is your future course of action?"
'Well, of the forms of literature, novel plays prominent part. It is a best form of writing and the reception to it will increase more and more from the reading public than it is at present. Novel allows anyone to express oneself as freely as possible. In the novel the talents of a poet, dramatist, essayist and journalist can be combined. It is possible only in this form more beautifully than in other forms of literature. So, I can say that the success of a writer depends upon the choice of the form of art he does intelligently. In the present age of Cinemas and Televisions, novel has still got an enormous scope. So, I think and desire it is better to go on writing novels with life problems ' old and new afresh, infer what the actual matter is and solve it as best as I can than poems which cannot be read by many and understood in the proper sense or essays, which is monotonous and boring with dry facts. What do you say?'
'You have taken a wise decision. I am sure you will become a famous figure in this field.'
Thank you, Okay, what have we got to do next?'
'You have got a favorable response from Raj Publishers of Bombay. What are you going to do next?'
'Yes, Meena. I have not forgotten that; I am coming to that matter. You see, Raj Publishers have completed twenty five years of service in this line. They have invited me also to attend to a function on the 16th instant. They have not only selected my novel, but also invited me for this memorable function. They have asked me in this letter to drop them a letter of confirmation if I am going to attend the ensuing function in Bombay. I must attend this function and see my publishers. I have written a letter of acceptance of their formal invitation. I have the letter in my hand now. After leaving you in your apartment, I am going to post this letter. I think we can make a move.'
'Yes, we can go. You have to post your letter without fail before it becomes late. Come on let us hurry up then.'
They got up from the grass and left the park for Meena's apartment. No sooner had they reached the room, Kannan took leave of her and hurried towards the post office.
There was too much rush that day near the entrance gate of the Post Office. There was too much demand for Inland Letters and cards. The line of people standing near the stamp counter was too much. Kannan had already affixed the required stamp on the envelope addressed to the Raj Publishers, Bombay.
He hurried to the Post Box kept near the Office room. He put the envelope inside the Post Box. Afterwards only he was able to see his watch. It was 8.16 p.m. He thought his letter would not be cleared that night. Yet he wanted to make sure of himself. He read the instruction slip around the Post Box. It was written as NEXT CLEARANCE AT 8.30 p.m.!
The Halo Dreams:
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