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Archive for April, 2009

WHY CASABLANCA, THE MOVIE, IS THE BEST?


To tell a story is difficult, but to present a screen version of a story is even more difficult. The difficulty is compounded when the backdrop is the middle of a world war- as the viewers of today cannot be expected to be acquainted with the harsh realities which would have been easily identified with by that generation, but not today’s. Yet CASABLANCA, despite belonging to a peculiar period, brings out the human predicament. An irreconcilable predicament and that predicament is brought out unobtrusively, which appeals to a thinking person’s sub-conscious. The apparent one liners and the style are there to catch the fancy of  the movie watchers who go for leisure or mere entertainment.

Let us get to the movie structure. There was a man who finds a woman. The MAN finds a WOMAN. Each had found what each had been subconsciously seeking. They separate. The MAN is unaware of the reasons as to why the WOMAN did not turn up for the tryst. The tryst was to take them out of the City, alas, the Woman does not turn up!

Next we find the man running a salon in an uncommon nook of  the Dark Continent. And successfully at that, and he is showing traces of misogyny. The Woman turns up at that salon, with another man. They bump into each other. There is no doubt that Humphrey Bogart is the MAN of the two, but the other man is a LEADER, a leader with a CAUSE. The woman is the TROPHY that is swaying between the MAN on one side and the LEADER OF MEN on the other side.

Each has his/her  own reasons, but the movie is no place to furnish reasons. The reasons are never scientific, and one can never know if the reasons are POST FACTO JUSTIFICATIONS or PRE FACTO OSTENSIBLE REASONS! Ingrid had mistakenly believed her husband- the LEADER OF MEN,to be dead. No one gets legal and asks if  seven years had lapsed since he was heard of (according to the Indian Laws, that is Civil Death), and if Justice Krishna Iyer had been given the case, he would have decided that the WOMAN (Ingrid) was all HUMPHREY’S, as he would have applied the Islamic Laws and said that since as a husband Laszlo did not maintain her for two years, Ingrid would be entitled to a divorce (ref: Yousuf Rowther v. Sowramma- Kerala High Court)!!! She finds him, rather she is found by Victor Laszlo, and Ingrid decides to ditch the rendezvous. Some justification.

But of all the GIN JOINTS, INGRID TURNS UP AT RICK’S. She promptly falls into the karms of the MAN, more so when she discovers that Rick, is the only man who could ensure a passage to the US, either with  Victor or Rick. (Look at the name VICTOR! VICTORY OVER RICK??)

The beauty of the structure is that there is a MAN, a WOMAN and a LEADER. The MAN can make the WOMAN feel like a WOMAN- a capacity to make the person  realize her intrinsic worth. The LEADER who shows the WOMAN that he has discovered a CAUSE that is dearer than the WOMAN, and therefore willing to even DIE FOR THE CAUSE. The trophy is the shining INGRID (Ilsa in the Movie). She has to decide whether she is going to become a PERFECT WOMAN or a PERFECT FOLLOWER & CONFIDANTE of the LEADER. She sways to the   side of the MAN, but the end is totally entrusted to the MAN himseelf.

The MAN has to redeem the WOMAN or let her go with the LEADER, he had planned to redeem her like Boaz from the kinsman, but whether the redemption is going to RESTORE THE PRISTINE LOVE THAT HE FELT FOR HER, is the issue. Is Rick going to feel that he was merely reclaiming the left overs of a long lost ROMANCE (after all they have Paris and why contaminate it with Laszlo at  the background?)?

ONLY RICK COULD TELL. AND RICK DOESN’T(like any self-respecting MAN?)!!

The movie is the best as it amalgamates human predicament with the vicissitudes of  Fate and the human perceptions that arise therefrom.

WATCH AND WONDER.

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CASABLANCA


The movie CASABLANCA is the only renowned movie that I know of, which takes the name of a Town for its title and says very less about the Town itself but a lot of what the town came to because of special situation which prevailed during the II world war.

The storyline revolves around the Hero Rick Blaine @ Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart. He is running a salon in the busiest part of the town under the name of RICK’S. Gambling, drinking, wheeling dealing, music, smoking, net-working and all kinds of activities are going on. The person who controls the whole show at Rick’s is Humphrey Bogart- with his notorious reputation for keeping business discrete from his other activities -of being an ardent seducer, heavy smoker and drinker.

He knows his business and also like any sensible business man realizes that the support of the bureaucrat was essential for his activities. He had been befriended by the corrupt Prefect of the Police of the area, who is portrayed as a slime-ball supreme. The Police Prefect gets to socialize at the Rick’s and makes it a happy hunting ground for picking up babes in distress, free entertainment and also gleaning intelligence, so necessary in his line of duty.

The town is infested with people running away from the war ravaged Europe to the USA. All the denizens are waiting for their VISAs, with the hope that they would be granted one someday, and thereafter, fly off to their land of Liberty and Dreams. This wait is expensive at Casablanca & the prices depend on something or the other (the cloth material seller brings down the rate of the cloth to less than one tenth of his original quote, when he finds that Ingrid is a friend of Bogart- the stages in which he makes the climb down and the reasons given by the seller are hilarious).

Casablanca is a town in the French Morocco, which is indirectly under the occupation of Germany and ruled by the VICHY GOVERNMENT  and therefore there is a police that is ambivalent. No one is sure of anything, and each one is coping with the present making his own ad hoc remedies with the HOPE OF FLIGHT TO THE USA in the background.In this sordid background, Casablanca is a place that none wants to stay, yet none can get to the dreams of the USA without going thru it. One may never get to the USA, yet everyone is generating enough hope to sustain his effort of obtaining the VISA by selling their valuables and at times doing a lil wheeling dealing on the sides.

In this town, our hero had established his business. A business that by the very nature of the location and the sudden transformation of Casablanca,because of the war as the safest transit point, cannot last beyond the WAR. That is the back drop. The future of the Town depends on the WAR. Yet Rick Blaine is thriving well, as he is least judgmental of anything that is going on there, but shrew enough not to let go of any windfall that might be merely passing by (the VISA hid by him ). He has a devoted bunch of employees including SAM, who is the Pianist cum Vocalist at the bar, who wouldn’t desert him for a better price or any calamity.

Bogart is shown as a dour, brooding person, yet in command of the situation and acutely aware of the shifting surroundings and safeguarding his business interests zealously and getting things done in time. It is his manner of treating women that adds punch to the movie. His girl friend in a distraught moment asks him, ” where were u last night?” and without a flitting semblance of guilt replies, ” It was too far in the past, i don’t remember.” The relentless woman asks, “What are u doing tonight?”, and without turning to her side answers, “It is too much in the future, I don’t make plans that far.” In any case, the brusque nonchalant manner in which he makes those repartee is a delight to watch.

The movie’s greatness lies in no less measure to the rendition of the heroine Ilsa Lund by Ingrid Bergman. Her grace and the way she sensitively handles this brooding brute is a classic. Towards the end one is left wondering if she deployed her feminine charms to break down the WILL of Rick and get off to the USA with Victor Lazslo; or Rick was just letting go of what was not his only!! The end is open ended, just as the movie began. It is a HUMAN CONDITION with no solution offered or no desired end achieved. Coincidences are questioned- OF ALL THE GIN JOINTS IN THE WORLD SHE HAD TO COME TO MINE (Bogart on Ingrid’s arrival at RICK’S) !! No pleasant coincidences- all reflecting the mood of the war in 1942!!!

If anyone wants to view a Classic English movie that is sure to leave an indelible mark in his soul, it is this, it is this & it is this. CASABLANCA. You are in all probability gonna rewind the movie for the crisp one liners and the casual ease with which dialogues are delivered.

By the way, I learnt that the famous one liner was not PLAY IT AGAIN SAM, but PLAY IT ONE TIME SAM, FOR OLD TIME’S SAKE.

When heroes were MEN, and MEN were chivalrous, CASABLANCA was made, but Times they are a’ changin’!!!

Wanna watch a clipping? here’s the link:

(PLEASE BUY AN ORIGINAL DVD/VCD AND WATCH IT IN PEACE.)

PEARL DIVER- III


After the huge homily from Diaz, Fernandez was totally confused. He was a stripling of just 16 years and had spent his years NOT getting into concepts but getting a first hand FEEL of experiences possible thru his senses. So Diaz’ use of words such as INTENTION, AWARENESS, RESIST did not give clarity to his thoughts.

Yet Fernandez was attentive to whatever Diaz was saying. He was possessed with an ambition to excel. Excel in the profession of diving for oysters, that consuming passion in a couple of days had blinded him to most of the distractions that haunt sixteen year-olds. In his free time he used to go to the nearby rock abutting the beach and keep watching the waves, as his sub-conscious mind was saturating itself with ideas on diving.

Diaz had recognized that his pep talk was not getting the receptivity for lack of conceptual understanding and therefore decided to talk on things REAL. Real in the sense, that which is palpable to the senses.

The next day afternoon, as agreed, both were off to the rock in the ocean where the previous day the test of endurance was conducted on Fernandez by Diaz. Fernandez was sitting in a relaxed manner, yet respectful of Diaz’ presence.

Diaz asked Fernandez, ” You want to get the GREAT PEARL, but do you know why there are some oysters with Pearls and mostly without?”

Upon the silence of Fernandez, Diaz continued :  ” When  an irritating grain of sand  gets stuck between  the shell of the  oyster and the mantle (just  take it as the soft body of the mollusk) the  oyster secretes a  thing called the NACRE. This nacre surrounds the  irritating grain  and  provides  a coating as a protection to the soft and tender tissues of oyster. It does not coat that grain of sand once and leave it, but keeps coating it with the secretion called Nacre on a regular basis. It is this multi coating that gains in size over a few years and becomes a pearl.”

Fernandez was quite amazed that the pearl was nothing but an irritant that the oyster copes with through glossing. He was of the opinion that the Pearls were nothing but productions by oysters to establish their superiority over the non-pearl oysters. Now, his notions were severely challenged. It was the product of its  defect that the oyster was incapable of ejecting from its body at the first instance and  concealing it for years.

Diaz broke in, ” The oysters that were strong enough to eject the grains of sand or prevent the grain of sand from getting between the shell and the mantle DO NOT PRODUCE PEARLS. It is the ones which were incapable or careless that allowed the grain to get  that far which MAY produce pearls. But all the oysters that let the sand that far did not produce pearls either. There are many oysters which have grains between their shells and their mantles, yet have been harvested and found NOT to contain  Pearl.

It is the oyster which had turned its ADVERSITY into a pleasant ACTIVITY that produced PEARLS. The oyster has to coat that grain of sand with Nacre and has to daily coat the irritant with the nacre and thus the PEARL grows. The pearl is considered of value by the human beings not merely because of  the LUSTRE, but the IDEA that a NATURAL PEARL is distinguishable from the cultured ones and that the natural ones are RARE.

The oyster which had turned its difficulty into an activity over a long period, enjoys the smooth feel of the pearl. It feels no more of the irritation on its soft flesh. The pearl is the symbol of its overcoming its ADVERSITY with hopeful ACTIVITY.”

This interpretation of the Pearl dumbfounded Fernandez. He was so far seeing the Pearl as a commodity that he ought to find to escape poverty and lead a comfortable life. He was wondering if he should believe the story given out by Diaz.

The day was a waste, nothing was done. While Diaz was sitting on the rock, Fernandez was floating around in the waters and diving and coming up at intervals, but with no purpose or challenge. Diaz had drifted into his metaphysical thoughts. Both swam and walked back with silence for company. Fernandez was still disappointed- PEARL:mere saliva on a grain of sand!!
(to be continued….)

MOBILE RACKETEERS & TELE RACKETEERS!


HUTCH previously and VODAFONE after the red avatar, had sent a TM (Tele Marketing) sms to me on my mobile.

The gist of the sms was that if i wanted to know the gender of the child that i could possibly have with my spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/live-in etc. etc. , i should sms my name, my spouse’ name and send an sms to the number designated by the mobile operator. The charges would be Rs.3 per sms.

It is a known fact that the Mobile operators have various wings to enhance their revenues.  Most of those  are companies set up at the behest  of these mobile operators  who provide data, personnel who interpret the data to  create applications  to a defined market,  joke writers,  news purveyors,  cricket score  keepers and the list is endless. Based on these inputs these mobile companies keep sending these smses to generate more mobile activity and thereby attempt to enhance their revenues. A company that is judged on a quarter to quarter basis has to show growth failing which, the prestige of the company suffers (pl. refer to SATYAM’S financial manoeuvres to show inflated results).

With all these back room manoeuvres, have risen a breed of boys and girls who have become copy-writers of not intimating the public of a product or service, but inciting the unwanted greed of the mobile using public. The above mentioned sms is one good specimen to exemplify the same.

In the cited sms, even couples contemplating marriage and consequently children, could use the service to find out if they as a couple are going to produce children of the gender of their choice. Amniocentesis as a mode of ascertaining the gender of the child, after pregnancy, is a crime in most of the states and Laws are in place for restraining, if not abolishing such attempts.

With the mobile companies making such offers, there is no need for AMNIOCENTESIS. Straight send an sms  to VODAFONE and u get the gender of the child/ children a couple are gonna produce. What guarantee is there that the PREDICTORS of VODAFONE are going to get it RIGHT? The probability is 0.5, as any half baked fool would be able to arrive at without having to use his brains, if any. It is merely a toss off between a girl or a boy. But what are the repercussions?

There are many games making their rounds in the internet, which neither sharpen your skills nor make you knowlegeable. They are there because there are lots and lots of idle people who want to kill time in some activity. Likewise, if one is interested in playing games, one can write even one’s friends’ names and after pairing them with anyone see the gender of the child that they could produce. It could be taken to a different level- one could pair anyone with anyone and get the results of their produce!!

The mobile companies are not bound by the advice they tender. None can turn up and show the result predicted through VODAFONE and say that based on the prediction, they formed a union and the child of their union has turned out to be of the gender other than the one predicted, thereby causing severe mental trauma.

The ADVICE/PREDICTION is free, ABSOLUTELY FREE. The sms came from a TELE MARKETEER (better to call them TELE RACKETEER!) and the mobile operator is a distinct entity from the Tele Marketeer and therefore not liable. The mobile operator merely collected the charges of Rs.3, as per the agreement between the Tele Racketeer and the Mobile Racketeer. The user of the network was under a notice that the sms would be charged at Rs. 3 per sms. So, in all, after deduction of taxes due to the governments, the TELE RACKETEERS and the MOBILE RACKETEERS split up the profits and laugh all the way to the bank, having befooled the aam aadmi in retail. Only Rs.3, but when u succeed in fooling 50,000 mobile users per day, it is substantial in the long run.

There should be a regulation in place to rein in such trickery by the TELE RACKETEERS and the MOBILE RACKETEERS, failing which innocent boys, girls and the illiterate masses of this country would be washed away of their meager earnings,  in retail racketeering, resorted to by these unscrupulous RACKETEERS – all done in the name of business.

PEARL DIVER-II


So Fernandez had resolved to become a Professional pearl diver.

He went back to his sleeping shack , spread out the Palmyra mat and with his bent right hand for a pillow & lay down. His head started feeling different, it was no more about getting up early, attending Diaz’ classes, going off to play with the waves, eating out in the shacks, stealing fish while assisting the other fishermen  draw their draught from the sea and such mundane trivialities. It was set in motion on a direction that Fernandez had hitherto not imagined. He wanted to learn the art of fetching as many oysters as possible to the shore and prise each open with the expectation that that oyster contained the GREAT PEARL.

He wanted to meet Diaz and ask him if  he could still continue with the diving classes, even though he had decided to go free-lancing. Fernandez met Diaz and asked him his doubt, Diaz advised that even if the Merchants were not likely to object if he left at a later stage, there was no guarantee that they might not bad mouth him later, if he became successful, stating that Fernandez owed his skills to the school of the Merchants. Diaz gave an alternative, I’ll teach you all the skills that i had learnt from the ocean and you in return, when u get the GREAT PEARL give me my fee for the private tuition that i give you.

Fernandez was agreeable to the proposal. In fact, he was excited that his mentor reposed so much faith on him getting the GREAT PEARL. His timings were shifted from the early mornings to about 3 in the afternoon.

The master and the pupil went towards the sea and as they were walking, Diaz told Fernandez IN PEARL HUNTING, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING  TO KNOW IS WHEN TO START THE JOURNEY BACK  TO THE SURFACE.

THERE IS A LIMIT TO EVERYTHING, THAT LIMIT COULD BE PUSHED THROUGH ACTION, INCREMENTALLY- BUT NEVER AS A LEAP.

FURTHER, THE LIMIT OF ONE’S LIMITATION IS TO BE CALIBRATED MENTALLY AND AT LEAST TEN SECONDS BEFORE ONE REACHES ONE’S LIMIT ONE HAS TO START THE ASCENT. IT IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TIMING TO JUDGE ONE’S LIMITS AND START FOR THE SURFACE THAT DISTINGUISHES A MAESTRO FROM A MERE ARTISAN.

Fernandez was all ears, but the profundity of the statements of a veteran is seldom understood in the context to which it relates. Fernandez was still subconsciously dreaming of the oyster containing the GREAT PEARL on the very first batch of pickings. Diaz had gone thru all this himself and was trying to transmit his conceptual understanding into bits of sensual activity. He was acutely aware that without ACTIVITY there was no TIME and without AWARENESS there was no CREATIVITY.

To shock Fernandez into total concentration Diaz said THERE ARE MANY WHO HAD TAKEN IN A LUNGFUL OF SALINE WATER AND HAD ALMOST BREATHED THEIR LAST.

DEATH COMES CALLING SOONER ON A MAN WHO IS AMBITIOUS BUT INCAPABLE, THAN TO A MAN WHO MAKES AN ATTEMPT ON HIS OWN LIFE.

AS ANY WORTHWHILE AMBITION IS NOTHING BUT THE UNRAVELING OF A TREASURE THAT THE COSMIC FORCES YIELD ONLY AFTER A THRESHOLD OF ACTIVITY. THIS THRESHOLD OF ACTIVITY HAS TO BE ATTAINED THROUGH RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF THAT ACTIVITY EMBARKED UPON.

Fernandez understood the first lesson of LIFE- to be ALIVE. Not merely to be alive, but to indulge in an ACTIVITY with total AWARENESS. Awareness of one’s LIMITATIONS, yet to DO that which one’s deeper self is impelling one to do.

Off they swam to an area well known to Diaz as a place deep enough but with a rock abutting the deep- that one could feel one’s way up as well as down. Fernandez was asked to get as deep as possible and get back without attempting to stay at any place. That is keep getting yourself down and when u know that u have just enough breath to get back, start moving up. Diaz’ orders were  heard and Fernandez, to impress Diaz pushed himself down as quicly and furiously as possible to get as deep as possible. After about 90 seconds Fernandez resurfaced and as he emerged he let out his breath and started panting. He drew to the side of the rock and clung on to it while still drawing breaths with his mouth opening in fervid rapidity. Diaz watched it with  stoic silence, but made it known to Fernandez that he was watching him. After the stabilizing of Fer’s breath, Diaz asked if being under water for a mere 1 1/2 minute would be sufficient to get hold of at least a dozen oysters? Fer was ashamed. He said he would try to stay longer.

Diaz called him up on the rock and said: DO NOT HAVE YOUR OBJECTIVE TO BE TO STAY LONG UNDERWATER. YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO GET AS MANY OYSTERS AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WITH EACH EXTRA PICKING OF AN OYSTER FROM THE REEF, YOUR CHANCES OF FINDING THE GREAT PEARL INCREASES BY ONE.

IF U SHOW YOUR INTENTION TO THE SEA, IT WILL TIRE YOU OUT WITH ITS DIFFICULTIES, LEARN TO ENJOY THE OCEAN AND BECOME A PART OF IT SO THAT THE WATER DOES NOT SEE YOU AS A FOREIGN BODY AND RESIST.

THE SEA SHOULD SEE U AS ANOTHER CREATURE WHOSE MEDIUM IS THE SEA. ENJOY YOUR SWIM, STAY UNDERWATER FOR THE JOY OF EXPLORING THE OCEAN FLOOR, CREATE AWARENESS WITHOUT THE INTENTION TO EXPLOIT THE SEA AND THE SEA WOULD BECOME YOUR FRIEND AND WILL RESIST U LESS.

(TO BE CONTINUED…..)

NATIONALISM OF NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES!!!


An accredited journalist Jarnail Singh half seriously lobs a sports shoe on the Home Minister of India, while on a press conference. The throw did not have the intensity or the speed or the marksmanship of Zaidi, who in similar circumstances flung a shoe at President Bush (as he then was) which, had it not been for the sharp reflexes of the Junior Bush, could have been all over Bush’ face. But this lob was an underarm apology for a throw, however a couple of guys whisked Jarnail Singh away. Jarnail Singh was furious, as he felt that the minister was not being forthright with his answer and taking protection under the legalities.

The Anti-Sikh riots in Delhi is still being probed by the prosecuting agencies and also the Nanavati Commission. The clean chit given by the Prosecuting agency is being faulted by the Sikhs, as the clean chit for Jagdish Tytler had come about at a time when he is contesting for elections. The political party, that calls itself NATIONAL ( almost making it seem that the Federal Parties are all Anti-National!!) quickly drops the candidature of Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler from its party’s list of competeing candidates from Delhi state. One has to see the record created by Sajjan Kumar in the Lok Sabha elections, where he had been returned to the LOK SABHA with HUGEST MARGIN EVER.

This means that a person like Sajjan Kumar is liked by the constituents of the OUTER DELHI constituency. Then why should his candidature be withdrawn merely because of the SENTIMENTS that have erupted because of the shoe-throwing of a journalist?

Further, if as Chidambaram states that the Prosecuting Agency had filed a Closure Report before the competent court, and that it was for the court to decide; then it is not for the political party to buckle to such sentiments.

The Spokesperson of the Prosecuting Agency has not met the media to stand by the Report- rightly so, as that would tantamount to putting pressure on the judiciary, while the matter is still pending before it.

The epicentre of the problem is not in Delhi, but in the 13 MP seats of Punjab, 10 of Haryana and a few in the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and HP. So the calculation for the NATIONAL PARTY is whether to get the 2 MP seats of Tytler and Sajjan Kumar and lose badly in the rest 25-28 seats because  the other National Party might provoke the wounded pride of the Sikhs  further by highlighting how insensitive the ruling National Party is!! Therefore deny them the tickets. The electorate in Delhi are CHEATED. Since it is Delhi, it is tolerable, as Delhi is our Capital, cosmopolitan and every Indian has a positive right to be in Delhi- by virtue of it being the political & judicial capital of India. Consequently, any repercussion anywhere in India would have to be reflected in Delhi too.

But in the other States when the so called National Parties take such decisions, the local politicians when confronted by the local electorate are speechless, thereby losing local support and the electorate come to a REASONED conclusion that the so called National Parties are apt to sacrifice their interests when it concerns the Party’s overall seats vis-a-vis the local sentiments and issues.

IT is time that the NATIONAL PARTIES realized that if they resort to such treacherous balancing, they are likely to be reduced to NATIONAL PARTIES with thin presence in the states. The local leaders have to represent the legitimate interests of the local issues and the National leaders have to blend all the local flavours- within the constitutional limits, to produce a PAN INDIAN FLAVOUR.

THE PEARL DIVER.


In the Gulf of Mannar, between Ceylon and India lay a stretch of  shallow seabed, where the divers were engaged by wealthy merchants, of yore, to go diving for fetching oysters. The oysters that contained a quality pearl was rare. But like all great enterprise, wealth lay in the rarity of the item, and therefore the merchants had opened a gurukul type of DIVING SCHOOL in the vicinity, where an old diver was engaged to identify young talent and teach them the art of pearl diving.

The Old Diver had enlisted many of the fishermen boys in his school. He used to take them every morning,before sunrise, to the oyster infested areas of the sea and regale to them the stories of how wealthy one could become, if one relentlessly worked hard in Pearl diving. After being inspired by those innumerable sessions, the boys started dreaming of becoming rich and getting a girl or two of their choice and having a great time in life filled with leisure.

There was a boy by name Fernandez, who  was the THINKING TYPE. The type that seeks PROOF before  the words sink into them to work within. He was wondering, why the Teacher himself had not become wealthy, as he had been in the same profession till his breath had become shorter with age! This was niggling him through the nights and made him skeptical of the old man’s pep talks during the day.

Since he couldn’t arrive at any answer convincing to himself, he decided to ask the Teacher the reasons for his indigent circumstances. And not to give offence, Fernandez decided to ask Mr. Diaz, the teacher, at a time when he could find him alone. As usual Fernandez woke up early and reached Diaz’ house before any other student could. The master was surprised, to find Fernandez so early and asked him what the reason was for his early arrival? The boy stuttered and could not ask Diaz a question that would expose his master’s inadequacy in the eyes of his pupil. However, Diaz  successfully persuaded him to utter his doubt.

Diaz was silent and told him that he should meet him at 10 O’ clock that morning.  The classes stood cancelled for all. The other boys were happy and spent their time playing with the ever returning waves. Fernandez turned up at 10 sharp and found Diaz dressed, as if he were to attend the Christmas service. Fernandez was asked to accompany him. They both set off on a long walk on the beach. Diaz asked Fernandez, why he was excited about pearl diving? The boy said I DO NOT WANT TO BE POOR. Diaz was stunned and the reasons therefor was not uttered. Diaz  knew  that the boy could read and understand English. He asked Fernandez, if he had heard of a writer by name D.H.Lawrence? Fernandez answered in the negative. He asked him to meet him that evening at about 4 PM at his hut.

Fernandez reached promptly at 4 and Diaz simply handed over a few torn pages of a book and told Fernandez to read that story and that Fernandez should not talk to him till after a week of his having read the story. Fernandez, took the torn pages to his hut and started reading THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER. The end made him feel terrible in a way that he could not explain rationally.   As usual, he went for his diving classes and after a week, he went early like the other day and met his master. The master saw the confused eagerness in his eyes, yet he told Fernandez to meet him that evening after sun down. Diaz took out Fernandez for a long walk- that was all that he could afford.

Diaz asked Fernandez, how  the story was. Fernandez said that the end was not justifiable. Paul should not have been found dead on the Rocking Horse. Not at least after he had won the bet placed on the race horse MALABAR and had made himself rich, Fernandez said.

Diaz said the end is perfectly justifiable. Paul rode his rocking horse to find the winner, but one can not push things beyond one’s means. Paul was impelled by the voices that  he heard as THERE MUST BE MORE MONEY, but to get at the inspiration he had to WORK, and hard work at that. He worked out till he couldn’t work anymore. Paul was trying to enslave DAME LUCK with his willfulness, but paid with his LIFE. In any case, he was not able to enjoy the fruits of his WILLFULNESS.

“Man cannot eliminate poverty through getting lucky, he has to redeem his luck through Labour. By the sweat of his brow he has to earn his bread and anything less is disastrous”, said Diaz. I am a Paul myself, the only difference is that I am still alive. Instead of diving on my own and looking for oysters in the seabed, i pledged my skills to a merchant who used to take 25  other divers besides me, to the diving area and when each came up with his collection of oysters, each was  made to dump his pickings of oysters in the middle of the ship for opening the oysters later. I did not know whether the PEARLS came out of my collection or that of anyone else’.   In any case, the merchant assured me my WAGES and till I got old,  I did the same thing again and again till i could not hold my breath any longer- fit enough  for diving. Now that i am retired, i am here eking out a living thru teaching. I pledged my skills in the altar of CERTAINTY of food and here I stand ALIVE in body, but DEAD in SPIRIT.

But you have the age to do it. Food will come by. The sea will provide and people will be inspired if u choose to find the GREAT PEARL YOURSELF- without pledging your skills to the merchant- and their offerings will keep the wolf away. The merchant makes you old, and THE MERCHANT had  never ever made anyone  RICH. Therefore do not run away from the fear of POVERTY, instead believe in the happening of a rare possibility in your life and work. The time MAY come for the Good Lord to repay you and you will LIVE to ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOUR. But merely because of the MAY, do not sacrifice the possibility of the MAY for the certainty of PHYSICAL EXISTENCE!

LIFE IS ALL ABOUT LETTING ONE’S HOPES OUTLIVE ONE’S LIFE.

Fernandez was resolved, he went back to his hut whistling, A PROFESSIONAL PEARL DIVER.

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