Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thank you for the music

Making music is easy when one is making it for one’s self where the effort resolves into a simple matter of self-gratification. Making music for others is tougher since the effort assures that everyone else rests in peace while one rests in pieces. Making music for one’s self and others is an exercise that is fraught with deadly danger at every turn. There are only two outcomes of this last. Either everyone ends up shattered beyond repair or everyone ends up more more whole than they ever thought possible. Very few attempt it. Of those that do, just a fraction succeed since the effort is unique; the way is arduous; and the attempt multiply threatened by constant internal soul searching and vicious external critique. Trying it is costly for it is voracious in its needs.

It feeds on universal love. It is smoked in the thrill of wielding multiple skills with rare excellence. It is soaked in panache. It rests on identifying simultaneously with oneself and everyone else. It requires one to be the conductor, the first violinist, the soloist, the rock guitarist, the jazz lead, the timpanist, the front man, the head administrator, the marketing director, the food inspector, the management guru, the secretary general of the UN, the counselor and the clairvoyant. It mandates infinite resources of patience and restraint. It insists on a mental quietness and emotional stillness that is comparable only to the vacuum of outer space. It determines its relevance to life only if it achieves that lack of resistance that in only possible for wet ice sliding on wet ice. It is the sort of effort that Superman would call super human.

Every once in a while, as each normal generation gives way to each normal generation, each nation, uncharacteristically, coughs up one such individual. That individual makes everything in that nation look… (I am searching for a word here).  That individual makes everything in that nation look… (for lack of a better word)...ok. 

Incomprehensibly, Impossibly, Sri Lanka coughed two up at the same time.  

Sanga and Maiya as they are fondly referenced made it all happen for our nation as they made it all happen for themselves. They did what is seemingly impossible to do – play multiple parallel innings both on and off the field. Exercises of great valor, great forbearance, great understanding, and great compassion – against other cricketers, with other cricketers, against the odds, with the odds, against corrupt politicians, with corrupt politicians, against bad administrators, with bad administrators – orchestrating a two decades long symphony of concord despite every desire on the part of every influencer for discord.

And they did it for themselves for us, and through us for themselves. 

They made each individual in our nation sing because it seemed right to do so. They created the enabling environment for it through their varied orchestration with the cricket and outside of the cricket. They made it possible for stranger to smile at stranger, for enemy to slap enemy on the back, for husband with wife and two children he cannot feed feel less disabled, for wife with two kids and an alcoholic husband to bear the past and look forward to a future less painful, for two kids to forget the bombs they lived through and resolve for a tomorrow where the only bombs they have to deal with are those hurled by the lesser being with the greater power.  Impossible though it seems, this… is so.

And they did it not because of super human capabilities but rather because of abnormal simplicity.

The only people brave enough to make such things happen for all are those who can reduce the noise into a few, clear, unambiguous truths. These two engaged the world through a simple modality where they valued value, honored honor, trusted trust and suffered fools not at all. These things they espoused and were synonymous with. These are precisely those things that irrelevant politicians yell from off of any and all podiums but know not the meaning of or care less about. Other than, of course as  conveniences to addle the already addled national psyche.

And they did it with a rare skill. It is easy to rant, rave, sulk and pop rivets. These two chose not to. Rejecting reactive responses, they endured with patience, compromising themselves not one whit and thereby took a path reserved exclusively for the daring.

For years, these two men cared enough for this nation to face death at the hands of the political bull, the administrative braggart, the cricket ball and the terrorist bullet. Threatened by friend and foe, so-called friend and so-called foe, they cared enough to dodge them when it best suited the nation and face them full on when occasion called for it. They did it for years, simply in order to lessen the collective emotional burden of frustration that we, as a nation, seem to have been born with.

We appreciate your commitment to our wellbeing. We love you for it. We know it was never easy. We understand the pain. We share with you the many disappointments and the few moments of euphoria but more than all of that, we share in your consistent commitment to quality human effort for collective good.  We know and value the effort you made to make the whole nation feel whole about the whole nation. When you go back to you and yours, know that we want nothing more for you or from you than that you live the rest of your lives in song as you have made song happen for us under impossible circumstances.   

Thank you both for the music. 

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