Friday, June 25, 2010

Chandalika - esque syndrome

There is a Tagore short story "Chandalika" which has been frequently adapted into plays and dance dramas. The protagonist of the story is a girl from a lower caste and who is so often demeaned for her status - which becomes her way of life- cannot stand the shock when a Brahmin asks her for water that she goes into shock and dies.

When I was small, i found the story very meaningless and couldnt make much sense out of it.

Now, when I think of it, I think of it in a deeper realm.

A person who is so used to a certain way of life especially which one doesnt like or appreciate comes to accept it anyhow; and if that status is elevated, that person becomes so overwhelmed with emotions cannot come to terms with it.

A person who has seen so much failure in life - professional setback, low self-esteem or continuous lack of success in spite of trying hard - comes to accept it and live with it..

Suddenly, if that person is given a promotion or a rise in self esteem due to some compliment or just faced with success after years of failure becomes so overwhelmed with emotion and finds difficulty in coming to terms with it.. hence we see tears of joy, sudden thankfulness and some people dont know how to handle it and go ballistic..

It is amazzing how Tagore's story from over a century ago still rings true today..