Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Victim of circumstance

Thomas Hardy was a great man. Yeah like he needs the greatness certificate from me. Cut to Return of the Native. Barring exotic names, another high point was the conversion of seemingly benign episodes into having super disastrous consequences. One of the most memorable ones - Mrs Yeobright visiting Clym. After a rather acrimonious start to her relationship with Eustacia Wye post the latter's wedding to Clym, she decides to try to patch things up and goes over to Clym's house. Wildeve - Eustacia's 'ex' is in the house, since he has come a-visiting. Eustacia sees her mother-in-law through the window and hurries to usher Wildeve out the back door. and while at the porch, she hears Clym saying 'mother'. So, she assumes that he has opened the door and let his mother inside and so, she lingers longer in the garden. Clym, however has muttered 'mother' in his sleep. Mrs Yeobright, meanwhile, receives no response at the door, and she knows full well that both her son and her daughter-in-law are in the house, since she saw Eustacia looking at her through the window and she also saw Clym's gear by the door. So downcast, she starts going back and exclaims that she is a 'broken-hearted woman who was cast off by her son'. Sad and depressed, she trudges back homeward and is bitten by a snake. Venom combined with exhaustion from heat, kills her. And in true Hardy fashion they all lived sadly ever after.

The juxtaposition of circumstance and a certain behavior in a certain situation - somehow provides a number of stray episodes in life. More often than not, our hugely volatile moods are an offshoot of these episodes. So in a way these episodes, provide the spice of life. So failure to meet a bunch of friends on two disparate occasions once on account of health issues and once on account of work issues, gets misconstrued as an exhibition of snobbery. The Hardy admirer in me screams to say that I am 'an overworked/ill individual who was cast off by her friends'. But no one reads Hardy today and so no one would even bother to hear my sentence, let alone listen to it. So when I get angry with a friend, - who was supposedly in 'the inner circle' - for not having called when he happened to land in town, (my logic was that international flight tickets and trips halfway across the globe do not happen at 1 hour's notice), and scream at him for his gross lack of motivation to keep a friendship, I guess somewhere I should hear him say "The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible."

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