Saturday, February 21, 2009

Perfectly Imperfect Balances

I was in 4th grade I guess in those days. That was the time when we were supposed to take Arts as a compulsory subject in my school. My Arts teacher, Madam Roshan, was an elderly, and a graceful lady with quite a steady hand at drawing & sketching, and a very good observation. I remember once per week she used to ask us to draw whatever we pleased, imagined, or liked to draw. I, being pretty bad with drawing anything intricate or detailed, always chose to draw imaginary sceneries so as to lessen the probability of her being able to point out mistakes or make me redraw over and over again.

Hence in one such class I chose to draw my typical happy place. A scenario perfect to my eye back then. A horizontal line, which divided my paper canvas in two equal halves was my horizon. Sky and objects like sun, clouds and birds were to be placed above that line. Whereas below that line was area for a water stream, village, grass and other life adding objects. Vertical centre of mountains was somewhere aligned along the horizon. After adding last few final touches to the drawing, I happily pranced to my teacher for an instant approval so that I can spend rest of class time in our grounds. Unfortunately she wasn't much impressed with my eye for the nature and told me to redraw. Trying to keep agitation and disappointment out of my manners I requested her to point out the exact flaws so that I can address those areas specifically and get done with it. She pointed out to me that nature is seldom as equal as I had portrayed. And that objects I drew were at too much of a calculated distances and that so much balance in nature was very distasteful. My interpretation of her words at that time was that she wanted randomness, haphazard object placements, and a disbalanced version of my perfect little happy place. Complying to her instructions I moved horizon to create a non-equal partitioning of earth and sky. Added more randomly situated clouds, birds, grass, flowers, and houses. And there! That was easy and I was off to the grounds in no time and gave no further thought to those words by her.

This evening as I was observing sunset beyond the Margalas, I was very strongly reminded of that drawing and my teacher's remarks over it. And the fact struck me that thats exactly what we expect from life in all its aspects. Equal blessings and hardships. Equality of good and evil. Equal light and equal darkness. Equal gains and equal losses. But then that really is not how things are in their natural order. In short a perfect balance in life would have been as much distasteful as a perfectly equal division of sky and earth in nature. Very artificial,and seemingly a total arrangement of a human mind, and not an order designed by the "All Wise and Knowing" God. And just imagine the boredom and dismay if thats how it had worked, that after every happy day we knew that tomorrow is definitely bringing us our share of gloom. Gloom that we rightfully deserve because we had a happy yesterday. And then perhaps perfectly imperfect is really the perfect balance we can strike in this world. Just that only this time, changing our expectations to accept that imperfection instead of balance is not that easy when our canvas changes from a paper to real life.