Who really wins the battle? Why do they go on to fight the war? What does one achieve in the end? Bloodshed, more lives lost, more cities plundered for no gain… You take on a battle expecting to win, expecting to be the victorious one. What do you do when the result turns the other way? Do you cry? Do you shout in anguish? You sit silently and contemplate your foolishness! Yes, that’s what you have to do, unless you breathe no more. If the Wind claims the air that keeps you alive then all you can do is rot. I’d like to turn your attention to an actual natural battle. A battle between the forces. Have you ever witnessed one? Have you noticed how equally grand they are in their fight? They lash out at the other with an intention to demolish, to destroy. Look at the number of earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and volcanoes that have ravaged the humble abode of man. You know what they are trying to do? They are reclaiming what is rightfully theirs. In contrast, if one glances at the exploits of man, one can wonder if they derive some sense of joy in seeing such loss and misery. How would I know what they felt? I’ve been one of those obstinate, recluse pessimists. I take joy in the small things, the minuscule complexities that have literal galaxies lurking underneath; a book, a song, a perverse taste…
The violins rushed to keep time. Who would win this battle? The one that mattered… The Violin or the Wind? The tree tops danced with grandeur unparalleled, swayed with a grace unmatched and unattainable. Every tiny leaf was coerced into submission, charged with a conviction unassailable. Green canopies were bogged down by its own weight, straining heavily against the very structure that held them up. But there was a sense of virtuoso supremacy in its suspension. Frail branches carelessly flayed about in the ensuing squall. Not a single soul in sight. That’s when the violins materialised, synchronised to the beat of the drums. A peculiar eeriness crept into the atmosphere. The dark looming clouds came to the aid of the green warriors. They challenged the wooden instruments with a perilous draught. The voice of man roared against this challenge, accepting it without deference.
“MAY THE MIGHTY REIGN”
As one bar lead to the next, the quartet raised its music to the heavens, giving it their life and soul, pouring their very essence into the music they learnt to create. The forces of nature sniggered at their feeble attempt. In response there came up on the horizon a wind so mighty that none could fathom its origins, none had ever witnessed this kind of majesty before the dawn of that hour. It didn’t kill, but it rode with such stateliness that there was no match for its rhythm. Man shuddered at the sight of this colossal force. Gracefulness that can wreck such brutality is strangely fantastic. What can fuse such paradoxes? The violins strove to keep beat. Who will win this battle?
The wind slowly died down, murmuring as it quietly swept through the landscape, claiming its rightful inheritance. But the battle hadn’t been won yet. More violins joined the first, more singers joined the first. The beat was a sick beat. This attempt seemed worth fighting against. The Wind smiled and struck before the next bar could commence. The Wind blew from all four directions, isolating the musicians in the centre, in the eye. Chaos reigned in every direction. Everything inert was lifted up into the maelstrom, reduced to fine granules of dust. Despondency swathed the backcloth. But the musicians didn’t give up hope. They knew they could win this if they endeavoured for the ultimate goal. So, they mellowed down and decided to build up when the chaos ceased to live. The violins strove to keep beat. Who will win this battle?
Utter devastation reigned on all sides. Everything had been reduced to dust. Skin to bone, bone to ashes. Every visible structure had been claimed by the wind, none for the violins… Who would win? There was none to hear the violins play. Not a soul left to smile on this desolate landscape. The drums had forgotten how to sound; the vocalists had been terrorised to silence; a single violin reigned. It continued playing with an unabated fervour. Its resolve was questionable. It continued churning out notes of angst and desperation. Who knew this was possible? Lone it stood in the middle of rubble, playing sick notes with none to hear. The Wind looked on curious, wondering how far this feeble instrument would go. It gathered all its forces – from the North and the South, from the East and the West – and it came with an unbeatable tenacity. The lone violin continued playing, the notes getting faster and sicker with every passing second. The Wind looked on with a growing rage, not able to understand this obstinate instrument. Why? Why would you battle one so mighty? The Wind surrounded the violin slowly killing its voice, overwhelming its timbre. Its death was probably the slowest and most painful. Each wooden fibre felt the fury of the Wind. Each one writhed in agony and pain as its essence was slowly absorbed by the wind. Every note ever played by that violin was claimed by the wind; forcefully were these notes taken as a rightful possession. Who knew this would happen? Not a soul left to see this great victory except the friends of the forces. There was no violin to keep beat. Who will win this battle? Had the mighty won??
Together they came – Wind, Fire, Earth and Water. These four elements came to the battle field to see the slain violin, the mighty one, the one strong enough to take up the Wind’s challenge, for the others didn’t have any to fight against. They stood around the mutilated body of the violin, speculating its perseverance, its tone, its pain and anguish. They bantered about the idiocy of the instrument. They wondered why it didn’t give up. Such rhetoric’s were thrown about amongst them… Believe me, this is what happens after every battle. These are the agonising conversations of the victors. They mock and scorn the puny, ridicule the helpless and deride the weak.
The elements broke into a victory dance around the open grave of the violin. The fire mingled with the wind, the earth absorbed the water. There was a huge chaotic victory dance and then the elements melted back into their respective forms. The wind ceased to take form from the fire and turned into the invisible presence hovering over every mortal and lifeless body. The fire disintegrated into indiscernible molecules in the atmosphere. The water seeped into the earth and returned to its initial dwelling. The earth remained constant, covering every surface not claimed by the water. Soon everything was as it was before, sans the lone violin, the lone contender of the wind.
Are you brave enough to fight the elements? Do you dare to challenge the forces? It’s a battle you are going to lose. It’s a war you have no chance of winning. It has a fixed result, why bother… Such battles and wars we choose to fight. All the wrong ones. Why not the achievable ones? Because, because one is scared of complacency. One doesn’t want the common, the familiar to take over. That is why. If one keeps winning the small achievable ones, who will fight the big ones? The forces together shouted,