If your imagination is getting chained by your inexperience, insecurities and indifference, then you need to take the ‘in’ out of those words to fight with injustice. Now imagine a scenario where the most famous street artist in the world, Banksy, is painting another of his masterpieces on a New York wall. He painted on ‘The Wall’ two pictures side by side, one of Geroge Floyd and the other of Pink Floyd and captioned “Take the colour out of Geroge and Pink, you’re left with only Floyd”. And as the lyrics of Pink Floyd along with the hysterics of George Floyd protests, both are slapping you hard with the realization you can slowly feel the chains from your imagination getting unfettered. Even though you’re sitting in some distant part of the world in your safely cocooned home, but the message of Banksy flashing on your phone screen along with the magic of Roger Waters and David Gilmour on your headset is hitting you hard.
“Hello? Hello? Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
…….Can you show me where it hurts?”
Now you’re understanding the gravity of the situation. It’s true that you’re cornered inside your cocoon, you’ve been safe-havened into silence. But it’s deafening you. And you need to share, you’re realizing that the first step to overcoming your pain or your guilt or your wrongdoings is to accept your mistakes. Then you suddenly understand that yes the protests in the USA are going in the right direction, the country has accepted that there is Racism and it needs to be cured. In order to be cured of a disease you first need to accept that yes there is a disease. You can’t be save-havened into the belief that you’re alright. You need to show the doctor where it hurts. Your soul has seen enough to keep quiet. It has been through a lot of pain, now you just can’t be ‘Comfortably Numb’ anymore.
“Beyond the horizon….the ringing of the ‘Division’ bell had begun”
The lyrics of David Gilmour and Polly Samson rang the alarms bells of Division inside you. You opened your eyes of imagination to see that yes it’s ringing. Everywhere you look around, there is only Division. It has always been between You and the Others. You see a world divided into religions, genders, sexuality, nations, species, countries, governments, boundaries, physical appearances ( I’m sure you can add on more). In the USA, people are discriminated based on skin tones, but near home, you see even deeper a problem. Politicians are drumming up Hindu vs Muslims, ideologies are directed between Left and Right, Sexualities are divided between Straight and LGBTQ, genders are divided into Male, Female, Others, children are divided into cared and uncared, castes are divided between Reserved and Unreserved, societies are divided between rich and poor, body types are divided between fat and lanky, minds are divided between sane and insane, the list goes on and on. Among all this division you’re caught up somewhere in between and you’re thinking
“The grass was greener, the light was brighter, when friends surrounded, The nights of wonder”. But no, your ‘High Hopes’ for a bygone utopian past is marred by the realization, that on the foundations of past are built the edifices of the present to make way for the building of future. Racism is not just discrimination based on skin tones, it’s this ‘Other-ifying’ of one another which is Racism. The slight tingling of discomfort in presence of the ‘Others’ which you feel is Racism, it’s the unknown fear and apprehension about the Others which is Racism, it’s this lack of knowledge and understanding about the Others which is Racism, the presence of preconceived notions about the Others which is Racism, the generalization of Others which is Racism. You can indeed hear the ringing of the Division bell.
“Breathe, breathe in the air
Don’t be afraid to care”
The words of Gilmour, Wright and Waters reminded you of those horrific 8 minutes and 46 seconds in which George Floyd’s helpless “I can’t breathe” pleas echoed across the cold corridors of brutality. It was not only a single person who was being pinned down, along with him it was the voice of the oppressed going down meekly at the knee of the oppressor. Look around and you’ll see so many dreams being choked out even before waking up to reality. The woman’s dream of a body neutral society, a youth’s dream of an opportunity endowed society, a worker’s dream of a well-paying society, a minority’s dream of a secular society, a student’s dream of a principled society, a Queer’s dream of a non-judgmental society, an introvert’s dream of a non-interfering society, a senior citizen’s dream of a sympathetic society, a soldier’s dream of a non-warring society, a bird’s dream of a non-caging society, an elephant’s dream of a trustworthy society….. Now is the time to breathe in the air and not to be afraid to care, otherwise it’ll be an “I can’t breathe” society if you even dare.
‘The Wall’ of Banksy where the two Floyds met is made up of what? They’re made up of bricks. And who are you? “All in all you’re just another brick in the wall”. The ‘You’ which was being referred here is omnipresent. This little bit of ‘You’ is inside Geroge Floyd, Pink Floyd, Banksy, Derek Chauvin, USA, India, Pandemic, Depression, Recession, Suicide, Happiness, Orgasm, Tennis, Wall Street, Mecca, Varanasi, Jews, Buddhists and everywhere. This ‘You’ is the entire creation, the whole being which is all connected. “All in all you’re just another brick in the wall” and the wall of creation is made up of ‘You’.
-Aishik Bhattacharya (One of the Prize Winners of Article Writing Competition 2020 in the 25-44 Years Age Group)
Picture Credits: wired.com