Jan 30, 2009

Child is the Father of Man!!

Paradoxes are prepossessing...paradoxes in people or paradoxes in proverbs..The beauty of a paradox is perhaps its quizzical complexity or the challenge it offers in unwinding the wired "usual" perception of things in general. This one (the title paradox) is no exception...When I (the average human blessed with average intellect) try to discern the paradox, it fails me at first attempt..How can a child become a father, of any man or mankind? How at all would one elucidate this statement - biologically or religiously or spiritually ?

Most times, the most intricate knots are unwired only to unravel more intricate knots, at times, they unravel some nascent truths, naked to the human eye and yet, nebulous to the human intellect. The title paradox was romantically nebulous to me for a long while (romantic because it had been stated by the most romantic poets of all times - William Wordsworth), until recently, when I chanced to watch this Tamil movie 'Abhiyum Naanum'. I've never been a great Tamil movie buff, but this one stands out among other pluses, in its silent yet potent explanation of this paradox..Man becomes a complete Man, when he fathers a child, biologically, emotionally and intellectually...So its a child that maketh a man..Child fathers a man...Child is the Father of Man...

This explanation, has its own fallacies since, it is quite circumscribed by the capacities or incapacities of my limited intellect and its interpretation. There could be several other plausible explanations..Afterall, its poetry at its romantic best..its left open to the reader's interpretation. There's another exegesis, which I'd like to believe is credible enough..Have you ever wondered in any typical "happy family setup", (say the Indian middle class family), how a child, initally as a infant and later as a toddler, depends on its parents for its physical needs, learns how to walk or talk from its parents, learns the first alphabet from its parents, submits atleast selectively to the parents' authority, and grows old? And when the child grows old enough, the parents depend on the child for their emotional needs, have to learn to use the latest technological necessities of the age from the child (and keep praying for the pedagogical patience in imparting the supposedly obvious tech-stuff) and submit to the child's authority during the generation gap quibbles ? As the child grows, the child becomes the father...the patriarch of the house...while the biological father evolves to his second childhood - sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

A child is a child while he is still growing...when Man is the father...Man speaks and the child listens...and when the child has sufficiently and relatively "grown up", the child speaks and Man listens...the child is no longer a child, he is the father...the patriarch

If you are able to discern the rationale in that exposition, you are probably as insane as I am :) , if you haven't or unwilling to accept the argument, I'd be pleased to hear your contentions...In any case, lets pamper the child in us...Its after all the enlightening hope to mankind...