Apr 4, 2008

Down Time

I‘ve been reading quite some stuff on the looming recession woes, of late. Random browsing landed me on some article written during the dot com bust, which spoke of an alternate history, had 9/11 been just another date in the calendar.

Recession, vis-à-vis the phenomenon, the dynamics, and trends isn’t what I intend to discuss here. Recession as such presents a sand-castle washed-up-by-the-waves kind of scenario. A pretty but precarious bubble bursting painfully in slo mo.

What goes up must come down. What goes around must come around. The dust would eventually settle down. Whether it leaves a ghost town in its wake, or a lays the foundations of a new establishment is to be seen.

But an economic slowdown, presents a classic situation of the collective psyche grappling with a dream Vs reality conundrum.

Those who survive the ordeal would have to somehow insulate themselves against the crushing weight of reality.
Some lack the knowledge of the real situation. Ignorance is bliss. For them, life goes on, even if apocalypse is tomorrow.
Others are too late to realize, but yet manage to silence the small voice that reminds them of their failure. For them, life must and would go on, somehow. It is just a passing phase. Shrug it off.
Some others are the doomsday enthusiasts. They had ‘seen’ it coming. Even if ‘it’ goes away, they would still see some other ‘it’ coming.
All these people, although would live to see spring again, aren’t exactly “survivors” and neither are they the “fittest”. They just stay healthy enough to hop on the bandwagon.

The obvious survivors are the ones who had seen it coming in time, knew what to do to escape the blow and emerge unscathed. They could have been smart or wise or purely lucky. Let’s salute them and leave them alone with that. They are individual winners; don’t have to carry the burden of a village on their shoulders.

When struck by a bolt from the blue, the one to undergo the maximum pain is the one who has seen it coming, a fraction of a second before the blow. His instincts tell him that it is going to be painful. He understands its impact. But he may not have either the time or the faculty to react and protect himself. His knowledge is his doom.

Even among such people, some survive. The puritans among these realists perish. The ones that digress into a what-if world, atleast till times and tides change for the better, seem to hold through. It is this temporary but willful block of cognitive powers, that helps them see beyond their reality. Generations that would chronicle their lives might call it grit, determination or optimism. They pull themselves to work out a tomorrow, trudging amidst the ashes. They are blind to the pathetic present. Only a future that would be a resurrection of their past glory dominates their radar.

Even if they fail, and drop down dead, a smile would remain etched on their cadaver. The smile of the do-er. Also the smile of insanity.

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