Millennium Post

Coming full circle

Nothing quite escapes the keen eye of a behavioural scientist. Even things as elusive as true love leave a whiff to wonder about. The grandson of celebrated Hindi writer Padma Bhushan, Shri Bhagwati Charan Varma, Chandra Shekhar Varma , given his profession and genetics, in Corners of a Straight Line comes with a natural flow of observed mundane occurrences expressed with the finesse of language.

The title of the story only reflects the ambivalence of life that takes a simple course in retrospect, one thing following the other, all of it making perfect sense. But while things do happen none of them seem straight. 

Some stories  from  our past demand to be concluded before we let our future take shape. It is the same with Atharv, whose significant bits of past do not stop haunting him.  His quest for love and contentment  take him through  numerous different people, through the big cities one after the other, and even through different professions.  As a political journalist, Atharv is brought before his repressed passion for photography. The very first recognition of his talent introduces him to Siya, a pert, confident, and innocent young lady who is delighted at the prospect of being a political journalist for one of Kolkata’s leading daily. The freshness of passion in Siya, her gut and moral fibre are a constant reminder to Atharv of what he has let bury in him due to the realities of life. Truth is a valuable  commodity. It is not to be given away for free. It is to be sold out- to the highest bidder. Very soon Siya learns that passion is not all glory, and what it can mean to keep one’s passion alive. “In politics, money brings power and power brings money, we are given only two choices...join the game or become a silent spectator” Atharv had chosen the latter.  Siya contemplated differently, she considered changing the game.

"Politicians of this state are sellers of conscience and buyers of truth." This is a reality that transcends political and geographical bounds. And  it remains a challenge to “not become their pimp”. Blames and counter-blames, personal comments, etc.  have become the hallmark of election campaigns  throughout this country. The political leadership in times today thrives on creating problems, not on providing solutions. Atharv observes this grim reality, "We as a democracy have come a long way from the issue-based politics of the 1950s to the issueless politics of the 1980s to the non-issue politics of the twenty-first century. In six decades of independence we have not been able to address the real problems- education, health, unemployment, and poverty. According to me, development sans vote bank politics is a one stop solution for all these issues."  This one stop solution of Atharv  is  dare to Indian politicians.

The starry-eyed passionate young  journalist that Atharv once was  gets dimmed by the bleak truth he polished everyday for people to be "aware" and “informed”.  Following his  stint with Siya, Atharv  comes across Vedita  whose intellect and lifestyle influences Atharv greatly. For Atharva, Vedita is a transition from Resham with whom he connected on an entirely physical level.  He is now a man in hurry with an unrelenting urge to become rich and famous.  He is at a stage where money grows in terms of number of digits on the right hand side. The more he learns the nuances of business, the more interesting he finds it . He follows the stock market very closely and comes to realise that every swing happened because of a reason and every swing was a reason for swinging fortunes.  He transforms into a hardcore businessman. 

Having experienced the thrills and swings and twists of life, the last leg awaits him.  A spiritual phase that he finds with  Susan, who stirs his faith.  This is how Athatv’s life comes a full circle and he tells his story  in a straight line.  He seeks what we all desire, and in his pursuit he takes one  along the vital dimensions of life.
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