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Beware of what you 'need to believe in'.

Consider these three scenarios

1. A distraught wife - catches cheating husband. Husband outshouts her to the point where she begins questioning her own narrative - maybe she was to blame? She is terrified of ending the relationship. She 'needs to believe that she can trust her husband'.

2. An unemployed graduate who had voted for Modi's promises three years ago - Believed that Modi would usher us in a new world of opportunities and social justice - instead he has remained unemployed and has to prove his nationalist credentials to random hooligans again and again. He  'needs to believe in Modi's acche din promise'.  He is the 'andh bhakt' - the mother of karan and arjun (except for the fact that Karan and Arjun never turn up).

3. Consider a dalit farmer. He 'knows' he is being fleeced by the local strongman/ patil/ landlord... but he can't afford to question him. He is not afforded the freedom to ask questions when the procurement weighs his produce at 10 kgs, when it actually is 12 kgs. Arguing might end up in his death or excommunication. so instead he 'needs to believe' in the 'mai-baap's generosity and superior intellect'. Maybe he measured it wrong.

In all these scenarios the weaker person needs to believe that the abusive overlord is not abusive but rather has his/her best interest in their heart. Even if they know otherwise, they need to believe in it. For the sake of their sanity, if they lack the courage to fight and ask questions. They need to believe that the abusive overlord is acting from a place of trust and love, not pure merciless power.
There are only two options - either to fight or to put blinds on and construct a narrative that hides the wound, that numbs the pain. 

And often we need to make the later choice. There is no shame in admitting that we can't confront, that we can't fight back. That for now, I need those blinkers. But it can only be a temporary respite.

Those who hold on to that festering wound for long, turn tyrant themselves. They turn tyrant to guard their belief system, their identity.

1. A wife would turn a tyrant on her relatives/ children when they question, since their questions pose the danger of destroying her false beliefs. It is easy to fight against people weaker than you/ who love you as against those who are stronger than you/ who don't care about you. After all, love is a form of vulnerability - you put someone else before you. If the other person exploits that vulnerability, you have no recourse but to re-examine your love. And the cycle continues.

2. The andh-bhakt who has gotten no job so far has joined a gau-raksha sena. Obviously it doesn't pay. But at least it gives a purpose, how so ever dubious it might be. He needs to believe that some good would come eventually of this essentially hopeless stunt. He would fight against his parents who would want him to join a vocational course instead. How can spend time in boring classes, when there are so many cows waiting to be protected! When there are no jobs in town, how can he let the few who have, be in peace, bloody beef-eaters.

3. Even the poorest of the marginal farmers in the remotest parts of sub-saharan India finds a scapegoat to unload his share of anger and injustice on. He needs a stiff drink and a wife or children at hand to beat up.

And so goes on. acche din.

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Ctrl-tab
Ctrl-tab...
Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Alt-tab
Alt-tab...
Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
Ok now.. about to pick up the pen again, but eyes dart towards the screen. Tempted to check email.

Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

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