Must We?

Here’s a down-to-bones homeless destitute happily sharing his morsels with a dog!

Once-in-a-decade moment captured.

But the caption that follows…spoils the meal for us.

“Look at these without the riches – they may lack in possessions, but they have a fund of covet-able virtues…only they!” That’s what it means to say.

The purpose seems to be to sound a clarion call to our latent better selves Nothing wrong with that. But the word ‘only’ was unwarranted I thought. A generalization blown away in a mere breath.

However it is well in line with the detestable practice so prevalent in Tamizh writing – or, is it Indian at large? – to put something or someone down while extolling the virtues of something or someone else.

Is it a mere literary style, perfectly legitimate, for staging a little drama of provocation or something deeper – an odious expression of a hidden streak of envy, though harmless in itself, in the psyche of a class in the society proudly distinct from the ‘have-not’s and enviously not made it yet to have’s?

Is it a national trait to compare and contrast? Can’t we appreciate. enjoy life without…

End

Source: 100% சிரிப்பு இலவசம்

13 Responses to Must We?

  1. tskraghu says:

    Reblogged this on Sanmargam.

    Like

  2. S R Kannan says:

    Litterateurs probably have the same failing as other professionals, while ‘striving for Excellence’. Instead of competing with themselves they do with others automatically bringing in denigration as one of the tools to succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chitra says:

    We use the passive voice in our writings and speech.
    If I’m reading right the man is not credited with “ doing” – rather good qualities are bestowed on him??
    Inherently we probably enjoy making a dig at rich people and their ostentatious ways and their stinginess in someway raising the common man.
    Or are we reading too much into it 😃😃
    The writer was merely making a point.

    Nice analysis Raghu ! Good for thought

    Liked by 1 person

    • tskraghu says:

      Yes, in a way by his act he is credited with being charitable, compassionate, etc….

      The style referred to occurs in very many situations. It just so happens the example appearing here is poor versus rich.

      Thanks, Chitra.

      Like

  4. Vidya says:

    But It is a general trend KR! Watch our movies regularly A poor man is inherantly good while a rich one is intolerably bad! Good or bad is judged by rich or poor! Is it only here or in other coutries too! I watch Hindi n Tamil and English Compared to English only our movies pronounce more on this element!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tskraghu says:

      As I said to Nagulan,

      “The one question still needs to be answered: Are we given to comparing which implies pushing one up and the other down? Examples: your grades, looks, wealth versus mine…While some of it may not be avoidable, do we overdo it, are we obsessed with it as a culture, community..?”

      It just so happens the example is between Rich and Poor. In general, it could be between any Ram and Kishan. Of course Airtel versus Vodophone is a diff thing altogether.

      Incidentally u made an interesting observation: “I watch Hindi n Tamil and English Compared to English only our movies pronounce more on this element!” – gives me fodder for another post on a dialogue with my grand daughter.

      Thanks.

      Like

  5. Nagulan Joghee says:

    Sir,
    According to me the following scenarios are possible perceptions :
    1. The Have-Nots have seen the effect of being penny-less and hence tend go help others with whatever they have.
    2. in contrast, even though they have the mind to help, they cannot as they do mot have anything to give
    3. The rich is always wanted to become richer and hence most of the riches do not have the mind to share
    4. In contrast, the rich will be able go help as they have and they are rich
    The statement is generally a comparative one and comparatively the have-not will have the mind to help.
    Being Rich and having a mind to help is a rare breed to find nowadays as everything is business now and nothing comes to free to anybody. The Quid-Pro-quo works perfectly.
    My thoughts, may be a bit cynical.. Cheers.. !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tskraghu says:

      Thanks for taking the trouble of sharing your thoughts at length, Nagulan.

      The one question still needs to be answered: Are we given to comparing which implies pushing one up and the other down? Examples: your grades, looks, wealth versus mine…While some of it may not be avoidable, do we overdo it, are we obsessed with it as a culture, community..?

      Like

  6. R L Narasimhan says:

    The picture is moving and what follows is sad.The caption doesn’t spoil my meal as I don’t see it as denying virtues to others.The word Kottikidakku is more important than the word only.And who can deny this after seeing the picture.And the author of the caption obviously excludes his/her class from the class shown in the picture thereby denying the virtues to his/her class.So why fly into literary license,class divide,envy,excellence etc,.Why not stay with the picture.Or is it what ‘excellence’ does? As J Krishnamurti (sorry to quote him) used to say,the description is not the described.I would stay with the picture and not what follows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tskraghu says:

      Thanks, Nacchu, for sharing your thoughts.

      ” Krishnamurti (sorry to quote him) used to say,the description is not the described.I would stay with the picture and not what follows.” Staying with the picture which no doubt is a rare moment captured – no issues with that. Unfortunately the caption also takes our attention.

      I’m on the words ‘Ezhaigal kitte thaan’ . It certainly seems to make whatever follows including ‘kottikidakku’ as exclusive. The third person’s voice does seem the author is excluding himself from the class he generously heaps praise on – but that’s besides the point of exclusivity and generalization he’s making.

      “:So why fly into literary license,class divide,envy,excellence etc,.Why not stay with the picture…” But that’s the subject of the post. The picture is only an example. The post is about our propensity to praise and condemn all in the same breath. I’m also saying the same thing – can’t we appreciate and leave it at that?

      Once again, thanks, for reading the post so closely and sharing the thoughts it set off.

      Like

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