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What We Can Die For

Genius has its limits,
but our stupidity's not
All men are born genius.  The hardest part is keeping up the momentum.

The problem of our mortality surfaces when we start living or making a living, whichever way we would love to believe. And the trouble becomes more visible with the temptations that have been separating us from gods. Out of the entire bring-us-down-ruthlessly issues, we can clearly see three factors that can make or break a life. We are going to see these factors up close, and how these have been as well indispensable parts of our mundane lives.

In no particular order, we can list drugs, for the sake of making a start—and these are followed by women and gambling. It is like, as Oscar Wilde put in his wittiest best, the only way to get rid of these temptations is yield to them. Avoidance is such an alien word. The surprise is over!

Men have been dying for these three things, in the most pathetic ways, just like we were born to die for these things. Iron-willed people might scoff at this idea, because they are born, in addition to their exceptional genius qualities from birth, with almost divine powers to control the whims and fancies and earthly enticement. Most of us—the lesser mortals who comprise the majority of the population—are too occupied to maintain the genius in us as we redefine decadence and debauchery.

You know how we love the forbidden things the most. So, we have the three things listed below.

High temptation
Image courtesy: Jimmy Thokchom
High life

It is impossible to dream about high rises on the mountains. It is equally impossible to ignore the natural beauty that the mountains are synonymous to. Alternatively, far away in New Delhi, it is hard to imagine the cheaply available narcotics that flood my native place in Manipur. It is out of the question to ignore the substances galore.

Situated so close to the infamous Golden Triangle, our hometown offers the stuffs that other users across the globe would be envious of. Of course, there are specialties of each region.

The bitter truth of living in a conflict zone aggravates the problem. There are armed struggles for sovereignty and right to self-determination. Then we have recurring social unrest. Institutionalisation of corruption and more violence. The leitmotif is crimson as well as gloomy. In such a society, the drugs fit well in the most flexible spots.

So, we can easily waste our lives, submitting ourselves to the ‘high’ temptations. Lucky are those who die without ever going tipsy and stoned and indulging in the kicks. The condition is such that these fortunate folks have deprived themselves of fine pleasures that life has to offer us.

We have the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Narcotics and Border Affairs and other law enforcement agencies from the legal government. The brigades of moral police are teeming as well, who have been busy measuring the height of morality, by the number of used condoms and syringes that they keep finding in their divine raids to protect the people from the evils and devils. Illegal government has been also chipping in, punishing, shooting the users and sellers but with little success. Despite the efforts, on the other hand, we cannot simply help but ignore their humanity-saving pursuits.

Opposite sex attraction

I cannot help do away with quoting Oscar Wilde. He wrote, ‘A man’s face is his autobiography’. Very well, but it is more interesting that, ‘A woman's face is her work of fiction’. Leave the philosophy to the thick-glassed and brevity-challenged academics. We are concerned how we can be led ashtray by the fair sex. Don’t you believe we can be?

At face value

It is no blame game, neither it is about the supremacy of penis and vagina.

Moderation is over-rated. Most of us start learning about the apparently finer things of life in our growing-up stage, or in our teens to be precise. Yes, we know foods make us fit and fine; in the same breath we look forward to the impending paunch when we keep satisfying our taste buds, more than those can tolerate, more than the foods can affect our heart and blood. The same is with the opposite sex.

If anyone is interested in studying the literature on daylight debauchery, we are the story.

Another interesting observation is that many of us who detest drugs are accustomed, in a similar degree, to carnal habits. We know it because we always have many such sober friends in our circles!

It is as if, we have to inevitably indulge in one or more factors out of these three. It is incredible we can keep the sexual foolery under control, but we have to lose ourselves in the other two or one of them. At least, this has been always the case. We can hope nothing would lead us into temptation, because with the least effort we can do it ourselves!

You betcha!

Just like Narcotic Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous, there is a fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous. The universality of gambling illustrates the clear ways from where we can go, submit ourselves to the alleged devils. The instincts are always inside us to know what lies ahead tomorrow in our lives. Playing cards provides a way of predicting fate and fortune. And it gets better for many of us.  Alternatively, on some occasions the profit can provide for our choice of substances and infatuation for flesh. 

With no talent or skill whatsoever, we can depend on our luck to succeed in life.

Ace holes
As mentioned, conservative societies elsewhere would be envious of the sheer number of cultural pressure groups, frontal organisations and self-appointed vigilantes in my hometown. It is surprising even for them because they can make a living out of their moral policing.

You can bet there is never an ending, much to their delight. You know the other day, they raided a gambling den, forcing the gamblers to eat the cards. And they have the full authority because they say it. Because they can do it. To hell with the law of the land.

The self-righteous folks are becoming a minor role in the narratives of our collective lives that has plunged into sheer decadence. Besides, there are more major roles played by so many of us, while increasing the stakes. If not for the drugs and sex, we have the materials in gambling to commit suicide over and again.

At the end of the day

An official statistics reveals there are nearly 38 thousand intravenous drug users in Manipur, which has a population of 2.7 million. The percentage is a number the users can flaunt to satisfy their high vanity. So if we want to live our life to the fullest, we can succumb to drug addiction, which is a part of our life in this backward region.
Wheeling around debauchery and destruction in the dark
Image courtesy: Sonia Nepram

If we have to name the options, the list is long—it includes heroin, amphetamines, prescription drugs, alcohol and cannabis and so on. We can proudly say that we can easily pick our choices of substance in the most delightful way. It does not even matter what we think, or whether we ever think at all.

We do not need the figures for sex and gambling. Hugh Hefner can count the number of bunnies but we do not have to keep a scorecard.

How people can see easily that action speaks louder than words! The same is true for gambling. I can take the documents of the official land records of my family's property and bet on it. Why should another person or group of people care about how I look after my property, or for that matter, what I do not look after? We just have to look only for the gambling den for the day.

We are a genius in self-destruction. And we have so many things we can die for. We have mentioned only the three stuffs here. Guns and bombs, for instance, have been sidelined for pity’s sake. I do bet you buy the idea.


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