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THE PhDs of our times mostly rehash the already affirmed than anticipating the cataclysm

By: Zahid Sultan & Irshad Ahmad Bhat

Individual is a human textbook. Research stuff. Emotional repertoire. Rational bank… what not! And life is a colossal composition of all these, fashioning its Thesis Meaning. There is no summary of this study. Chapters are alarmingly infinite. Findings are revealingly incalculable.  Conclusion is almost impossible. Moreover, recommendations are regrettably rare. That is why Plato’sPhilosopher Kings were expected to finish their apprenticeship with a 15 year sentence in the school of Hard Knocks:

Let these PhDs pass down from the heights of philosophy into the Cave of the world of men and things; generalisations and abstractions are worthless except they be tested by this concrete world; let our students enter that world with no favour shown to them; they shall compete with men of business, with hard headed grasping individualists, with men of brawn and men of cunning; in this mart of strife they shall learn from the book of life itself; they shall hurt their fingers and scratch their philosophic shins on the crude realities of the world; they shall earn their bread and butter by the sweat of their high brows. This kind of education may not be vital for a politician or philosopher king ,but for someone seeking to become an “unacknowledged legislator”of humankind, it forms the bedrock of learning journey. For someone whose effort is to recreate life out of life- the life that is multi layered, the reality that usually puts itself in appealing robes and never surfaces to rudimentary intricacy of the world and its people.  It remains an enigma.  Unsettled. Unresolved. Unclear. And if ever one gets to know the actual reality _ it comes as an amusing surprise , not an atrocious shock at all.

It perhaps takes enough time to understand what actually the world is  its meaning and purpose. It took ample time for Ghalib to declare world as a “Kids play”. The routine tantrums of humdrum life, its changing contours;  unpredictable ways; and fluctuating moods_ it all makes a variegated show. Rather than Grand Show , where every now and then the characters change , situations take twists , plots and acts swap ,and storyline is an unending commentary on an uneven drama. Unevenness aplenty.  The cruel teardrop makes a small smile a gifted blessing. The hurting frown highlights the worth of short grin. The glimpse of death emphasizes the essence of life. The old age stresses the vitality of youth. The darkness underlines the value of light. The night points out the importance of the day. The autumn accentuates the certainty of spring. The thorns play up the aroma of flowers. The nightmares bring out the charm of dreams. The deceit projects the worth of honesty.  The distrust spells the sanctity of trust. The betrayal indicates the strength of loyalty.  The weakness suggests power of vigor. The shakiness reveals the firmness of will. In fact , it seems that every thing in world complements the opposite. If grief is not tasted, happiness won’t ever be wonderful. Separation identifies the magnitude of attachment. Loneliness narratesthe delight of closeness.  If reputation gets tampered, disrepute brings lessons. If failures are not met, victories won’t be acknowledged.  If wars are not waged , peace won’t be prized.

Antithesis establishes the canon governing the world. At times, it looks that only contradictions galore. World manifests a multiple character.  It contains multitudes. So do the human beings. Throughout history, one impression of human nature has been consistent: the man has composite nature. Something seen as a conflict .” There are times , Somerset  Maugham , when I look over the various parts of my character with perplexity,  I recognise that I am made up of several persons , and at the moment , the person that has the upper hand will Inevitably  give place to another. But which is the real one ? All of them or none?

Perhaps that’s the reason for life producing very few doctorates! Subject is not that simple and has,  thus very few solemn takers. Moreover , in the era of strife , self indulgence and materialism, slicing up the discourse on life remains the most difficult task. Honesty in life matters has been replaced by public prestige and status symbols. People are investing in things that don’t actually matter. Real vision is waning. Emotion is draining. Reason is failing. Faith is dwindling.  In fact, the space for life is shrinking. Life has got estranged with absurdities of the times _ ineffective institutions : pseudo intellectuality;  feeble role models; perverted revolutions; phony leadership; bogus harangues; sham religiosity;  hallow sermons ; broken families;  and mock social rectitudes. Slight is left to live and mull over. Scrap is left to cherish and value. Speck is left to kindle and inspire.

Life has changed with out warning and worse yet with out permission.  The ground beneath has slipped and shifted, leaving us unappeared for the huge upheaval  that has left disconcerting marks. The PhDs of our times mostly rehash the already affirmed than anticipating the cataclysm. Life has never been their case study . Of course , producing just so called scholars, poets or writers of high water mark can not be a ‘Rational calling’. However the endeavour to sow seeds of constructive and upbeat thinking in fertile minds can be the genuine goal. So, do a Doctorate in life. Attempt it. Bring sense in your life subject rest will always remain shallow.

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