Vanishing Smiles


This post is dedicated to Dawn and Dew whose question (in her last comment to my last post) why I am not writing these days made me write this.


The Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite characters for the simple reason that its grin remains with us even when it disappears.  I like it all the more for its blunt refusal to kiss the king’s hands.

The cat leaves a grin at least though a warm smile would be preferable.  Smile is a vanishing species in my surroundings.  People seem preoccupied all the time.  They have no time to smile.  What kind of a world is it that steals our smiles, I wondered.  Thank heavens, I didn’t have to keep wondering for long as the answer came to me in a jiffy.  Frogs in the well don’t smile, not even grin, they only bloat and gloat.  And they plot too, I think – plot every strategy to survive in the well not knowing that the well is drying up.  Sadder still, which they don’t realise, the well is drying up because of their bloating, gloating and plotting. 

“At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism…” said Aldous Huxley. 

I have found that the frogs in the well are both stupid and malicious.  I have also found that there is a strong link between intelligence and benevolence.

But this post is about vanishing smiles. 

Smiles are vanishing because of stupidity and malice.  Stupidity renders you incapable of understanding the complexities involved in the drying up of the well.  Stupidity makes you look at the problem from a very narrow point of view.  Consequently you think of narrow solutions, very narrow solutions in fact.  [Stupidity has this uncanny knack for stooping lower and lower.]  Stupidity makes you think that you can save yourself without the support of the creatures around you, without the support of the given environment.  Stupidity makes you think that leadership means enslaving others.  The kings in the ancient days did use slaves for various jobs very successfully and created historical monuments.  But stupidity doesn’t let you realise that the ancient days are indeed ancient.  There are no kings today.  And people won’t accept slavery easily.  Not people with some skill or another, at least.

Stupidity makes you malicious, in fact.

And malice makes you politicians?  I don’t know.  But I think it does.

“Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever,” said Albert Einstein.  [Emphasis added all through the post]

Present concern.  What does that translate as?  Personal benefit?  Immediate benefit?  Politics?

I’m more interested in those equations that stand forever.  Whatever “forever” may mean!

But this post is about vanishing smiles.


So the last quote…

“Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance.”  Robert Frost.

I have no grievances.  I am happy.  You can still see me smiling. 

Keep smiling if you still can.


PS: I’m going on a holiday so that I can retain my smile for much longer.  Hence I won’t be writing for quite a while but just retaining my smile…


About matheikal

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3 Responses to Vanishing Smiles

  1. Parag says:

    Greetings sir, you’ll probablybe reading this after you return (successfully, i hope) from your endeavour to retain your smile.

    This article of yours, i think, drives a very simple yet relevant point. Smile………the strongest adhesive in the world i believe..

  2. Dawn and Dew says:

    Thank you, sir. Wish you a happy smile!

  3. Joseph James K A says:

    Never got to the end of Alice in Wonderland anyway. So I had to refer the matter to my teenaged daughter. “U dunno Cheshire cat?’, she said in an accusatory tone and aped the grin as best as she could. ^The grin rmains even after the cat disappears. That’s the best thing about it.” “How long?” “I think.. the grin vanishes in the end too…” “Really?” She wasn’t so sure any more..”Why don’t you read the book yourself. It’s been such a long time since I read it.” I don’t think I will. Books can’t perpetuate grins anyway. Not even blogs, especially when the author’s photo doesn’t have one.
    Even otherwise, of what use is a perpetually grinning world?
    Vive la stupidity, malice and their offspring, politics!
    We need politics and politicians – at least to badmouth them or to wallow in selfrighteousness. Why be so biiter before going on a holiday?
    Was in Shillong last winter. Passing through Kharikhanna, I wondered about a man tucked away in Mawphrem, eons ago.
    And today I stumbled on the blog. “Hello” after such a long time……..equations have of course changed. Emphasis or not they don’t last for ever (whatever ‘for ever’ might mean)
    I myself am going on a holiday tomorrow.. really excited to know that u r only a click away

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