Pop Quiz


a) I was working on the third draft of my suicide note when he appeared on the telly. It was a speech. There had been many. But this one was different. The incumbent had been re-elected, i.e. it had been democratically decided that he was the better of the two. The speech was addressed to his supporters. Like my note, it was sincere.

He seemed human for the first time in a while; stuttered more than usual. Like me, he fidgeted occasionally and evaded eye contact. Then, in the middle of it, his eyes welled up and two rivulets traversed his face. He didn’t try to hide it. But it was unexpected and they didn’t know how to respond, so they clapped. It helped him finish the speech. And then, they clapped again. This time more vigorously.
I am sure the transcript is lying somewhere around the internet. You’ll only have to look. I don’t remember most of it. Only his reason for helping people- to be attached to something that moves forward. Humanity or humility, I fail to recognize. Anyhow, is that an acceptable principle to live by?
It’s okay to despise a person for their ideology; it’s okay to dislike a person for their priorities. But it is cold to dislike a person for being humane, is it not? Then, isn’t it just as shallow to like a person because they are humane?


a)  What does the term social responsibility mean to you? Is compassion merely an egalitarian propaganda? How are humans related to each other? Is it possible for you to think of a me thinking of you while I am thinking of you? Or do I start thinking of you after you start thinking of me? Is there any link at all?

b) In a link chain, the weight distribution is uniform. Customarily, the tensile strength of all individual links is the same; any difference is negligible.
Imagine being a link in a similar chain. The weight is evenly distributed but not the tensile strength.
What is your role if you  a) are the weakest link, b) are the strongest link, c) don’t know your strength?
Is it okay to use the term, “same burden” when referring to people with varying strengths?
How much are you responsible for the predicament of those that break around you? What is the point of such a chain? Do you agree that will-power is “a ghost in the machine”? If not, can it make you do things? How?


2 thoughts on “Pop Quiz

  1. “What is your role if you… c) don’t know your strength?”
    “He didn’t try to hide it. But it was unexpected and they didn’t know how to respond, so they clapped”
    When I read your writing it always brings me back to a place where writing ceases to be writing and actually rings out as a kind of music or alchemy. 🙂

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