Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Class 4 & Sense Of Belonging

"No one knows except for both of us" sings Alanis in her track "Hands Clean" as I was getting home today.

I am brooding over this topic of belonging, rather of love and longing I am tempted to say but that would deserve a writing of its own at a later time. I have done this (brood over it) many times before and even have a special term that I attribute to most of my close friends.The class 4 type.I forgot what would constitute the first 3 classes but I definitely know that "Class 4" is a special type of people who have no sense of belonging whatsoever in this world.Kind of rootless.

Now why would this be an asset.Think about it. "The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step out of the frame" said Rushdie in "The Ground Beneath Her Feet". These are people who step outside to grab a snapshot of the whole picture only to find that they cannot be the same when they get back in.Probably because as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”

This is opportune time for wondering because some of my pals are gonna get hitched soon. I wonder if they would regain their sense of belonging with the help of their spouses. I heartily wish it were so. This is the sense that drives likeminded people to form strong social support structure.The examples that come to my mind are

(a) Ever seen a Smoker bum a cigarette from another or the way they share a light. Now thats a sense of belonging to the same spirit (I dont know if the conspiracy is to smoke out the world!)

(b) Catchers of a Running Bus in India : Back home I was always helped by those in the footboard help me board the bus when I was running real hard to catch a bus movin at 25-40 Kmph. A special sense of acheivement accompanies once you board or alight.(Alighting the running bus is a telepathic activity by syncronizing the thought so a few persons getting together at the same place within a span of minutes!).Bikes and Cars destroyed this these days...

(c) Clans : Either by Caste, Creed or religious denomination, people have this feeling of camarederie that makes it easy to lend a helping hand to another member. No more attention needed on this as this is a very widely recognized phenomenon.

And you can add your own to this list but you see the pattern. In a given typical day you navigate through many of these "federated belongingdoms" as easily as the breeze running over a lake.

Of all these people definitely hold one or two of them very close to their heart.Say Family and Friends or a particular relative or even a pet.These "Class 4" types are the ones who keep that spot vacant but they do enjoy bonding with other "Class 4" types as they know that it would come with no strings attached and the best part is they pick up where they left( inspite of a large gulf of time separating their last bonding moment!). This is not to say that they dont enjoy the company of others or something.It is to say that they are like mercury (neither metal nor non-metal and hence "metalloid" or if you prefer like water on lotus) where they d have a touch but not really attachment.

In "The Ballad of the Reading Gaol" there is a nice stanza

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"

In that sense these "Class 4" type are very brave.On their face they would laugh this off with some witty remark or some humorous repartee but inside they know that given the same situation again they would come to the same conclusion. While the word altruistic does not exactly match the character Sydney Carton epitomises one of the ideals these types live by in his memorable final words

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;
it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known,"

I believe they have made their own finite corner in this infinite universe.Kudos to them.


Priyanka said...

first: how absolutely annoying to find that i'm not allowed to post anonymously :)

second: i guess there's always a battle between the need to "belong" and the need to be "free"..while belonging shrinks the universe, "free falling" expands it sometimes beyond manageable limit..even your class four types must be struggling to achieve some sort of balance, despite their nonchalance..and there's always the reaction of the others to think about..how do they react to these people who float in and out of their lives? Esp when it comes to a relationship like marriage, i guess it becomes really tough if one of the partners is a class 4 and the other is not...


Paddy said...


>first: how absolutely annoying to find that i'm not >allowed to post anonymously :)

Heheh..Occasionally restricting the access has its own merits :-) Need I say more? Lo! I opened it again for all the anonymous folks!

>..even your class four types must be struggling to >achieve some sort of balance, despite their >nonchalance..and there's always the reaction of the >others to think about..

Good Point.The inner flux of these class 4 types keeps adjusting to maintain their "delicate balance" with the environment around them.

>how do they react to these people who float in and out >of their lives? Esp when it comes to a relationship >like marriage, i guess it becomes really tough if one >of the partners is a class 4 and the other is not...

This is yet actually to be completely studied but yes! there can be a potential problem lurking.
On thing that can be definitely said is that the Class 4 type will suffer more than the non-class 4 but this wouldnt be that evident.Usually the non-class 4 types get what they want and ask for with the class 4 types thus removing the room for most of the usual trivial mundane frictional battles paving the way for one and onlt one grand finale if any.

I hope I have answered your question.


Anonymous said...

don't agree abt the non class 4 types suffering less. class 4 types have the advantage of being able to detach themselves..for the others belonging is like oxygen..
anyways, this can possibly be an endless debate :)

ps.anonymity is good. :)


Anonymous said...

I wish I didn't rape what you meant
and beget a bastard? for my convenience.
Are n't everyone born attached,
I shall ask thy mother.
When you squeeze the glass hard
Hoping to touch the water
And find yourself washing wounds
In the shards of broken beliefs
Then you realize
That you have become a father
Of many orphans
The cynics and the romantics
Is n't it attaching to ones self,
More than the others, curling inwards.


Priyanka said...

deep..very deep..! :)
what say you Paddy?

Paddy said...

I rest my case with the following

(a) Both "Seventh Wave(7~)" and Priyanka are memebers of this "Class 4".

(b) Seventh wave is sayin that all bond could be collapsed into one bond.When that happens it can be recursively applied to form no bond or infinite bond (depending on your view).One step further in the deep!

(c)There is good reason why Mercury compounds are called "Amalgams".

(d) I usually do not edit or polish my posts.I write and publish in a moment.Next time I will give a little thought before publishing something incomplete.So watch out fellas!