Thursday, August 14, 2014
Suicide of Robin Williams and the Jet Pilots Sleeping: Connecting Two Unrelated Events!
Today morning it began to rain in Ranchi. Something good. But that caused our newspaper man delaying his delivery by two hours and I could not spend time reading the paper in the morning as usual.
I was thinking of writing some thing about Cain, son of Eve. I did not say Adam, purposefully. You would know it when I write about it later!
My idea changed when I got the newspaper when I was about to get into my car to go to office. I just had a cursory look at the headlines of the front page.
No doubt, the headlines have been all about politics and political gimmicks. I have nothing to write about those as there are several opinion makers and media intellectuals to analyze those and make us politically enlightened.
What got my attention were two short news: the first was about the suicide of Academy award winning American actor, Robin Williams. The second was about the miraculous escape of international air passengers travelling to Brussels from India on Indian private carrier-Jet Airways. The report said both the pilots slept nicely in the cock pit while the plane was cruising at 33000 feet above Turkey causing the unattended aircraft to plunge 5000 feet. The passengers were fortunate that their sleeping captains woke up in time to regain controls before another possible air accident of the year!
While I was thinking of the possible causes of mishaps involving the so-called celebrities (actors and pilots are worshipful heroes for many!), I myself was saved from a possible car-crash on a blind turn with another car on the way. The other car was driven by a teenager boy driving carelessly while talking over his cell-phone. Perhaps he even did not have a driving licence! Holding his mobile phone pressed to his ears with his right hand, he could not make the steering turn properly with his other hand. But we both applied the brakes just in time to stop our cars within a few inches from each other! Perhaps he realized his mistake, perhaps not. But accidents by immature drivers are on the rise. Whose fault is it, anyway? We would not be able to make any one answer!
The american actor was a successful man in the eyes of the general public. He, perhaps had everything in life-fame, money, recognition, pleasure and what not? But the reports says that he was a drug user and an alcohol enthusiast. But more than that, he had some causes of worry, anxiety, or unhappiness arising from some deep rooted and unfulfilled desires which he was not able to express or share. He perhaps had only formal friends and relatives with whom he was unable to share his problems freely. How can a materially successful person be unhappy? How can a person who caused others to laugh always remained tensed from within? How could he be in the grip of depression, even at an age when he was supposed to be matured by worldly experience?
Human body and mind are indeed complex. There are biological, endocrinal and electrical signals controlling our body in a very complicated manner. We would never be in a position to get to a simple answer to the varied problems of human body and mind. Nevertheless, humans have free will and in-built systems that provide guidance for appropriate living. Unfortunately, many of them, especially those of the celebrity kinds, have no time to put their free thought faculties to guide them. No wonder then that Jesus reportedly told about the difficulty of the rich and famous to enter the kingdom of God!
When money, wealth and power are lavish, the thought faculties of humans go behind the bars!
What perhaps happened to our Indian pilots yesterday was also nothing different. Airline pilots are paid heftily than they can possibly spend in some sane manner. While they are not allowed to board the plane's cockpit with alcohol testing positive as per their service rules, there is nothing preventing them to spend a whole night partying, without taking rest. They are trained professionals who are supposed to use their brains mostly for the purpose for which they are trained. Effectively, such stringent rules make them robotic and they are likely to lose their humanistic part of the brains working effectively. Here too their free thought faculties go behind the bars! When they are freed of their robotic work programs, the immature among them are likely to cross their limits in meaning less pleasures making their bodies and minds weak!
It happens with most of the humans and it is not something special to the actors or the pilots. But a human being really becomes a human being when he or she learns to overcome and streamline the inherent animal instincts. Otherwise, there is not much difference between the animals and the humans!
What humans really need to learn in this short life in this earth is the art of living like a human and not as an animal.
And it is not so difficult!