The Hungry Tide, a book by Amitav Ghosh narrates a story set in the backdrop of The Tide country, Sunderbans. The character of Kanai Dutt caught my prime attention while Fokir wittily persuades him to step into the reign of the beast (Tiger), Gorjontola Island. Kanai is an ambitious young Bengali man who lives in Delhi and comes to visit his uncle’s village in the Tide Country. And Fokir is an illiterate but skilled fisherman whose life has always been around the mangroves and the brackish river water. Kanai found it impossible to move while advancing into the thickets. The mangroves played its prank on the stranger and he fell to slam his face into the mud. Fokir offered to help but Kanai could not accept his insult by an illiterate village man. Outraged, Kanai abused Fokir and took his revenge by calling him to belong to an inferior race. Fokir left to seek more help for Kanai. While struggling to unlock his feet from the mud he realized what he actually did a few moments ago. He felt that somewhere within him lies an undiscovered pride of being a townsman of superior caste and education that treats a rustic with contempt. “He had thought he had cleansed himself of these sediments of the past, but the violence with which they spewed out of him now suggested that they had only been compacted into an explosive and highly volatile reserve.” While reading these lines from the book I pondered about the yet to be unveiled ‘highly volatile reserve’ that I foster within. Someday, Just as Kanai we too would stand face to face before the very strange face of ourselves.
What we think about our behavior and as much we know ourselves is like an iceberg or a mere perception; what you see is not the reality. The reality confronts us during different circumstances and if we have the skill to accept it, we evolve to be wiser and better.
Sitting in a room we cannot completely ruminate and learn about our behavior. People, places and circumstances reveals the reality before us time to time. The most crucial thing is to shovel the sediments of our minds and to accept our strange faces.