Tag Archives: poverty

from behind the veils of perception

23 Jul

William Blake was a really smart man, there’s no arguing on that! So when he goes around saying

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.

you cant really disagree can you? I must admit I never cared much for the guy and i really heard this quote through Jim Morrison. Well whatever, it sounded cool when the guy said it! You always need a smart guy and a cool guy to make a quote and get it famous (I really need a cool guy or a marketing agent to get this blog more views, no seriously!).

So I had this really important work somewhere and unfortunately I had to walk there. And what i didn’t know was that I had to walk 4-5 kilometers and this walk was from the backward parts of the city. I felt like I was walking through The Narrows.

It took me an hour to cover the distance, yes using GPS and not asking people can make one slow but in my defense i was scared of  being mugged. What followed was me walking around following my GPS and observing each and every moving thing around me. This observation slowly transformed from fear to intrigue. What first stuck my fancy through a series of clichéd events(if it weren’t, this post would have been longer) was that they were so…ordinary! yes that’s the word. And I had never thought of that before, that these people could be ordinary. Poor, yes..but ordinary. Just like any one of us.

It was at this moment that I stopped thinking about being mugged and started observing more at this poverty struck reflection of ordinary society. It was fascinating to observe a low budget replica( i kinda like using film related terms, sorry) of your average day. Take off all the money and our life would be exactly as theirs, is what I felt.

And all that made me think any different was my perception, a perception inculcated in me by those around me, by my daily influences. I never cared to question it, after all its a known fact that the scum of the society comes from the poor, right? Maybe yes. I don’t know. But what I saw that day, weren’t the scum of the society. They were family men, friends, mothers, sisters, workers etc.

So now when I hear the William Blake quote, I think about the walk I took. It used to sound cool to me, but now it makes sense. But the biggest thing out of all this, a little bit of personal gain has been that, I have learned to avoid the veil of perception and see things for myself. I feel a better person. Its a simple story, with a greater impact. I like that. Simplicity can be greatly effective.

PS: If I had been mugged or stabbed that day, this would have been a completely different post!

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