The betrayal

Jean Genet may have labelled it ecstasy, Arthur Miller truth itself, John Le Carre an extension of love. Perhaps. In my humble opinion, it is politics. The politics of betrayal (what about betrayal in politics? Illustrations aplenty!) may be biological, emotional, psychological or social, the perceived severity of its degree may vary. 

A pal of mine (let us call her Riya) experienced her first taste of the proverbial double-cross at barely six. Now, Riya had a condition that forbade locomotion and stressful activity of any sort and she had to be confined to bed. She adored her dad. In her eyes, he was the quintessential hero who could do no wrong. With faith that was extremely touching, she would wait for him to come home from work so that they could play or talk at the very least, but he was invariably too tired. Riya waited patiently for the day that had a glorious ring to it-Sunday! Daddy would be all hers on Sunday.

 When the eagerly awaited day arrived, Riya eagerly confiscated dad. ‘Daddy, let us blow soap bubbles!’ the invalid child’s spirit bounced gaily. ‘I am very busy’, dad said in clipped tones and Riya didn’t ask any more questions. She just lay down on her bed in her dark room. A while later, she opened the window to let some light in. Something burst against her face gently-- a soap bubble. Soon a zillion bubbles were floating around the room.

Riya squinted to see against the sun. Her beloved ‘busy’ dad was exuberantly blowing soap bubbles with the neighbour’s child in the liberating warmth of outdoors. Riya’s faith burst like one of the soap bubbles. This incident may have seemed inconsequential to grown ups but hurt Riya enough to stay with her unto adulthood.

One shouldn’t be too surprised, I suppose for the concept of deceit is as ancient as evolution itself when Adam and Eve cheated God, siblings murdered one another to seize the royal scepter and crown. One can never overlook one of the worst betrayals in history— that of Brutus killing his friend Julius Caesar. There is evidence that Christ had prior knowledge of his disciple’s motives. Even modern day politics is replete with guiles and beguiles — Murtaza Ali Bhutto’s assassination, allegedly with the state’s nod, when his sister Benazir Bhutto was in power being a case in point.

Strange charlatans depriving one of one’s possessions, sustenance or even life itself, dastardly acts as they may have done, are not qualified to be listed under the politics of betrayal. Close kin or ‘friends’ adept at this kind of politics, who might have stabbed you in the back are worthy of the sobriquet only. In such instances, the ‘Tit for Tat’ attitude wouldn’t behove the victim. One may not have the ESP to beware of would-be betrayers either. Therefore there is only one wise thing to be done-- to strive and emerge as a stronger individual after any such experience and to boldly move on in life.

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