Words couldn’t describe Malcolm’s state of mind. It wasn’t shock. It wasn’t angst, or sorrow or agony or any of the usual synonyms for occasions which caused distress, but rather a mixture of hate and peculiarity mired with a weird sense of confusion. His opposite numbers, two men and a woman he had been having business meetings with for quite some time, had decided to catch up for discussing the possibility of further relations and an extension of their current relationship which expired in another month. Malcolm wanted to keep their account for another three years and had negotiated hard, and as he knew he would, he had won it, much to the chargin of his rivals, who had pitched for this account themselves.
Now, as he looked at them, overlooking the city skyline, over drinks in a reasonably plush lounge in town, having been fed soothing tales about the economic development of the country they lived in under the current political regime, for the past three hours, steadily getting drunker with each passing drink, one of the men had hurled two abuses at Malcolm for holding opposite views and laughing at him openly while rebuking all his statements with concretely explained step-by-step logical explanations, which proved the man was either bluffing or lying.
Malcolm was not concerned. After all, the incident only proved how logic and fact-checking was so rare and mentally stimulating, that only a few if not many even bothered to overcome the inertia of mental laziness to stop believing whatever zealous politicians peddled to them everyday, especially in a populous country like his, which had seen its fair share of political troubles, but yet it was a miracle, if not anything else, that no amount of chaos, madness or confusion caused by so many different sects and communities could derail the country from chugging along in relative harmony, unless, unless deliberate political intentions to derail its pluralistic atmosphere were at work, which Malcolm believed, was being done so, carefully, but surely with evil intentions and misplaced reasons borne out of a twisted mindset of a select few individuals who liked to wield power at all costs.
Malcolm loved watching the current political regime at work, because he felt it was being replicated around all over the world, goaded and supported by a section of the society which felt inferior and devoid of happiness because their upbringing encouraged them to poke fun and bring down people of intellect and strong principles. This section, and their leaders used devious means like bringing up national honour, pride and identity to salvage another section which felt they were reclaiming the lost glory of the motherland from decades or centuries of oppression, as if the present was a vessel to bring up centuries of wrong doing and correcting them through more violence and humiliation.
However, for Malcolm, it wasn’t that violence, or ‘divide and rule’ being misused for claiming power, that amused him. It was the fact that, how hopeless and misguided the people that propagated it were, as if carrying a new sense of pride of being involved in the process of nation building through imposing a mob culture that encouraged less thinking and fictitious claims of prosperity, when a few years later, those very same people would be left licking their wounds due to their blind stupidity. Malcolm didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, at the sheer volume of bluff that he read or heard everyday from people, who had a knack of looking up to new heroes, as if imagining them to be god’s own descendants, guided no doubt, by the mainstream media, who constantly pushed lies and more lies to lure in more eyeballs and viewership.
Malcolm stood up, looked at the three persons with whom he had concluded the business deal of his life, his largest ever. Staring into their eyes, he said-
“It was great knowing you guys. I’ll take your leave”
Malcolm left. He was proud of himself, due to the fact that not once, had he raised his voice nor spoken illogically, whilst exerting great control over his speech. The true mark of a gentleman, a proponent of the concept of ‘Live and Let Live’. How difficult was it to read more, and understand more about the human mind, whilst understanding yourself. Not a lot.