Saturday, May 22, 2010

Body in Pain

As I lie in pain, recuperating from leg surgery, I am watching new channels breaking tragic story of plane crash in Manglore. 160 feared dead ,8 survivors. Channels are busy gathering bits and pieces of the tragedy that is the latest news story on air.

Tragedies strike on every day basis. Whether it is cyclone Laila killing people, Maoist massacring security personnel or bus falling in the gorge in Kashmir killing civilians who had survived the bullets of militants and army machine guns. There seem to be simply no dearth for tragedies. People are dying everyday in horrific ways.

Tragedies are stories of pain and suffering. Greek civilization accorded highest form of entertainment to the tragic tales. Greeks were to first acknowledge that tragedy is a form of pleasure when enacted before public in an aesthetic way. Today media plays the role of enacting those tragedies for public.

By repeatedly telling and showing you the tragic sites and sounds of pain, media tries to keep you informed and entertained at the same time. You go numb in pain as you watch mangled, charred, mutilated human remains. Pain is enhanced further as each dead person tells you a story. Some one had just called his loved one as he/she was about to dismount the plane. Some body was meeting his loved one after many years. They were all trying to reach a destination and they did reach their destinations... unfortunately some could not disembark.

Your mind goes in loop as you try to understand pain.

Human civilization has been trying to decode pain in many ways. Through literature, religion, visual arts, medicine, war, you name it and you realize most of the artistic endeavors revolve around pain. We like to feel pain. Pain makes us feel real.

Last year when I was grounded to my bed ( again in pain) with a leg fracture I read some excepts of the book called, Body in Pain by Ellain Scarry. She analyzes pain into two part 'unmaking' and 'making' (of pain).In the chapter, unmaking Scarry tries to elaborate on structure of Torture and structure of war and its relation to human body . In the section under 'making' she explains Pain and imagining, and Interior structure of the artifact. I tried hunting for this book in libraries in Mumbai but it was not available and the publishers Oxford University press were equally helpless in acquiring a copy for me as it was out of print. I am still looking out for this book as I beleive the book has lot to enlighten me about the pain.

Right now, I really don't know what is hurting me more. Piercing pain in my left foot or the tragic story of plane crash.

Either ways body is in Pain.

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