Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 10/2/14 7:34 AM

Humour: The half doctrine


                                              The half doctrine

Ever since the Famous Author promoted the half  idea, I have been wondering who originally developed this earth-shattering concept.

Was it Aryabhata, who after inventing the zero decided he might as well throw in another idea, two for the price of one?

Was it Kalidasa who, watching an unsatisfactory monsoon do (half) its thing, decided to write a
lament called titled `Ardha Meghaduta,`  only the first word got lost in the manuscript-to- typesetting process?

Or was it Chanakya who, after a long and fruitless (also known as a half-baked session) discussion of state matters with an astoundingly ignorant aristo, decided that half matters are best moved forward in the absence of full matters?

You will notice that I am giving credit only to true- blue Indians. Far be it for me to introduce a foreign element into these proceedings by saying the Bard of Avon might have had a certain English king cry: Half my kingdom for a horse!

Or that Sylvia Plath might have seriously contemplated a poem of many cantos on half a bell

No siree, that would be a genuine insult to the nation’s ability to produce, as also the nation’s ability to embrace such a deep and meaningful concept.

Think about it. We have been following the half doctrine to the t.

Pretty much everything we do and have been doing, has been on the half line. We are past masters of the half thought wherein we ruminate, and then let things be. Of the half action, where we are seen to be initiating something, anything,  but no one recalls having seen us finishing
what we started.

All those breach of promise cases (also known as love failure here in the southern parts of the country) we read of? They are but the results of the half affair.

And so on, literally ad nauseam.

Of course, this umbrella does not gather under its protective dome men who say women ought to dress decently in order to avoid rape, people who offer discounts on six-bedroom apartments with plunge pool attached in buildings named Bounty on the Lagoon, or those who attempt to resolve road rage problems with a car jack.

Nothing half about them; they are all certified full cretins.

Also, the half doctrine somehow doesn`t seem to cover steaming landfills, human unkindness and Salman Khan’s inability to emote.

But the half lot, they are everywhere.

Poets who write half poems which,  of course, are only half-understood. Authors who write 630- page books with half stories. Those in power who are always arriving at half decisions, thus pressing the pause button indefinitely on taking hard calls.

Then, there’s us, who buy half vegetables for twice the price of full ones;  who work full-time for what is virtually half pay; who move our half car (and you don’t need me to tell you which one
this is) to one side so the tomato red Lamborghini can swish by.

Well, now that we know there’s an official doctrine that we can equate to concepts like  shunya, moh and maya, we can go on doing our thing happily.

See the genius in the half doctrine?

This appeared on the Writers Unboxed webpage on 2 Oct 2014.



Chetan Bhagathumourin praise of half thingsThe half doctrine

Sheila Kumar • October 2, 2014

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