Small things often trigger huge responses. Few days ago I thought of decorating my office table. I put a shoe-shaped vase (made up of clay) on my desk. Few of my friends really liked it as an awesome piece of art.
However, one of my coworker raised a rare objection that no one else pointed out. As I didn’t have pen box at hand I had put my Pens in it. He asked ‘why have I put ‘Pen’ in the ‘shoe’. Indirectly, asking is it not wrong to put pen in the shoe.
When I got to know about his objection, I realized what a blasphemous act I have committed.
It elicited a series of thoughts. My first thought was, is it really so, ‘have I really put pen in the shoe’. That cute shoe-shaped vase is a shoe? Really! Neither I nor anyone else has ever worn it. It was never manufactured for this either. Besides, like all good vases, it has a long neck and it is a bit spacious too. putting it differently, the manufacturer must have shaped it in this way so that it can be used for some purpose other than decoration. Something can be put in it… Some fresh flowers, dry arrangement or anything.
However, what indirectly has hurt the most was the perception that a writer can disgrace the pen; his soul power and best friend.
I wonder, there must be a lot of people who do not approve of Shoe touch up markers. That are in the shape of pen to polish heals and scuffs efficiently. Isn’t it bad? The person who introduced these couldn’t have thought of something else? Like a small painting type brush. Does it sound decent to ‘polish your shoes with pen’? Can you sense where taking things so literally can lead you?
Also, how about ‘shoe art’? Where, you create beautiful designs on shoes with the help of various colored pens, paints or other stuff. Oh My God, how dishonorable it sounds to use pen on the shoes. Well you can make shoes your canvas and paint them as much as you want. But don’t you dare use pen on shoes.
Additionally, the new bridge of khana-Kaba that was created for the crippled or disabled people is bit higher than holy Kaba itself, but people put verdict on it too. Like, although you are circling around kaba you are up from the holy kaba. That is to say that you have risen higher from it. The self-proclaimed righteous perceives it wrong as well. A lot of people will never understand the convenience it has created.
So the point is we need to come out of the shackles of traditionalism. The idea is not to go with the flow. It is to question are your beliefs really rational or they are based on your emotions and what authorities have told you. The way you take things have a serious effect on your thinking, worldview, and your opinions regarding others.
I have never put pen in the shoes. I used my ‘shoe-shaped vase’ or decoration piece to put my pen in precisely because I didn’t have any other thing. Also I had put them in the place where they are safe and visible.
Attaching wrong meanings and taking things literally is really lethal. And taking things out of their exclusive context is even more dangerous. It distorts and twists the whole story in a way where it leads you to very dubious and inept conclusions. That has little or no relevance to the whole thing.
Coming back to story the problem is not his criticism. The problem is this type of mind-set or mentality that is prone to view things in a rigid manner.
This is our dilemma as a nation that we are becoming increasingly rigid, inflexible, and intolerant mostly in the name of religion and ethics.
A beautiful depiction of art is labeled as sacrilegious. A blunt piece of writing is viewed as profane. A mere act of courage is tagged as ‘disrespectful’ and what’s not. Consider the fact that even in this modern world, Manto is still viewed as obscener!
You may not agree with my ideas, but I am sure you do agree with the message I tend to spread by this. Don’t put Pen in the Shoe !
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