The history of comparison is as old as the human history. I am not sure of the facts when Adam existed alone but I have, sure, an imaginary clip in my mind as to what might have happened when Eve arrived. Consider for a moment ,
Adam: Oh! You seem to have come straight from the heavens, if I ‘m not mistaken.
Eve: How do you know?
Adam: Your eyes so beautiful, and such a grace in your steps. That says all. None but the Almighty alone can create that.
Eve: Thank you. Probably this world will be full of others like us. But I’m the first creation, He may not put all the same artistic details in others, you know?
Adam: So aptly said but…I beg you to take those words back… er… I mean….first …creation…
Eve: Yeah, ye I get that…I get that..,I mean creation of the other type, probably the one you call a female.
Adam: Though I belong to the other type but I think, you know,the matter about the artistic details, goes perfectly with me. Your first work is always the most beloved one. With my creation Gods must have shouted, “EUREKA.”
And so on.
So you can see for yourself how comparison bug might have started multiplying.
(Have you marked? Eve’s dotted lines are a bit longer than those of Adam’s? Alright, but please don’t start a comparison).
Comparison bug has, by now, infected all the species of animals living in this universe. Please don’t be surprised when I use the words ‘animals’ and ‘universe’. When a tiger chases a herd of deer, it must be comparing the ones faster off and the others comparatively slower, of course in the twinkling of an eye, so that it could catch one easily. And I also wanted to keep the possibilities open for NASA, since it is trying really hard to find signs of life on celestial bodies other than earth. Hence the word ‘universe’.
From our childhood to adolescence and there on to adulthood it is comparison all the way and to the day when wrinkles begin eclipsing the dimples it’s comparison only that ensures fun and enjoyment. It adds spice to any discussion, it makes a debate hot, it brings out the finer points about the characteristic properties of those compared and it enlivens otherwise pale, lifeless and numb events. In rare instances it is also accompanied with live action. When I was in 8th standard I was a diehard fan of Amitabh Bachchan. But there was a different school of thought that considered Rajesh Khanna a better actor. Bansi, my bossom friend belonged to that school. One day we somehow got entangled in the comparison of the superstars and after a one-hour hot discussion we were in the mid of an action scene which ended in my nose blowing blood and Bansi’s right eye’s corner having a dark scar. Probably on that day Amitabh Bachchan would have eaten Shahi Paneer and Pulao and Rajesh Khanna might have enjoyed his supper with chicken butter masala and rumali roti but they perhaps were little cognizant of the fact that their fans ,in a far off, small town, fought a deadly duo to establish the stars’ supremacy. We ended up our youth comparing film stars, cricketers, class mates, girls, ourselves, academic subjects, carriers, teachers, courses,events, Gods and probably every hell of a thing in this universe. If you ponder over comparison characteristic of Homosapiens, you will gradually come to realize that comparison is the source of sustenance. Think for a while. On a boring, monotonous, tiring, routine work day you are sitting in your office chamber and assume you do not find yourself in a frame of mind suitable to give a push to the targeted project work. Then a colleague enters and she comes up with a praise for you, “ Your shirt matches your complexion well. And nobody in the office looks as smart as you.” “Really I mean it.”,She says smiling. The moment she leaves your cabin, you get up and slip in front of the mirror and say to yourself, “Indeed ,I have maintained my physique well even to this age.” You shake off your gratefulness to Godrej and Loreal who have helped you so much with dodging your colleagues about your graying hair and beard. The words echo in your mind’s eye. “NO BODY IN THE OFFICE…….NOBODY IN THE OFFICE……NOBODY IN THE OFFICE …LOOKS AS SMART… .” You are infected. The comparison bug has started multiplying.
Now let’s see what might have happened had there been no comparison. The mobile tower behind my house is high. Everest is also high. I have cleared a test to enter a local private firm. He also passed the Joint Entrance Test for IITs. On Saturdays he has to conduct a quiz competition in his school. Amitabh Bachchan also conducted a similar program called 'KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI”. The girl next door is beautiful. Aishwarya, Kareena and Katrina are also beautiful....and so on. So I think it is self explanatory and does not need any more illustrations to establish the importance of comparison.
Khanna, my next door neighbour, told me the other day that he had nicknamed himself as MM and he challenged me to guess why. Obviously I couldn't. Then he revealed that whenever he and his wife returned from a party or a movie or any outdoor trip his wife would stand in front of him, shake her long silky hair, give a 2 cm smile, take Khanna's hands in her own, look straight into his eyes and ask, “Was the heroine in the play more beautiful than me?” or “Did Mrs. Saxena look better than me?” or “Was the girl's eyes who served the drinks, more alluring than mine since I saw you staring her?” So that was it. Poor Khanna had named himself as “MAGIC MIRROR”. Remember “SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS”? The wicked queen always asked the magic mirror who was the fairest? Now you know how Khanna had to play the enslaved spirit in the mirror!
Such Khannas are found in almost all places and are the infected byproducts(if you are not a Khanna and the word 'byproduct' does not displease you) produced as the deadly bite of the comparison bug. I only hope the analogy 'byproduct' does not need an explanation. The main product, of course, was Mrs. khanna.
So dear readers, at last I thought of saying that only simplicity could be used as an ointment against the bites of comparison bug and that a simple man alone would be making no comparisons but when I thought a bit more seriously, gradually I could make out that it was not that easy because it is always difficult to be simple. Moreover the questions of how simple or simpler and simplest will arise and we will find ourselves in the grip of the bug again.
But there are good effects too. If there are no comparisons there will be no competitive spirit, there will be no improvements, there will be no attractions and repulsions and so on.
To conclude I hope you will say 'twas a good article'. Mind you, I didn't say better or the best......Keep the bug away ….......Keep the bug away.
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