Monday Musings on Tuesday(Wednesday)

I had a very busy day, and hence this entry is quite delayed. Today’s musing is about the devil, what we perceive as devil.Have you ever wondered who the devil truly is or what form it can take? Is the person who kills the devil, or is the true devil the person who gave the killer the arms? Is the devil the people who are of different caste/color/creed/religion, or is the devil that hatred that makes us forget who we are? I have seen people using rape as the means to destroy the homosexual nature; I see the atrocities inflicted on others– all in the name of love.

I know the answer to the question seems straightforward, but it is really not. A friend of mine, let’s call her P, once encountered  suicide. Her friend had committed the suicide. She beat herself because a day before she had talked to that friend. It has been four years since that suicide happened, and my friend still carries the guilt of it. The reason for suicide was like most of the time failed love. Now the question is who’s the devil here: my friend P (for not realising what her friend was going through), the person who committed suicide, or the cause of suicide? It is not easy to put everything in black and white, right? Each person can be devil or probably not.

I am reading a book called The Summer That Melted Everything. The book is about a boy who came to town claiming to be a devil. The book is literary fiction and has given me a lot of food for thought. I have been thinking of Devil since I started reading the book. There is a paragraph in the book that deeply resonates with me.

If the devil was going to come, I expected to see the myth of him. A demon with an asphalt shine. He’d be fury. A chill. A bad cough. Cujo at the car window, a ticket at the Creepshow booth, a leap into the depth of night. I imagined him with reptilian skin in a suit whose burning lapel set off fire alarms. His fingernails sharp as teeth and cannibals in ten different ways. Snakes on him like tar. Flies buzzing around him like an odd sense of humor. There would be hooves, horns, pitchforks. Maybe a goatee. This is what I thought he’d be. A spectacular fright. I was wrong. I had made the mistake of hearing the word devil and immediately imagined horns.

That’s what we expect devil to be. Dark. Bad. Horns (probably). A fallen angel (for some). We expect that when the devil comes there will be announcements, that everyone will know that.

The book continues with the above passage telling how wrong the protagonist of the story was.

But did you know that in Wisconsin, there is a lake, a wondrous lake, called the Devil? In Wyoming, there is a magnificent intrusion of rock named after the same. There is even a most spectacular breed of praying mantis known as the devil’s flower. And a flower, in the genus Crocosmia, known simply as Lucifer. Why, upon hearing the word devil, did I just imagine the monster? Why did I fail to see a lake? A flower growing by that lake? A mantis praying on the very top of a rock? A foolish mistake, it is, to expect the beast, because sometimes, sometimes, it is the flower’s turn to own the name.

Today, my musing is nothing more than the question: what’s devil? Is it us?  Or is it someone else?

P.S. : I am in love with the book. This is just the snippet of what I want to share. There’s a review coming up soon.