About Merchants and Poets

    The very basic difference between man and man is never disputed. Albeit there are debates and discussions on practices and more than that on concepts and theories of caste distinction, gender bias, regional feelings, generic functional separations, and of socio-economic discriminations. One feels: that the more and more it is discussed and reiterated the more it affects and aggravates the already existing facts, feelings, and activities.

    Seminars on such topics of discrimination in society initiated its perdition just like educating an audience on the vices of consuming liquor which is reportedly teetotaler, ignorant of liquor. Going by the presumption that maybe someday they will definitely advance towards the fascination and habit of consuming liquor or they might become an addict, they ought to be taught in advance, is absurd.

    There weren’t many communal or caste-ridden riots or fights when the natural facts of inimical difference were casually accepted. Going by findings in studies in history, such clashes weren’t usual in ancient or even in medieval India. The general difference surreptitiously turned into hatred a hundred years after European invasions and subsequent colonization.

    Nevertheless, the feeling had remained and it persisted with dignity. Today it is still there, albeit with or without dignity. The upper caste, however deep hidden within their hearts, have a musing with the feeling of superiority by birth and so-called purity of blood. And the more learned among the class have an even higher sensibility about their own self. Upper class bringing up added to their high learning made them more of a keeper of traditional values and customs, at times guarding them with conservative and religious zeal. More zealous zealots do not even hesitate, though in undertones to confess their impatience with people from the lower class. To be noted – it is only impatience, not intolerance.

    In this perspective, we can take up the case of scholars vis-a-vis merchants. Again while mentioning these two terms of classes here, one means the traditional concepts of the higher scholarly class and the comparatively lower class of businessmen and merchants. It is a studied observation, though interestingly surprising that, traders and merchants are more sensitive to other peoples’ needs and moods than are preachers, poets, and scholars. To be successful the former must learn to get along well with everyone. They have to be good to their customers and prospective clients in order to earn their profits.

    They may lack in the subtle refinement of thought and intellectuality at pure academic or philosophical level but are conspicuous by their acknowledgment of their limitation, with extreme humility mixed with admonition for the people who have it. And interestingly their very tolerance and adaptability betray their so-called lack of refinement. This is possible by a certain quality of their capacity to perceive and judge a man quite effectively. Then they adopt themselves to the frame of the other man and impress upon him. They are suave, they are shrewd. They are tactful and polished in manner.

    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra, 1975 Odisha born, a Delhi University Post Graduate in Social Sciences, with a professional career in banking for around two decades, is engaged in creative writing and with film society. As on date he has two English poetry collections published, “Farewell To Kalpana Saikia” (Author’s Press, New Delhi) and “Bathing Ghat At Kotipalli” (Athena Books, Bhubaneswar). He has published English Essays, Poetry and Short Stories with English language magazine of Kendriya Sahitya Academy, Indian Literature and few others. He also does English subtitling for Odia language films. He is single and lives with his parents in Bhubaneswar.
    Notify of
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    Latest articles

    Related articles