Disclaimer: The use of color in this post is just metaphorical. White is used as a symbol of purity. This author intends no other connotation and requests the reader to avoid such connotations.
She was a friend’s friend. I met her first at a friend’s party which was hosted at her place. She was sweet and cute. Instantaneously lovable and irritating at the same time. Her heart was white. She talked a lot and a lot of it was childish. A fair amount of fun was made involving her. Every sentence she spoke was commented upon. It was fun.
I had known him before. To this party he was a fresher, just like I was. Nice guy. Calm, weird. He listened more than he talked. He was shy, as I was. His shyness made it hard for one to judge his nature. Maybe, it was intentional. So that he can observe people better.
He had a weird dressing sense. He dressed like people from another culture than his native one. Funny that if one thought about it, even the rest of us there did that. But he was one step ahead of us, perhaps. Probably he wanted to be different. Probably he was a rebel. Probably, this was how he spoke. Our interactions were very limited that day. What would one expect when either side of an interaction is reluctant and shy.
Conversations ranged from exchanges of affection to the food, the latest movies and gossip ofcourse, that eternal time filler. People can go on and on about the same thing every time using a certain creativity to make things more interesting.
A small subset of us started on food first and had started a discussion.
“This movie that I saw yesterday, it was pretty interesting”, she said. “There wasn’t much of a solid story but the screenplay was pacy.”
“How about the performances? The hero is my favorite!”, My friend chipped in.
“I wouldn’t say they were great or anything. But everyone fit in well with their assigned role. Credits to the director.” He had just filled in his plate and was moving in to join the discussion.
“Excuse me. I will just check that dish I was making. You guys continue.” She left the circle to man the kitchen.
“I am looking forward to tasting that one.” I told her, as we exchanged smiles.
“When did you watch it?”, I continued with him.
“Last week, with an office colleague. I like this guy’s work and couldn’t resist watching it early. The one before, is arguably his best”, he said.
We then discussed other movies of that director and his amazing skills of screenplay writing. The rest of the evening was light, with the alcohol kicking in and the gossip back at the helm.
That weekend we watched this director’s previous movie. This had a more solid theme and definitely one of this director’s very best. All the guys from the previous dinner were present except him. I asked her about him. She said she didn’t think he would be interested in this movie.
Out in the open. She was softly but clearly ignoring him. But why? Ofcourse, all of us have our prejudices. But usually, we don’t let them out in the open. This wasn’t that explicit either. But I knew what was happening. Was it something vague or something sharp like I don’t trust short people. In fact, if it were sharp there can only be two things. She knew only those two clear facts about him at that point. What he was doing and where he was from. Was she then..
Such a pure color. Such an expression of truth and purity. No other color can come close to claiming that spot in our minds. A color of nil bias. Every other color has a shade. A shadow. A bias. A spectrum of view. White didn’t have that. It was pan-spectrum. It transcended bias. It had equal proportions of every color.
Such a pure color that it is also the best choice for a masquerador. Nothing is more dangerous. An impostor in the guise of one of our most respected symbols. Yes. That’s what she was. White dirt. Our brains are so hardwired to associate black and brown with dirt. Snow is white. So snow is safe. That’s the instinctual view we seem to have. By the floor being clean, we think of it being white. Without any colors. Without any traces especially of black or brown.
Our natural predispositions are to ignore that which cannot be seen. More generally, sensed by our sensors. That’s what we have evolved into. Anything outside that, our common sense fails. But we are not just a sum of our senses. A limited sensory perception has been compensated for by our intelligence. The brain is not just an arbitrating control mechanism. It can adapt to a number of diverse things. We have also, in the past, built extensions to our senses. To make more sense. Like a microscope to find that virus. Like an infrared telescope to gauge dangers from that distant heat emitting source we had no clue existed.
This was just an instance of that. I was just aided by the events to apply one of these rules I had built up to discern. To identify a speck of dirt that was white. Every natural response, to every sense of intuition is laced with such white dirt. Only by extending our senses and constantly contemplating about what is not, have we worked against this white dirt. If we don’t guard against it diligently, it will eat us up. Spread to every conceivable sense and destroy us. This ability then, is fundamental to our survival. Survival then involves identifying all instances that we can ever imagine of this white dirt. The ones that we fail to imagine and weed out, will be our nemesis. That Armageddon. Another chain of events, another world, another time, I might not have discerned it. That will show my fitness. My selection.
There she was, perpetrating one more fundamentalist thought in the facade of being witty. No one seemed to care. But I did. I wish to stay away from her lest I be infected. White dirt.