Monday, August 6, 2012

A Matter of Trust

Trust in me, just in me, shut your eyes and trust in me” – Python Kaa in the Jungle Book

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway

But then what if trust itself is a quality that is distant and foreign? To some it is. By quirk of what one may call fate, I have come to be acquainted with a man who does not trust even his shadow. It was shocking to hear him say that he does trust neither his wife nor his children (who are in their adolescence and teens). He feels that they may be waiting for him to die to corner his wealth. Why and for what he needs his wealth once he is gone is a mystery kept close to his bosom! But, the thought process that prompted such an observation seems hard to comprehend. He is so distrustful of people around him, that he deftly and often crudely plays his associates and employees against the other. His way is that he has everyone so mistrustful of the other that they spy on the other not being aware or sometimes regardless of the fact that they are being spied too. He runs his organisation in such Machiavellian way, which inbreeds shenanigans. As it is the natural law outside physics that every action permeates down to consolidate and react in certain way that we call natural or cosmic justice. So, the man oblivious of the fact that his distrust of even his shadow keeps him sleepless and always glancing backward over his shoulders, continues to survey his domain. While the malicious ones at his feet thrive in his frailty.

 I guess it was in the language class in college- that the professor who taught me my optional language Malayalam was a keen and erudite person who had the uncanny ability to paint like an artist the essence from the works of great poets of yore and recent history. I vividly remember him once lecture in his inimitable style a couplet from the play “Shakuntalam”,wherein the great bard sketches a stag deer deftly using its antlers to remove a tiny niggling piece of alien speck from the doe’s eye. The doe in absolute trust abandons herself in bliss and gratitude to the stag that she knows he can never for a moment waver and let his antlers pierce her eyes in the process. The sublimity of faith! Trust among spouses, man and woman which in this fast paced impersonal world is a premium!

In moments of great stress and distress when madness fleetingly envelops I wonder of the piety of trust. Should I be a python Kaa or the Stag? Perhaps it is easy to trivialise trust when it is once breached. It is not just promiscuity and morals related to that I refer to. Unfortunately trust and morality is seen only synonymous with sexual conduct.

But then is not trust something that can be felt only when it is abandoned? The intensity of trust can be known only when the pain of breach is manifested? It  can be truthfully said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”


sujata said...

I think the word 'trust' has an element of naivety inbred in it. To trust and fall is actually not a good feeling to have. Neither is it good to have sleepless nights worrying that everyone is out to get you. Like almost everything in life there has to be a good balance.

The most important lesson that i hope to pass along to my children is not to misplace their trust. One needs to be a good human being and that does not necessarily mean trusting people. To have a keen awareness of people's mind and be able to judge characters goes a long way in safeguarding your trust from failing.

Insignia said...

Well put. Trust is felt only when it is breached. Then on, things can never be the same. I pity that friend of yours Anil. He who cant trust his own folks cant trust himself too. Just imagine how pathetic his life must be? All alone, no one to confide to, breaking apart people who trust each other....

BK Chowla, said...

I agree with Sujata,I would rather be away from misplaced trust.
Trust is a very sacred word with wide meaning.I would be very careful.

Happy Kitten said...

Trust once broken can never be gained. But this should not let one distrust the entire universe. One need to only strive to be trustful in one's own affairs. I hope your frnd wakes up before he loses his mind. I think such a mindset comes forth his own way of thinking and action. I think he is a crook and thinks that every other person is a crook too. I have come across such personalities. They seldom enjoy life.

dr.antony said...

I was thinking about this every single day for the last few months. How blindly I have trusted someone,and got taken for a ride.It is a habit for me,and I haven't yet learned.

Once when I asked a friend,he said," well,what else can be broken easily,other then promises"

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough”

Frank Crane

rama said...

Husbands can never be trusted, when asked by wives"do I look good"?, pat comes the answer from them, without even looking at their wives "yeah, yeah, you are looking very good, now come on hurry up"

NRIGirl said...

During school days a friend had entrusted me with a secret I was not supposed to tell anyone - she was thinking of suicide! We were in 7th grade and I am hearing the word for the first time; what am I to do? I asked my parents who got warned and asked more of it and finally it got escalated to teachers, HM and even to her parents!

Ever since then she has shunned me, crying and screaming and then completely stop talking to me, while labeling me 'not trustworthy'!

I am confused even to this day! Hope Somasundari is living happily somewhere...

anilkurup said...

@ Sujata,

Yes it is a circus. But then the acumen to judge the other is not ingrained in all alike.
However to be skeptical about every shadow that lurks somewhere is a strange illness a debilitating psychotic problem.

@ Insignia,

Yes breaching of trust alone can tell what trust is and once some breaches the Rubicon then it is easy to jettison guilt too.
Well the guy seems to think that he is a modern day Machiavelli, but to me it is sickening- his intrigues.

@ B.K.Chowla,

Yes indeed , as long as one has scruples.

@ Happy Kitten,

You are right. Only the guilty are afraid and paranoid.

@ Doc Antony,

Yes Doc, the easiest thing to break are promises.

It is a thin line that parts trust and the deception.

@ rama,

Ha , I like that. It is because the poor fellow was once bowled over and he doesn't want a repeat.

@ NRI Girl,

That was childhood matter. But why don't you try to trace her. Remember by default you were instrumental in her being led away from a foolish matter.

Meera Sundararajan said...

Trust is something which we take for granted until someone betrays it. But then as Sujata above says, what we need to learn today is not to misplace our trust. Mistrust is often synonymous with lack of confidence particularly when you see it from a leadership context. I have worked with some leaders who do not trust anybody. The moment they see a few of their team members together they think that they must be conspiring against them. I deal with a person like this regularly at my work place and frankly I am tiered of his hallucinations.. BTW there is a nice Malayalam novel that I read long back ( the English translation) where a husband mistrusts his wife and blames his own impotence on her - imagining her to be a Yakshi.. Don't remember the name of the author but the story remains in my mind

Musings said...

@ Meera Sundarajan,

Yes , I'm in the same unenviable situation like you are .It nauseates and make me sick this bizarre fantasies of the person.

The author in question is Mlayattoor?

KParthasarathi said...

I liked the annotation of the poem in Sakuntalam by your teacher and the quote at the end of the post.Trust is the grease that makes relationships easy.Take it away life becomes a misery like that of your friend mentioned in the post.

anilkurup said...

@ K.Parthasarathi,

Thanks . I also was greatly fascinated by the metaphor quoted from Shakunthalam.

....Petty Witter said...

The python Kaa or the Stag? Now there is a question.

Balachandran V said...

Trust or no trust, I LOVE Kaa and the Jungle Book! :-)

Trust - A friend of mine is the paragon of virtue - to his wife. While in truth he goes around fornicating. Yet for all outward purposes he is the most dutiful husband and the wife seemingly has implicit trust in him. What I wonder is that whether he has any qualms about his adultery. Or does he ever imagine a situation when he is caught with his pants down. Perhaps I am just jealous! :-D

anilkurup said...

@ Petty Witter,
Yes that is the question. I'm now reading a book, "The difficulty of being good". It throws up lot of ask.

! Balachandran,

Envious , yes , hearing stories I do feel envious.
But then promiscuity , as I mentioned is unfortunately identified first as the most profane quality when one talks about trust. Balan , there are matters of trust that goes beyond that and has wider ramifications. don't you think so?