The Problem Of Human Relationships


All these and many other thoughts, came to my mind during my long solitary hours in Badenweiler. I did not shed the atmosphere of jail easily; I had long got used to it and the new environment did not make any great change. I was living in the Nazi domain with all its strange happenings which I disliked so much, but Nazism did not interfere with me. There were few evidences of it in that quiet village in a corner of the Black Forest.

Or perhaps my mind was full of other matters. My past life unrolled itself before me and there was always Kamala standing by. She became a symbol of Indian women, or of woman herself. Sometimes she grew curiously mixed up with my ideas of India, that land of ours so dear to us, with all her faults and weaknesses, so elusive and so full of mystery. What was Kamala? Did I know her? understand her real self? Did she know or understand me? For I too was an abnormal person with mystery and unplumbed depths within me, which I could not myself fathom. Sometimes I had thought that she was a little frightened of me because of this. I had been, and was, a most unsatisfactory person to marry. Kamala and I were unlike each other in some ways, and yet in some other ways very alike; we did not complement each other. Our very strength became a weakness in our relations to each other. There could either be complete understanding, a perfect union of minds, or difficulties. Neither of us could live a humdrum domestic life, accepting things as they were.

Among the many pictures that were displayed in the bazaars in India, there was one containing two separate pictures of Kamala and me, side by side, with the inscription at the top, adarsha jori, the model or ideal couple, as so many people imagined us to be. But the ideal is terribly difficult to grasp or to hold. Yet I remember telling Kamala, during our holiday in Ceylon, how fortunate we had been in spite of difficulties and differences, in spite of all the tricks life had played upon us, that marriage was an odd affair, and it had not ceased to be so even after thousands of years of experience. We saw around us the wrecks of many a marriage or, what was no better, the conversion of what was bright and golden into dross. How fortunate we were, I told her, and she agreed, for though we had sometimes quarrelled and grown angry with each other we kept that vital spark alight, and for each one of us life was always unfolding new adventure and giving fresh insight into each other.

The problem of human relationships, how fundamental it is, and how often ignored in our fierce arguments about politics and economics. It was not so ignored in the old and wise civilizations of India and China, where they developed patterns of social behaviour which, with all their faults, certainly gave poise to the individual. That poise is not in evidence in India today. But where is it in the countries of the West which have progressed so much in other directions ? Or is poise essentially static and opposed to progressive change ? Must we sacrifice one for the other ? Surely it should be possible to have a union of poise and inner and outer progress, of the wisdom of the old with the science and the vigour of the new. Indeed we appear to have arrived at a stage in the world’s history when the only alternative to such a union is likely to be the destruction and undoing of both.

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The Discovery Of India – Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru

Bharat Ek Khoj – Doordarshan

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