August 26, 2015

A for 'Armour'

Wikipedia defines 'Armours' as a protective covering used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual, or vehicle by direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or action.

Come to think of it, each one of us dons an invisible 'armour' for precisely the same reason----protection, albeit at a slightly deeper level.
Somewhere deep within us lies a fragile soul that has been shaken way too many times. The invisible  armour we build around us is meant to be a strong exterior to ward off all encroaching manipulations of a malevolent world, a safety suit to safeguard us against heartbreak, expectations, pain and the emotional vulnerability that comes along with it, a defense mechanism to keep our spirit armed and guarded from getting crushed.

Most of us (including me) often prefer to pretend to be tougher than we really are. We choose to act  within pre-set limits even though our souls crave to cross them. We hate to reveal our weaknesses, our softer side to people...mainly because we are afraid they might take advantage of our liabilities (remember Achilles), hit us where it hurts most. Hence the need to maintain a tough spiritual 'armour' that allows no one to look into our soul.

Invisible or not, armours however are never impenetrable. Slowly but surely, the chinks would start showing up. The real question would then be  how many chinks can an armour handle before it eventually crumbles?
I sometimes wonder if there would be less risk involved in revealing our vulnerabilities...wearing them like proud medals on our sleeves. At least that way we would not need to be constantly bogged down by the harrowing responsibility of maintaining a make-believe world. At least that way we can throw caution to the wind and live life carefree...guilt-free. After all, who are we kidding? At the end of the day when we look into the mirror and try to meet eyes with the person peeping back at us, we would need to have that iron 'helmet' off, wouldn't we? So why not live sans the 'masks' we otherwise seem to don? Why not shed that 'armour' we constantly hide behind?

However, ambivalence colors my mood, and yet another niggling thought argues with me.
"Too much of an unfettered life would make you succumb unabashedly to insult and injury. A care free life seems all good until your vulnerabilities stand out and join hands with the enemy," an inner voice rebukes.

"But an armour is not making me any stronger. It just fools the enemy," I mutter under my breath. "...and sometimes me as well," I sigh holding up my armour to see some amount of light penetrating through the chinks.

The voice in my head is silent. After a moment's pause it says, "Sometimes that is the best way to win the war."

It is my turn to stay silent. On the one hand is this voice in my head asking me to hold on tight to my armour, recall the mistakes of my past and tread slowly and carefully (for it is better to be safe than sorry). On the other hand is my heart telling me to throw away all my defenses, show off past experiences like battle scars and walk into the future with uninhibited passion---chin up, shoulders back, head held high. 

Human as I am, my thoughts are forever covered by the nebulous sheath of confusion. As strangers I  meet continue to delude me with their ever-changing perspectives, I see myself clamoring for some clarity. Introspection is the key to self-discovery, I tell myself. But then I wonder if that would be just another armour I am trying to slip into.

The mind is weary,
the soul is tired,
and I am just trying to breathe...

Writers note: A for 'Armour' is the first post in the 'A-Z Series' of posts, a chain of articles written by me on topics starting with each alphabet of the English language. Read on for more and please feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject :)


Anjali Sengar said...

Lovely post dear :)

Pri said...

@ Anjali
Thanks Anjali. I am glad you like it :)