If cleanliness is truly next to Godliness, then almost every bachelor fuels atheistic propaganda and the ones pursuing engineering at some distance away from their parents are the leaders of this pack of sorry degenerates. I belong to the said pack and society sadly misinterprets us. We do not revel in dirt and grime; and the sights of our unwashed clothes and undergarments are not exactly a treat to the eye. As engineers, we are bound to weigh in the outcome of the energy we spend on each and every task and the pleasure of a “clean room” or a “clean apartment” is not one worth the effort of exhibiting locomotion. The universe is already extremely chaotic, why must we increase its entropy and state of disorderliness by changing our current state.
Such is not the case for a family though, especially family men. No more than 2 days ago, I heard what I can only describe as a deep lamentation from my father. I went into the hall to find him gazing at one of the corners of the ceiling. His eyes seemed fixated on something and he seemed in such deep thought, that I thought it best to remain silent.
Since he remained motionless and still, my growing impatience prompted me to break him out of his reverie.
“Well! What happened?” I asked.
He barely seemed to acknowledge me and without shifting his gaze, he said morosely, “Look. Over there. There is a cobweb. It must be fixed.”
At this point, I was waiting for a problem more serious than a cobweb but that wait was in vain for, in conclusion, it was the cobweb that bothered my father.
Anyway, as the scene played out, I was the one entrusted with the massive responsibility of cleaning out the small cobweb (or rather I was made the mule for a task too demeaning for my father). But this overly dramatic incident has pushed me into thought; whether after 25 or 30 years, would the sight of a single cobweb bother me enough to remove it that instant (or shrug it off to any of my progeny if I happened to have any) or would I wait for a network of cobwebs to shroud my room before I jump into action.
It took a while for this thought to hit me – and hit me it did. Cobwebs are the manifestation of neglect. It is symbolic of failure on our part to attend to something to something important or of value to us (It may also represent the redundancy or irrelevance of an object which was clearly not the case with my father and the house).
For most people, cobwebs appear at the usual places – atop books kept in the open, guitars nestled precariously in a corner, or even unwashed clothes worn in the days of yore (guilty as charged). And yet, some cobwebs are metaphorical. Our neglect towards studying, our obvious neglect to eating properly and heeding to the advice of our parents – cobwebs don’t need to exist physically to exist altogether.
Once we are aware of our cobwebs, the slope of this uphill task of ours becomes steeper. We must now sift the grain from the chaff per se. Some aspects of life, by fate and design, are destined to gather cobwebs.
The guitar you wished to master, the intellectual (read : fat ) books you wished to devour or the friend(s) you thought you would never stop talking to – perhaps it is necessary to discard some of those wishes.
Finally, when we see the light of day, and if we still see the guitar or the book or the gym or whatever catches our fancy; we must strive to complete the arduous task of never letting – the objects or the thoughts – gather cobwebs for after all is said and done – cobwebs are unhygienic in not only the physical sense, but also the metaphysical one.