“I know you feel betrayed.”
“Well, yes, that is one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal.”
— from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
When I was a kid my dad used to push me into taking part in mono-acting competitions……well literally at times. I remember hovering near the doors refusing to enter the room. It wasn’t stage fright that had me petrified but the fear of being pelted with rotten tomatoes or eggs while I stood there spouting Shakespeare. My dad’s fascination with the great bard used to land me in hot water all the time.
It was hard enough playing a single role in these plays, but try alternating between different characters – I always ended up emptying the rooms of their audiences pretty quickly. There was always a stupefied silence that greeted me at the end of my plays and it had very little to do with my thespian skills…..it was siesta time to the remaining members thanks to my dad and Shakespeare. Well, I seem to be getting off the tangent here – my post has nothing much to do with any of any this, except that it was there that I learnt to memorize the famous words of Caesar when he confronted Brutus. “Et tu, Brute?” has now become synonymous with every single betrayal out there. Perhaps if Shakespeare had managed to be born in the right era, his words would have been apt for the crown-jewel of betrayals leading the King of Kings to his Crucifixion.
Why talk about betrayals today? Look around the world and you would see its seal stamped on every single aspect of life – with friendships and relationships bearing the worst brunt of it. No arena is exempt from this sneaky intruder – religion, politics, work or social life. Currently in the political world, I can see President Mubarak endorsing my words…..he probably sees the stance taken by the US as betrayal while the latter continues its ideological stance. As for the pro-democrats, well, that would be an entirely different story. However, let me not dabble in the irrational field of politics, especially the Middle-East, but instead continue with my rambling.
Little does one realise that life is nothing but a sequence of mono-acting sessions where you get to play different characters with passing of time and emotions. Perhaps we all get to play Caesar and Brutus in real life, sometimes ironically both roles in the same shoes. Victims or perpetrators of betrayals at one time or the other….I bet you don’t reach my age without going through a few of them. By all means I am no exception to these….as the years sped by relieving me of my naivety and innocence, I grew accustomed to betrayals – even learnt to dole out a few, but mind you they were more opportunistic or unintentional in nature than premeditated, not that they mitigated the guilt or remorse any better on my side or mollified the wronged party.
So here comes my question, does one ever get used or numbed to the sting of betrayal? Amorphous in nature, betrayals are not easy to be divined. A snub, a stance, a word, a broken promise, a selfish agenda, a hasty judgement, a kiss…….even silence, they do come in all shapes and guises, sprung upon on unsuspecting souls. The hapless victim gets ensnared in a web of deceit and falsehood or unmet expectations, with the only exit doors marked “betrayal” leading to a dark world of bitterness and ultimate disillusionment. And just when one would have found the strength to crawl back in the world of living, bingo…….another betrayal!!!
But hey, playing the devil’s advocate, is life any better for the Judases of this world? There is very little said of our anti-hero in the Bible but passages do indicate that he paid for the price of iniquity and how…….with his own life. Perhaps the tiny voice of his conscience that he failed to quell emboldened into a full-sized jury condemning him to self-castigation. I most definitely would like to claim selective amnesia and not recall the tales of Lady Macbeth or that of Brutus (thank you Dad)…….but nevertheless one cannot deny these prime examples of guilt, unable to come to terms with the consequences of their acts……..ah remorse, what a killer emotion are thou?
Well, who are we after all to complain about betrayals in today’s world of fragile and ever-shifting affiliations and priorities? The Lord himself was not exempt from this affliction and I am not referring just to Judas here……..despite theologists rendering different interpretations to the words of Jesus on the Crucifix “Oh God Oh God, why has thou forsaken me?”, the feelings of abandonment and disillusionment that He experienced during His last hours have set a precedent for most mortals on this earth.
But yet we learn to continue on this life’s journey to where it takes us……..definitely more jaded, more wary but undoubtedly a lot wiser. Happy Trails !!!!