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     Volume 6 Issue 47 | December 7, 2007 |

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Untamed Fears

Nusrat Jahan Pritom

Far away, deep down in the alley, in a dark corner of the street-it's there. It's what makes one want to go near and perceive it. Touch the sparks of excitement splattered by it. It's yet unknown to you, and me, and all the sentient beings that cover that world. Because elusive, hard to decipher that evanescent influence upon all lives, but in one word, it may be called fear.

What is fear? It may be called hate, an ode to revenge, a thing first sought out later to be fought with, a strange phenomenon. Is it related to the other sensations that hit people most often? May be. Well to star with it could be called the mother of pleasure (at least some of our wound up feelings are mixed and then advocated in one particular form to the outside world), it could be the grandfather of judgement (after all it is a spearhead to rational or, sometimes irrational decision-making, isn't it?) and one could say 'cousins' to self-pity, pain, discomfort or love and it is definitely related to that transcendental quality -courage. Fear is defeated where courage is taken over. No fear, no courage-it's like that.

Let me bring it home to you. Just like those everyday feelings-- anger, joy, sadness--that hit our minds and affect our lives so frequently. The same goes for fear. It hits one once or usually more than that everyday. And the same goes for all people except the few that will be mentioned later.

Have you tasted fear? It cold, icy touch forces one to look for shelter. And the shelter is usually in the most mutinous of places. Like it deserves some respect. Other than this stringent fear, people experience different types of fear now and then. But what is fear to me may not be fear to you. It can be pertinacious. We can barely keep it under our realisations and control. Just in those sporadic moments it jumps at us and simultaneously we are caught under its shade. No matter how much we try to grab it then and pull it low, it doesn't help. It secures its spot, refusing to be cowed down for as long as it wants until it releases.

Some fears are there just for scare, some makes one laugh at oneself. You know- flying cockroaches. Never mind that. Some fears are irresistible. Some are inevitable. And we mostly are familiar to such an inevitable fear- the fear of death. But that's something entirely different. We fear to live at times, but we live to fear. And a part of it is always there. Somehow we are oblivious too it, except in the right moments.

Fear denotes the love of life. It's weird. "Nothing lasts forever" the old clichéd phrase is thrown back at us over and over again. But exactly who heeds to that! Perhaps it's the relentless number of days: each moment we live is replaced by another moment of our lives. But are we actually living? If living means only metabolising, then using the energy in working, only in the chemistry, biology and even physics of an "organism"-then the writing would have stopped here. That's life? Doesn't seem to be the whole story to me.

Let's not get carried away. Fear is there- it affects how we do things, what we do and how we live everyday. And yet it seems crazy. We usually find any explanations of it in any way. And the search is stopped when we are plunged back to it in the middle of it again. A queer paradox, but these are words that stand for themselves.

Now being a sentient being, one fear I can't miss out is the fear of "missing" somebody/something. This usually happens when there is a lot of time and space given. And when this happens for so long and suddenly stops, we are left longing to meet it again. However, as we find our 'apple of the eye'-the fear is sated. Then we find that enthusiasm to get that person /thing missing. The rule is simple. When we don't get something we want it, but once attaining it we no longer have any desire. It's a strange thing called life, isn't it?

Lastly, let's talk about the few mentioned before to whom fear does not knock. Some fear to be hated, some fear to be wasted and some fear to be alone. They do not belong to the majority. They don't recognise fear as others do. What's the reason? That's because they are fear-live with the concrete, immutable fear in every moment.

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