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All the kings men..

"Chess problems demand from their composer, the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art:originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity." -Vladimir Nabokov.

During my childhood, chess was a game you played, when there was no electricity, so no television, you had already played scrabble and the other board games, and still had time to kill. Or on long train journeys..
In my youth, card games were more interesting, and chess was relegated to a thing of my past.
It's only as an adult, now that I have seen the workings of the world that I appreciate the sheer genius of a game of chess.
Chess teaches you the basic rule of life.. way before darwin coined it.. survival of the fittest..
every one, and every thing must be sacrificed , to keep the king alive.
Now, every time I read in the news paper , that a certain politician had to quit his party, or a certain managing director or president of a company had to resign from his position, I can't help but think- they are all the kings men.
In the field of medicine , we have a term called vicarious responsibility. This states that in the event that something should go wrong the senior most, takes the blame. In most obvious mishaps, the vicarious responsibility rule holds true, and yet , the field of medicine is not unlike other managerial food chains...
It's a law of nature.. the universal food chain, to survive you must sacrifice someone else. It's all a game of chess.
So, when the blood pressure is high, or the blood sugar falls, the consultant blames the resident, who blames the sister,who blames the intern..who blames the BP app. or glucometer.. or the relieving intern..
Every day in small ways and big, at home and at work. at the parking lot and in the peak traffic jam.. a game of chess goes on. Sometimes it's a simple move, and sometimes it's such a brilliantly devious maneuvre that you are speecless in awe, even as you crumble under the wrath of the game.
As the junior most, one got used to being the pawn who got sacrificed to save the bishop. But, when you see the bishops and knights, your seniors also being sacrificed to save someone mightier, someone higher up in the food chain, it's like watching a losing game of chess. It's only when you are desperate that you are willing to sacrifice all scrupples, and kill the conscience, by justifying it with only one word- survival.
It's moments like this, when I see people fall at the hands of a greater player.. that I say to myself.. we are all the kings men.. and the game must go on..

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