Musings

What am I doing here? Am I supposed to be here? Am I living, or just pushing myself through little 24-hour pieces of existence, stringing them in a chain and calling it seventeen years of life? Where are my hopes, my dreams, my happiness? Do I even know what I want from life? Yes, maybe I do, but they are so inexpressible, thanks to the system I’m bound in, that I might as well forget about fulfilling any of my dreams. And hey, that’s what I’ve been doing, really. I’ve been suppressing my true desires for so long that I can’t find them any more when I ask my heart what they are. Worse, my heart doesn’t talk any more. I can’t remember the last time I felt I had one, and knew that I was free and living, and that my life was of purpose.

Tell me what I have today. I don’t have a happy family, I don’t have a single true friend, I don’t have a single true passion left to put my whole life behind. Once again, I know I don’t have the point of living to see the sun rise tomorrow, yet I won’t admit it. I say things to myself like, I’m living for hope. If things could turn out to give you a girl like her, they will turn out to make things better again. And I guess beneath all my love for miracles and Providence there’s a little isolated cell of logic that knows that sort of stuff don’t exist. Things never want to happen or anything. Things never turn up for anyone. It’s stupid to think of the universe and its inanimate happenings as a kind and considerate guardian. If it really were so, I wouldn’t be here today. I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what all this fate crap is about. When things go right, I explain it by saying that it’s Providence. When things go wrong, God is testing me, and ‘life’s not easy, because it wants you to live.’ Instead of this pathetic attempt of pasting a kind, watchful face on to the happenings of life, isn’t it better and much simpler to treat them as functions of probability? But no I won’t do that, shall I? I need a religion.

Einstein once said that there are two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. He was wrong about the first one.

I wish I could be brave and wise enough to be able to laugh to death about myself right now. I’m looking so pretty cuddled up here in misery, moaning about life, feeling sorry for myself, that it starts tickiling the inner walls of my stomach when I start thinking about it. Hey man, if I can’t get this myself to anywhere worthy, why not have a good laugh out of it?

And that last sentence was self-pity again. The circle comes around and touches, the paradox completes. You will never know who is higher: the me who muses, or the me who has a good laugh out of it.

And it is this paradox that is life. I hope to write more about it someday. Don’t worry, I guess I’ll still be sticking around.

1Life.

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was Time.

And an awful lot it was too. There was such an awful lot of Time, you could play cards, then watch TV, go hiking, sleep, drool, and you’d still have as much time as you started off with. It was an endless heap of stinkin’ Time.

Then along came a Mind.

He wasn’t a dude, neither a dudette, so I’ll refer to the Mind as ‘it’. So it came and sat down on the floor and saw this huge heap of Time and was bored from the start. I mean, man, you could pass an hour, or a week, or a lifetime, but forever? Which useless hobby is going to see you through forever? So the Mind started, well, thinking of course. It started thinking about how to pass the Time.

Then after a few days, it created the first grains of sand from the substance of its own thought, because there was nothing else. Then the desert wind. And the desert winds tossed the grains of sand around mercilessly, throwing them here and there, making them run into each other, lose themselves, and all sorts of pointless childishness.

But the Mind was happy, and it could go through a week watching the grains of sand. Next week it could always come up with something else.

1Life.

Why Die Another Day?

What difference does it make whether I die now or forty years later? The final destination is the same. You see, actually, the thing is not that. The thing is, we live in a place that teaches you to fear death, just like it teaches you to fear anything unknown. It teaches you that while you’re alive, you know what it is like to be alive. There’s pleasure, there’s pain, but whatever is there, is within your knowledge. Death, on the other hand, signifies darkness: unknown. And living in the cruelest of situations is better than heading towards the darkness of unknown. This is why there are those of us who keep dragging their heavy selves on, day after day, afraid to step over that threshold. It’s not a question of cowardice, not a matter of giving up. It’s just the unconquerable fear of the unknown.

No difference, really, whether I die now or forty years later. A few dreams built, others broken, perhaps. That’s it. Once you cross that threshold, it doesn’t matter which dreams were built and which ones left unfulfilled. Everything dissolves into oblivion as you dissolve into the fabric of everything itself.

But we hang on. Creatures of a blind inertia. Inertia of motion. We are afraid to stop, because we don’t know what it is like to stop. And so we won’t stop, till we are stopped.

If you want more morbid ideas to chew on, call my head. It’s full of ’em these days.

1Life.

Losing the Point

I keep getting dragged back again and again, to the gaping, absolute brevity of this life.

A fleeting moment. Transient as a shooting star. Wish before it fades.

And so little time to spend here. I cannot feel secure and sedentary in this situation. It’s here now, gone tomorrow.

And so all the little problems, all the big problems — I want to neglect them, ignore them, sit down and talk and conclude that they don’t exist. Because I’ve got so little time, and so many things I want to do. So many places to visit, so many colours to drown in, so many smiles to watch, so many useless moments to waste staring at nothingness…

Look around, it is everywhere. And yet it is nowhere. It is the meaning. It is in everything visible, audible, sensible and yet you can never feel it. You flow in this dynamic current of ‘happening’, and go around doing what is of utmost importance to you, because, well, others are doing it. You find meaning, purpose, structure. I wish I could be like that. But you see, I have a tendency to lose the point sometimes, when all I know is how brief this life is. That’s all that counts.

But I cannot be different. When you live in a wall, you have to be a brick like the others, and support the structure. Or the other bricks won’t support you. Hence I live, I flow in the current, I leave things unfulfilled, I neglect things that my heart wants to do, my mind hunts for structure in everything, and I would have been here like the rest of everyone, and I wouldn’t have made a difference. Here today, gone tomorrow.

I’m so comfortably settled in the warmth of a thousand years of structural garbage that the thought doesn’t even scare me.

1Life.

The Truth

The truth isn’t that I’m a West Bengal Board student studying in a reputed South Kolkata school. The truth isn’t that half-yearly question-papers are very tough, but if you practise enough, you’ll pull through. The truth isn’t that political readers have gone crazy in this country. The truth isn’t that meat is getting costlier everyday. The truth isn’t on that TV, either. The truth isn’t that Domesto is the best toilet cleaner around, the truth isn’t that it takes eight hours to regain the moisture lost from the skin after a bath. The truth isn’t that Tom Cruise does all that he does to steal the limelight. The truth isn’t that H.C. Verma is a better book on physics than D.P.C. The truth isn’t that NFS 7 is awesome. The truth isn’t that Miss K on that soap on TV became Mrs K because she really loved him and decided to be tied to him forever. The truth isn’t that your colleague’s breath smells because he drinks in office. The truth isn’t that you should get up and start walking in the morning to lose those extra few inches. The truth isn’t in the newspaper, it’s not in front of you, it’s not in what anyone says, or does, or claims. The truth is not on the billboards and it’s not what the President says.

The truth is that we live on a little round blue planet that goes around a burning yellow ball of gas, and we live near the edge of a flat disk which is our galaxy. The truth is that there are stars in the sky at night because they are hanging in the same dark space that we are. The truth is that we are on one of the zillion little moving bodies in this black void. The truth is that there is finally no up or down, left or right, only the same darkness stretching out on every side. It’s the final design. And it’s not on TV. Mrs K won’t say it, and that toilet cleaner ad won’t say it either. Tom Cruise doesn’t know it, and NFS 7 doesn’t contain it. But it’s the truth. We live on the edge of a disk in space, a flitting existence in the unchanging continuity of time, a racehorse seen for a second through an eyehole, a scratch in the infinite fabric of everything.

Waste it. Come on, now, Mrs K can’t start crying till you’re in front of the TV.

1Life.