I was reading Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “The Gene-An intimate History”, when I decided to take a break and sit outside my hostel. An old couple live nearby guarding the hostels and herding their sheep. When I sat down on the stairs, I looked at a boy lying down outside the hut, while the old woman was sound asleep. The boy was waving something in his hand, that seemed like a pen to me, as I thought why would a woman be sound asleep at 6:30 in the evening, when I was paranoid about wasting my time and doing something productive. My thoughts took me to Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel”, where he explains why countries and people have turned out the way they are today. I thought about this big imbalance in shift of living conditions between me and the old couple, which enabled me to get an education, and let me ponder on atoms, genes, bytes and my own existence. Contrastingly, their conditions have made them anchored to the most primitive needs as food for dinner, and eventual thoughts of earning money to get them their next day’s meal.
I am in a midst of this point in my life where, most of them around me are concerned about job placements and salary packages, and me, being a passionate filmmaker wanting to take the course of hard way, projecting myself to nearby future of taking odd menial jobs to support myself as I gain contacts to make a feature film. At that point, I think of myself waiting to meet a friend who has not been in touch for a while, with this inherent taken-for-granted idea that he would buy me lunch which would save me some money.
At each point in life, it has taken me a few seconds to jump into thoughts about my future self of me having a passionate encounter with a sexy lady, which are more recurrent these days. In both my instant projections, and in the woman’s sleep, I see a form of escapism. Of losing touch with reality where instead of me projecting myself into fantasies, I could ground myself back to reality by writing, or drawing a comic, or reading, or taking a photograph or at least making up mental footnotes of the philosophies of patterns observed in a crowded place with a lot of different dynamics. My assumption about the woman in a nap being an escapist could be wrong, and she could have been sleeping of sheer exhaustion. Yet, I can project herself worrying about money for next day’s meal, which would again make her escape into some sort of a medium, again getting hit by the ground hard reality and this vicious cycle continuing. But, the state she is in is an exact reflection of the state I am in, except I am more intellectually mature compared to her when it comes to dealing with my problems. She seems to be this walking pond with clear water, reflecting my own pattern of existence, not trying to interfere, just like we infer ponds to be. Rivers change courses, shapes stones and pathways, but to us ponds are docile just like lonely ants. Then, as I walk on the road, I see many ponds walking opposite, along, sideways, discussing grade sheets, movie production issues, thesis papers, stock markets, hike in salaries, looking at each other, but never interested in observing their reflection in others, as I recall my childhood walking along roads observing people, wondering the vastness and uniqueness of everything around me, conscious of the passing second grazing my hand, as I call it “the current state of being”.