Understanding our existence

Meteor

NASA had predicted the Perseid Meteor showers on Aug 11th and 12th. The annual event in August is due to a comet “Swift Tuttle” which flew around the Sun in 1992. Although the next trip around the Sun is only in 2126, the remnants of the comet is what causes the meteor shower. Earth passes every year through the trail of debris left behind by the comet. Scientists from NASA had predicted at least 60-200 shooting stars per hour in the northern part of the sky

The predictions in the southern hemisphere of our planet was not quite promising. But, being an ardent space enthusiast since childhood days, I wasn’t the one to give up on even the slightest opportunity. I spent quite a bit of time on the roof of the house hoping to catch some live action of this interstellar event (and also come up with wish or two).

Of course living in the heart of Chennai city has its perks; but not tonight. The darker the sky, the better are your chances of spotting them. The light pollution and dust from the surroundings caused a dip in my enthusiasm, as all I could see was a bright moon and a smog filled sky. After an hour of patience filled wait, the metropolitan glow really had me annoyed. Slowly as I began to accept the fate, I plunge into my mind. As I probe into my thoughts, questions about our life and existence pour out like a water from a broken dam.

All the activities, struggles, joy, hatred and war exist only on an insignificant small scale when compared to the whole expanding universe. I wonder why we get stuck in the cycle of life and death. Sometimes, all it takes is looking up at the vast sky and understanding how our living is just a tiny tiny fraction of a much larger creation. Some say that we are all as old as the universe itself because matter in its form can neither be created nor destroyed.

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravity of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.”

— H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, 1895

With a broken heart I crawl into my bed giving up my hunt for meteors this year. With unanswered questions pricking my mind, I close my eyes. Then it all starts. As I try to sleep, I get lost in galaxies that are yet to be found.

My fascination for space keeps on increasing as I try to contemplate the answers behind our evolution and purpose of life.

Little Drops

Life. Soul. Feeling alive. Love. Movement. These are all emotions within themselves. For someone to feel these emotions for the first time… only imagination can help us wonder the reception of such experiences. There are some feelings which languages can never express. Birth is such. Love is such and death is such. I hadn’t known these as well nor did I ever have the need to. For, how could I when I was nothing but a fluidic embodiment secreted by biological reactions. But something unexpected happened and I rolled out of my flesh jail where I was imprisoned all these years. I felt a pressure that squeezed me through a tiny pore and before I could realise it, I was dangling at the corner of my sac, with a wavering vibe running through me.

The air around was ecstatic, filled with roars and screams. Fireworks had been set off and drums rolled boisterously. Rio de Janeiro stood right in front, throwing its charm all over as I lay there motionless, struck by the enormity of that enchanting beauty. My translucent skin glistened when the focus lights hit me with their new found allurement. It made me flicker and the crowd roared displaying their emotions. The stands were filled with people dressed in all colours imaginable and long poles outlined the entire field. Flags of various countries waved with pride atop these poles but amongst them one particular flag caught my eye. It flew higher than the rest with five rings- three on top and two at the bottom, intertwined with a sense of fraternity and respect for each other and embedded in plain white background. I overflowed with joy which grew enticed by the eyes that focused onto me. I wasn’t sure why nor could my knowledge locate the reason. But my heart had started melting which made a broad smile bloom across my face. Emotions ran unbound and the need to find reason if it had ever crossed my mind earlier, had been long forgotten.

As the wonder of visual enigma combined with glory and pride caused by nothingness started filling me, I sensed something. A sound reverberated through me… a loud and heavy heartbeat with sound of repeated deep breathing. As I turned about, I saw my creator. He was tall and well built, drenched in sweat and I was seeping from the corner of his eye. That is when truth hit me and I realised that I hadn’t been the creation of god but a mere providence of physiological mechanism and human feelings. I was a secretion, the emotional symbolisation of his historic victory. This realisation led to a fall which was very steep from glory to a common congruence accorded with his emotions. My heart started to regret deeply for I had relished a moment that wasn’t mine. But the shame was short lived and I soon recovered, transforming into a content little soul.

He looked around and hanging at the corner of his eye, I watched a world that swept into me taking the form of a sea of emotions. His breathing became predictive but his heart raced at a pace faster than he just had a few moments back. Air whooshed past me as he fell on his knees, the gravity of his achievement unbearable even by his fiery strength. That sudden gush of air made me surpass the comfort of his eyelid and I was hanging on an eyelash, clinging hard to it for if I let go it was imminent death for me. I would splatter into a hundred thousand droplets and get absorbed by the coarse red soil of the running route.

I moved steadily to the eyeward end of his lash and swept down his face. Just then, the sky roared. We both looked up and saw a lightning streak creating beautiful art in the dark sky. The air had turned moist and winds blew past me. He kept looking up with raised hands with his face tilted, sloping parallel to the sky and I enjoyed the view from atop him. Little raindrops started falling and a few people started dancing in the stands, a few smiled looking at the sky and the others kept the roaring on. I slid a little forward, nearer to his nose to get a clear view of the stands and for the first time, he felt my presence. He wiped his cheeks and I climbed on the index finger of his hand that now faced the raining sky.

Little raindrops fell all around me, bursting with enjoyment. For, though they would fall to burst and evade life, their short life was filled with the happiness from that wondrous fall. I kept looking up as I locked my eyes on her. She was tranquility… serene, pure and beautiful. Ah, Heavenly…. That was the one word to define her. True, after all she was heaven’s manifestation. She looked at me and smiled but then ecstasy took over as she fell on me. We rolled into one… fluttering, as we mixed and fell. She blushed and I bubbled with the joy of new love, enticed by each other’s beauty. I was salty and understood pristineness with her touch.

She looked below and insinuated that both our lives and love were about to end. The ground beneath was to destroy everything that was gruelled with such huge efforts. Frightened, I looked at her to see her smile. We hugged and fell as one on the ground in front of his knees and soon the earth took us into her.

Emotions… they sculpted the very few moments of my life. I was the physical reaction to a man’s victory. I had boiled with pride, bathed in glory, ransacked in guilt, understood happiness, fell in love and attained eternity. As I look back, I am not greedy of a few more moments to live. No. I feel fulfillment.

Now, as I look below on the vast green fields which I soar over, I feel alive again. I turn to see her right next to me. The sky turns into a deep blue hue and the air is filled with the noise of roaring winds. As we start to fall, she holds my hand tight and we both start roaring, gleaming and bursting with joy. We have been born again in another place and at another time. Life would end soon but these feelings from our past present and future will stay unruptured by time.

The Ultimate Experience

sad

 

 

 

 

 

 

One has to experience at least some amount of sadness to get a real experience of happiness.

Yes you read that right!

It is not possible to stay gleeful and satisfied at all times. Neither are your woes permanent! Just like it takes a vacillating mind to come up with most innovative ideas, it takes a broken heart to understand the self and realize the feeling of absolute pleasure or delight.

What is sadness?

Sadness is an emotional state of being which tends to highly demotivate a person and create a state of imbalance in the mind. It is a feeling that affects everyone.

There might be several reasons for the cause of unhappiness. Scientific studies reveal that only a single particular part of the brain (left pre-frontal cortex) is affected when a person is depressed. And it is this, which is responsible for one of the most commonly experienced emotions which are caused mostly by the mundane activities revolving around an individual’s life. There could be several reasons to this; burden of responsibility, anxiety and strenuous working or living environments.

Life has many ups and downs. A flat line in an ECG isn’t the one that indicates life, it’s the zigzag line that does. Similarly it is these ups and downs are the ones that help a person to evolve. Sadness and pessimistic feelings are not permanent. They are just essential.

People always interpret grief as highly negative thought. It is actually that part of the emotion that induces a sense of awareness in one’s life. Now you might argue that this an insane thought but I feel that it’s a necessary evil.

Take pessimistic people as examples. Since they tend to consider and expect the worst possible result in everything they do, they are better prepared to handle the outcomes of any scenario, no matter how severe it is. The mind is well prepared to take a fall. Now, imagine the feeling or emotion of a person who has expected the worst and has got a good or slightly moderate outcome. Pessimists are in a much better and mentally stable state than others who have the anxiety of failure, because they are already prepared for the extreme outcomes. Hence, it is always better to consider the glass of water as “half-empty” rather than “half-filled”.

The experience of happiness by a dejected person is almost similar to a man who has lost his way and has discovered a city. Imagine the intensity of joy and relief one would experience.

Thus, rather than being in a happy state always (which is actually not possible all the time in a real life!), a state of sadness can help a person retrospect, think and be better prepared for anything that may not go their way.

The most colourful rainbow appears only after the fiercest thunderstorms.

So, shed some tears, embrace the agony, let go of your inner ego and pick yourself from the ground to experience what it is like to have undergone all this and finally get the true sense of composure and joy.

Two Indian Country Women at 4 AM

4am

What does 4.00 AM remind you of? Sleep (just this for me, of course), mid night study, hostel nights, night shifts, a night before family occasions and whatnot. Medical reports say it is an odd time to be awake at, that can damage the proper hormonal secretion. My mom says that if I keep awake until late hours I will lose all of my hair!

Well, I certainly could easily count the number of 4.00 AM’s I would have seen in my life and I am very sure not even one of those were about studying hard or doing something very important.

One such not-so-important of my 4.00 AM’s took place two days ago. I was with my uncle and aunt, waiting with our car for our driver to arrive. Apparently, the driver had returned at odd hours the night before which was why he didn’t arrive at the expected time. The journey that was planned was a very long one that could cover 400 kilometers back and forth. We were going to the house warming of an apartment that my uncle had bought recently for which we got to be on time. Both the elders were impatiently ringing the driver’s number repeatedly while I lay half-awake on the window of the car.

I was constantly thinking of how I woke up at 3.00 AM in the morning which has almost never happened in my life. My only concern was that the driver should turn up soon so that I can regain the lost sleep. I was going on mentally calculating how I had slept for only 2 hours the night before and how I am going to do nothing but only sleep until we reach the destination. The road was nothing like you would expect as in cities. Mine being a small town, was peacefully slumbering at that time. No lights other than the streetlights, no noise of two wheelers, only countable people at sight, a few stray dogs trotting on the corner of the roads. Having nothing interesting to experience then, I went back to thinking how I had to lose my sleep. Since all the 10+ hours-sleep-a-day plans were executable only during semester holidays, I was telling myself how totally unlikely this situation is! By this time I had decided that I was going to compensate for this by sleeping the whole of next day!

In my faint view, fell something that was moving. As I focused, I was able to make out an old lady coming from the other side of the road. I couldn’t help but wonder what would a woman of her age (definitely beyond 60), was doing there at 4.00 AM. Her hair was undone, she was carrying a very old, disoriented mesh bag with her which for sure contained something to eat or drink. Above all, it was the way she was walking that prompted me to straighten up from my lazy position and to take a closer look. She didn’t walk normally, she had a penguin kind of walk where one side of her body struggled when she weighed the ground with the other side. She couldn’t walk more than 10 steps at one go. She had to pause for every 10 steps even if it was the middle of the road! What if she had to cross the road during heavy traffic? My aunt and I were wondering if she was leaving to work or to home from work!

The day went on and my lost sleep was considerably compensated for. We were returning back after a long day when at 9.00 PM we had to cross through the same spot to get home. To my utter shock my aunt pointed out to me the same old lady sitting on one side of the road with a shop that was laid on road, selling something that I couldn’t really notice as we passed by. If 9.00 PM was her working time, 4.00 AM would have been the time when she went home the previous day after work. My assessment might be wrong, she might have even unusually worked for longer hours the previous day and something that I might never think of. But when one Indian woman was sitting inside comfortably in a car planning to regain her lost sleep at 4.00 AM, another Indian woman was working until then and was making her miserable way home only to work another full day!

The whole thought process is not about people who struggle for a living or about people who complain about small things. It is about the various forms of life role each one plays in this world. Only when you broaden your view, will you come to know that there is just so much of what exists more than you have seen or experienced.