When I was a kid our family used to go on a lot of pilgrimages, with trains as our preferred mode of transportation, thanks to my grandfather. And, of course as any kid, I used to love trains, even the smelly sleeper class coupes and train stations. Train stations were gateways and trains were the transport ready to whisk me away on an adventure, I used to think. But, there was another reason I loved them – bookstores. You can always find bookstores in a train station – a Higginsbotham bookstore, a RK Math outlet, or at the very least a nameless vegetable cart littered with magazines, pirated books and comics. These were the only bookstores I knew other than the magazine stall at Dilsukhnagar bus stop. And, it was here I first discovered comics.
These days I feel old; not physically, but mentally. The world is changing fast around me, India has changed in the last few years. Or did I? Probably I moved from an India I knew to what we see now. Our experiences add colour to life or make it bland. We see the world through tinted glasses. We think what we see is the world. So, when we see someone with a different perspective, it feels very alien. Is that what is happening to me? Probably. But, I struggle with a deeper yearning: Where do I belong? To which India do I belong?
Death puts the futility of life in perspective, the utter meaninglessness of it. Why? Why do we do so much? Why do we care/hate/love/fight/yearn/compete so much? Why do we build? Why do we dedicate our lives to causes that go beyond our lives? Why even bother? When death is just round the corner? Why? Why? It is said we go into a phase called ‘smasana vairagya’ when someone we know dies. Why? Apart from the pain stemming from the loss of a loved one, what bugs us about death? The fact that it breaks down the façade we’ve put on ourselves not just as an individual but as a society as a race to escape the meaninglessness of life – that all of this is an illusion.
How do I feel/What do I write about? I’ve been writing since three years? Didn’t expect I would. There were times I wanted to quit. Not because I ran out of topics, but because of lethargy. I’m glad I didn’t. If I look back, I see my blog shape up into an online diary with records of what I learnt, what I feel & what I do to make my life more liveable. I think that’s all I can offer. My Life. Gandhi once said, ‘My life is my message’. What we are reflects in the way we live our lives. It shows what we value, what we believe and what we stand for. I’ve tried to do only that through this blog. I’ve written about the mundane, about saving minutes in a day and I’ve written about the grand questions of philosophy that plague me. Nothing I haven’t experienced. If my blog paints a picture of the writer, I want it to show an ordinary individual grappling multiple issues from wondering how to pay his bills, how to squeeze out time to work on his hobby to trying to figure out his place in the universe, a person who is in search of himself, of meaning, of living. This was my yearning when I started to write. To share my questions, my experiences, my doubts, my beliefs & my learning.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.