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.
In one of the scenes in ‘Evade Subramanyam.’ A character says –
“Bhagavad gita lo oka slokam undi – ‘karmanye vaadhi kaarasya, maaphalechu kadachana’. Dani ardham ento telusa? Phalanni aasinchakunda manishi tana dharmanni tanu nirvartinchukuntu povali.. Daani tarvata edi jaragalani unte ade jarugutundi..” (There’s one line in Bhagavad Gita which means – man should do what he is supposed to do (his dharma) without expecting anything in return and let let life run it’s course). The more I think about it, The more it makes sense to me.
Setting of Gita – It was given to a soldier who lost his will to fight. You have to be a soldier to get through life. Even Scott Peck (author of multi million selling book – The road less traveled) said, ‘Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths’. And, to face these challenges of life, what is the best stance? To be a soldier. But, is it easy to fight? No. You’ll too often, more than you’d like to admit, will succumb to the overwhelming odds in guise of responsibility and love. What do you need then? Advice. From whom? Probably the person who is beyond all this – God (or the wise sage who wrote Gita).
A: who are you?
B: I’m Subramanyam, director of Pasupati industries.
A: No, that’s your job. Who are you?
B: I’m Subramanyam, MBA, Engineering..
A: No, that’s your qualification. Who are you?
B: I’m Subramanyam, from Hyderabad..
A: No, not your place. Who are you?
Who are you? Who am I? Is life a journey we take to answer that question?
The dialogue is from a movie I saw recently – ‘Evade Subramanyam’ (Who is Subramanyam?). That dialogue touched me. Who am I? Can I define it/him/her without labelling it with some external aspect like the job we do, the place we are from or the family we are from? Did you observe any time, when we meet a new person we say, ‘Hi, I’m so and so’. and the next question inadvertently is ‘what do you do?’ or some variation of that. What gives us identity? Job? Family? Education? Are we nothing without them? Or am I something? Do we have an identity just by ourselves? without these external identifiers? Who am I?