Sunday, January 14, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions!!

"Buzurgon ne,
Buzurgon ne pharmaaya ki pairon pe apne khade hoke dikhlaao,
Phir ye zamaana tumhaara hai.
Zamaane ke sur-taal ke saath chalte chale jaao,
Phir har taraana, har fasaana tumhaara hai.

Arrey toh loh bhaiyaa ab hum pairon ke upar khade ho gaye aur milaali hai taal"

And so the song goes. Life it seems, echoes the sentiments of the song. As I step into what is the 21st year of my colorfully mundane existence, the familiar taunts & retorts about responsibility & adulthood seems to be all pervasive & omnipresent. Its the last year they say .... the last year before you are expected to take a shovel and in a barren, cold place called the "world", dig for yourself a trench large enough to satisfy both your needs & your materialistic demands.

As if going through the motions of a tiresome, grueling engineering schedule wasn't enough, when the tired soul returns home for some much needed rest, he is subjected to the added bonus of a heavy dosage on the 'responsibilities' of an adult. In such times, the lectures one has sat through & managed to survive seems far more endearing! Adulthood while being no way easy by any stretch of the imagination, surely has to be better than the daily sermons so freely doled out by one & all in the family!

But that is not even the point! The point is that trench which we are supposed to dig, that niche we are supposed to carve out, is but an infinitesimal volume in a void of infinite space ....

As I turn 20, my mind keeps returning back to the questions which I had asked at age 10 & for which till today no rational answer is forthcoming .... why do we live life? what is it that makes us fear death, makes us want to postpone that last fatal blow as long as possible? Why that instinct to survive & to what end? what is the purpose behind it all? Are we an accidental creation of some unknown force & that our existence and/or activity is incidental? .... or are we the result of some intent on the part of some creator?

As I ask these questions & try to seek an answer, I find myself more and more engaged in the nihilistic point of view of man's existence. Nihilism is the philosophy that says man has no purpose, that his life and his activities are inconsequential to the reality of the universe. In short, Nihilism says plainly that whatever man does is irrelevant and hence the next question one asks - then why do we do it? why do we continue living? another one in a long line of unanswered questions!

As a result of being convinced in part, by the rationale of the nihilistic explanation of life(or the apparent lack of it), I just cant seem to give a structured direction to my life. I am akin to that confused, clueless lamb who has lost sight of the Sheppard and has lost all sense of direction. Every time I seek to give a direction to life and try to move into areas unexplored, every time I am reminded of life's apparent futility.

These questions have been bugging me (as they must have almost everyone) for a long time now. And I am convinced that unless I get some straight answers, this delusional mind will tend to indulge in a false psychedelic comfort and justify the procrastinator within!

So there you are. On the occasion of my 20th birthday, I am happy & optimistic .... but there is also this nagging sense of uneasiness at how seemingly futile human life is - especially in the context of this consumerist, brand-conscious world.

As these thoughts occupy most of my temporal lobe most of the time, I am reminded of a quote I read in Reader's Digest the other day:
"Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

Maybe I should just leave it at that and make a new start. Do share your insights into what you feel life is.


Kunal said...

m going thru the same conundrum as i turned 20 a couple of days back..out of your teens, i dont really feel any different.

mebbe once i get out into the 'real' world..till then...

Rajiv Iyer said...

hey thx buddy for re-affirming that such thought-processes is not unique to me alone ;)

I agree - mebbe I should just rest it for a while - concentrate on the now - and postpone the deliberations on the WHY, WHAT later!

thx 4 visitin!

Chinmay said...

Ah! the same questions.. everytime i think of anything like this i reach to only one conclusion, or rather reality tells me, its better to leave these questions to themselves, so be happy and busy.. and die happy and busy :D..

Anonymous said...

read ur blog after a very long time.

nice blog.

jus one thg...
remember u said,'I am akin to that confused, clueless lamb who has lost sight of the Sheppard and has lost all sense of direction.'

i feel..ur not lost.

u started askin questions,thts good.
its the first step.

u think u r lost because,u want the answers immedietly.

i feel tht is where u r goin wrong. for us,human
beings,is not short lived.

so,u have hopefully a very long time,to get the answers.

so,my advise would b,
'dont stop asking questions.'

and remember one more thing...
u created the questions,
so,it is more likely tht u have the answers..keep searching.

similar to the fact tht,the person who sets a question paper,or asks a question to sumone,has got the answer,or atleast got an idea abt it.

yea..sorry for the frivilous example.:p

keep writin.

Varun Rajkumar said...

Don't Ask too many Questions to Yourself...Just keeping going where life takes you!!

:-)... Good One!!

Rajiv Iyer said...

@Chinmay - I wish I could be that carefree! I appreciate what you r saying, but one tends to introspect & ask these puzzlers!

@Anonymous - hey if I am not mistaken, u r Pavitra rite? Pls do leave ur name! And thx a lot - from all the comments I get, urs make a lot of sense! U couldn't hav put it in a better way! I stand corrected - my impatience to know all the answers has to wait I guess!

@Varun - hey u r rite .... just do whatever u r doing & things will slowly but surely fall into place, I guess!

Dinesh Nambiar said...

firstly a very ineteresting post.. loved reading it.. could connect totally simply cos it was straightforward and real... thumps up!!!

i believe i m in a position to tell u what life is all about... dont xpect me to xplain it all over here cos i simply cant.. no1 can.. as much bcos of the complexity of the subject as my linguistic limitations..

Life is abt HAPPINESS!!! As cliched as it may seem, i believe its true.. trust me, this comes from a very troubled and tested mind.. do THINK abt it.. life is a celebration of (a) BEING.. And being is all about knwing wot u like and doing it.. some ppl know wot they like(and want) earlier than others.. but thr is always something for every1.. once u know wot tht is u strt wrking towards it.. and every PRODUCTIVE wrk in tht direction should ideally make u happy.. if it doesn then u must be one really sore ass... A lot of ppl who read this wil ask "how do u define happiness".. dumb question.. happiness is whn u r enjoying every minute of ur xistence.. and we all have moments like tht.. whn all other worries are swept aside.. wot is needed is a perceptive mind.. a clear mind..One should also be able to recognize the ideology one lives by..then its all clear.. could go on and on (as if this wasnt enuff) but i doubt if i will make sense after some time..

rajiv.. dude..we can talk abt this whn we meet.. i believ i have a gud idea of wot its all abt.. lets see if i can be of any help to u..

njoi.. keep rocking...

Rajiv Iyer said...

@Dinesh - Hey thx buddy! Words cannot be truer than ones u hav just uttered/written!

The simplicity of ur solution may appear naive, but its also its greatest strength!

Yes - thats it I guess! You live because you want to exude/demonstrate all that you believe in, you want to chart out ur own path - with ur own ideals! And you dont care much of what the world thinks - its just you & your thoughts that matter!

Thx 4 the simple yet profound philosophy! I needed it badly!

Bit Hawk said...

I can relate to most of your questions. I keep asking them myself. May be our generation is too scared of taking things easy and we love complicating our lives with all these questions!

P.S: Thanks for the comments on my blog. Keep visiting!