On a train journey, one I have made countless times before, I picked up a book titled the Myth of Sisyphus. As I flip through the pages two very unsettling but simple questions come to fore: Is everything we do bound to end up with us as the protagonist of Sisyphus’ tale, like some per-ordained inescapable destiny? and secondly if Sisyphus has the choice of death, what should he choose?
On the first question the answer seems obvious – boredom is bound to catch up with us as we make our way through existence. NO matter what we do, given a long enough time line we are bound to repeat what we do. It seems to be the inescapable destiny of man that we can delay but not deny. Only escape from this boredom lies, ironically, in never asking that question in the first place. The question seeks to destroy the very intellect which brought it forth, slowly but surely draining colors from an ever expanding palette. Novelty only lasts so long and after spending a while – to use a cliché – on this isolated piece of rock very few things manage to pique our interest in that awe inspiring way that we were used to as children. Only plausible reason why we do what we do and seem to enjoy life and its droll self repeating pattern seems to be, ironically, death. Life seems to be a duality at its very heart. That very meaning and purpose with which we wish to imbue our lives makes sense only in the light of death, but in order to be able to infuse our lives with any such thing thing we must act and do as if we shall live forever. Is this ‘the absurd’? Is it then better to not ask the question at all? To live in a blind existence unaware of our ‘mere mortal’ status. This proposition seems neither tenable nor satisfying. Our inner yearning as beings, who seek reasons and patterns within the natural order, does not allow us to feign ignorance – not ask the question of our existence.
Theology though seems to have a different answer. This life is finite and having lived long enough you will feel what you feel ( Theology doesn’t answer this question) but once you’re done with this life you are bound to end up for eternity in heaven or hell. In either of those places, but lets assume heaven since that’s where theists want to head, you get to repeat things ad infinitum. Ask yourself, is this really what you want? In the word of the immortal Christopher Hitches, it would be like North Korea. Where there is nothing but endless praise for the totalitarian dictator , for disagreeing with him would lead to endless torture. Agreeing with him though would lead you to a sterile world devoid of all the pleasures, joys, happiness and sadness that a human life entails. This to me seems a disagreeable proposition. Even the best option seems to be rather repugnant.
Sisyphus seems to be role model for humanity. The straw-man human who invariably must keep repeating his life-death being the only respite.
All this naturally leads to the second question which is rather more complex. Given a choice do I extend my life for as long as possible? I would like to think not. The logical next step would be to ask if I wish to die. The answer to which has to be resounding NO. Not because there is some objective meaning to my own life that has been conferred from up above but rather because I’m the universe experiencing itself and I can choose what I wish to do with this privilege. Of all the billions of billions of billions ..and I should go on but there’s not enough space..of atoms in this universe there are just a couple of million that give rise to this complex phenomenon that can interact, respond and demand answers of this indifferent universe. I would assume that I owe it to all the other particles and atoms to live life that is full of questions and hopefully a couple of answers. To experience, not only the happiness and joy but the sadness and despair that universe has to offer. To experience the gamut of emotions of that I, or any human for that matter, can imagine or experience.
Light streams in from between the narrow slit between the wall and my window curtain, blinding me into consciousness. Its the same old minty toothpaste..doesn’t make my teeth whiter or my breath smell any better but i still do it because of the 17 yr indoctrination that i underwent, under the tutelage of my parents, on the art of living in a society. Its cold the air is dry a light fog fills the place. Someones puked in the basin, its not me this time. I clearly remember not losing control. The bathroom stinks so I have nowhere to brush, but being the brushing addict that I’am I find a way out, i go to the basin on the other end. Mess food stinks. Milk will be enough. As i walk to class the only thought in my head is “why are my feet so cold?”. Class is a blur not because it went too fast but because I could see tiny dust particle do the “brownian motion” frame by frame, while being bathed in sunlight that was coming in from the window. The classroom is cold. I should’ve learnt about helium atoms by now. On my way back I derive sadistic pleasure in watching the future Dr Karan Malhotra poking seemingly harmless fun at our friend ojoi she-ing( Ajay Singh) , that i have an inkling feeling will leave him, ojoi, emotionally scarred for life.
More random thoughts from the house of an empty brain. Yeh frooti kya cheez hai? an innocuous question with one answer…jab angrez log aam ka juice peete hain toh usse frooti kehte hai.
This is what i compiled in one quantum computation lecture:
A foxy locksmith…bzzzzzzzzzz………The stupid pesticide van is roaming aout in the academic area while the last remnants of what was previously my brain ooze away into the abyss in this class. The problem is that i’m trying to learn quantum computation but i don’t know quantum mechanics and surprisingly neither does the instructor. Somewhere in the recesses of my consciousness i hear avagadro’s number, probably the instuctor. My leg hurts.I have an accident prone leg.QFT this semester means quantum fourier transform (go figure) last semester it was quantum field theory..aah the transience of life.With 10 minutes to go i still hear stuff in the background. Don’t know what i’am or will be doing. It’s scary. My head hurts from all the laughing i’ve been doing since the morning. Reminder: We are not using QED (quantum electrodynamics for the layman) but we do plain simple optical fourier transform. My consciousness is returning……….i think i’am about to die……….
Its been a while(like staind said). Dusshera holidays are going on and i’m back home..getting bored as usual. Since i have soo much time on my hand I have started opening(not something i do very often) and reading every forward that i get. Some of them are funny and all but most of them are just repetitions of chain letters that have been circulating the net. for some time. Some ones dying of cancer and needs money or some drunk guy killed a chick .. all in all very boring… then i come across this forward . Have fun with it..heres what i came up with
One big dick summer day at hell you see the most asshole creature you have ever seen. Their name is xyz , and every move she makes just turns you on more and more. You nudge your best friend asd and say, “Wow, that has to be the most dickhead body I have ever seen.” Suddenly, she looks in your direction and starts walking right towards you!!! she says, “I noticed you staring at me from over there. I just had to tell you, that I think you are so small , and was wondering if you’d like to go to heaven with me and SnM ?” With a stupid smile on your face you say, ” Fuck You ” and go with them. When you finally get to heaven , she moves closer to you, and gives you the biggest kiss ever. The two of you are passionately kissing, when you feel a brothel hit you on the back of the head. You open your eyes to find out it’s all a dream, but there is a note left next to your bed.
It reads: ” xyz is the love you’ve been waiting your whole life for. she will ask you out in 4 days or less, but only if you send this e-mail to at least 10 people within the next few minutes. The more people you send it to, the sooner they will ask you out, and you both fall in love. Do not take this lightly, because if you simply ignore this, you will have bad luck in love for the next 4 years!”
Yea like hell i would forward it to anybody
Some photos I took when went to Girawali (courtesy IUCAA). They’re not as good as what i saw with the naked eye, but who said i was a pro?