Akidat ke phool chaddha kar..
Chhoti si ekal baddha kar..
Aaye hai sar ko jhuka kar..
Tujhse dua maangte hum..
I learnt this song listening to my sister sing it in school. I was in Montessori back then. We used to walk to school together, either singing such rhymes or discussing the day ahead. On our way back we used to collect “Bandar ki Roti“, small flattened leaves with an edible nut sealed between them, in our empty tiff-ins. Homework was more fun with some Monkey’s Bread to chew on.
It’s wonderful how we never forget some things. You can always recall them vividly, no matter how long ago they happened. They stick out in the puddle of your memories, letting you step over them and cross over to times that are long gone. There stands 5 year old me, crying, cause he is being sent to school and a little away is the 15 year old me, with his mate, standing outside the class. Together they are weaving incredible worlds out of their imaginations, too creative for the confines of a classroom. Everything else in between the two is faded, vague. There, but not so significant.
I’m so happy.. Cause today I found my friends,
Their in my head.
I’m so ugly.. That’s OK cause so are you,
We’ve broken mirrors.
These lines are from a Nirvana song, Lithium (Nevermind). The line “We’ve broken mirrors” attempts to describe a state of moral decay where values cease to matter. Human, being a social animal, evaluates it’s actions and behaviour against the norms established by the society as a whole. He checks himself out in this social mirror to ensure that it “looks” good. Though this largely fosters hypocrisy, it at least keeps anarchy in check.
I saw a very sensitive teenage. My reactions to acts of social injustice and corruption used to be phenomenal. I used to believe that world has lost all it’s sensitivity and is headed for collapse. What follows is an angry ramble which little Anupam Ashish penned probably after witnessing another social incident that did not fit into his definition of a fair world.
When was it the last time you actually reacted to something abnormal or disturbing? And I am not talking about your cell not working well or the discovery about the alternate sexuality of a close friend. I am talking about some of the numerous events that shape up the world that goes around you, the cosmos you live in, your habitats, your city, your block, count the cyber space as well. In short, the surroundings that should normally grab your attention. Also, when I say “reacted” I am not talking about cursing before moving on.
An organism is supposed to evolve to higher mental and physical capabilities. Degradation is not the direction of time and that’s why the dials of life should witness an incessant (however minute and insignificant) development in our perception, understanding and compassion.
Then why is it that we are becoming increasingly careless about things going the wrong way around? Why is it that we find ourselves at a complete loss of concern? Why is it that we fail to even notice happenings that should ordinarily provoke a mutiny? Why are we ignoring disturbing facts? Why are we forgetting and forgiving brutal acts? Why are we accepting things which instigate loathing?
This is an excerpt from an address at the Physical Society, Berlin, on the occasion of Max Plank’s sixtieth birthday. The words belong to one of the greatest scientists that ever lived on the face of earth. Any guesses? You can see the entire address by the speaker at this link: Principles of Research
IN the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them thither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were an angel of the Lord to come and drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside…
..now let us have another look at those who have found favor with the angel. Most of them are somewhat odd, uncommunicative, solitary fellows, really less like each other, in spite of these common characteristics, than the hosts of the rejected. What has brought them to the temple? That is a difficult question and no single answer will cover it. To begin with, I believe with Schopenhauer that one of the strongest motives that leads men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one’s own ever shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from personal life into the world of objective perception and thought; this desire may be compared with the townsman’s irresistible longing to escape from his noisy, cramped surroundings into the silence of high mountains, where the eye ranges freely through the still, pure air and fondly traces out the restful contours apparently built for eternity.
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Life is not fair. It never was, and probably never will be. There is no universal regulatory body to make sure that the just happens. We incorrectly confuse God with Life. He/She (I prefer “It”) is not this life or the force driving it. If it were so, would It let innocents suffer. No, It won’t. And this isn’t some angry-god-teaching-a-lesson or adam-eve-paying-for-eating-the-apple stuff either. If there is some force in this world, It isn’t to manifest Itself through our lives. It cannot, and even if It can, It will not control our world. Hence all the wrong things we see happening with us and around us cannot be attributed to God’s negligence or insensitivity because It has no say in this.
But bad happens, as frequently as good. Often people deserving a reward, at best get nothing and at worst get punished instead. Why? There is no answer, in fact the question itself is invalid. How can there ever be a justification to the misery and pain of an angel? The problem is we think there is some mechanism working behind all this. Some algorithm, some plan, some script governs what happens. And assuming a system in place, we expect it to deliver justice.
And then we think that why is that system unfair? Why did I get pain when I helped someone? Why did that person get what he didn’t deserve? We say the mechanism is flawed, that it favors the evil. The truth is there is no mechanism. It is a jungle. It’s an ungoverned unplanned unjust setup of chaos, where nothing happens “because”. Things just happen. No reason, no logic. So don’t ask “Why?” or even worse “Why me?”. I am not trying to prove the non-existence of God or the futility of faith. That is something for you to decide. I am just trying to warn you from holding your goodness as your reason and excuse to expect justice and fairness.