Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Absurdity and Suicide - Albert Camus

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.

If I ask myself how to judge that this question is more urgent than that, I reply that one judges by the actions it entails. I have never seen anyone die for the ontological argument. Galileo, who held a scientific truth of great importance, abjured it with the greatest ease as soon as it endangered his life. In a certain sense, he did right. That truth was not worth the stake. Whether the earth or the sun revolves around the other is a matter of profound indifference. To tell the truth, it is a futile question. On the other hand, I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying).

Friday, January 07, 2011

More changes cometh

Wow! Its been a while since I have documented about the changes I am making. 

I have started something new yet again... something that I have yearned for, for years (well 4 years). Not sure if it is a passion in the same sense as photography or social media. It is something that relates to what I have been doing professionally for the past 5 years or so but without the recognition nor the benefits. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I do not love what I do because I do. Love it a lot. I won't have been in it if I didn't love it. But its different from what I feel about photography etc. 

The dawn seems like fun and is exciting and makes me wonder how things are gonna shape up in a few month. I will, once again take charge of things that matter, to me, to people around me, to people I don't know yet but will get to know, and to people I may never get to know. 

These past few months I have been thinking about a lot of things. About life, the universe (around me) and everything else. I have not yet come to a conclusion, I wonder if I will. Do we ever? Oftentimes I think so much that I forget what it is that I started thinking about in the first place and how exactly did I reach the idea that I am currently thinking about. I am sure a lot of you know what I am talking about. For those who don't? Well, good for you, don't go there, its a deviously crazy place to be in. Okay where was I? (Reads back)

Aah yes, so I am trying to say that I am happy with where I am now, but I can't help feeling that I still need to do more, need to achieve more, think harder. But do I feel this way because I want to achieve more in my personal satisfaction scale or is it just my insatiable hunger for things that I want but don't really need that make me want to do more so that I have the resources for everything that I want?
Gandhi did say that 'The Earth has enough for everyone's needs but not enough for everyone's greed." Now I agree with that and I do try to live a life with minimal carbon footprint. You have any idea how many years I have gone without air travel? :) I am quite stoked about that. But alas, the world out there does not appreciate it. (And I digress again)

Today I woke up thinking what should be the next step for me. This is odd considering that I just got on the step that I am standing on now.

Hmmm.. I wonder where this path will go. Or will there be a distraction on the way? A new colourful bird? Or a glittery little fishie in the pond yonder there.. Lets see. Will keep you posted :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What does a flower desire?

Came across this beautiful poem composed by Makhanlal Chaturvedi who was not only a poet but also a writer, essayist, playwright, journalist and was also part of India's national struggle for Independence.

He was awarded the first Sahitya Akademi Award in 1955 for his work, हिम तरंगिनी (Him Tarangini) though he is better known for छायावाद (Chaayavaad) and most Indians will recognise the poem that I have reproduced below. If you are around my age you would remember the poem being recited on Indian TV in the 80's.

पुष्प की अभिलाषा

चाह नहीं मैं सुरबाला के
गहनों में गूँथा जाऊँ

चाह नहीं, प्रेमी-माला में
बिंध प्यारी को ललचाऊँ

चाह नहीं, सम्राटों के शव
पर हे हरि, डाला जाऊँ

चाह नहीं, देवों के सिर पर
चढ़ूँ भाग्य पर इठलाऊँ

मुझे तोड़ लेना वनमाली
उस पथ पर देना तुम फेंक

मातृभूमि पर शीश चढ़ाने
जिस पर जावें वीर अनेक ।।

For readers in English, here is the translation.

The Yearning of a Flower

Desireth not to be on the young lass’
Tresses…living twice all over,

Desireth not to be in a garland
Binding, enticing young lovers,

Desireth not to rest on the mortals
Of Emperors – aren’t we equally God’s own?

Desireth not to be on the heads of Gods
To take pride in mere fortune,

Pick me out, O Gardener!
Strew me on the path that the Brave tread

To sacrifice for Motherland!
Let me, in obeisance, bow my head!

Does it bring back memories? From your childhood and about India's struggle for freedom? It does so for me.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

At the brink of change

As promised in the previous post, I am trying to chronicle my thoughts about my current state of affairs on this blog. Tonight, I am thinking back to the time when I wrote the previous post.

In the month that has passed by, I have tried to slowly and steadily tried to get ready for the change that I have been thinking about for almost a year. I am past the point of no return and it though I know that there is no turning back, but it makes me think about the impact these few months will make on me and on everyone who is linked to me.

I am aware that this will change things drastically. For better or worse? Don't ask me. I have absolutely no idea. I ask myself that question all day and night but no answers.

Don't you just hate it when your mind (which, in my experience, has always had answers) just decides to stop responding to your questions and instead hums to itself throwing you off to random directions which oftentimes have nothing to do with the problem at hand?

What's surprising is that my mind and myself are no strangers to such drastic changes. We have partnered through many such situations without so many deliberations. It effortlessly steered me through the doldrums that many an Indian students go through when they step out of school and are to decide what they want to study in college. It steered me through a drastic change that I suddenly made in my career about 6 years ago. About the last one, sometimes I am still not sure whether that was a good thing to do or not. It screwed up a lot of things, but some of the few things I gained have been worth so much more.

But then why am I in such a muddled state of mind this time around? Is it age (sic) that is causing me to lose the sharpness of my mind? Am I afraid of taking risks because of the presence of a better half? Or am I simply becoming indecisive?

I don't know what my destination is. I don't know which road to take. But I still have the support of my family, my better half and my friends (for which I am very thankful to them). I don't know what they see me as, a big fool to be laughed at or someone that they have faith on. I really have no clue.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Change is the only constant.

If there was one rule that I could say I have followed in my life, then that would be to embrace change, or rather seek and at times bring change in my life, forcibly if so required.

I have, throughout my short life, been changing different aspects of my life every few years. Most of the times it is out of sheer boredom and sometimes due to my sheer disgust of status quo.

I am putting my thoughts on screen today because once again I am standing over an abyss looking down into what seems to be a bottomless pit. I can see a few hills far off into the distance but as of now I can't figure out the way to reach them. I don't even know which hill I want to step on to next, or even if I want to step on to any of the hills that I are in my sight.

Faced with such a prospect, it is hard to not feel a sense of vertigo.

I will be making some drastic and unexpected changes in the next couple of weeks, preparations for which have already been started. Let's see what I finally decide to do...

I will keep you posted..