The Questions That Keep Us Going

I think everyone would agree on the fact that one of the most fascinating things about homo sapiens is their ability to be skeptical- ask questions without directly accepting anything that comes by. We ask so many questions- in class, at home, maybe something catches our eye and we end up Googling it.. Just notice for yourself- doesn’t every other incident or a situation rise a lot of questions? And most that you cannot answer?

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

I think its a good thing- not knowing the answers. Because then that will lead you to search and explore. And in turn, this exploration will produce another set of questions. In fact, life would be so boring if we just ‘knew it all’!

“When people don’t have any curiosity about themselves, that is always a bad sign.” -Irvin D. Yalom

But the real question is, is the current education system equipped enough to cater to such kind of curiosity? Is a structured, confined and limited syllabus good enough for young minds that question the limitations of every subject area possible?

This system, that mainly tests the memory of an individual, leaves out other numerous aspects and judges their capability based on their ability to recollect ideas learnt from text books and the way they are produced on paper.

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” -Albert Einstein

Development and progress will only happen if current systems are questioned. Because in the end, it is these questions that keep us going.

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Homesick

A cold, indifferent wind
to me that speaks it’s mind.
This world, oh this blue world,
The only ‘one-of-its kind’.

“Break your bubble” they say
“You’ll know what’s really out there!”
But am I ready? Or is it too soon?
Because love, I don’t have a spare.

New places, people, new languages,
make me feel surrounded, but alone..
Roaming bravely; exploring curiously,
while homesickness slowly curls on.

Searching for something domestic,
searching for something known.
Something that brings me memories,
something that makes me feel home.

“It’s just a matter of time,
all things will be alright..
Turn some leaves over,
and, my friend, there will be the light.”

Randomness #2

How easy really, is it, to get tired of life?

Difficult question to ask?

Actually, it’s pretty darn easy. Just try to remember the number of times you would have said ‘my life sucks’, or ‘why is my life like this’ or all related sentences till this point in your life. Or every time you’ve frowned at the thought of it.

I myself do it all the time. And then I think all deeply about how I should do something meaningful in life, continue all my hobbies, spend time with people, etcetera, etcetera.

But then, something comes up and I’m all busy again.

Well, I think, it’s actually pretty easy to find meaning in life.

You really don’t have to do it at all! Just let it go, think of the most random things in this world, distract yourself, and you’ll finally get to it somehow!
I haven’t had any sort of experience that made me appreciate life, no such insightful discussions with someone, near death experiences, or people’s lives that inspired me that much… Well, not yet.

However, just small walks on the terrace of my apartment early in the morning are enough to remind me of the complexity of this world, of how simple it is that makes it so complex in itself.

But, when you think about it, how can anything be simple to a level that makes it so complex? And yet, here we are, living in this bundle of simply complex world, whose horizons are knowingly unknown to us.

We look for answers everywhere- we want to know everything in such a small span of time. We want to know how, why, when, and where everything happens. And in this hurry of answering all these complex questions, we forget to look straight and appreciate this mysteriously beautiful place that has now become home to us.

It’s very difficult to wake myself up early in the morning every Sunday. But when I do, I don’t regret it one bit. Just one walk on the terrace, and there is this whole new refreshing wind running through my hair. There’s all these birds flying in the sky, squirrels running around, carrying nuts, or pigeons pecking at the small grains kept on the terrace by someone. And how they instantly fly with your one move. I always end up giggling at that.
How innocent and cheerful everything looks, sounds, and feels.

And to think that the next day I’ll have to get up earlier, go to ‘learn’ and ‘educate’ myself, and do things completely opposite of this just makes me get all cranky.

Why can’t we learn by exploring the world? Why isn’t reflection and articulation and appreciation a part of our curriculum?

What kind of knowledge is this, anyway?

Well, life really sucks, doesn’t it?

The Shackles of Love

Fearful, frightened, terrified

she treads over the sea.

Holding a tiny bundle of cloth,

her steps so light.

 

Consciousness taking over her poor state,

Deprived of sleep, love

Every now and then she looks

at the cover in her hands..

With eyes so dark, so wide

followed by a relieved utterance.

Dark eyes staring right back at her,

and that beautiful moment shared between them

tells them everything is okay.

 

Enveloped in their tiny little world,

mother and daughter escape

from fate, the so-called destiny,

still on the hunt.

 

A continuous struggle, a fight

or is it, just another act?

For praised are those

on the war field, their bravery

their courage and steady minds..

Not fearful, not frightened,

And not terrified.

 

Unexpected and unprepared they go,

indifferent to the chaos.

With shackles now only on each other,

The shackles of love.

THE FOOT AND THE SHOE

“But in time, stones and bits of glass,

streets, ladders,

and the paths in the rough earth

go on teaching the foot that it cannot fly,

cannot be a fruit bulging on the branch.

Then, the child’s foot

is defeated, falls

in the battle,

is a prisoner

condemned to live in a shoe.” –excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s To the Foot from Its Child as translated by Alastair Reid.

This beautiful poem by Neruda throws light on the sad and inevitable future of almost every child born in this world. Each one of us have dreams and unending imaginations of how we all see ourselves in the future, but somewhere in the back of our mind we somehow know that its mostly not going to be that way. Just like a child’s foot, which is unaware of its physical state and inability to fly or be a fruit on a branch, faces harsh realities of life and is finally ‘condemned to live in a shoe’.

What is this shoe? Is it our family, friends, our responsibilities? Or does it just mean the shoe, literally? I would like to think of this ‘shoe’ as the box we all live in. A box that limits our imagination, and far from being a place of comfort, is a boundary, a limitation to our capabilities. A box that does not let us reach our fullest potential, and condemns us to a life like everyone else’s. And yet, we cannot help but be pushed into this box and become a slave of life’s treacherous plan. We cannot fight back, and when we try to, we realise that we are pushed far deep into the box that it’s almost impossible to get out of it. Just like the foot, we are all forced to live in that shoe.

“Thinking outside the box is just thinking inside a bigger box”. I could not agree more. We are all embedded in this society in a way that its influence reaches our unconscious. Without our conscious knowledge, we fulfill the societal norms, everything that the society wants us to do, and in case we don’t, society finds its own way of getting things done. We are so scared of breaking the norms, of going against the wishes of the society that we repress our wishes, our dreams, and our unending imaginations and reduce them all to something immediately available and closely related to this material world.

In the end, we all end up being like those unused toys of a child that are forced into a box, expected to live in it, forever, with our dreams being reduced to dust outside the box, kept in the darkness of the attic, and the dreamless dust being cleaned and thrown away once a while, at the same time reminding us that we are mere puppets of life’s treacherous plan. And who knows, in the end, the box might just be opened and the toys taken out with new dust all over so another child can play with them, or, in Neruda’s words, the foot might just be born again as a butterfly or an apple.