Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random walk - II

Continued from previous post:

link to part I: here

Next day when he got up, all those thoughts were still ringing in his head. There were certain mails in his e-mail inbox which required urgent attention but he felt boredom towards them. For a moment, he thought of the investment he had put up to come to this place. Investment is a relative term whose success depends on achievement of the purpose. These so called urgent matters had nothing to do with the purpose. But their academic importance couldn’t have been ignored so he quickly finished with those tasks. Somehow, he had always found it very difficult to do routine activities. Each routine activity was like a boring assignment, which he postponed as far as possible. Lunch in college canteen was another such activity. Quickly finishing with lunch, he went for a walk, alone, which was against the famed college culture.

It was bright sunny day, a treat in winter. This was best period in college as far as exhibition of nature’s beauty was concerned. There were hundreds of flowers; of scores of varieties, standing tall on their stem. Their appearance had a sense of vanity. He stood looking at the flowers, absent-mindedly. It was not exactly absent-minded behavior, but he was again lost in his thoughts. Flower, the reproductive part of a plant is never called upon by other parts to prove its worth time & again, he thought. Each part carries its own task as assigned by nature. But human beings often consider it unnecessary to appreciate those who carry human race forward in true sense. They consider it unnecessary to use the cognitive ability they are blessed with to understand nature.

“Nakul!! Where are you lost? I said ‘hi’ twice”, a friend interrupted.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t hear”, he replied.
“Typical of you, what were you thinking?”
“Nothing. Nothing of much importance”
“Don’t you have class?”
“I don’t, probably”
“Haha. OK. I got to go. See you later, bye”

He suddenly became aware of many other students roaming around. Funny it is, he thought. I didn’t see anyone 5-10 min back. From where did they come suddenly? Or were they here then too? Doesn’t matter one way or the other, he thought. He noticed few people. He always observed people very closely. Not always of any particular interest in that person but to identify underlying philosophies behind various behaviors. In some cases, he could actually visualize the psychological developmental stages of people. He could see practical results of some thoughts which he had out rightly rejected in past or thoughts which he believed would lead to dead end. Not surprisingly, he was certainly not the biggest fan of these people. “That could have been me, had I considered it superficial to understand importance of abstractions in solving real-life problems” was what he thought and moved on.

For a change, he decided to visit library. He glanced through the headlines of newspaper. There is something wrong with the world as it is, he thought. That has always been the case. The solution seems so near yet so far. All the news in newspaper seemed inter-related. All news items whether describing successes or failures had a common philosophical base, to think or not. Why can’t anyone else see those links? Or is it that they see but choose to ignore? What is more contemptible? He only knew that thinking on it further was of not much use. He consoled himself saying “today’s world is not that bad, one can still act on his free will.” Yes, one can but the phrase ‘living dangerously’ never seemed more apt. He returned to his room.

The day went by. He was suddenly feeling very lonely in the evening. It caught him by surprise. He hadn’t felt like this for a long time. One part of him was smiling. This was a philosophical-psychological assignment, a tough but interesting assignment and he was very keen on knowing how he himself would proceed on it. He could have sought help, but decided against it. This made the task even tougher. He was always too aware of thought processes going on in his mind and subsequent emotions. So, this was not a random feeling. His teacher had taught that emotions don’t exist stand-alone, as irreducible primary. They are derived sum of one’s value judgments. What was the root cause of this loneliness then? Was it a longing for someone equal, someone who understands, someone who wants same thing or was it a desperate failed attempt in making unreality real? There is always a sure method to solve such problems, he thought. Check the premises. He started pacing in his room back and forth, as was his style. If suffering is what one aims for; that kind of person would desperately try to make unreality real. It seemed inconceivable that he would aim for that. He had never understood the glorification of suffering. It is not something to be taken seriously. Suffering is not part & parcel of life as some religious leaders and philosophers profess. Suffering is like a waste product of a chemical process and waste can never be the purpose of a process. The assignment was more or less solved. If the reason behind loneliness was the other possibility he thought of, it should only be matter of time.

He got back to his work promising himself that he would not let this thought bother him again.

to be continued...

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