Saturday, December 03, 2005

Attacked on the way to the station

I leave my house and begin the familiar walk to the railway station. It is broad daylight and the short journey looks to be regular and uneventful. The cobbler opposite my house is asleep. There is a strong breeze and the air is filled with dragon flies. I walk straight to the small crowded intersection of 5 streets. I have to take the road that goes straight-right. I wait for the huge S.U.V. to pass, quickly take a peep into the 5 lanes and scurry across.

An attack at this time was the last thing I expected. The first one really took me by surprise.
“Is it okay to break rules when we think breaking a rule on a given occasion does not cause the damage the rule was made to guard against?”
“Is it okay to continue owning and propagating beliefs when we know we cannot prove them to be true?”

I enter my lane and see a huge pile of garbage lying heaped in a corner. There are more flies, dragon flies and other insects flying around it. A small dog surprises me by materializing from within its depths. Beyond this, the series of vendors begins. Fruit sellers behind their colourful, handmade mountains try to attract me by shouting out their prices. I reach another small intersection where I have to take a left. I see more people, more shops, more dragonflies. In a corner is a huge garbage bin lying tilted. The cow responsible, has its eyes shut and seems focused on whatever it is chewing. Liquid oozes from its mouth. Vehicles swerve to avoid hitting it.

At this stage, I somehow felt I was not a part of the road. I was just passively drifting by. More like the star in the morning sky that forgot to go off after sunrise.
“How can we say that we have the power to choose, when we have no option but to go with, what seems to us at the moment, the best choice?”
“If the creator is simultaneously infinitely potent and infinitely benevolent, why do almost 1,800 children under the age of 15 become HIV positive every day?”

As I walk past the cow I see the hoarding of a smiling boy holding a biscuit packet over a stationary shop. A fly lands and sits on his nose. I move on. Two auto drivers are having an animated conversation. A man apologises after bumping into one of them. As I take my final turn into the station premises I see a few beggars sitting by the road. They rattle their coin containers to add rhythm to the sorry tunes they cry to evoke pity. The railing behind them seems somewhat a uniform mixture of torn posters, beetle leaf spittle and bare black metal. A blind man rubs himself and his stick against it and shakes his head as if to say he understands where he is.

I had not framed all these questions. And I was in no mood to try and answer them. I did not even consider them. But they just came. Bolts from the blue. They had been hiding somewhere at the back of my head. There they formed an army and chose this most unseemly hour to attack.
“How do we define the purpose of our life, if what we like to do most is different from what we are best at doing?”

I reach the ticket counter, ask for my ticket and pay 10 rupees. The man behind the counter takes it and punches a button on a machine. It throws out the 4 rupee ticket and the man throws out the 6 rupee change; somewhat in the same style.

“If desire is the cause for all suffering, and I sit alone close my eyes and absolve myself of all desires, will mosquitoes stop biting me?"

The train arrives today as soon as I reach the platform. I get on and it speeds into the thick breeze and the station, behind me disappears round the bend.


Vishnu Vyas said...

"I need to know how many people I am dealing with here. So please do add a comment after reading. If you have nothing to say, add a comment that says, "Ding!""

-> firstly, Ding
secondly, get something called a site meter.


harshawardhan said...

“If desire is the cause for all suffering, and I sit alone close my eyes and absolve myself of all desires, will mosquitoes stop biting me?"...dont u think in that state u expect mosquitoes not to bite...isnt tht a desire?...what i feel is one can not exist without a desire...rather everyone who is alive has a desire (even if one wants to die...thts a desire...)
and suffering ...its a part of life...and it is mostly due to desire of FRUIT...if one can really enjoy his work then he wont suffer...people in deep sleep are not affected by mosquitoes biting them...
one last thing to end this :"no desire does not imply no suffering"...

Kri said...

I LOVE this post, as Ive told u earlier. Stuff like this is really inspired...keep it goin Hari. Btw, GO STUDY!!!