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Teleology, Lukewarm porridge and Tacky Rose-Tinted Shades

I think Goldilocks was onto something when she tried out all the chairs, and beds, and bowls of porridge before she picked baby bear’s things. I think butterflies are onto something when they flit from flower to flower, before nestling down on one. I think globetrotters are onto something, when they amble and hike all over the world, before they build a home. I think rivers are onto something when they meander all across the parched plain, before they meet the sea.

I wonder though, if I am enslaved by teleology? As though the journey, though beautiful, is only a means to an end? It’s work hard day by day– so you can pass the exam. It’s sleep– so you can wake up. It’s eat– so you can be full. It’s marry–so you are supported. It’s love– so you may be loved. The end. The end. The end. Wherefore does this illogical obsession with the finish line engender? The end. The end. The end. Is this constant oscillation between the present and the future, far more complex than any Einsteinian space-time continuum can hope to be? The end. The end. The end. Is our hankering for certainty an impediment in seeing things as they are?

Is life not a limbo? Is limbo not life? Then, do we not take on the burden of being traitors if we believe that this exercise of living is certain? Isn’t it all merely an interplay– a constant oscillation between that which presently is and that which was and that which could be?

Where is the anchor then? What do we hold onto? Playing is fun in the evening. But I want to go home and drink daal and sleep.

What do I do with myself , if I cannot contain? What do I with the world, if I cannot hold it in the palm of my hand? How do I fortify myself from my own anxieties and fears, that creep in through the crevices that precarity leaves room for? How do I face the faces that find each other in whatever semblance of solidarity, while I still continue to play?

Because I don’t want to live deterministically, but I don’t know how else to feel secure and safe?

Perhaps, safety is in accepting change? Perhaps when I feel most secure is in not lying to myself about the unchanging world? And perhaps, somewhere along the way, we find anchors in ourselves, and people and things, that change only incrementally. Or that we hope we grow parallelly with. And I think that is a beautifully vulnerable anchor– hope.

I hope I always love you. I hope I will learn something from this. I hope I will do well in life. I hope I will enjoy. But, this hope does not tremble and falter. The hope is not worried. The hope is held with a certain degree of lightness that aims to preserve the present, while making room for larger changes. Its tenuous grip is a gentle caress.

I suppose rather, that hope is the wine with which the main course is washed down. A sort of pleasant, flavourful intoxicant that adds on to the meal, but in itself, it is substanceless. I cannot have only wine for dinner. My dinner is plain without wine.

The anchor then, is the ever– changing self. And the not-so changing parts too. The anchor is in the play. The anchor is in liberation that change heralds: in the dichotomy between the strength and the fragility of life, that allows you to cling on ever-so-slightly. Stand near the butterfly, but don’t touch it. Its wings tremble as you exhale.

I think the Persians were onto something when they said, “This too shall pass”.



*I began to write the first paragraph almost as a sermon to “incessant trial until you arrive upon the answer”. But, whilst in the process of that, I realised the fallacy in the definitive that I sought, which then determined the course of my writing– exactly like the metamorphoses I suggest!





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