Sunday, August 12, 2012

Living is Becoming a Lost Art

KL was telling me the other day, horror of horrors, at the grand old age of thirty-one, he thinks he is not ready for marriage and that for him, it would be a better time at the age of thirty-five. That was actually what I thought when I was at twenty-five, but I just couldn't put my heart into telling him this. It's like, hey, look at what I got myself into now, thinking what you thinking now.

But now, as age piles wisdom on my white head of hair - it does that to everyone - perspective changes. Life was once bleak, when I was thirty, and portended the consequence of that decision at twenty-five. I regretted and noted that time couldn't possibly turn back; I'd got to move on then. We all have to move on. Eventually. Life is filled with compromises, no matter how you see it. And cliches too: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I call it survival instinct: man changes its software, that is the mind, to adapt to life's conditions, otherwise, you're exterminated. Marriage is never a prerequisite to life. Loneliness, in the context of living alone and not sharing your life with a woman, is but another emotion in its wide spectrum of "living" - so is regret, which I came to accept only later. There is no record in the history of mankind of someone who dies of loneliness, or regret. No. Only in some fictional dramatic feast put up in the name of entertainment. Most times, life is boring, really.

I too came to understand at that point of time - what's with the age of thirty? - that singlehood is going to get harder, as one grows older, for various reasons. To a large extent, I think I was most probably right. But there are other considerations. Perhaps, it is not singlehood getting harder, but life itself, in general, is getting harder, as this world gets more complicated. There are more truths, half-truths and lies floating around in the internet and the mainstream media, in the mix, as communication becomes more convenient at the touch of a few buttons, and far-reaching. Behind every article, there is a faceless stranger with an undefined motive. Behind every news, you wonder, is there a greater force at work, wanting you to believe what it wants you to believe. Scepticism is a double-edged sword. Amidst all this, I am lost. Perhaps, we all are, but are just too busy dealing with the overflow of information to realise this. In the midst of all this technology advancements and demands for efficiency, life has sped up tremendously; we have failed to catch up, hence have failed to learn to live better under the given conditions: we just tumble through life. Living is becoming a lost art. It's like, life gives you something other than lemons, something which you never even hear of, and you realise you don't know what to do with it, or have lost the tools to make it into something else useful to you. Anyhow, life is beginning to always give you different things that are getting more complex individually and as a whole.

Once I thought men are simply egoistic, self-absorbing creatures who think they know how to live, and spend their lives telling or showing others how - and yes, I am one of them. Now, that assertion seems so primitive: we are just too occupied to even think of life, not to mention death, which would bring us closer to knowing life in my book.

But one thing for sure, life is supposed to be lived, you won't know exactly how - just like art, or rather, art is but a microscopic imitation of life. It is supposed to be the ultimate mystery and is to be respected for all the great knowledge it possesses beyond your comprehension. Just that, are you living your life with these in mind, thereby "fully living"?

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