Monday, August 6, 2012


A painter paints, a farmer farms, a singer sings.
A human being in the 21st century works and manages to live.
We like compartmentalising. I like that word by the way... compartmentalise.
It is pervasive; humans like knowing what is to be done and at times are more comfortable being assigned tasks.

For example, what can one person be doing if on a vacation for 30 days? Odds are that by the 2nd week, the person will re-think the vacation and would want to go to familiar surroundings or watch a familiar movie or have a drink with a friend.
For example, a human would much rather believe in God and heaven and hell and karma that consciously, continually and strongly challenge it. The middle ground is agnosticism wherein there is no need for an answer - may be because 'just in case God exists, you don't wanna anger him!'

A similar analogy is the way a life ought to be lived. In India, marriage is not an option and children are not an option. Not so long ago, living away from the parents was not an option. Not so long ago, bias against blacks in the US was not an option. Not so long ago, accepting homosexuality - especially in the Christian world - was not an option. Non-commitment is still barely an option. Abstinence used to be an option but seems not to be any more.

Humans like rules and like believing that they can break them. At times, they like to break the rules. And at times, well... they should be broken. Sex before marriage. Polygamy. Green hair. Euthanasia. Capitalistic slavery. Prostitution. Tax evasion. Money laundering.

Leave a Mumbai-ite with some money, alone in New York city with USD 5000. He/She would have the freedom to do whatever provided he spends 4 weeks in the US. Odds are that he will get bored and will crave to fly back.
Make a human leave his job with the condition that he can't take up any other job but do give him more than enough money - I believe that he won't know what to do with the entire day. After all, how much can he travel, read, watch TV? 3 days? 7 days? 6 months - Ha.

We like knowing what to do because that allows us to break away once in a while and relish that break. The novelty of anything brings with it joy.

But what is the mindframe of a yogi? How does a philosopher live his life? How does a writer live her life? What if joy itself is a part of the construct may be just because he/she has had that option/ control in his/her hand? Does that change the impact of the compartment? Should that be an endeavour?

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