13 May 2010

A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That

Today, driving back home a while back, I was immersed in my thoughts as usual. It’s wonderful, how the brain itself compartmentalises our different actions and as long as we do not delve into any particular one beyond a certain safe level, each action gets performed smoothly. So while a part of my brain was busy processing my thoughts, whatever those were, the other part was safely manoeuvring me towards my abode after yet another day at work.

It was at a roundabout, as I took my first turn in otherwise a straight road till now, that my thoughts broke for the first time. I looked at a young man in his late adolescence trying to make his way through the traffic on his bicycle. On the other side of the road,there was an auto-rickshaw carrying two passengers, a middle-aged woman wearing the typical bright Punjabi attire along with a child in red shorts. Nearby, on the pavement, an old man holding onto his stick was negotiating with a fruit seller. I saw all these people in just one glimpse as I drove further. But somehow, their images kept lingering on.

Suddenly, I had this urge to come out of my previous thoughts which anyway I was not able to recollect, and look at the people as I drove past them. They all were different, yet all were same. I would never recognise anyone of them if I were to drive past them just after an hour. The auto-rickshaw driver was just another migrant from Bihar or Uttar Pradesh with those same features which make them all look just the same. That middle-aged lady with her hair tied back into a long braid was just like any other woman of her age and similar taste or should I say, bad taste in fashion.

And then it struck to me, for all of those people, even I am just one of the millions of people that they drive, ride or walk past in their lives. We all have our own focal points, emanating from our self to our parents, siblings, spouses, children and moving beyond, encircling our friends and relatives and so on. Majority of these just brush past each other but some get intertwined and we get a new acquaintance. As time passes, many of them fade away while some remain intertwined for eternity.

My brain was not content with just processing this inevitability and it sprung up a new question. What must they be thinking right now?

As I saw a young charming woman ride past on a kinetic, I skipped a beat for a moment as happens to me every time like any normal human being. But then I moved to the same abnormal question trying to contemplate what all thoughts must be going through her mind right now. Was she thinking about the fight she had with her best friend or was she thinking about the excuse to make to her parents for going on a movie with her boyfriend.

How I wished, I was that guy.

But again pulling back myself from these fantasies, I saw around, a microcosm of humanity, all moving here and there with their own purposes and their own convictions.

I am just one of them, nothing great about me, I thought.

And this is the thought which sends a shiver down my spine. This is the one thought which has been recurring over and over again from past few weeks and this is the one thought that Kate Winslet puts succinctly in the movie Revolutionary Road when she says to her husband, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, “Look at us. We're just like everyone else. We've bought into the same, ridiculous delusion.

This thought has become more profound since I’ve started working. Till now, somehow I was protected from these thoughts as a student. But entering the real world, I realised, there are so many like me who think, somehow they are special. As Kate puts it, “Our whole existence here is based on this great premise that we're special. That we're superior to the whole thing. But we're not.” Yes, we are not.

We are all different, yet we are all same.

The sooner you realise it, the better it is for you. However, I wanted to escape from this thought as soon as possible. So, my brain automatically sprung up another thought.

Just like I am philosophising about everything, was that young lad on his bicycle, also pondering over it. Moreover, what about that old man? How many times in his life, he must have thought about this. Or did he ever care?

We’ve got such a wonderful thing known as the brain. It is not just a storehouse of such large information but also helps in processing it as and when required. But how many of us actually use it beyond the desired motions of everyday life. I believe everyone does. It’s just that the proportion of these different usages differ. While, I am using it to philosophise right now, someone else in another corner of the world will be busy fantasising and day-dreaming. The latter is definitely a great escape from the blunt questions of life, I thought; as I again got immersed in the thoughts  of that charming girl and gradually shifted to Kate Winslet's steamy scenes in The Reader or was I imagining that girl in place of Kate!

As all this was going through my mind, my car suddenly halted and I realised I was looking at the gate of my house. My brain had once again directed me well, bringing me home safely while I was busy contemplating a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Image Courtesy:


Shilpa said...

Ah.. the multiprocessor brain :)
What would we do without it :P

Mahesh Aadhya Kalal said...

I guess you might have come across a advertisement on hoardings saying

"Multi is no more a task..."

Anyway, multitasking happens at cells level and which gets substantiated in the major three parts of the brain....

But these answers don't satisfy us and the further quest leads to philosophical and spiritual search where emotional satiation always seems to be at horizon...

sushobhan roy said...

a very introspective post.. loved reading it..:)

ya I totally agree with the diverse abilities of our mind.. pretty intriguing stuff to ponder in solitude..

WOnderfully penned..:)

Phoenixritu said...

I really like the way you think! And yes, we are just the same ... but to us we are special

wanderer said...

Ah wish I had a better functioning brain...since I realised I had one :p!
okay jokes part...loved to read this post...will surely come back to read more...
did leave a reply to your comment at my post...:)

Shilpa Garg said...

Profound thoughts!! Agree completely...Its like, to the world you might be just another person, but to only for our family and few friends you might be the world.

Vipul Grover said...

@Shilpa.. Eggjactly.. as it is we can do nothing without it :p

@Mahesh.. U r right buddy.. beyond science, thr are many schools of thought like dualism, idealism etc., having their own explanations for the functioning of brain and mind!
Nd well all of them claim themselves to be scientific too :)

@Sushobhan.. The universe is full of such intriguing questons.. our own existence is a big question mark.. i have tried to read about all this stuff but gt bored too soo.. so i prefer using my brain for fantasising :p

Vipul Grover said...

@Ritu.. Yup, to us and to our dear ones, we are very special.. and this is the thing that keeps us moving on :)

@Wanderer.. U definitely have one.. ur poem did manage to impress me :p
Welcome to this blog though I believe u mst hav cum b4 too as u promoted so many posts of mine.. dont tell me u did it without reading thm :p

@Shilpa Garg.. U r right di.. and as I just said to Rituji, this gives us the strength :D

BK Chowla, said...

ACDS? Clever.
I wish my brain could work half as much.

Vipul Grover said...

Chowlaji i am surprised u got my ACDS SOS so late :p
Nd yeah, ur blog already hs so many readers and cmmts tht u dont need sch a publicity gimmick :D

Chetan Maheshwari said...

You i believe think a lot, and you also observe a lot.
that is really a good attribute for anybody

Dhiman said...

Moreover, what about that old man? How many times in his life, he must have thought about this. Or did he ever care?
Most "average" people don't really bother/care and are more into mundane day to day activities .... only few "above average" think about this way .... U know what I too had similar thoughts when i used to travel by bus and looking at people around I used think in same lines.... you write poems, fiction so you tax your brain more naturally more observant maybe ... yes we are same and that's why people can write theories like "101 ways to win a date" or "Men are from Mars..." or "Bengalis like sweet, fish" etc etc etc generalizations :D ....
and kudos to your multi-tasking brain as I never can do it while driving atleast :P

Vipul Grover said...

Hi Chetan, I agree.. its a vry nice compliment.. thnx :)

Hey Dhiman.. well said buddy.. bt i still blive evry1 does giv it a thought though it affects diffrnt ppl diffrntly.. mayb its better to be average to stay unaffected by it :)

Anonymous said...

You've been tagged! :D