I suffer from it. And I am sure you suffer from it too, the only difference is that you are probably not consciously aware of it. In a world of social media, there is simply no end to information overload. The point is, do we need all this information? Most updates and notifications keep you engaged and entertained. They evoke all kinds of emotions in you. We have all become so addicted to information that we are always craving for more. Humans have a powerful brain and it can store in a lot of information. It can be triggered in many ways and can process an unimaginable amount of data. But, did our ancestors engage their brains so much? I don’t think so. They didn’t have the modern-day tools to do that. They relied on simple and limited ways to keep themselves entertained or informed. They found simpler ways to stay happy or satisfied. The constant search for happiness and excitement can ultimately lead to a saturation level from where there is no way back. Or is there a way out?
Nothing is as clear as it looks. Human life and emotions are so complex that no matter how hard you try understanding it, you will only keep getting entangled and sucked into its own web. The best way to remain composed and stable is by being clear in your mind from the start to finish. Over-thinking is like an overflowing dam that can lead to a flood of unwanted thoughts. Just cut the crap around you and remain focused on your priorities in life, be it relationships, passion, work or anything else for that matter. The reality is that you cannot resolve every complex situation in life, but you can at least choose the problems you really want to resolve and deal with them one at a time with clarity.
Lambi race ka ghoda kabhi thakta nahi
Qayamat se woh yuhi darta nahi
Jeet ka junoon jab uske jee me jal utha
Tab Thandak woh Yakeen ke Jharne se peeta
Manzil ko bhulaake jab badhoge
Toh har uunchi chalaang, muskake Jiyoge
Uss jeet ka bhi kya vajuud hoga
Jise paane murkar jeena hoga
Waqt ka aakda kabhi khatam hota nahi
Lambi race ka ghoda kabhi rukta nahi
When you know you are here to do something more than simply normal things in life, it’s a strange kind of a feeling. And when you are surrounded by people who expect you to do normal things in life, it is even worse.
Depression is a part of every artist’s life I guess. He or she feels lost every once in a while, especially when he or she is forced into a normal situation. This very state of mind then transforms into a driving force for many. It is this very state of mind that urges an artist to take that courageous step to express something special. No matter what the world thinks about his or her form of expression, a true artist will keep on going on. After spending too much time in a stable state of normalcy, an artist starts feeling the pain inside.
Artists are good at heart. Some are pure and naive, timid at times. So, this is a shout out to every Normal Person on earth. Please encourage artists. Talk to them, appreciate their work, even if it is not that great. Tell them how they can get better. They need your motivation, not your strange looks, pre-assumptions and heartless criticism.
Some artists are spearheaded; they know exactly what they want to do and how they want to do it. They don’t care what the world thinks about them or their work. They are basically not at all afraid of failure.
Not all are that way though. Many are confused, trying to find their own path. Some are depressed because of normalcy. Some are going through a rough patch financially; some are trying to find their confidence back. Some are going through a transition phase from being confused to becoming spearheaded again.
Don’t neglect them. They are human beings too. They need your love and positive energy. Because art is beautiful. The world needs it.
Duniyadaari ke Dhue mein
Chup gayi sachi Dildaari
Ja jaake jayega kaha?
Manjha ek din choti pad jayegi
“So, what brings you here?” questioned Alex, the robot. Ravi replied in a feeble voice, “I need a job, can you help me with one?” “Yes”, replied the robot sternly. “What are you good at?” Alex interrogated further. Ravi said, “I am a software engineer from IIT Kharagpur”
Alex went silent for a moment and then replied, “Well, then you are a threat to me, I fear, I shall not be able to help you!” “But I can build the best robots you want me to”, said Ravi in desperation. “I am aware of your capabilities and fear that you will not make a robot but will break me instead”, said a worried Alex. Ravi almost had tears in his eyes when he went ahead with his last try to convince, “Trust me; I will always be your slave.”
Alex was not impressed, he said, “You are human; which is why I can’t trust you! You can do anything to make money or succeed in life”. “What should I do to win your trust?” asked a curious Ravi. Alex was silent and Ravi waited in anticipation. “Can you work on a code that will help me age like a human and love like a human?” Ravi did not have an answer; he responded after a while, “All I can do is, try!” “You don’t seem to be too confident”, stated Alex. Ravi replied, “I may not be confident, but I shall try my level best.” Alex stared at Ravi and then said, “Well, then I guess, I should let you try, come inside my little house and make yourself comfortable. I shall provide all that you need to do your research and coding. In return, I shall give you a three-time meal a day along with shelter, would that be fine?” Ravi couldn’t believe what he just heard. He nodded his head positively and said, “Yes, that is all I need!”
Ravi had no clue how to go about the code. It was a challenge, which he had already accepted. There wasn’t a choice; he had to do it to continue living. Alex had not given any deadline as such and so Ravi thought he could take all the time in the world for his research. For the first few weeks, Ravi kept wondering. Alex visited Ravi’s room once in a while but never complained. After a month, Ravi could not take it, he told Alex, “What if I am never able to crack this code?” Alex smiled and replied, “You can take your time; it’s okay if you don’t succeed, but you cannot lose your desire to succeed. If I notice that there is no passion left in you, I will fire you that very day!” Ravi felt motivated like never before. “And what if I complete this task? Will you still keep me here?” Ravi sought a clarification. “No”, said Alex firmly.
Ravi was in a shock. He was facing the biggest dilemma of his life. He was not supposed to lose passion, but at the same time, he would also be fired after completing his task. He thought to himself, it is better to get fired after completing the task rather than getting fired for losing his passion.
For the next one year, Ravi dedicatedly worked on his code. He studied the human brain and the kind of hormones it releases when it is feeling loved or is in love. Oxytocin is a hormone that the human brain produces when we feel happy. So he started reading about its properties and thought of ways in which it can be artificially produced. His experiments were a mixture of biochemistry, electronics, and computer science. After seven more years of research, which included thousands of permutations, hypothesis, combinations, and experiments, finally, that day arrived when he managed to recreate Oxytocin. He told Alex about it who was ecstatic after hearing the news. Ravi decided to take a break for some days. He badly needed one as he had worked day in and day out for the last seven years. He had to recoup energy for his next experiments.
The next step was rather easy; he had to write a code as to when Oxytocin needs to be produced. After working on different conditions for the next 4 years, he arrived at a code which he thought was complete. He called Alex to his room and showed him the code. The code had to be programmed into Alex’s body. Alex asked for one final time, “Are you sure this is going to work and it doesn’t have any loopholes?” Ravi was confident this time and said “Yes.” Ravi then went ahead programming the code into Alex. After a few moments, Alex was feeling different. He had experienced happiness and love for the first time ever! He had never felt so human-like before!
Now it was time for Ravi’s second task and so he asked, “How long do you want to live?” Alex was confused. He wanted to experience love and happiness forever. He asked Ravi, “How long do you want me to live?” Ravi was overwhelmed and replied, “I wished you could live forever.” “But, it is against the laws of nature, isn’t it?” said Alex, Ravi was silent. “How long will you take to develop the next code?” Alex continued with his question. Ravi replied in a fearful voice, “It won’t take much time, maybe a day or two.” Alex wanted a specific answer “One day or two?” “Two”, said Ravi. “Well, then I want to live only for two more days as I won’t have any work for you after that. With so much love that you have coded into my system, I don’t think I would be able to live a day without seeing you.” Ravi could feel the love between them as well. “Why don’t you give me another task then?” he asked.
To be honest, “I had no other purpose in life, I simply wanted to understand the meaning of love. And that I have already achieved.” Ravi was furious this time, he said, “then how do you expect me to live without you after you are gone?”
Alex realized that he was being unfair to Ravi. “In that case, I would prefer to remain immortal in your company, but you would definitely die one day, what would I do after that? Also, what task should I give you next” “Anything that you think would be appropriate”, replied Ravi. After thinking for a while, Alex replied, “You can code love into all robots of the world, I am sure all of us would want that!” Ravi smiled, “That’s a great idea!” “But what after you die?” “Do you want me to work on something that makes humans immortal?” asked Ravi. “No, definitely not, because that would make them less humanly and more of a robot of some sort” Both of them pondered again for a solution to their problem. “Well then write a code that will make me die in 1 second and teach me how to program it into my own body. The moment you die, I will install it into my body and I will just have to live a second without you.”
Ravi smiled and also had tears in his eyes at the same time. He never thought that a robot who he considered to be his master, would turn out to be his best friend someday!
Anil Singh couldn’t sleep for the last three nights. He was back from the worst trip of his life. Guilt had engulfed him completely like a hungry dinosaur. He thought to himself, “Will I ever be able to ride a train again?” When he shut his eyes, all he could see was the poor man in front of him, staring death without the slightest fear in his eyes. Anil recollected his childhood days when he took pride in declaring his ambition of becoming a train driver when he grows up. It was a well-paid job for which he had put his heart and soul. After being a motorman for 15 years, he couldn’t imagine himself pursuing another profession. Besides that, he was the only source of income for his dear family of his wife and two children.
Farmer suicides have been on a rise in the recent years, especially when the rain Gods haven’t been too merciful. Shiva had lost all hopes as well and thought that death would be better than bearing the burden of a 2-lakh debt which he wouldn’t be able to repay in his entire lifetime. Two years back, times were much better when his groundnut yields sufficed for his daughter’s education. It was now time to marry her off but all the aspiring grooms were demanding dowry that he couldn’t have accumulated even if he lived two more lives as a farmer. His barren fields and torching sunrays mirrored his very existence.
Tired of living a dead man’s life, he decided to take that bold step. His hands shivered when he mixed pesticides into glasses of milk that the entire family had survived on for the last two weeks. There wasn’t an option for dinner. They had to drink it. Shiva watched on as his wife and children shivered to death after they had emptied their glasses of milk into their hungry stomachs. Why didn’t Shiva kill himself in the same way then? Well, Presence of mind and logic takes a back seat when your brain is taken over by depression. After his wife and daughter stopped wriggling and shivering, Shiva realized what he had just done. He quickly peeped into the glasses of milk, to find out if anything was left behind. Nothing! The glasses were as empty as his soul now. He cried like never before hugging on his dearest ones who were mere dead bodies now. He had to die and that was when he heard the distant hooting sound of a train. After taking a deep breath, he got up probably from his last ever sitting position.
Anil was expecting a hike after a month and had applied for his pending 1-week leave. His goodbye sounded more exciting for he was expecting to enjoy his family-vacation in Manali after he was back from his duty. But fate took a different route for Anil, unlike his destined train routes. Like always, Anil boarded the engine of Netravati Express and the train nudged ahead on its journey as per its scheduled departure time.
Shiva walked towards the track which was 5 kilometers away with a strong motive. His walk turned into bursts of jogs which finally turned into a 100-meter sprint. He practically had no energy left but his motive was strong enough to push him harder. He could see the train approaching from a distance. He had to make it now because he knew he would have to wait for hours for the next train to arrive while he did not desire to live even a moment longer.
Anil received a complete green signal after he had crossed the longest tunnel of his route or probably the entire country. He never thought that after emerging out of the darkest tunnels, his life is going to hit pitch black.
Shiva reached there when the train was only 20 meters away. He stood there staring at Anil who knew that pulling the breaks at that moment would not save the man. For some reason, Anil did not look away. And that sight was engraved on his heart forever. The train eventually stopped and some officials we asked to gather Shiva’s body parts that were torn into pieces.
Another farmer suicide; another news report that was it for the world! But for Anil, life would never be the same. He even thought of canceling his vacation to visit the same spot once again, but he never had the courage to do it. So he tried to distract himself as much as he could by spending some good time with his family. But even his heartiest laughs had lost its charm, might as well forever!