"Life is the price we pay for running away from death "
































































"I didn't get it. Only two states of mind? Say that again?" she typed in the chat window.
 
"Yes! I have only two states of mind. Aroused or Depressed. I am always in either one of them..." he replied and waited for her response.
 
"So... are you depressed right now?" she enquired.
 
"No," he responded.

"I got a call, gotta go, talk to you later," and she signed out of the chat. He stared the window awhile, wishing she had not left. He needed a shot of her fantasies. It was that time of the night when he felt most lonely. Yet he wouldn't blame her for not staying - she was a mere tool for distracting himself. Nobody likes to be made a tool of. They didn't like to be means for him to realize his pleasure, but they loved to be channels for realizing a better world. 
 
Some of his past flings flashed past his eyes. He groaned. He tossed and turned in his bed. He knew he could not sleep it off - not in that half-strung state. So he sat up and went back to his usual preoccupation: The Raw News.

The Raw News was a website - a gore website to be precise - where they featured unedited stories of human beings in the most disadvantaged parts of the world. They claimed to expose those bits of reality that mass media attempted to hide. Stories from wretched living conditions in the slums, pictures of mutilated bodies from war zones, stories of abused children and harassed women, of menial labour and drudgery, of malnourished elders and diseased castaways. Today, it was a report on the Deonar garbage dump in Mumbai and the abject settlements that had sprung up around it. He read of the utterly degenerative living conditions that people lived in, of the abuse the inhabitants faced from the apathetic urban society on one side and the reeking overflowing garbage on the other.
 
"What came out of such garbage dumps?" he thought, "for all the things that we so casually dump into the mound, the dump will only throw more garbage back at us. Garbage-in-garbage-out. Those mounds of waste they show pictures of are merely metaphorical dumps. The real garbage dump is human civilization itself - a society whose creative channels are clogged with prejudice and paranoia."
 
He knew the situation troubled him but he did not know what to do about it. He knew it had to be solved, but how? And why?
 
"How does one solve a menace of such dynamically human proportions? How and where do I even get started? Join some NGO and do social service? Help a handful of the suffering people and hope that they will go on to help others? Has that worked? What if they use up the help and settle down with a good life for themselves?" he wondered in retrospect, "Actually, what's wrong in it? Everyone wants a good life."
 
He recalled a story about the Golden Gate bridge in San Fransisco. In order to keep its golden shine alive, one set of workers is constantly on the job painting it gold. The workers start from one end of the bridge and meticulously work their way to the other. By the time they reach the other end, one year would have passed and the opposite end would have started fading. They go back to the other end and get started again. Similar to Sisyphus' story isn't it?
 
"It seems very doubtful about how long lasting any charitable work could be. What if I turn into a new age Sisyphus? Probably my knowledge is a punishment from the Gods, who knows!" he wondered, as his depression began to set in, "Neitzsche says all the world fights for power. If one set of disadvantaged people fight for their rights, it is merely for the right to be powerful. Once they have their power, what stops them from taking advantage on it and rendering disadvantage upon others? We live in a complicated web where any activity can have manifold results. We cannot predict the realization of our plans and the consequences of our actions. Good and bad are two faces of the same coin - the difference is merely in which side of the fence you are standing on. When reality looks so confusing, how can one even make sense of good and bad in it?"
 
Is there any effort in human history where a good step taken by a man has gone on to achieve its ultimate objective in the long run? We are not a holistic being, we are built piece by piece through the trial-and-error of evolution, and piecemeal life is what we will live..

Or seen in another perspective, the inevitable food chain of Nature condemns us into a whirlpool of dependency. Nobody can be benefitted without there being a cost imposed somewhere or on someone else. If you want the tiger to live, the deer has to die. If you want the deer to live, the tiger has to die.
 
He began to slump into the usual abyss, the dark hole of human realization where light of Truth abandons those who dared to enter. He flung his arms about, trying to grab something and stop his slide, but he found nothing, not even hope. It was quite the damned condition when the reality of our helplessness and the knowledge of our hopelessness finally dawns upon us.

Some said he was like a cat on the wall - never taking a decision and almost always opting to sit on the fence. He agreed, in fact, he felt closer to being a dog - a dhobi ka kutta jo na ghar ka na ghaat ka (trans: a dhobi's dog who belongs neither to the house nor to the laundry). He was stuck in-between, in the doldrums. Neither could he find the motivation to work, nor the nonchalance to sit back and relax. While his inclination to act provoked him to do something, the burden of inevitable failure bogged him down right away. Unlike the common man, he had no sanctuary: he had been banished from the blissful island of ignorance. His knowledge had damned him - the knowledge of the imperfection all around him as well as the knowledge of the impossibility to remedy it. He was the pivot on whom the two 'knowledges' played see-saw.
 
People could even live through Hitler's concentration camps - using hope and a search for meaning. But one could not live through this life of realization. 

It is when men are faced with dilemmas that they have no way to escape that they take recourse to drugs and alcohol. He wanted his escape, his opium too. A logical or advisory discussion would not help him now. He was all too muddled up to be healed rationally. He felt it was childish to play with bottle or smoke, to gulp or snort some fermented creation of man. He wanted to do something adult. He went back to the chat list to see if any of his lady friends were online. It was too late. He desperately needed a way out - a shot in the arm. He closed the chat and opened a pornography website. Only an orgasm could lift him now from the sorry state he had landed himself in!
 
 
 
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