Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Faith versus Rock

Some days back I wrote a post on my experiences with blogging, especially the one outcome that I was always certain was inevitable. Any human with half a brain knows that when people have access to stuff, which is offered for free, they resort to what we shall euphemistically refer to as ‘lifting’. As in lifting stuff and taking it for their own. As they cram their pockets with free stuff, a corner of their eye is on the look out to ensure nobody catches them while they are at it. That is because deep down in their heart they know that what they are doing is not “right”. Some unnamed and hard to pin down fear nags their conscience but something much more audacious holds that fear by its neck and twists it till it submits. Or dies.

However, I neither care for the fear nor the audacity. For a human being, even though we like to believe it is so, is not perfect– nor the pinnacle of evolution but just another organism that has to constantly evolve and improve itself in order to survive another day. In fact, the one thing I do care for is that millions of years from now when the sun will be a dying star, humans, as we exist today with all our illusions of grandeur and superiority, will not be the most "advanced" form of life on earth. And if some way into those million years even if the entire human species dies out, something not too hard to imagine given the way we are headed– each and every one of us as dead as the dinosaur, the universe will be indifferent.

So, how does it matter if you– yes, I am addressing you– pick up "free stuff" from my blog, embellish it a bit, add your name at the top and even get published in a national weekly. It may make you feel good about yourself– your friends may call you "awesome"– but you know what– it won’t make you immortal, no, it won’t even make you "world famous" in India. And frankly my dear let alone the universe, or the world in general, or the “world of art” that you desperately seek heck! even I don’t give a damn!

However, why is faith hanging in the middle of the first line? Yes, what about faith? If hope– in the perfectibility of humans, one of the reasons for the ‘why’ of art– is a thing with feathers, then what is faith– it has a song– does it too have a wing– and a sting? I know Emily Dickinson said that about fame. So what do we have to say for faith?

If fear is the root of all evil in humans then shall we say faith will deliver us from evil. Amen.

Well, I won’t be found lighting candles to celebrate the good I see in my fellow beings anytime soon. But I am certain I have enough faith in myself to fly off and away even if it is only to alight on the nearest shrub. However, do I too have a sting?

There’s much ado about the rock. Hard, insurmountable, immovable, undefeatable– in short, it is impossible to get around a rock. The rock lies in the middle of the path and all we can do is look at it in fear and awe. Helplessly. Does one go forward with faith or submit to the rock?

While we are stranded lets play a game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’. You laugh in astonishment. Rock, paper, scissors isn’t just a mindless game one plays to control a car full of nieces and nephews or to kill time in between gossip sessions in the hostel. Wikipedia tells me that the game dates back to the Chinese Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) and now is a part of programming competitions for algorithms. And if anyone plays real time strategy games they know how important it is to have a modicum of skill in this seemingly simplistic game. For how does one choose if one has to make a choice between two things that appear to be equally good?

If you have played this game you know the possible outcomes are:
Rock blunts or breaks scissors: that is, rock defeats scissors.
Scissors cut paper: scissors defeats paper.
Paper covers, sands or captures rock: paper defeats rock.

I always choose paper. For I am willingly to risk getting cut but I shall always overcome the rock.


Anonymous said...

Nice! Great last line. :-)

Anvita Lakhera said...

Thank you :)