18 Aug Life on a treadmill
I live in a layout which is adjacent to an arterial road that leads to the Electronic City, in Bangalore. There is an amusing spectacle that I observe every weekday on my way back from my morning walk. Men and women with their identities dangling from their neck, their body language as stiff as their collar and their expression as proper as the knot of their ties are speeding with a blank gaze towards their workplaces. Some in their swanky vehicles which they believe they own, some in company provided cabs and coaches and yet many others in public transports and autos. Racing to assure their livelihood, their survival. As if they would have stopped breathing and not survived had they not. And as if, by doing all this they can assure their breath for the very next moment. Thank God for small mercies. Man has yet not ventured to engineer a system that simulates breathing with 99.99% reliability. 🙂
The other side of the layout is a green patch which leads to a kind of woods. Around the same time this traffic for survival is speeding to the Promised Land, a herd of cattle every day would be seen making their way from the stable towards the woods in search of their daily green. They too have some kind of identity dangling from their necks, move in a file with a sense of obedience and a lack of purpose similar to those who are seen on the road. However one remarkable difference between the two herds is that of the speed of movement. While men and women on the road seem to be practicing for the next Olympics or a Formula One, the cattle have all the time on this earth to leisurely amble down the fields to the land of promised greens.
What is this speed or hurry all about? What is this thing of wanting to reach ‘on time? This obsession for pace is not only apparent in their physical journeys to assume to destinations, it is evident in all facets of the journey of life of most men and women @ work.
Somewhere somehow it seems that there is a belief that one has to reach somewhere. T hat there is a destination. That the designed outcome is the destiny. In reality, if you look closely, every juncture which seems to you to be a destination is actually a mere stop over. Even the deliveries that you make to your client are just milestones, in a relationship. And if you get to see that there are no destinations but stop-over you will also realize that there is no need to predefine a stopover. After all if you were to reach Delhi from Bangalore, how does it matter whether you stop over at Hyderabad or not. And in case you manage to land at a stop-over that was not intelligently predesigned by you, isn’t it an opportunity for you to wondrously explore this new land for some amazing discoveries.
Speed assumes linearity, predictability. In a terrain that is rough and unpredictable you would not dare to speed but be more watchful and agile. Life is more unpredictable than the most unexplored terrain one can imagine. It demands moment to moment response and therefore agility not patterned reactions from the past which assumes linearity. It has a rhythm of its own – the rhythm of chaos. It has apace of its own – the pace of pacelessness. When one moves with this pace and rhythm it becomes a dance – the cosmic dance. And when you allow the dance to happen there are only two things that you are definitely left with, wondrous and abundance. From aping animals to ensuring biological survival you suddenly come alive, you are not on time but time is with you because now you are in sync with the movement of eternity.
How does one move out of jogging on this treadmill of life and going nowhere? How does one adopt the responsive agility of life, moving out of reactive speeding? How does one come alive moving out of the obsession to survive?
(The photographs are not mine and are used to emphasize the reading experience. There is no intent to plagiarize, what so ever.)