Thursday, June 29, 2006

What If . . . ??

PART 1

Situation 1

I decide to meet an acquaintance, and so I venture out. But due to heavy traffic I decide to take a detour.

If I hadn't taken that detour I would've found a woman waiting at the signal for a light to turn green and for an old love to reappear. This woman had once been my life. Then I had lost her. To circumstances. Nothing that either of us could've done much about. She got married, had a new life. I didn't see her again for long years. And now life has turned a full circle. Her husband is dead and she is alone.

Maybe our love would've rekindled. Our dreams would've agreed. One small change in our timelines, maybe, would've changed our lives.

Situation 2

I go out to photocopy a friend's book a day before an important exam. All but a few pages are copied. A trivial mistake by the shopkeeper. I don't realise the pages are missing until the next day when there's a question from those pages. I miss the cut-off and the job. I decide to change my aspired profession and turn to something else. I'm no good at it and I fall apart.

Now tell me what are the odds? Against any decision of yours making an irreversible impact on your life? Was a life decided that very moment those few pages weren't photocopied?

And what are the odds against life or death? If you had gone out a second sooner onto the street you would've been run over. A second later and you would've met someone at the turn with whom a lifelong friendship awaited.

What is chance? And coincidence? Accident? Free will, volition? What about destiny? How can any one thing be pre-ordained when there are a billion other possibilties? How can there be a design when there are infinite other likelihoods? If there is a plan is it that life's random? Our paths criss-cross with some and we don't meet the rest but it could so easily have been the other way round.

We are always pondering about the decisions we make in life. About how much of an effect, or repurcussion they might have later. But what about the decisions we don't take? The choices we don't make? Would life have been better, or happier, or sadder? Is there only one right path and hence, are the countless other paths wrong? Are we taking a wrong lane this very moment?

PART 2 (I rewind a few decades and mull over the questions)

Circa 1940. Think of a girl child. Village bred, with a chidhood spent learning culinary tricks and braiding oiled hair and a life of matrimony shrouded in purdah. In all probability her life's script was set in stone years before the incidents actually happened. A plan devised so foolproof and airtight that Fate found it hard to tamper with and resigned herself (to whatever higher powers you can think of). Caste, religion, gender dictated her Fate.



Today, do we need to be scared that our lives are faced with more potentialities?
Or should we feel lucky that we can exercise our will?
Should we think that with this freedom comes a greater risk of things going wrong? What if you can't sleep tonight worried sick that you'll mess up?
Wouldn't you be happy to let your future be offered to you on a plate?

I've this hunch that with passing years, with more intersections and crossroads in our lives, Fate is going to have a tough time choosing roads for us. It'll have to put in extra Fatehours to decide whats in store for us. Just look around and you'll get an idea of what all and what not can happen. Tarrot card readers, Bejan Daruwallahs, astrologers will have to sweat it out before wagering on our futures.

8 comments:

Suhas said...

neato...like the direction in which your new posts are headed...

emeraldpond said...

"In mathematics and physics, chaos theory describes the behavior of certain nonlinear dynamical systems that under certain conditions exhibit a phenomenon known as chaos." - Found quite similar to the so-called "Butterfly Effect". Indeed one of the hardest things to put in words. And you seem to have achieved it effortlessly! Very clear expression of thought.

shantanu said...

u know this new post of urs kind of resonates what i have been thinking abt for some time...but one thing ...in the last para u said what if things went wrong....what is "wrong"..isn't it subjective...isn't something "wrong" always in some context

satyajit said...

i dont imply morally wrong..

but wrong as in something which if given a chance you would wish to undo..
so i wanted to open up the interpretations of 'wrong' in whatever way suited each individual

shantanu said...

no..u didn't get my point..i'm not talking about morals...what i' m saying is that he may wish to undo something...but he doesn't know that this wrong turn...that he wishes to undo..can actually take him somewhere much better than his previous "goal"..

shantanu said...

and i have replied to ur comment in my blog..will read ur new post..asap..

satyajit said...

well then i think what you mean, if put simply, is that you know something is wrong but you're not sure about what is right for you..so even if you wish to undo a wrong, you're sceptical, or afraid, of where it'll lead you to. Or maybe even you dont know what you're good at..you just know that you dont like somethings

it happens to most of us..at some point we realise we're not cut out for a field which we're in but then we still dont know what we're actually good at, or if any alternative will be fruitful..

then it depends on you.. whether you're willing to compromise with the status quo or trying even the goal isnt that clear

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