The Journey Within  

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Living in metro has its own complication. As we continue getting webbed, it is getting even more complicated by the day. Webbed in waves, webbed in relations, webbed in desires, webbed in achievements, webbed in losses and webbed in everything but the self. In this multifaceted and multi-interactive web, some still feel alienated from the larger outer world and the macro world within. Most of the times, in fact a majority of seconds of their life, these netizens do interact with others. They laugh in words, they feel emotions in the emoticons, and they live in the physical world to fulfil the alienation with the virtual world – every effort is made to substitute the absence, to avoid being alone in this maddening and hopelessly crowded place. But each of them, despite their collective desire to belong, still remain ever incomplete and ever wanting.

Music, he realized, indeed is equipped with paradoxical abilities. It can produce, nurture and give meaning to a moment or a situation or a fleeting feeling and yet again, at times, it has the power to erode and strangle them. While moving along with the crowd of ordinary day Kathmandu street traffic, his ear-pugs-bugged ears were tracing the philosophical overtures within Lennon’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’. He wondered, “Is the stairway to heaven also so much crowded as is my way to office?” A thin smile — someone would say it was satirical, but for him it was something else — spread across his lips. Lots of faces stared at him before they found another face. In these momentary exchanges of glances he was overwhelmed with the diversity in the expressions and the only similarity that was in all of them – A quest. Everyone was moving but everyone differed in their movement, in their intensity and above all in the way they were corresponding to this inner desire to achieve something. Suddenly in midst of this stalking, as some one would say, he stumbled upon his own quest.

Walking with the self, talking with the self and being to the self—all have their virtues. It is a pleasure – which allows you to walk free, think free and above all being free from the human race for the stairways. Being to self, means you are not dependent on anyone, your happiness is not dependent on anyone or anyone’s happiness is not dependent on you. No one is waiting for you to catch up or you are not waiting for anyone to catch up. Everyone is part of a faceless crowd, of which you are also a faceless member. A member with no individuality, no significance or of no value to anyone in the crowd. Being in a crowd or being solo is same. He was not in the race. But he realized he indeed was perplexed with the realization that the other members of this mob were also human, like him. They too have some objectives, like his. They too think inward, like him. They too express their feelings on their face and in their body expressions, like him. They were so like him, and yet none of them were him or his. Than what the hell was he doing among them?

Dwelling inside one’s one head, seems to be infinite – A never-ending adventure. In this journey to the self, he came across some broken pieces of desires, some emerging sparkles of desires, some unfinished dreams, some yet-to-come-dreams and the never-drying stream of hope. This last word, he thought, fits in so well everywhere. It’s just like air – essential everywhere and accommodating everywhere. Just like it, a human would be just a carcass in the absence of hope. Sometimes equated to stubbornness, he realized what was moving this crowd and him was that very element. Blind ambitions, blind hopes and blind desires is what move this world.

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.You must travel it by yourself.

It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. 

Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.” 

― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

While these thoughts that were nurtured by the theory of ‘indifference’ were running across the unchartered dark alleys of his brain, he eyes stumbled on the old woman who was roasting green corns. Her eyes gazed into his. The expectant looks. Everybody has expectation and everybody looks into someone’s eyes with these looks. There was something in the look of this woman that stopped him. She had grave and deep lines on her face. Her cheekbones were tired of holding to that withered skin and so where the bones of her hand and neck. But her will, was still enslaving these organs of her and putting them to work to earn a living for her self and maybe to those who depend on her. Was this a compulsion or free will to work – she knows. But the expectant looks and the caring smile on her face for him- were not of affection. They were of need and that of gratitude- this he felt and brought him to the very point where he started. Why are we the way we are? Why do we create dependencies, when we ourselves are not dependable?

These mingling kept him involved through out the way to his working desk. It was plain. Nothing on top of it. Just the usuals. The power port, the Internet cable, the polished table and the ‘professional smiles’ flashing all around—saying ‘oh Hi!’ He wondered, if any of them cared enough for others over there, let alone be glad to be with them. But again does that matter? When your bones get tired of holding to your skin, when your own muscles get tired of being with you, how come others will stick to you or your desires. When you and your self cannot fathom the depths of your thoughts or desires, how come others will understand or feel it. When you cannot express ourselves in person, using your natural abilities, how come you expect to explain these complex strings to others through words or through emoticons?

But yes, these all seem to be sufficient to keep the worldly things afloat and our inner world evolving, he realized. Like us all, he knows he had to live with the hope to reach the bottom of the bottomless hollow. But again he has never came across anyone who had reached to the end of this journey to definitely say that it is infinite and fruitless. What if, he thought, they could have got tired and given up the quest just when they were about to touch down the bottom. What if he touched the bottom and stumbled upon the very meaning of this existence. What if he stumbled upon the meaning of all these meaningless desires? What if…. ?

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