We, the wannabes!


I hope you’ve read the two earlier posts- ‘A life without an if’ and ‘Q greater than A’. If you haven’t, then this post is not going to make any sense. (As if that has ever been a criterion!)

This is the third of the four-part series that I’ve titled ‘Life’s Ultimate Qs and As’.

Such a profound title only to make people think twice before tagging my writing as silly and frivolous from now on.

A series, because there’s a universal rule that says: ‘People will realise you have nothing to say only when you stop saying it.’

No surprise then, that sequels and series are becoming the norm everywhere. Take films- very soon we’d wake up one Friday morning, and discover that all new releases that week are sequels. Ocean’s Fifteen, Harry Potter-8, Spiderman-6, Don-5, Krrish-4, Dostana-3, Munnabhai-IIM/IIT, Golmaal-9, Rakhtcharitra-whatever (Doesn’t matter, because all RGV movies are sequels of either Satya or Booth anyway!).

See how cleverly the film industry has shut its doors on new, young, fresh, sparkling talent?

(Do you know of anyone who fits those descriptions?)

(Thank you!)

Let me at this point state that this 4-part series is not a ‘keep them coming/going/guessing’ kind of series. This is a result of my lifelong search for a book titled ‘Philosophy made simple’.

Now, that’s like searching for a Greek-to-Greek dictionary in English or a dvd of Pushpak (Pesum Padum) with subtitles.

Philosophy and simple, huh?

As people, we have come to believe that anything that’s simple must be stupid. Philosophers thrive on its corollary- anything that’s complex must be profound. Philosophers have ensured that philosophy remains philosophical.

Why else would the philosophy rack be the dullest, heaviest and oldest in a bookstore? Oh, how I wish someone had commissioned Enid Blyton to rewrite those books! In one ‘Famous Five Truths of Life’ or ‘Life’s Secret Seven’ she’d have revealed it all for us- joyfully.

Instead, what we have are books with lines that read like this one: ‘The seeker sees what he seeks to see, the seer seeks what he sees to seek.’ Now add Thou, Thee, Thy, Thine, in good measure, and try making sense of it.

It is in this context that I had chanced upon the line ‘L until E’ in an article. (The top is still spinning on whether I had actually read it somewhere or was it an Inception in my dream.)

At first, I rejected it. It’s easy to throw a cleverly designed Life Test at people and floor them with smart sum-up lines like ‘Take the IF out of LIFE and you are left with just Laughter until the very End.’ Anyone can do it with some practice. Most abbreviations, anagrams and acronyms lend themselves to whatever you want to make out of them. All you need is an idle mind. Stare long enough, and you can turn even a RAMESH into a RESHMA.

But as time flew by, I realised the power of that line’s simplicity. The essence of any 1000-page holy epic, 10-day religious retreat, 6-part spiritual dvd, 5-hour divine discourse can be summed up with this one line. To me it seems the simplest answer to life’s most asked question: What is life all about?

L until E.

How true!

Life is indeed not about intelligence, beauty, success, money or fame. It’s about happiness. Isn’t it?

Look around. The intelligent ones are the most frustrated people in the world, because everything falls short of their expectations. The talented are the most disappointed. Their rewards never match up. The creative kinds are a worried lot living in a complex world created by themselves. Someone once said: ‘Worrying is such a waste of their imagination.’ The successful ones are the most insecure, simply because they’ve a lot to lose. The rich are the greediest. The wise, the preachiest. The famous, the most secretive. The knowledgeable, the most unoriginal. The young, the most wasted. The fit, the most boring. The sexy, the most self-obsessed.

I’m sure you have mentally fitted yourself in a couple of those slots, already. That’s the problem with our upbringing. It forces us to be ambitious, progressive, turning us into perpetual wannabes. Like the arrival status of a hijacked plane- always getting there, never arriving.

Whereas, pure happiness is finite, unconditional, isn’t relative and comes without degrees of comparisons.

That’s why it is the only truth, the only ambition worth pursuing. That’s what makes L until E such a complete answer.

Or so I thought.

Until one day I was made to realise that without the next Q and A, this one is as abstract as what the seeker and seer see and seek but never find.

More of that in the next post.

(How else to make this a 4-part series?)


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