Now that we have only about a year to live, considering that everyone is talking about the end of the world by Dec 21st 2012, I would like to thank the humanity out there for proving me right when I had said that the funniest thing about us is that we never think we can be next, even when surrounded by death.
Well, I am not the first one to say this.
Supposedly one virtuous Indian king said this to the Lord of the Death, Yama (no relation to Yamaha), when asked what the funniest thing about a human is.
I would have said penis. But no one asks me anything.
Being an Indian, by the sheer accident of being born to parents born in a particular place and thereby exposing me to a way of life that is unique to it, I am, for all sundry purposes, an animal of my circumstances.
This means that my inherited belief system leads me to assume that my birth, as a creature capable of typing this to you, is something unique. After all, I am supposed to have passed all my karmic exams (almost 8 million of them) to become something that has no memory of its trails and ends up living a life that is only beneficial to its own kind.
Not a great degree certificate, if you ask me.
I mean even the redeeming nature that we claim for ourselves, reasoning, only goes as far as to understand the self centeredness of ourselves and then to try to rectify it. Thereby making us the problem and its supposed solution.
For the past ten years or so, after the coming and going of another end of the world prediction, which went by the name Y2K, Dec 21st 2012 is now our new deadline.
Personally I like goals.
It gives a purpose to this otherwise meaningless existence. So to know that there is a looming date takes me back to my school days, when the date on which the last final exams was held, brings the end of the world as I knew it then.
A vacation. And then back again to do the whole thing all over again.
Damn. That sounds almost like reincarnation.
Now, being the optimistic kind, I am not interested in what is going to happen. I mean, if we are all going to die, then there's no point to this discussion, is there? Tell me something new that we already didn't know.
What I am interested in is what we are going to do if we come out of the rubble and ashes and pinch ourselves to find, much to our dismay, that we are still alive.
I believe the feeling would be a lot like how I felt as a kid, when the plane I was supposed to board taking me to my parents, had left because I was late in reaching the airport after the exams due to the fog on the Nilgiris road.
Now you get to spend the vacation in a relative's place. Yipee!
So there you stand, facing a world that is all but extinguished. And the duty of rebuilding it, you feel, falls on your ash covered shoulders.
Personally I don’t believe that there is any mandate out there making us the keeper and protector of the earth. In fact I feel that distinction should go to earthworms but a whole lot of by now dead people who lived by the words of more dead people would disagree with me and I go by the principle of never pissing off dead people. They are more dangerous than the ones that are alive.
So you stand there. Perhaps, watching more of us emerging from the rubble like cockroaches.
You will of course collect yourself together. You will find among you a leader. Hopefully, a person who doesn’t want to be one. You will then try to survive.
Being a self glorified version of a virus, you will thrive.
You will multiply.
Earth, like a cancer patient, who had just received chemotherapy, would suffer remission in the near future.
Hopefully someone among you will try to learn and record your history. You will try to learn from your past. I doubt this, but I am an optimist.
You are more likely to just focus on surviving. You are going to give a rat’s arse if you are killing the last rat in the world to feed your children. That's how we are built.
So saving earth is not going to be your priority. What will motivate you is what you can get out of it. This is what motivates every living thing on this planet so you are in the most esteemed company. Unless you belong to the irritating bunch who believes in a more grandiose version of yourself, you are pretty much humbled and alive. Moreover there's hope for you.
So here's my proposal.
Rejuvenating the earth is to your advantage. Shelter, food, protection and everything that can sustain your life can be got either from a mall or a forest. Now that there are no malls, forests are your next best option.
And you, my dear, is the best form of a fertilizer; in skin.
Here is my idea. I have been shouting this from the rooftops but nobody listens. Which is not surprising. Considering that almost all rooftops are now more than 20 stories high, I doubt anyone even heard me.
When you die, instruct others for you to be buried with a seed in your heart.
Assign an area where these burials take place.
Make a forest.
Forget what anyone else has ever told you. This is your meaning. You are meant to rejuvenate. To create. to protect and sustain.
You are basically worm food.
But it sounded better when it was said the other way, didn't it?
As for me.
I have instructed for a banyan tree seed to be shoved deep within the recess of my still heart.
I love the grandiose nature of that one.
What? I am only human.
Photo credit: Catarina Carneiro de Sousa