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Sowing Wild Oats

Sowing Wild Oats

December 17, 2011

A seedy solution to a greener earth.

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.

The idea.

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 


  • tys
    28.12.11 11:13 AM
    @maitreyee: its only a mandate if it comes from a source of authorization or command...since it by no means does, i would say its just a great idea...

    @ashok : karmayog still works within a system of cause and effect..means that work for the present but heed not its result..but that very philosophy is self needs to be aware of the future to negate its importance or lack of it, to validate oneself's action in the present...u with me?

    what if i say, you just what ever state that you are in it..with no focus on yesterdays and tomorrows..since both don't exist for you now...just be and to recognize the smoke tricks we create for ourselves...

    @vaibhav : why wud the end of the world worry any one of us? Each of us create and destroy this universe from the moment we are born till we die...the universe has died a million deaths..and has seen a million why worry?
  • vaibhavGhevde
    23.12.11 10:20 AM
    ok that solved it. My problem? What will happen after the world ends? So hope is not lost. But wait, will I still be able to read this blog if I am alive? ;). Anyways, nice article. Liked the imagination.
  • Ashok Vaishnav
    Ashok Vaishnav
    19.12.11 04:14 PM
    @ tys,
    True, the inherent optimist in us carries us through any downs of the life.
    But when we look at the mirror the first thing in the morning and do not allow the image to fogged down by this optimism, then we are likely to achieve much more than what we would achieve being optimist [Remember Steve Jibs!].
    This in no way means that one should become a pessimist. Nor does one has to be live under any illusion.
    Our mythology has called this philosophy as Karmayoga - Remain in the Present and do what needs to be done Now, without really bothering much about past and future. Herman Hesse has very lucidly explained this concept in 'Sidhdhartha' with help of analogy of river.
  • maitreyeechowdhury
    19.12.11 01:57 PM
    ..and that's a good mandate
  • tys
    19.12.11 02:34 AM
    @ashok: but you and i and everyone reading this , dont think that this might be the last seconds of our life...we are born optimists ... our brains are not conditioned to accept an end to ourself funnily; considering that we seem to have, if we have the balls to accept the reality, come to realize our existence years after our birth....only when we had the faculty of memory..

    we are the illusion.

    @madhav: how so?
  • madhav mishra
    madhav mishra
    19.12.11 12:35 AM
    phew, that was DEEP!
  • Ashok Vaishnav
    Ashok Vaishnav
    18.12.11 10:55 AM
    The moment we can take a very objective view, and if at all we may take or should we ever take it, that today is our last day, the whole jigsaws of world-around-us puzzle fall in place.

    Congratulations to present a very different perspective.
  • tys
    17.12.11 11:28 PM
    @harry ?? old habits die hard, eh? Mite i suggest eucalyptus? Then we will have koala bears. U can call me shady and i can call u healing. We can even start a small bush war between us.
    17.12.11 10:46 PM
    I like the I idea about the seed in the heart. But I have not decide which kind yet. Got any suggestion, not the one you chose, maybe a different kind, so we can be Racist with each other, when we are grown into trees. :) :) :)

    17.12.11 10:39 PM
    Hi TYS
    You forgot to add another dimension to this, Asprin and Paracetamol vault (similar to black box in aeroplane). Just in case, and this is big, just in case, When you shake the rubble of you, and mrs. says " not tonight honey, I've got headache " Then we can all go and get the tablets. :) Does this ever get old ? :)

    Now that you have given a date 21Dec2012, I will ask mrs. last time, a week prior to the date, how about loving everyday from now on.

    Am I asking too much ?

    Come on, can't I just dream about it?

    Or may be ask santa for early christmas present ( or magic potion ), come on, it may be my last day on earth can't a guy dream.

    Women dream all the time for new washing machine, fridge freeze, make up set and all the other nice thing. Their dream always comes true and we make sure they do, or our dinner is given to the dogs.

    This is not fair. Can't I look to ward the sky and pray just in case TYS.
    Come on any thing is possible man. Brilliantly written as usually.

  • tys
    17.12.11 09:12 PM
    @rahul : :) ...sorry, i didnt get are the first person in my whole life so said i or anything i do is thoughtful...i am actually blushing..this is why i don't do embaressing.

    @rajpriya : nope. i am boring as hell. I don't like company and i have been told that i am not very friendly.

    I intend to be stone cold sober on that day....its not every day you get to see yourself die...

    but you can bet your arse that i will be posting here on Dec 22nd and will be mourning the death of a great idea.
  • Rajpriya
    17.12.11 08:27 PM

    Before I started reading your superbly written “Sowing Wild Oats” something said I knew the two leaves and the bud was only too familiar with what I started my life after school. Yes it looked similar but taking a closer look, it could not have been be from a Tea plant.

    Going further down and reading about the deadline 21st Dec 2012, I was first sad about all those guys living in the Christmas Island who will be first to go and then quietly moving towards NZ where Barnaby lives to Australia where many of my friends (I have lost count) live and so as the clock marks 21 of Dec 2012 in each of those countries working its way to the west.

    To beat this deadline there may be mass migration towards the US so as to be the last lot to go down with earth.

    But I do believe in coming out of the rubble and read your next article about the life after the end of the world. You really tickled my upstairs to life that was getting a bit too rusty lately.

    Are you really a full of fun in your real life? Ya! you said Sharjah. Will your guys there be ok if happened look a bit like George Dubya Bush?
  • Rahul
    17.12.11 05:54 AM
    Very Thoughtful

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