The Machinery of Life

5 Jul

          The urban landscape encompassing a great number of high rises, industries, pubs etc. is merely a stark wilderness…a jungle of concrete and we are trapped within it. The work culture inculcated into us resonates vociferously the ideas of getting a job; making money; getting well settled in our minds that it has transmuted us into machines that have been programmed to perform a series of monotonous events with may be a Friday night off guaranteed with a peg of whiskey and pack of cigarettes also; leaving us a bundle of stress. This scenario makes me really wonder what life is.



         The momentum of being is guided by the dominant emotion of apathy. The whole sentiments of benevolence, empathy, envy, ire, hatred and so on have been trivialized into a string of indifference that is strengthening its hold with every drop of blood. Our minds have narrowed into a tiny bit which is secured and vaulted by a strong stone wall; to penetrate which is an arduous task. Any voice of rebellion is buried deep under and any attempt of escape is obliterated by the rule of man. 

      Blood has dried out; now our hearts pump competition. If Shakespeare was alive then he would have written:

All the world’s a ring,

 And all men and women merely fighters;

They have their victories and their defeats…..      

With birth we are inducted into the war that has a perennial existence which creeps into school, home, work, neighborhood and every possible place even the mind. Our parents, guardians, teachers and the others fuel the fighting spirit in us with the idea of a ladder whose pinnacle we have to climb up to and emerge as victors because life is supposedly a race; in order to double the bet placed on the raging bulls. Winning trumpets are expected, Leonidas is accepted and Igor is rejected.

        Two other intriguing concepts are ‘beauty’ and ‘decency’. The mechanism of life has been able to quantify these unquantifiable ideas. Let’s not view this attempt as successful or unsuccessful because either category defines something definite which this endeavor doesn’t produce. The terms ‘beautiful’, ‘handsome’, ‘ugly’, ‘smart’, ‘unkempt’, ‘uncouth’, ‘etiquette’ etc. have erupted from a collective consciousness of the people in association to certain symbols like white skin for women and short hair for men.  But I presume that ascribing such an objective criteria to these quantities is farce because as Kierkegaard would say “Truth is Subjectivity” and, more precisely we being rational individuals, we are condemned to freedom so; if we won’t choose and let our life be guided by such predefined scales then we are merely burdened with bad faith as Sartre may have interpreted.

     The problem with the mechanics is that we have fallen into a well of seriousness. The voice of the Joker, the infamous nemesis to the Batman,resonates ominously, “Why so serious?”Now, either we offend or are offended. The wager is between the two and the probability that it would be neither is very minimal. We, the robots, have been programmed to be a part of the rat race called life; be burdened with humongous amounts of stress, tensions, pressure, goals, expectations etc. that we have forgotten to live and enjoy the humour that life has to offer. I imagine a world where jokes don’t offend; where freedom of speech is held high; where resolutions are made through dialogues and not violence; where love overshadows hatred towards all beings, altruism over war, egalitarianism over hierarchy and secularism would prevail; where we look at each other and appreciate our belonging to this vast species called the human beings. This state may seem Utopian but I presume it would be a reality if we would break free from the meticulous mechanistic attitude and enjoy the game holistically by experiencing even the minute pleasures which may be enjoying the charm of a full moon or taking a dip in a hot spring or something else as it is a subjective choice.


       This essay is a result of an enquiry into the nature of life that I have been conducting deep in my mind castle of reasoning for a while now. We generally categorize it to be either good or bad or even neutral at times but what is the substratum upon which we place these characteristics is the question that I am asking. This piece is merely a part, which is not even whole in its own existence, of this investigation which definitely would take an indefinite period to be channelized to a proper conclusion or even be without one.















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