The Price Nature Demands

There is a long list of to-dos posted on my computer, phone and numerous post-it notes. I continue to avoid looking at them, even as they scream at me in their urgency. I prefer driving through the empty roads of the city, focusing on the question that pushes itself more often into my mind these days. Was the world meant to be this way? 

If earth was an actual living creature, Mother Earth, as we like to call it… what would she be thinking, feeling. Numerous weird creates moving over her at breakneck speeds, sounds that were perhaps never meant to exist, things that were never meant to exist. What is humans were an accident of nature that nature has not been able to eradicate. Yet. 

My newsfeed on Facebook is flooded with photographs of people eating, posing cutely in various places, marking their territories conquered with a photograph of them with their conquest in the background. Like Alexander went on conquering worlds and never looking back, most of them never look back to pause and admire what they are at. Do they really look at the beauty of the mountains behind them and forget about the camera hanging around their neck, the phone in their hands and the fact that they need to ‘check in’ and tell the world where they are? Do they realise that they might want to keep some of those breathtaking images to themselves, to ponder over in their old age when people have begun to fade away? Has the overwhelming presence of cameras around us made us so obsessed to catalogue every single minute of our day and share it with millions of strangers? 

What does the world make of computers, let alone strange wires flowing through the ocean, carrying bits of information in formats that were not even a part of imagination a mere 100 years ago. We cut short our communication even as we increase the  mode of it. And much of it is white noise. Photographs of loved ones, loved pets, favorite places, all the places you visited, all the clothes you own, all the shoes you own, all the people you know, all the cats and dogs with weird faces, all the gossip about people you would never know… 

If I woke up tomorrow to the sound of mere birds and nothing else, I would be lost perhaps. And that would be the kind of lost that I like. The sound of birds, the sound of silence… days without a watch. 

I stopped wearing a watch a while ago, without really noticing it. There are reminders of time all around us. My constantly flashing cellphone, the dashboard of the car, the little taskbar at the bottom of my computer screen. Why wear another reminder of time when it is so constantly pushed into our face? Do I miss it? I did not even realise I had stopped wearing it till so recently. I’m told that it signifies being a little unprofessional, a little casual, a little bohemian. Really? So be it. 

There would be a day when we would escape from this structure. When your day would be yours to do as please. Perhaps I would be old and senile and that will be my license to roam around as I please, to sleep when I wish and wake up without the worry of a day ahead of me. Being senile would perhaps give me the right to say exactly what I am thinking, without having to worry about being politically correct, offending sentiments and such nonsense. The wrinkles on my skin would free me from the constraints society puts on you regarding your appearance. The shaving, the waxing, the combing, the tightening.

But why wait? Because, perhaps, deep inside, we are all slaves to something that doesn’t exist. We escape from it for short durations… and then are compelled to return… to pay the price for whatever be it, for a while, till you earn your way to freedom. Till you earn your way to live peacefully. Till then.

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