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Love and Pain.

Acrylic Painting on Canvas(18″×24″) by Abhisek Pattnaik

Often we stand at crossroads, feeling dejected reflecting upon the mismatch between our expectations and what life has in store for us. But it is in these moments of extreme privacy, it becomes rather more important to sit back and reflect upon these as a result of one of the universal laws of nature. Love and Pain. Ironically we never think of them putting them in the same basket. But they always happen to chase each other… don’t they?  Sometimes even occurring at the same time.

“Aab kya karein janaab! Aas he to niraasa to hogi hi… par kabhi kabhi.” 🙂

The Departing…

‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch
Written by Abhisek Pattnaik

Seeing his helpless aunt and hearing the pitch of her cry gave in for the violent waves of emotions to engulf his face. Scratching his head in no less mannerism of a mad man he directed her towards the room where the dead body of his father was lying still and cold; surrounded by the howling members of the pack. The madness of uncertainty took over only for a few seconds though, for good or worse, before he came back to his stoic self and continued with his engagements in the corridor.

Schrodinger’s Cat

Written by Abhisek Pattnaik
Pic courtesy : Artstation.com

Areté : (Greek), the act of living up to one’s full potential.

You know looking at my past, what haunts me the most? It’s simply the foregoing of the possibilities of what I could have become. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m neither judging my current state nor carry this notion that the world and its elements needs to be layered to make any sense. Given the support I have received from my family throughout my life, I’m yet to believe in the idea of economic determinism(ie it is economics/money that determines every course of action) like that of Karl Marx. So, I continue to live in my distant ideal world, staying an idealist(someone who envisions a world i.e. ought to be rather than the real one). Hence, the possibilities I have foregone have nothing to do with the social status or power hierarchy or the paychecks that we receive by the end of every month. But rather, the idea of experiencing them in their totality. I can’t simply pull a rickshaw for a day and become a rickshaw puller. Nor can I engage in active politics for a day and call myself a politician. I’ll simply remain myself. A selection of decisions/choices from among the infinite possibilities drawing a narrow path, which has become quite thin now to allow me to accommodate something else into it. And, this makes me think of the ‘many world’ hypothesis.

You must be aware of the thought experiment famous by the name of Schrodinger’s cat. It was given by physicist Erwin Schrodinger as an allegory to explain the complexities of quantum physics.

Imagine there is a sealed box with a cat in it. And there is a radioactive element and a vial containing poisonous gas to accompany it. The system is so designed that if the radioactive element decays within an hour, the hammer falls, breaking the vial and thus, killing the cat. But, the chances of decay of the element within an hour is 50/50. Hence, Schrodinger argues that the cat in the sealed box is simultaneously both dead and alive before the box is opened. According to him, since there is no one inside the box to witness the happenings, the cat exists in all its possibilities i.e. both dead as well as alive. This in a way gave way to the ‘many world’ hypothesis  by Hugh Everett later. According to it, all possible outcomes for any quantum event or decision are physically realized in some “world” or universe.

Okay! This is assuring, to know that infinite copies of me are living simultaneously in parallel worlds as the rest of the possibilities.
Me as a cricketer. Checked.
Me as a pilot. Checked.
Me as an artist. Checked.
Me as a billionaire. Checked.
Hah! But what about this copy of myself, that I’m getting to experience. How can I transgress this limitedness and become the rest of them simultaneously?

Like the Schrodinger’s cat, I derive my status, my identity from others. Don’t I? Certainly it depends on what and how the society perceives me. Hell, I can’t even tell the difference between what’s real and what’s forced in me now. I wonder what if I simply lock myself up in a box as a solution. Like the cat, I’ll be perceived by none. Shouldn’t it liberate me then; helping me to exist simultaneously in all my possibilities from here on; helping me achieve my Arete!

An Agent

Image Courtesy : Freak_KA
Written by : Abhisek Pattnaik

I have never been a fan of summer. Would you like warm water for shower on a hot summer day? No, perhaps. It actually took me some years to understand why they talk so fondly of summer in English literature. Most of the authors being from English speaking cold countries, they are expected to awe summer. To my understanding the purpose of language is to convey meaning; between two individuals at least. And the notion of something as a universal language is only bound to fail, given how diverse we are spatially. So, if not universal, where should we draw the line then? That fine line to separate something noble and utilitarian from something universal and despotic. You make the sample space of people smaller to bring in more sensibility, more understanding, of that particular group per se. But, you keep reducing it to factor into anomalies; ultimately bringing it to a handful number of like minded people or maybe you end up building your own, personal, very private language; losing its purpose in this process.

Balance.
Guess, that’s what keeps things running. I look around me and on a sunny day, I experience kindness, love, brotherhood. While on a gloomy day, I see just the opposite. I can take inspiration from each and see the same world with two completely contrasting perspectives. But, I choose to pick some things from one and some from the other lot. Why? Maybe I am meant to be an agent of balance.
I am sure you are aware of the second law of thermodynamics. According to it, the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time. But yes, we can try and  keep it constant. Guess, that’s what balancing is all about. Isn’t it? Seeing different facets of it at different times and spaces. We kill in the name of freedom. We dominate in the name of order. We mock the very basic tenets of individuals in the name of society. Guess, in the face of basic instinct for survival, we end up killing ourselves for the sake of this isolated system called ‘Life on Earth’.
And, this makes me wonder, which one would be worse?
“To be myself or be someone with a higher longevity?”

It looks like It’ll take me some more years to come to terms with this understanding that…
“For peace, chaos is necessary.
And so is death for life. It’s all about balance. And nothing and no one escapes it.”