Since my childhood, I felt that everyone was running in the wrong direction. People were studying, marrying, raising families, working, collecting things, getting old and dying. At that age, it baffled me that people were collectively engaged in these exercises, even though they knew that in the end they would leave everything behind. They knew this, everyone knew this because it was a blatant truth staring everyone in the face. And yet as if in under some mass hypnosis, the entire mass of humanity joins the rat race. I often wondered, is it because we don’t know what else to do with ourselves? I would question this and drive myself to despair on not getting answers. I guess I was asking wrong people.

Fast forward multiple decades, and I am part of the collective mass -raising children, working, collecting things, memories, impressions. I have been looking back, trying to put a finger on a moment (or series of moments?) when I consciously accepted the idea of being discontent. Yet the small voice continues to nag, “to what end?”

Now I know that there are options, to checkout of this madness and wake up from this mass hypnosis. And I am sure I am not alone in this knowing. And yet, this cloud of illusion, is as cozy and snug as my childhood blanket. It is bewildering that despite being shaken to the core, being forced to open my eyes, I am still not ready to wake up. I am finally beginning to understand the beauty, the intensity and the density of the collective illusion.

I am in this limbo land now, where I must consciously fuel my desires to make this existence tolerable. However, desiring is becoming half-hearted and attempts to jump off the ledge are becoming half-hearted as well. It is taking colossal effort, to disengage from all the entanglements. I wish it was as easy as choosing the red pill versus blue (I am Matrix fan). Naively, I hope that this struggle is part of that colossal effort to wake up. That I am not alone in leaving behind the uncomfortable comforts and stepping into the deep end, when the shore is not yet visible? Hoping that it is just a phase, one of the many dark nights of the soul and at some point, I will wake up.

Pay Anything You Like

Neena Desai

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