Thursday, June 26, 2008

Desire and Death

It is quite a difficult question for me when I am asked to write about the most powerful stimulator of my life. Over a period of last two decades, I have ventured into quite different disciplines beginning from Indian spiritual history, political theory, global economy, Mahabharata, Indian politics, World cinema, contemporary Hindi and Punjabi Literature and ecological activism. Apart from my intellectual interests, I have been quite active in administrative reforms within my campus,career counselling and student movements. Naturally, this kind of background can give me sufficient reasons to list some powerful motivators of my life but whatever I try has turned out to be quite amorphous once I attempt to phrase it. Perhaps, it was the change of contextual coordinates of space and time that really determined my course of action but it has been a very mysterious exercise to pin down the science of motivating desire as to when it arises, how it arises and what makes it getting transformed into an active and creative pursuit. I generally try to ask myself if I am to die in the very next moment, would I be really bothered about the quantum of task that remains unfinished or unfulfilled? This exercise reveals a lot of internal paradoxes and inconsistencies in my life-pattern. Death is like a wayward traveller that can venture into our life anytime, anywhere. So, the question is if my desire can sustain its power in each coming moment despite the context of death being operational at every momen? Generally, what happens is that the idea of death and its power can distort many desires and almost vanquish the paraphernalia of those desires. This can be the time of great personal tragedies, critical occasions or social disaster and so on but my experience tells that death does vanquish many but not all desires. There is no method of determining that in any scientific terms but still, every person does perform somewhat more or less beautifully in such a situation though not at the first occasion. And this process continues its improvement till end. This realm of desire that remains untouched by the fear of death is the fundamental construction that everybody wishes to be part of. Of course, it may be multi-faceted but the structure shall vary from person to person. This is something that not only explains the intrinsic exclusivity of all souls as well as the essential plurality of human existence. A desire can look a very selfish concern at the first glance but all desires have an in-built design for the other's role. I don't essentialize this design as the non-violent only; it may not be like that. A soldier may not be enjoying that luxury but the other is as much circumscribed by the context of death as the self is. So, the relationship may also be following innumerable possibilities but the mediating factor shall be the desire that remains unperturbed by the idea of death.

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