The other day I read this quote, “No one dies a virgin, Life screws everyone.” And then I thought, “How exciting!” And then again I thought how about I screw my life before it screws me. That way I don’t get screwed. Of course, either way I don’t remain a virgin. But then again I thought and found that it is quite easy to screw one’s life.
So, it’s quite easy screwing your life up right? Well, let’s see how actually easy it is. Your beautiful Titanic’s got a hole in the deck, your crush is roaming around with some guy/gal; the worst part -you think you were always better than this jerk he/she is roaming around with, you aren’t able to buy the latest jacket in that Tommy showroom and hence you deduce that your parents love you no more , you didn’t get your dream job- worst – you weren’t even eligible for it.
Voila! Your life is screwed. Pretty much.
Isn’t it? Well, dear readers- what a pleasure to be wrong! Because this isn’t the way you screw your life up. This is the way you make your life stupid. Because there is only one time-tested fool-proof way to screw your life- and that is called ‘Stop thinking’.
An average human brain weighs 500 grams. And the idea is not to use even a milligram of it. And trust me it’s very very simple to do- requires no discipline, no magic, nothing. Just ‘stop thinking’. And this time definitely, obviously, certainly, of course, 100 percent, pukka, God’s promise – you have hit the bull’s eye. Your life is screwed.
Now you will tell me that we all can think and most of us do. But then it’s not just about thinking. It’s not just mere capability to think, but the capability to think beyond your own self, means and world. And I call this kind of ‘thinking’- imagination. Because trust me or not, we all restrict ourselves from letting our thoughts loose, from thinking beyond, from imagining. And trust me equally when I say that it is this lack of imagination which is the root cause of all pissed off lives and situations in this world.
Let’s start with ourselves. You weren’t able to imagine yourself doing well or getting a job except by cracking IIT-JEE. Accept it. You just couldn’t. You couldn’t imagine or think that there could be something better than the JEE option. And here you are.
Why do you think our curriculum is so boring? I will tell you, it’s because it’s designed in such a way that it feeds only the analytic and memory part of our brain. There is no space for the imaginative cells in our brain. This makes our curriculum dull, boring and unimaginative. In fact in India we focus more on productivity that on creativity. Now the difference between the two is the same as that between a robot and a human. A robot is productive, while a human is imaginative. Just look around- our books, lyrics, our Bollywood all lack a spark of imagination. No wonder Kalpana was killed.
And now let me generalize this idea. Hate is, according to Graham Greene, a lack of imagination. I really think that white people weren’t able to imagine black people walking side by side with them. They just weren’t able to imagine that. Result was – years of slavery. Some people cannot imagine that numerous people die of hunger every day. Some people cannot imagine girls getting an education. Moreover some people cannot imagine that there may be another viewpoint on an issue. Some people cannot imagine that they are not the center of the world. Some people cannot imagine that a certain boy or girl doesn’t like them. For such people the world is always painted in extremes- black or white. They don’t allow themselves the luxury to think freely, to think out of the prejudices, in short – to imagine.
In fact stroll down the human history and you will see progress as fossil buried in the sands of imagination. Not by angels and djinns, but ordinary people like you and me; by people who could look into the face of the unimaginative and speak their thoughts loud. The airplane was considered impossible. The heliocentric theory was blasphemous. Nobody had ever seen the other face of moon forget about walking on it. But then these people saw it all, clear as daylight. And they fought and suffered for their vision. And in the end they won.
And so let me raise a toast to these thinking folks. And at the same time have a gym session of the muscles in our brain. And for that I don’t ask you to raise your cups, which anyways you can’t, you have none, but just close your eyes. And now start seeing. Yeah, go on. See.
Imagine a rose. A ladder. Imagine the sound of growing grass. The heartbeat of a squirrel. Imagine the cries of a train standing in the rain. Imagine ships sailing in the sand. Imagine a lonely sheep living on mars. A blindfolded octopus unwrapping a gift box. Anyways, open your eyes. I have run out of the script.
So you see the beauty of imagination. It reaffirms the fact that you are born free and are no less than anyone. Because like everyone else you have been given this extraordinary faculty to think and imagine. And so let your thoughts loose. Remember imagination is the highest kite that can fly. And let there be no friction to stop you. And remember there are no rules of architecture when you build a castle in the clouds. And when you look down from the sky don’t be spooked by the various prejudices raising their ugly heads below. Assure yourself that imagination is the voice of daring.
And keep building up your thoughts and finally there will come a day when all the unimaginative people will be tired of their thoughtlessness- their brains rotting with worms and thoughts bound in chains. At such a time, ask them to come in. Sing a song for them in the dead of the night. Ask them to imagine. Show them how beautiful it looks when ideas have sex. Ask them to come in. Tell them to be a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic bean buyer. Ask them to come and sit by the fire. Tell them we have flax golden tales to spin. Ask them to come in. To imagine.
P.S. A few of the lines in the conclusion are quotes from very eminent personalities. Due respect to them.