Friday, February 7, 2014

Totally Dead, Truly Alive

There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
We see it with a soldier, war-mad in a stricken field having lost all sense of place, situation and in fact of his very own existence.
It plays out in front of us when you see a sportsperson so wrapped in the throes of his game, that it takes a good second for him/her to realize that the game is over & he or she has either lost/won that game. And when it actually does so often we hear them say “it’s yet to sink in”.
The cynic in us will feel that it’s just one of these "jibber-jabber" which people say as a part of media training. But the fact of the matter is, it does happen.
Call it an adrenaline rush or maybe in some cases sheer exhaustion by the virtue of investing so much of your energy in it. It does happen. You are so wrapped in the process, that the result thou important, becomes insignificant.
Now the question to be asked and answered is? Is this a singular phenomenon or does it happen in our life at multiple times?
The good old Chicken & Egg conundrum. Do many moments make up life or is life made up of many moments?
Eidetic memory i.e the ability to recall each & every memory of your life for me is a myth. Even if it does exist, it’s extremely rare. We as human beings are much more likely to recall highlight moments of our life, rather than the whole life itself.
I strongly dispute the statement about people saying that sometimes their whole life flashes right in front of them. More likely possibility is that the highlight reel of their life gets played in flash mode in front of their eyes.
So why am I writing on this topic now? What has turned me into this vain Professor Philosopher?
Well I recently had an experience which can be bracketed into the “ecstasy summit” (No Stanley I have not taken to drugs as the part of #YOLO) or “orgasmic” or let’s call it the “Zone/Zen” moment.
My First Scuba dive.
Filled with a million doubts & fears I dove in the sea (I was the first one of the pack to do it). After an arduous descent, where my trainer kept on chiding me for not equalizing properly, I finally managed to reach the shipwreck. That was the first moment where I was on my own without the trainer in sight.
The emotion that I felt at that moment was nothing other than extreme panic. All the training sessions, all the instructions just went out of the window & what was left was utter blankness. I had an extreme panic attack. Come about by the realization of being surrounded by a thick wall of water all around & that I could no longer breathe with my nose. For a moment I was resigned to a feeling of despair with the clutches of death ready to swallow me in its mortal embrace. 
But in that very next instant “#FLASH” it came back to me. What I felt then for the lack of better word, can only be described as MAGIC.
Neither earth to look down nor any sky to stare at. All I could hear was just me and my heart beats. That sapphire silence spoke to me. It told me, feel yourself it’s “just you and you alone”. And at that moment I actually realized my real existence. Never have I felt more alive, than when I was blanketed with the cold ocean water threatening to swallow me in its infinite depths just like the hapless S. S. Rita (on whose hull I was resting) & its occupants. The melody of silence that was singing to me was hauntingly enchanting in its sheer eeriness. The collage of myriad colors of various sea forms floating around me is something neigh indescribable.
 At that moment I was absolutely alone, yet I was an integral part of the whole universe & its infinite vastness.
Back on surface of the sea & exhaling again. The catharsis was complete.
Forgotten was the fact that I was back from the reverie, coming back to the earth with all its burdens from the Neverland. What we do every day as a homo sapien breathing in oxygen & exhaling carbon dioxide is mere existence. The drudgery of work, the plethora of social commitments, the sheer pressure of coming first in the Rat Race all of which reduces you to Zombie on a Auto Mode.
As my eyes took in the rays of sunshine, the vastness of sea & the cacophony of chirping birds again. I was reminded of the words by the great American poet & playwright e. e. cummingsUnbeing dead isn't being alive”.

Yes that was my moment of being “Truly Alive” and I could only feel it by staring at the face of death