Thursday, July 9, 2009

Concrete Jungle & the Wild Cat

Part I

The land gave her a desolate picture; trees that were full of colorful birds were lying in a heap at the side of the land mass running exactly parallel to her favorite stream. Even the stream was empty of fish now for the constant dumping of garbage from the neighboring areas, as well as the junk off the nearby garage. Floating rubbish and debris gave out a horrid stench of dying fish mixed with motor oil and decayed vegetation. This is the story of a wild cat, which somehow got close to humans and started mingling with them because she found it a good escape from her loneliness. And lonely she was having lived in a jungle full of animals suddenly being wiped out to make room for some high-rise apartments.

Although in the early stages of adjustment to the concrete jungle the wild cat several times thought of just going out there on the highway and standing in front of a twenty six wheeler caterpillar, she was somehow able to resist the temptation. Or perhaps she had faith in her destiny to find something worthwhile to do. Nonetheless she survived the cutting of the jungle and destruction of her habitat.

Soon roaming about in this new jungle of Grey and black with some shiny stars that appeared to be very gigantic, close and within reach, compared to the ones she saw from within the branches of the luscious green leaves, she made some friends. A few ducks and swans in the city park lake, several crows nesting in the sidewalk trees; once she also spotted a black dotted koel dallying near the crows nest and she knew it is about to destroy the poor crows eggs and lay hers there instead, were a few friends to mention apart from those walking on two legs.

The wild-cat was never short of food especially when near the park as kids and their parents once they got used to her started bringing tit bits for her to devour. Many were daily visitors living in nearby buildings and some were far farers coming once and never seen again.

The old woman and man were one of the few who frequented the park on a daily basis and were also her self appointed daily food providers. She soon got attached to them and looked forward to their presence. They never came separate and often the old lady would be in a depressing mood she noticed. Bit by bit she got to know that they are mates and unlike her species they usually stay with the same mate throughout their life. This fascinated her a lot as she was more used to knowing and having several potential mates at a time. She also wondered about their off-springs, if like hers they left as soon as they were able to fend for themselves or they still lived on them.

This world was very fascinating, she got intrigued and wanted to learn more but how was the question. She soon found out about the teacher who could help her understand these two legged creatures language. Nobody really knew where to find the teacher, only it was considered common knowledge there is one. The wild cat after getting disappointing news from all quarters finally one night went to the owl living in the tallest Neem tree and asked him if he could guide her to the famed teacher. The wise owl looked at her with glittering eyes and asked in a grumpy tone:

Owl: Why are you interested in the teacher?

Wild Cat: I want to learn the language spoken by the creature walking on two legs.

She excitedly informed the owl. He looked at her with disdain and yawned.

Owl: And what good pray would come of that? My dear trust me, when I say no good has come off anybody who has dared to meddle with these lousy creatures, willingly or unwillingly. Rather most have come to grief even with the best of intentions at heart, and you seem to be a green-horn for this city still.

But the cat innocent about the ways of this new jungle insisted on getting the address of the teacher. Looking at her pleading eyes and enthusiasm the owl told her that she is talking to the teacher and he will help her in learning the new language.

Owl: But make one thing clear my dear, you are not under any circumstances to use this knowledge outside the park and I want it upon your honor that you won’t.

Wild Cat: Oh great teacher! Fear not, I shall not use it anywhere but the park and you can take my word upon my honor.

Thus satisfied the timings and days for the classes were discussed and it was decided that every night when the park was empty and there wasn’t much noise they would start. The first week she found it extremely difficult to even comprehend the differences in language but after that she learnt the ropes pretty fast and within a month was able to understand what her new friends spoke about.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


There is no God how is your life affected? What changes in your behavior and ideas alter?

As a firm believer in the existence of God, for me the idea or concept of that being’s non-existence gives rise to innumerable questions. The idea of a being watching over me all my life, who was responsible to nurture me, suddenly ceases to exist would give rise to panic. This being provided me with the support and help I craved whenever I was in trouble. The whole idea of sharing or blaming all your troubles onto someone you were always so sure will take care of them turning out to be useless is not only disappointing, but scary as well. It entails that whatever I used to do, I am doing and will do in future, my triumphs and my failures, were not because that being had something better for me in store but because I did not have the capability to put them through. Possibly the early stages of being a non-believer give rise to doubt, perhaps agnosticism; may be it could be early stage of atheism or is the last stage of theism. But it is very disappointing to discover that whatever you believed in all your life was only a figment of imagination; that God was only a delusion as Richard Dawkins puts it. One wants to believe but is unable to do so since his logic defies all the supportive documentation, (read religious sacred text); one wants to disbelieve but then again is unable to do so for the years and years of training otherwise. All in all it is difficult to break away from the circumstances, and on the other hand following everything as it was makes one feel like a hypocrite.

Further questions that come to my mind are related to existentialism, individual existence, freedom, and choice. If there is no God, how did I come into being, who created me? Am I really just an accidental creation? Do I have no purpose in this life? If that is so, then nothing in this universe has a purpose, then what are we striving for? Why do we exist? How are we sustained? Rhetorically speaking one should then only conform to Descartes philosophy and say, I think therefore I am.

If one takes into account the German philosopher Nietzsche indeed it should be considered freedom to explore the countless possibilities that arise when god ceases to exist, or as he puts it is dead. And perhaps the best way for describing the lack of existence of a being watching over you all the time should be celebrated joyously. The non-existence of god, broadens up the horizon for humans to be better, much better than what they are. It offers new possibilities for better understanding, self-reliance, as well as a chance to make one’s own life the way they please. At first the realization may leave one speechless, later after a certain time period when it is accepted it is an exhilarating experience and a powerful knowledge. To know that one is responsible for his own destiny is in itself freedom. Though pursuing that path is possible or not in the present circumstances or not is another question all together.

Nevertheless for some disbelief can give rise to nihilism, and questions like morality or what is good and what is bad come up. If there is no God, what affect does morality suffer from it? Without that concept of someone is watching over, how will a person continue to lead a moral life? Though the following question should be what is morality? If morality is only dictated by God’s religion, then with the thought of his Non-existence, the concept of morality should stop to exist as well. What is religion? Just a believe in God?? Or it is something more than that?? Is it ancient man's endeavor to understand his existence?? Or to know why his loved ones died? And it is as well to know and discover their whereabouts?? Anyway one has to appreciate the amount of effort that man spent on these quests. Evolving during this process; religions, society, and cultures. Spending time on painting and writing books recording certain relevant facts for us to study and analyze, evaluate “Our Existence”, though they became distorted with time and now proclaim supernatural attributes. Our job is to try and extract whatever good we can get out of it, and build from there. We are now in a different era. We need to collect all our intellect and strength and put it to the task of prolonging our existence on this planet and beyond.

The conclusion is that existence of God or non-existence can be proven with logic, therefore there is no point in arguing about it. Religion-Rituals-Cults are all one and the same thing, you follow them just as a way to meet people and learn their behavior, problems etc. (A means of interaction/socializing) It is a part of our upbringing and if we are comfortable in doing certain activities it can do no harm because it has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of God. Live and let live; that is to say if someone wants to believe that God exists, and he's all powerful, ever present, merciful, wrathful etc. they have a right to believe so, but they can't dictate it to others and cannot make others believe the same. We should be free of any sexual, religious, cultural, national or ethnic bounds. We should be humanitarians, just helping others on the base of being alive. Therefore embracing a broader spectrum of life instead of worrying our heads over life after death, this technically is a waste of time looking at the amount of work that needs to be done ‘HERE AND NOW’.

Perhaps I can quote Robert Ingersoll here, when he says, “When I became convinced that the universe is natural, that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell. The dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world, not even in infinite space. I was free--free to think, to express my thoughts--free to live my own ideal, free to live for myself and those I loved, free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination's wings, free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope, free to judge and determine for myself . . . I was free! I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously faced all worlds."