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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Thus Spake the Vagabond

Running an errand, doing a chore, I encounter this vagrant. He is short, lithe body, shiny dark skin, over dressed and over beaded, smiling but glazed eyes, with a staff with which he communicates with passersby and mother earth and father heaven.

He has a routine.

He appears content.

We have a routine too. A daily routine of our choice. Another one imposed - of a social construct, unwittingly.

Get up, brush teeth, bathe, change, eat, leave home: school, college, work. At the end of the day back to the nest. Repeat this life long.

In this journey we meet tribulations: happy, sad, angry, content, discontent, grieved. We smile, whisper, talk, yell, shout and cry.

This journey from the womb to grave is repeated endlessly all over the continents for the allotted three score and ten, give or take twenty. At the end of which our memories lingers for a few years. Soon after the transition, we become another spec of sand on the vast shoreline of history.

How does it all make the achiever vagabond different from the non-achiever vagrant?

This contentment, this happy state is not dependent on achievement, success or money. Education, that perhaps ought to have separated the wheat from the chaff, is not an effective yardstick any more. Consumerism? The third eye remains sealed and shut. Within the confines of abstraction we become legends in boundaries of our disposition.

This leads to another query: is there a legacy?

Is their an individual legacy that would last beyond a few years, hopefully? Again, a few years on a universal scale is merely a hiccup.

Is there a universal legacy?

Now look around and see violations: of Mother Nature, the abuses heaped on the environment, rights of man and animal, individual and state, colonialism under different garbs, the machinations to dominate.

What is the legacy of Confucius, Zoroaster, Buddha, Socrates, Asoka, Jesus, Mohammed?

What good is progress when ostensibly all efforts lead to domination and subjugation? What good do the charters of rights do?

In spite of all the queries, why some of us see the glass half full, while a majority cannot see a tree for a elephant’s legs? Or don’t have access to clean drinking water?

Discontent must be an ingrained part of our DNA.


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