As a child, I enjoyed watching Mahabharata on black and white TV but hated its opening lines and its screenplay writer Rahi Mazoom Raza for the commentary the TV serial had— “Main Samay Hun, mere bahav mein na sukh ki rukawat hai, na dukh ki, lekin kabhi kabhi bhagya ki rekhayen mujhe bhi uljha leti hain (I am Time. Neither joy nor sorrow impedes my flow but sometimes, the lines of fate entangle me too).”
The story of Mahabharata was narrated by the Time and noted the change it brought. It called the present a war for the future. The Mahabharata asks you to wage a war for the future that is non-existent. That no one has ever lived in. If we always live in the present, why do we need to change for the future? Any bit of change seems a death call to me for in the future, we all will be dead anyway.
“Why change?” I often ask people who want me to change. “For future,” they tell me. But I want to live in the present so I prefer to live in comatose, unaffected by the external pressure.
I always fight the change that is imposed on me by the Time. The change in the workplace that most people see as preparedness for the future has been killing me. I am in claptrap with myself. The past seems hazy, the future non-existent and the present is no less than a cocktail of miseries and an infinite sea of sorrow. I can’t see through the hazy past, not able to ascertain the non-existent future, and trying to tide over the sea of sorrow.
A war within has ensued. Fear of the unknown has taken over me. So far in the journey of life, I have only adapted to half the change that Time forced upon me, always disguising as an agent of a good and better prospect. It trapped me, promising something good, something better, something lucrative was in the offing. I always ended up feeling cheated, always disliked that aforementioned something good, something better and something lucrative.
I always lived in perpetual guilt of losing out on things that were satisfactory. Again, I find myself at the crossroads, being forced into a situation where either I change or die. Time has been my enemy. My existential dilemma is how to fight and defeat it. Do I need to exist or call it a day? The Death, in my worldview, is to refuse to change.
Mahabharta gave me my hero, Karan, who was on the ‘wrong’ side of the epic battle field, refusing to switch despite a clarion call by Lord Krishna to change with Time and fight against the ‘wrongdoers’, be on the right path. Karan didn’t change and died as hero from the losing side, making his friendship with Duryodhana a story to be told for the generations to come. Karan is a household name in India for he was a true friend, a hero and kept his dharma of friendship above good versus bad battle. Had he changed with Time, he would have lived a lesser life. His death made him immortal.
A note to the readers: If you think I will end my life as I am sick of it, then hang on! I want to live my life to the fullest, without external intervention, like the law of inertia which says, “unless acted upon by an external force, an object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, it continues to move in a straight line with constant speed.”