miserable reality?

[based on an email to family]

The idea of me writing this is not to show you what I have discovered/believe [anyway I expect it will probably change later, esp after I get married] but hope to elicit a reply on what *you* think about it. And there is no “correct” or “wrong” answer, so I don’t have any plan to counter-argue and try and to prove myself correct or something.


In a book by Richard Bach, there is a chapter about movies. He talks about how people *choose* the movies that they want to see. Some like to watch horror, some like comedy, some like tragedy etc… For any kind of movie, it is the person who buys the ticket! He says a movie is like a lifetime.

I believe this is very true, I have seen and known closely some very people who have sufferred in misery greatly for years together, for eg someone I know (an extremely intelligent and well read man actually) who has all but destroyed himself with alcohol, or his wife who tries to put up with all this at the same time wishing for his death… with some or the other very difficult problem, eg a son who is drunk or a gambling husband or some illness, really – I acknowledge that the world is certainly not a bed of roses. I am not talking about some extreme cases, each of us have gone through some or the other times of crisis ourselves.

At such times they may even cry bitterly every now and then, and drag on the rest of the time putting happy faces, saying it is their past karma and they have to live it out facing it bravely. Yet thats only superficial and pretentious. But their feelings reflects in their behaviour and subtle expressions, and every once in a way they just break down and cry.

But, anybody who isnt in their shoes at that time, may see a clear and obvious solution. And may feel like suggesting (using appropriate discretion of course) “why don’t you just do xyz…” [its as simple as that!!] But that rarely works, even assuming that the suggestion is a very sensible one, because the person can only get out of it only if he[/she] takes the trouble of either truly listening to it with an open mind, or figuring out something by himself/herself. And ** most importantly ** take the effort to actually implement it.

I feel it is much like a bird living in a very cramped cage for a long time, always cribbing about the discomfort. Maybe someone opens the door, or maybe the bird itself figures out that some of the mesh is actually a bit loose and can be pried out… and somehow manages to walk out. Chances are, that it may feel scared and walk back in and continue living in the cage. Sometimes it may not even walk out but just stare wishfully at the open entrance and the blue sky outside.

There are alas only a few birds in such situations who will walk out… stretch their wings and feel the current of cool air beneath their wings for the first time, screech in delight and soar away. I have actually witnessed this when I was a small boy, when we released a parrot. It was a thrilling moment I will never forget! (Rashmiakka, do you remember Daddy, me, you and Amma standing at the top of the staircase and releasing that parrot that had injured itself while clawing at the cage for a whole week?)

Quite possible that it may be devoured by a hawk the next minute, its no doubt a risk leaving the security of the cage, where it was being fed very well daily and provided water by a very zealous owner (i.e. yours truly). But that moment of freedom was undoubtedly more than worth the risk, and worth more than a lifetime of imprisonment in the cage.

Here is a dialog from a movie (don’t get biased if you liked/disliked the movie on the whole)

“But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery.”
– Agent Smith, Matrix


A scene in the Matrix…. where Morpheus is captured and tied to a chair and Smith is explaining to him about the evolution of the Matrix.

Agent Smith stands in the bedroon of the enormous suite, staring out the windows
at the city, below, shimmering with brilliant sunlight.

AGENT SMITH Have you ever stood and stared at it, Morpheus? Marveled at its
beauty. Its genius. Billions of people just living out their lives… oblivious.

Agent Brown sucks a serum from a glass vial, filling a hypodermic needle.

AGENT SMITH Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect
human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a
disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost.

Agent Brown jams the needle into Morpheus’ shoulder, and plunges down.

AGENT SMITH Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your
perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their
reality through suffering and misery.

Agent Brown studies the screens as the life signs react violently to the

AGENT SMITH The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept
trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was re-designed to this: the
peak of your civilization.

Source: Matrix Transcript

One Response to “miserable reality?”

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