“I saw death; ‘no’ I said, for my story wasn’t over yet”
The line started with a capital, letters intervened to form words; words marched to form sentences, while ideas entangled with imagination. There came a time, when the parade of words, now called a ‘sentence’, required a break, for its glory was to be concluded; however, as ideas evolved from deadly depths of depression when hope became the beacon of light, full-stop was overpowered by the semi-colon, the story continued.
Hello, reader. Oh yes, the article is in the first person, do you know why? Well, because, I wanted to talk to you about this. I wanted to have a conversation between us, something I can’t achieve by writing in the third person.
We live in a world filled with surprises; there’s emotion, enactment, attachment, detachment, love, fear and what not. In our every step, we wish to establish authority. You may disagree with this, but trust me, when was the last time you made a statement or took a step not to prove your point? How ironical it is that, as I said this, pardon, as I typed this, I tried to stick my point like butter on paper; but have you ever wondered whether you have the power to burn this paper; to destroy my point of view, to discard it, to demean it, to dethrone it from its authority?
Power, a small word possessing unfathomable meaning. Let’s further play with these words. You possess this ‘power’, that’s nice, but how did you obtain it? Through your statement. This statement is your firm belief; you are its author. This belief had its root in your idea, but don’t forget, this idea was the result of your thought; and how did you develop this thought? Through your action. You worked around, mingled with different aspects of life, performed tasks and then started developing thoughts. Your actions caused your mind to think, if not, wonder. Actions were acted upon, and once you carried them out, could you guess what you’ve gained? Don’t be surprised when I say ‘Power’, and the story continues.
Power is indeed a great factor determining our lives. With this, you possess the ability to not only burn my ideas but also yours. You think a lot about the people around you, you invest a huge amount of power just to prove yourself to people, sometimes you succeed, but for how long? For how many times? You write sentences after sentences, till you run out of ideas to prove yourself further and in the end, you press the ‘full-stop’.
Everything halts, but then you find a new ray of life, as your power is fuelled by actions and incidents around you. So the next thing you wish to do is just press hard the ‘back-space’, delete the dreary dot and keep one small semi-colon, because there’s more to life.
These semi-colons are quite essential in our lives. They symbolize continuum, as different ideas are emerging and subduing to establish independent statements. These semi-colons connect them; they don’t terminate the ideas like the full-stop nor do they reiterate the ideas like the commas.
This symbol took over the world in 2013 when people across the globe marked their wrists with a semicolon. The simple punctuation became the enigma of the movement aimed at spreading awareness about suicide prevention. The movement titled ‘Project Semi-colon’ founded by Amy Bleuel gained worldwide recognition, as adults and teenagers tattooed the semicolon. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life,” she said.
Now, who doesn’t wish to time travel? So, without further ado let’s time travel to those moments when your mom and grannies told you various stories from different ‘epics and books’ or as they used to call them: Puranas, Itihasas, Upanishads etc.
We all admire the Ramayana and Mahabharata, don’t we? Ever wondered how did all of it start? “From the birth of Ram, pfft..” if that’s what in your mind, well, you aren’t wrong, but neither right. Precisely, all of it started after the creation of this cosmos.
Initially, we had the Matsya Avatara (fish incarnation) of Lord Vishnu saving Manu from the great deluge along with the seven prominent sages and all the species of plant and animal life, once safe, the sages started performing the rituals which aided the heavenly gods like Indra; puffed with this power and pride, Indra and other gods, as a result, lost the authority of Heaven to their step-brothers, the Rakshasas (demons), however, the gods defeated and killed them with the help of Kurma Avatara (tortoise incarnation); enraged, the mother of Rakshasas, Diti, pleaded for two sons to her husband, Rishi Kashyap and was blessed with Hiranyaksh and Hiranyakashyapu, later while Hiranyaksh was killed by Varaha Avatara (boar incarnation) for attempting to devour the earth, Hiranyakashyapu was killed by Narasimha Avatara (Lion-Man incarnation) for avenging his brother by torturing people and his pious son, Prahalada; years later, Prahalada’s grandson, Bali, again attacked the gods to avenge the inevitable murder of his father, Virochan, however, he was subdued by the Vamana Avatara (Dwarf incarnation); while Bali was declared the ruler of Patala Loka (netherworld), the Haihaya Kshatriyas (warrior clans of Haihaya) evoked havoc on earth, as result of which, their 21 generations were killed by the Parshuram Avatara (axe-wielding incarnation); this incited fear in other Kshatriya clans and hence Rama Avatara (the hero of Ramayana), the ideal King, took birth to establish the code of conduct; post Rama’s death, as the eon changed, evil rose again, and as karma hadn’t finished its part, Krishna Avatara (the darling god) took birth, it paced to Mahabharata which beheld characters like Hanuman, Jambavan, Parshuram, making it an extension of Ramayana; later, Krishna died, eon changed, evil rose again and Gautama Buddha Avatara (incarnation as Buddha) established new set of principles; but it isn’t always a sunny day and again the evil is rising, which shall be destroyed by the Kalki Avatara (the ultimate incarnation) followed by Pralaya (the great deluge); after which, guess what, again Matsya Avatara saves ‘Manu’ and the cycle continues!
Now that was a long paragraph, but did you notice, there wasn’t a single full-stop. One story was connected to another, there were numerous commas and semi-colons, and there will be more because it’s a loop!
While we witnessed the above continuum, we found a very interesting topic: Karma. We all consider Karma as ‘every action has a reaction’, but what if I say, the concept of Karma is ‘everything is a reaction to an action’?
Confused? Even I was when I realised this, but look around you. What action did you do? Everything is merely a reaction. Krishna’s death was due to an arrow shot on his toe by a hunter in hiding, a reaction of Rama (his previous birth) killing the King Bali from behind, which was the reaction of the friendship-pact with Sugreeva, which was the reaction of Sugreeva’s banishment from his kingdom by Bali, which was the reaction of Bali’s untamed anger, which was the reaction of Sugreeva’s assumption to consider him dead, which was the reaction of Bali not returning after the fight with the demon Mayavin and the story goes back to the initial action of creation.
Karma thus abides to this wonderful punctuation: semicolon. It doesn’t mark death as a full-stop, rather it proceeds to cause a reaction and hence arises another concept of Re-birth.
Re-birth isn’t literally the soul taking a new body post death but simply the birth of a new idea. If our life was all about surviving then what would separate us from animals? Rama took the help of the Vanaras (monkey tribes) to defeat the Mighty Ravana just to explain us a simple concept: to rise from the animal instincts.
There is never a full-stop, our lives continue as new ideas take the shape of power. This is our greatest strength, that we don’t stop, we continue to move. There is a reason why the ‘full-stop’ just got up from his seat, grew a leg and continued to hop-on. So the next time you say ‘period’ just remember, Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost.