Sunday, January 18, 2015


"The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion, although a rather persistent one", Albert Einstein

This gives rise to rather interesting possibilities. Can I be present now, and slip unobtrusively into the past? Those who have seen the movie MIB III would remember how Boris the Boglodite escapes from a maximum security prison in the moon and travels back in time to prevent his capture, and confronts his own persona, back then. They have a running spat haha!

Can we slip into the future, unobtrusively for a glance at what lies ahead? 

Oh could I raise the darken’d veil,
Which hides my future life from me,
Could unborn ages slowly sail,
Before my view—and could I see
My every action painted there,
To cast one look I would not dare.
There poverty and grief might stand,
And dark Despair’s corroding hand,
Would make me seek the lonely tomb
To slumber in its endless gloom.
Then let me never cast a look,
Within Fate’s fix’d mysterious book. 

Oh could I raise the darkened veil,
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Can time be perceived in a non linear fashion? There have been instances of some famous personalities speaking of their experiences, as if they have suddenly found themselves right in the middle of mighty upheavals in the past, such events intruding into their consciousness. Did Edward Bulwar Lytton have such a vision of the city of Pompeii through a fracture in the space - time continuum to be able to write so compellingly of the city which was totally destroyed by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius?

Sometimes, exploring old monuments, one does get creepy feelings of being watched, of suddenly coming into the place which appeared to have just been vacated by its original inhabitants. As a child, I still remember gazing upon the battlefield of Khanua from Fatehpur Sikri, where the legendary Rana Sangram Singh fought valiantly with the Mughals. A child's imagination took flight, seeing the clamour of battle on horseback. Just imagination, nothing more complicated, thankfully! And there have also been instances of near death experiences, of people watching their bodies, all intubated while they seemed to be floating away. Imagine a peep into the future, watching your home or what remains of it after a hundred years, of your great grand children organizing trips to Mars and all that. Not the Hunger Games, hopefully. 

It is quite interesting to think of a yet unknown order that keeps the past from intruding upon the present and seeping into the future.  No wonder then, that in all religions, God is ascribed to be beyond all ordinary definitions, as the undefinable and beyond Time.

Every night, the express train rushes headlong, as it is doing now, slicing through the cold and the fog. I love the long drawn electric horn, which has remained more or less the same right from my childhood days. Wonder if I am really hearing the train or is it a throwback, a mental projection from the past?

"The past is never dead. It is not even past"

 (William Faulkner)

As the poets say, the dull pain of longing lasts forever. Perhaps it does, even though the actors in that particular drama may have moved on. Leaving the sighs attached to the stone cold walls of a dungeon, perhaps. Perhaps this is how the concept of a Soulmate has gained credence, that he or she has been present in our past lives. 

"Not just anyone can fulfill you the way your soulmate can. There's a world of a difference between your soulmate, your heart's other half and a life partner -- a person who lacks the elements to mold perfectly to you. Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit. If your partner is your soulmate, chances are he or she has been present in your past lives. Soulmates often choose to come back together during the same lifetime and scope each other out in the big world. You might suddenly and briefly experience flashbacks of your soulmate. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time has already taken place, perhaps a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting."

(Dr Carmen Harra, clinical psychologist)

Now then, since the soul is complete in itself, the very concept of  soul being in spiritual terms, as distinct from the mind or intellect and if so, the soul being nothing other than the universal consciousness, there is trouble with this concept of a soulmate. Mates there would be, at the physical, mental or intellectual level and these would be qualities of the body. The soul is nothing but the branch of a tree which pervades the entire Creation. In other words, my soul and yours, or that of that lowly cur, or that of the ancient redwood are all connected in a way that defies reason. 

That being the Indian way of thinking, I still believe there has to be something about soulmates, something that drives you inexorably towards the other, once again in a way that defies reason. 

Did you say forever
As in always and forever

Forever longing,

forever wanting
Forever for you

Meanwhile, the season of patjhar or the fall, has had a rather late effect on the pomegranate bush. One day I suddenly noticed it bereft of leaves for the most part, just ahead of the dip in temperature. Two unripe fruits remain. This bush has been a favorite stopover for most of the small birds in the vicinity. 

Before the fall   
After the fall
These pictures are from my phone, so the view is rather limited. Anyway, I would be waiting for the bush to turn leafy once again, for the birds to come nesting once again, raising another bird generation. All under the benevolent gaze of Father Time!

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