Square Zero

The best Thanksgiving

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Circa nov 2016

" What are we doing here? We're fussing about how long it takes to get to work, and how difficult it is to please our boss, how efficient your workout plan is, how a small hack saves you 20 dollars on a pizza ! Is this what 13 billions of years led to? The price of your freaking pizza? You ranting about others on the internet? Or you bragging how superior your culture is, compared to the rest? We are magnanimously devoting our lives to us. Ourselves. Or our families. Or maybe humanity. Or in extremely rare cases the other beings of the planet. See, we are completely ignoring the powerful gift we've been given. We're the only beings on the planet who can read and understand this blog. Think about it! We have sentience. Conscience. Senses which have been harnessed only by our species. We are actually able to stop, think, decide and take control of our future. We are the supreme beings of the planet. No one better exists, at least in the known universe. But unfortunately, we've gotten complacent now, and started taking things for granted. Why sir? All the frivolous decisions we make, the trivial problems we're surrounded with, have NO impact on the universe. Ever. What's the purpose of existing if we don't make a dent in the freaking space? Why not dedicate our unparalleled wisdom and unmatched inquisitiveness to explore the corners of the universe? Why not crack the uncrackable human mind? Why not break the unbreakable code that governs the universe? Why not create a million more and implant the seed for the explosion? Why not get out of that milieu and reach out with the irrepressible zeal we have? Why not live the way it's meant to be? "

I posted this right after getting home from one of the best evenings of my life.

A little background: I volunteered a couple of times handling a food stall as part of a charity during football games at my Master's school. One of the many perks that had was an invitation to a Thanksgiving party at a professor's house. I rsvp'd, and took along Aditya and Yuvaraj. We were picked up by an older guy with a car. That was the first time I had gone farther than college in Gainesville. The roads, the neighborhoods, the trees and yards in the evening light will stay fresh in my mind forever. Tree of life vibes. The guy had a nice big home in a neighborhood. I still have a video I had taken while walking to the place from the porch. I used to take a ton of pics and vids back in the day. Anyway, there were some familiar faces there from the volunteer thing. We talked, joked and hung out till dinner. Oh, the dinner!

Sumptuous food, followed by some heavenly apple pie and other desserts, some Indian, some not. Their hospitality was just too sweet. The lady of the house had that Bengali charm, commanding and strong. I was actually in a house in the United States. I was still dazed. Then we all sat in the living room, and the prof, Mr. K started talking about what he was thankful for; I had no idea what he was saying, I was just too young. Then all of us started sharing what we were thankful for. You know us Indians, we like following the lead, following the pattern et al, right? Everyone was just saying "Yeah, I'm thankful for my parents, friends, family", whatever. I wasn't even feeling derisive, but indifferent because all the stories were banal. Then came my turn, and I don't know what happened. This thought just appeared out of nowhere and got out of my mind through my words. I started saying something like

"I think I'm thankful for randomness? I guess. Because a year ago, I would not have guessed even a little that I would be here today. Here in the usa, in this house, doing this. It's completely random and by chance. Yeah, so I think it's randomness I'm thankful for."

I wasn't doing this to appear like something I wasn't, or to appear smarter than thou. The thought and words just came out. And I felt awesome about it after I finished speaking. That was a spark of I wouldn't say intelligence, but a greater understanding and brilliance. That moment somehow affected me deeply, and I was a different person now.

While we were all bidding goodbye, a man shook my hand, and said "I like your perspective; your thinking, I think it's great" while smiling. I felt so proud of myself right then, and existential at the same time. Here I was, stranger in a strange land, having no business here, and still living the night and seeing the wonder in it all.

That led to the words I spit out onto facebook, while in the zone. Granted, this feeling and perspective slowly faded away, but every once in a while, I think about that one night, and it gives me inspiration.

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