Saturday, September 15, 2012


The walls that surrounded me were pitch black, and I could only see a bridge strewn across it, in a nonchalant flow of brick and concrete. Behind the wall was a city full of 24-storey buildings. They appeared to arise from the bridge, stolid from digging their roots into the steel dock. In that brief moment of observation, I felt like I was underground, in a non-existent reality. However, unlike the Ghost of Christmas that observed the world from the skies, I was the Halloween Devil, entrapped in the Earth’s basement, craning my neck to catch a breath of life.

I wanted to get onto that bridge, but I didn’t know how to. Its ends were obscured by the blackness of the wall. How do I find them?

How do I escape to my horizon?

In a frenzy, I began walking towards the bridge. It was easy to lose sight of it, because the nearer I got to the wall, larger seemed the blackness. At a point, I could see my bridge directly above me. Even though that made me feel close to the life above, it concealed the only glimpse of existence I had. It made me think of basic human instincts: of how, when the goal is more visible, the will is stronger.

The most overpowering reality is that which is tangible.

How I wished I could stretch my hands and run my fingers along the glass windows of those buildings! If only I could stroke them with my fingertips, I’m sure I could have garnered enough power to grow a pair of wings and fly into the city of my dreams.

Instead, it was hope I had to hold onto.

The bridge was directly overhead, so I started walking beneath it, in parallel, assuming that that way, I would see when its level starts coming down, and I know I’m nearing my entry into the world above.

But it just didn’t.

The bridge continued to remain parallel to my head, even though I was sure I had walked miles! This struck me as very odd, because from afar, it did not seem that lengthy. Then why did it seem to stretch so?

I concluded that it was probably an illusion. Maybe from a distance, it just seemed shorter. With that in mind, I continued to walk.

And walk. And walk.

And walk.

To no avail.

Tired of this seeming paradox, and fatigued physically as well, I decided to walk perpendicular to my current direction the, away from the wall, in order to view the bridge from a distance and console myself of its finiteness. After walking what seemed like a mile without looking back, I closed my eyes and turned around. When I opened them, I saw the bridge similarly terminable as before! A very eclectic feeling overpowered me, and I did not know whether I wanted to cry or to laugh. Nevertheless, the confirmation enhanced my hope, and I decided to walk at this distance from the bridge, so as to get a continuous view.

When I finally saw the level of the bridge receding, I was overjoyed! I felt like this in itself was an achievement. I started hopping towards the wall again, with a permanent smile on my face, a mark of pride and relief. The joyous stride however slowly translated into a tired stroll. The journey seemed endless. And what was more, I hardly seemed to be getting nearer to the wall!

How could this be?!

I had walked this path two times over, and managed to go to and fro the bridge. What was so different this time? Somewhere inside me, I knew the answer, but my logic defied it. Physical distances were permanent. They could not change with the emotions of the person trying to transcend them!

Rationality is the only constant.

Constant not in this world of three-dimensional infinities, unfortunately, where infinity itself was eccentric. I suddenly realized that that was probably where logic was failing me. When talking about infinities, we are trumping all reason, all definition, and all constancy. And in what is transient, there is no eccentricity. There is only unpredictability.

I sat down. Strangely, this was not because I had accepted defeat. No, my will was still strong. On the contrary, it was because I felt wiser. One must not be oblivious to the truth, I told myself. One must accept it, and then search for a greater truth that encompasses that truth.

Ever-increasing degrees of truth? Everything is infinite, I realized. Especially in a world where infinity is the only truth.

So all I really needed to do was to stretch my hands...


  1. quite nice.....although sometimes i feel like this is quite "bookish" sorry if i am doing mistake here....i became more interested in knowing ur Inspiration to write this....

    1. I don't understand what you mean by 'bookish'. Inspiration is this book I'm reading, called Sophie's World, and my morning walks, where I felt like buildings were rising from the flyover :)

  2. getting inspiration from book is called bookish...rather wht u really faced or felt in real life....

  3. So, I started writing a comment, but it became so long (more than 4096 characters) that I had to turn it into a blog post of my own. Nevertheless it is still a "comment" to your post (all the you in my blog post, refer to YOU - Pragya!):

  4. So what I wrote in the blog post is just a scratch on the surface of all that I have explored on the subject. It seems you are a fan of "mechanisms" just like me - we are more interested in the genesis of an idea in the scientist's mind than the idea itself! - how clumps of things come together to form something larger than the parts is the awesomest thing in nature. Of course biology is full of mechanisms too at the molecular level.

    So it also feels great that I can exchange notes on books to read and movies to watch with you. And now I look forward to watching "Into the wild" next week and read the books you suggested.

    And yes I am "the lithiumhead" who has a copy of your nanaji's book. I might have a fascinating tale to tell you, but maybe we should do that over a not-so-public forum - email or fb can do.

    But just to pique your interest: 12.5% of mine and yours DNA come from the same human couple :)

  5. lithiumhead at google mail service dot com

  6. or here: