On life and its vagaries

The meaning of life

with 12 comments

Everyone has off moods now and then. It is not a sin. It happens to the best of us. Yet there are exceptions.

There was this friend of mine. He was so full of life that I never saw him without a smile. It was a nice smile too. He seemed to exude strong vitality all round wherever he was.

It was contagious. One can’t escape being affected by it.  He was blessed with an unthinking mind too. It used to irk me sometimes.

I asked him once mischievously:

“What is the meaning of life, man?”

The guy cringed like he was hit by a hammer.

“The thing should have a meaning you say? Good God never thought of that!”

He stood there musing in that strange way he had at such times and then with a feigned sadness shook his head.

“It beats me” He winked at me “It beats me hollow”

We all laughed.  We were sitting on the top of a hill looking down to the freshly planted paddy fields at a distance. It looked like a vast green basin between the surrounding hills.  We could hear the muted sounds coming from the village hidden somewhere below the hills.

The evening was particularly still that day. Not even a breeze stirring. The rock we were sitting on was still warm from the sun.

He had just taken off his T shirt and was standing there in the fading light of the humid evening stretching himself.

He had a wonderfully chiseled body and probably would have won any body building competition in his weight category. There was poetry in his body, every tiny muscle evenly merging with the rest to create a rippling and vibrant unity.

We all used to say “Wow” when it was on display.  It was not merely muscle mass. Not many muscle men have such aesthetically pleasing appearance. He knew of it too and was very naïve about it.

He strode around in great pride and after striking some ridiculous poses spoke rather shrewdly, all the while looking at me sideways.

“It could be meaningless too, couldn’t it?”

He had come up better than I expected.

The fact is, we rarely think about such things in the normal course of our life. We stumble upon the question quite unawares when we are hit by the heavy hand of circumstances. A very thick hand that is too, quite deadly and punishing.

We are then suddenly very aware of our mortality and our stupidity; we want to hide from everyone and everything if possible.

Did you ever think why people say “Leave me alone” at such moments of total illumination? Well, well, they do not want to share their wonderful enlightenment with the less blessed! One can’t blame them too.

I have to end this on a sad note.

That friend of mine, he was a wood cutter by profession, was crushed between two giant logs of wood in an accident. He was unrecognizable.

He had a great zest for life while he was alive, whether it had any meaning or not…………


Written by Sam

August 18, 2009 at 6:10 pm

12 Responses

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  1. most of the time, the illuminated individual would try to tell, but it remains incomprehensible to us. probably because we are too proud to understand, or it is beyond our limitation capacity to comprehend.


    August 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm

  2. Honestly I labor under such limited capacity! That dig was nice. I stand corrected 🙂

    Welcome to the blog


    August 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm

  3. I like your writing, it sometimes reads like poetry. Sounds nice and rythmic read aloud. Anyway, there IS no meaning to life. Our job is to life our lives as if they have meaning within that life we live, but in the end, it all just is. Better to live life than spend time searching for a meaning which isn’t there.


    August 25, 2009 at 3:54 am

  4. Those were kind words, thank you very much.

    And yes, I have to agree, life seems totally meaningless from the perspective of a human individual. We may talk about spirituality and other worlds and the evolution of consciousness and so on. But as yet no one has come back from the dead to tell us anything. It is as simple as that.

    So life, as we know it, can only be a brief interval between birth and death. If it has any meaning, it is given to it by us. Thus to some life is a struggle to find truth or god and to some others it is only an accidental experience in the evolution of matter. There could be an infinite variety of added meanings within these broad streams too. Power, wealth, artistic excellence, sex, physical prowess, teaching, family life, popularity, scientific enquiry, knowledge, all these can be both our aims and add meaning to our lives. But in the end it is all meaningless and ends in death. What is there to prove that we would continue to exist as conscious entities after death?

    Nothing, nothing at all.

    So this quest for meaning is not even a matter of right and wrong, it’s a matter of comforting ourselves. We feel safe behind the enclosures of our own little philosophical systems. They quell the nervous fear that we have of life and death.

    Yes I agree with you, individual human life has no meaning at all.

    Please come and visit often.


    August 25, 2009 at 6:28 am

    • There is one who has come back from the dead – or has certainly claimed to have come back – read the book of Luke in the gospels if you are really interested in findin the meaning of life.

      Captain Jack

      December 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm

      • Well Captain Jack,

        Thank you for your comment.

        I like Luke, and all bible is sheer poetry. But sadly the fact remains that we have no accounts of those raised from the dead themselves! We only have the reports of others to go by.

        I am not even questioning the veracity of the reports, but one or two such reported incidents in the course of whole human history are a a bit thin to base a theory upon 🙂


        December 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm

  5. i never bother about meaning of life, i am too happy living it..


    September 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm

  6. That’s lovely, that is all there to it, to live and to be happy about it.


    September 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

  7. That was quite an interesting read. I like your writing style as well.


    October 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  8. Nice of you to say that shayanafzal 🙂

    I had forgotten that I had been to your site a while back!

    You are welcome to everything I have here.


    October 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm

  9. The meaning of life. Nothing. We live, and we die.


    May 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

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