Disclaimer: Existential Crises Ahead

“The realisation that I was 20 already, started to overwhelm me. I found it too soon to call myself an adult. I had hardly figured out anything. A lot of things enticed me, and it is hard to choose and stick to one.”

– Aayushi Sharma

 

I am a dreamer, philosopher, writer and an engineer-in-making. Some of it is my choice, while the rest is what fate pulled me to. I was living the life of a normal teenager, till I came across this incredible picture. I ended up sticking it on my master wall to admire it every day. It is a snap of the Earth, not taken from any ordinary walk of life, but from Saturn. The thing that intrigued me the most about this picture is, how, what we call our world, can be – as Carl Sagan pointed out, ‘a tiny mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.’

It has been more than two years since I hung this picture to motivate myself to go ahead in life, not to take failure very hard, and not to get too full of myself when I achieve something. After all, I am the denizen of this tiny mote of dust, and no catastrophe can ever be big enough to mean the end of this vast universe. Likewise, I will always have something to get inspiration from.


Things were going good for me, but amidst all this, I think I started to grow up. Children, usually don’t have a care about anything in life. They know only the meaning of present. It is in adulthood, however, that the past and future conspire to destroy the liveable present. A few months ago, I remember returning to my room after intense work, looking forward to do the thing I love the most: getting engulfed in the cosiness, sitting back and spending some time with my thoughts. I sat down, wondering and thinking, and getting maneuvered into a world of my own by my wheels of thought. I was calm, until I realised I was over-speeding into a trap of consciousness. At that time, I didn’t know how hard it would be to make an escape from it.


In that moment, the earth started to feel like a mote of dust, hanging in the sunbeam. The realisation that I was 20 already, started to overwhelm me. I found it too soon to call myself an adult. I had hardly figured out anything. A lot of things enticed me, and it is hard to choose and stick to one. I was working hard though. A few years down the line, I might be earning a healthy sum; I might be chasing my dreams and heading towards the top…


But…what is this “top” that I was eyeing? Was there any meaning to it? In this vast universe, whose end I cannot ever fathom, is there a pinnacle I can ever reach? Why do I exist? What is the meaning of it all? My heart skipped a beat…there were sudden heart burns that erupted like hot lava from my gut, which soon took shape of intense emptiness. An intense emptiness that was doomed to stay in my system for an unstipulated period of time.


This is what I have been living with since then. The heaviness of this irrevocable emptiness is what eats me up. These questions of existence still ring in my ears. And sadly, none of the subjects I have studied all these years seem to give an answer to it. Is this what our existence is, a small, insignificant, transient with no meaning?

– Aayushi Sharma

 



Catch the other side of the story on
Through the Looking Glass


 

Cover designed by: Anshuman Das

 

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