According to the Greek mythology’s myth of philosophical creation, everything was borne out of Darkness and Chaos. Darkness existed first, from which Chaos came into being. “From a union between Darkness and Chaos sprang Night, Day, Erebus, and the Air.”¹ And then, from a union between two of these four, and their various combinations, everything else came into existence.
I know this because I went searching for Argonauts in my twin books of Greek Mythology. Argonauts! I’ve encountered them in the last novel I read, as a major part of it was about the Californian Gold Rush and its accompanied confluence of people. I found argonauts in the current book I am reading, but here they’re octopuses. The name comes from the Greek myth, of course, and is attributed to a type of octopus who builds a paper-thin nest to carry the eggs.
The book I am talking about is titled Trespassing, and is written by a Pakistani author named Uzma Aslam Khan. Suffice to say that right now, I am tripping on Pakistani art. Which brings me to, (finally!) Fawad Khan and his TV series Humsafar. I have watched the entire series in one and a half day. So much so that after I saw double digit episodes all-day yesterday I read Ayat-ul-Kursi before I slept because too many dead people and their apparitions abounded the last few episodes. And it was so real to me, which it also is as I write this, I think somewhere Sara’s mother is grieving across the border while Asher and Khirad are living together (yay!). And that, my readers, is why I don’t watch TV shows. They consume my life. More so if Fawad Khan is in them. The effects of Fawad Khan on any self-respecting woman warrant another post, which thankfully exists here.
A few months ago, when nothing was making sense to me, I thought if there was actually something such as the universe sending signs, recording them would do me some good. So, I started making a word cloud out of the words that kept showing up repeatedly. (I had blogged about it here.) However, I did not pursue the activity, I cannot remember why. My inability to retain routine is gnawing on me. I am rather piqued about it. While I love to stay in bed and watch back to back movies or just laze around and read till mother gets annoyed, I am now very fearful of just letting time pass by. I crave routine. I crave to make meaning of what I am putting into my hours. Of course, it’s not an obsession now, but I have to monitor my mind so that it doesn’t take over me.
The last few episodes of Humsafar reminded me of a Shakespearean tragedy. The entire series is about the human mind and what it can do to you if you don’t control it. In the last 3 episodes, all characters are met by everything they had sent out into their universe. Some of them are driven mad by their obsessions, their minds pushing them to extremes. Some of them getting tired because the had come to the end of their rope. Some of them, sighing with relief and being returned what was rightfully theirs. I think Humsafar is a fantastic TV series – gripping, realistic, driven, fascinating, well-written – in equal parts. It’s everything TV shows in India are not, which obviously means a good thing by a long shot.
Which also brings me back to how everything is interconnected (because everything was borne out of Darkness, remember?) and this fantastic piece of observation that I read quite some time ago. How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity. It’s about how there’s nothing such an accidental discovery, but the little things people have done which have led them to one thing, and then another. (One can easily experiment this by using the Google Now feature on Android phones. Make one mistake of Googling for the reviews of Fitoor, and everything that Katrina Kaif has done from fighting with her boyfriend to boarding a plane to Timbuctoo will haunt your news feed. Go ahead, try it.)
This interconnectedness is quite fascinating as well as scary. As much as it makes sense to believe in Karma, it has its unexplained black holes, like everything else. And yet, I can only think of circles. How everything is a circle, and what one my favorite authors narrated about this metaphor of circles. She said in a talk, “living [is] like a drawing compass. As you know, one leg of the compass is static, rooted in a place. Meanwhile, the other leg draws a wide circle, constantly moving.”² The leg that is constantly moving is the easy part. We go through so many things that take us from one point on the infinity to another and it’s as fluid as air. But I think the static part is the cornerstone of our lives. How we keep ourselves centered. It’s mind-bogglingly difficult and so easy to forget. Amidst so much distress and division, chaos and chagrin, excitement and euphemistic living, it’s rather simple to go off course. I find it therapeutic to sometimes stop and ask myself, specially when I can remember to do so – is this the person I want to be? Is this my center?
¹The Greek Myths, Volume 1, Penguin Books
²The Politics of Fiction – TED Talk Transcript