Certain sights, smell, sounds have the ability to mentally traverse us to a bygone place, incident or a dream.
That is where lies the power of art. Art often strives to preserve what Time ruthlessly ravages. Often the change is evident when we visit a memory or a place after a long time- how changed it appears!
“Oh this place” we often comment, “was a lot greener. There were not so many buildings”, “Times have changed so fast“, “When we were kids, we were not glued to mobile phones like this”, &c. People call this an age of scientific advancement, development, anti-development and so forth.
I believe that this is an age of speed. The parody of this present day abstract race is aptly brought out by the meme where they show that the eligibility criteria of a job requires a twenty-five year old graduate to have a working experience of thirty years.
And behind the parody lies the question- How? How fast can you achieve? How much can you achieve?
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you can call him a man?
“Hard work is the key to success” is an extremely popular saying, and in an era where success is measured in relation to how fast and how much one has achieved, hard work is often replaced by smart work.
“Hard work is the key to success” is an extremely popular saying, and in an era where success is measured in relation to how fast and how much one has achieved, hard work is often replaced by smart work. AI of course has both negative and positive impacts but a human is too comprehensive an entity to accommodate in the ambiguous framework of morality, right and wrong, good and bad.…”
AI of course has both negative and positive impacts but a human is too comprehensive an entity to accommodate in the ambiguous framework of morality, right and wrong, good and bad.
Thus, even with AI and smart work and need for speed and people hankering after competition which takes one so far and gives them so much, one cannot but ask “how far and how much?”
Is it all worth the effort and work? Ulysses still strives, while writers wonder, how much land does a man need, and poets pen, how many roads must a man walk down, how many promises to keep, how many miles before one can sleep…
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
In this race for success, this need for speed, we often set sail leaving behind the roof we call home and take shelter under a new roof. Where would we get placed, where might we get settled, would we ever find a roof to call home? – such questions haunt every aspiring hearts.
In lands and seas so far and foreign, the birds flying home through the flaming sky reminds of our homes and the orange embers of the hearth.
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
Words crave peace but actions sow war. The world again and again gets on the verge of getting blind in the conflict of an eye for an eye. Species lower than the strata of humans at times display such a considerate air that puts human heart to shame.
Be it a bird coming down the walk beside the window pane of Emily Dickinson, or the two soldiers whom Hardy encounters just at the corner of the wall, hunger tests and tempts humanity- hunger for food, for power, for speed and greed, while men cut men like trees and put price-tags on bees and breeze.
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
But, even at the bleakest of hours, Hope shines strong. Hope that resides in the human heart nourishes us to strive, and seek and find, to go on living and not to give up. Carton dreamt of a beautiful city as he walked towards death with a heart full of hope.
The brown hands planting green lives remain hopeful of rains tomorrow. The traveller waddling through the desert finds maktub in his dreams and in the wind. But all hope and no work won’t be enough.
And that is why to the questions which life puts on our platter, Dylan sings, The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, The answer is blowin’ in the wind…
Paddaja Roy is from Dhubri, Assam (India)
Headline image : Bob Dylan ( Images from different sources)
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