Friday, May 9, 2008


Sometimes when I am so neck deep in the vagaries and vicissitudes of living, I try to remind myself to step back and marvel. The best example I can give by way of explanation is times when I sometimes find myself looking over a beautiful landscape of sea or stone and then see an aeroplane slowly but steadily making its way across the sky as if it were set on invisible tracks across the often deep blue sky flecked with migrating giant herds of cumulus clouds. Sometimes it is so far that it is like a small black sliver.

And then for a moment, I try my best to suspend all thoughts and ideas and induce complete ignorance of whatever I have learned, and try to experience the imagery in that mental state. And when I look at the aeroplane in that mental state, I find myself in awe at the marvel of it. I'll probably be even have some stupidly serene look on. But there you have it. The average 747 has a maximum take off weight at takeoff of 870,000 pounds. It can achieve average (in terms of configuration) maximum speeds of 800 m/ph for commercial ones. More than 200 people can fit in such an aircraft. It is probably the fastest and most powerful transport vehicle that nature has probably ever seen (though I will not be surprised to be disappointed).

Then I look down at my hands. Rub them together and feel the softness of my flesh. Flick at my nails to feel my calcium brittleness. And then think to myself how amazing human ingenuity is. From putting 2 sticks together to light a fire in a cave, fast forward to about 8000 BC when agriculture first began in the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia and then to Neil Armstrong landing on the moon barely 9,000 years later and here we are sitting in front of our desktops isolated yet at the click of a button instantly connected to somebody, anybody. And if you don't like them, no problem, click again. What genius we are as a species. The rest of the living stuff prefer to be in the water splashing about, or on all fours and naked, or whatever. And if we round it up generously we achieved that in about say oh about 20,000 years. That's more than double time if you ask me. Wooosh like quick.

And after recovering from that pleasant reverie and after fully recovering all that I had so surprisingly easily suspended (there was so little to do apparently), I think what a stupid bunch of idiots we are as a species.


art harun said...

Stranger, stranger, lover of unreachable heights, why dwell you among the summits where eagles build their nests?
Why seek you the unattainable?
What storms would you trap in your net,
And what vapourous birds do you hunt in the sky?
Come and be one of us. Descend and appease your hunger with our bread and quench your thirst with our wine"

Kahlil Gibran:The Prophet

Lisa said...

Oh Fahri, it is so odd, but I have had the same thoughts, ex-act-ly the same thoughts! And quite often, I rethink these exact same thoughts all over again, and it makes me marvel all over again! Thank you for writing it up so beautifully.