Of starry nights and…

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stargazing 2

 

Look at the stars/Look how they shine for you…”

 

Chris Martin stole my heart away with this. It was the first Coldplay song I ever listened to and it immediately transported me to a whole new world. In a matter of seconds, I was surrounded by a huge dome of inky darkness interspersed with other blots of colors and illumined with the subtle glow of the… Stars.

Ah! The infinite joy of lying on your back and staring at the stars above, looking right back at you with their joyous brightness. You realize that it’s morning, when you see the stars mysteriously fading into the azure sky, with no inkling of whether they will be seen again. The feeling of star-gazing is something unmatched. It brings in a sense of fulfillment, a sense of  joy and contentment never felt before. The fact that it’s so simple and yet so joy-giving that it baffles us to no end, while at the same time, we continue to drift into the web of the stars and the sky, like some helpless bird carried along the wind in a storm. All the worries and pains and other trivialities of life seem to vanish in thin air. There’s only contentment. It’s almost unreal. That we can connect with the Greater Universe  in such a simple manner is something quite startling indeed. But, since when was “sophisticated” and “complex” mechanisms required to be happy and content?

In our chase for a better job, a better car and a better life the simple pleasures of living seem to have vanished into thin air like those super-expensive French perfumes. Where is the time to stop and stare?

 

“Stop and stare/I think I’m moving/But I go nowhere”

 

This line from “Stop and Stare” by OneRepublic couldn’t be more apt for today’s  fast-paced lives. It’s so difficult to stop for a moment and take in the views. As if the next bus to “Perfect Life Land” will be missed if we just pause long enough to take a breath. Let alone taking some time out to lie on our backs and stare at the night sky. In our quest for happiness and health, the need to stay connected with our inner self has been pushed aside by more “urgent” needs such as wealth, power, cars, super-fast gadgets and anything related to technology. This habit of getting instant gratification has never been more prominent in our lives. We forget the basic principle that, every good thing ha s to be achieved by hard work. That the fruits of patience and toil taste sweeter, is a long-forgotten thought only to appear as a divine realization when the computer or smartphone slows down. We don’t know what exactly we want, nor are we aware of what happens on reaching the summit of our heightening ambitions. We know so little, that it is nothing at all. Yet we are convinced that moving forward is the path to our happiness.

Ask anyone about what happiness means to them and the answers will mostly be something on the lines of- “Happiness is a good life with enough money and food for myself and the family”. Some would say- “Happiness is being in love with my own self and everybody and everything on earth”. These two are the extremes. In the first one falls the love for technology and all things materialistic, while the second one covers star-gazing and everything else that keeps us happy, apart from technology and the madness called “Ambition”. Just how difficult is it to stop worrying and stressing about the nearing deadline or the nearly dead skin and gaze at the vast dome above? Aren’t the creatures of the Creator there to look after us as silent guardians? Or do you think the Creator has forgotten to provide soothing balms for our wounded souls and egos? To find the answers to these questions, just stop doing everything for a while. Everything. Take a deep breath and look around you. When was the last time you noticed their presence? Or have you been absent for so long that you failed to notice their absence as well?

So many questions will arise if we stop. So many things have been left unsaid, undone. But it’s so easy to forget everything else when you are lying under a canopy of stars. Little, bright, twinkling objects present in the sky for, who knows how long and are still there enabling us to know of their presence and proving to us yet again, that even though are literally static and immobile, they are permanent and lasting. It is their very existence that proves how faithful a friend and companion they are to mankind. How noble and how joyous. It’s their habit of providing contentment and wonder in spite of being so static that continues to be such a surprise. Just like Keats’ remark about a static, beautiful Grecian urn-

“When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”-that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

stargazing 3

 

It just makes the present, the craze, the rush, the ambition seem so redundant. So pointless.

Let go for a while. See what happens if you let go o the reins. See where the wild horses take you. Enjoy the beauty of the Universe. Try to interpret its signs. Sink in the harmony of the cosmos. And you shall neither require a beautician nor a fat-burning medicine anymore.

 

Believer. Reader. Brooder.