About 15 of us were enjoying our tea, during a break from long hours of studying. The past 10 days or so have been spent on listening to discourses and discussions on epistemology, among other things. It has been taxing, not just to the mind, but also to the body because of lack of sleep – indeed, most nights were spent in completing assignments or reading related texts that we were supposed to.
As I sat smoking and noticing the fact that the smoke seemed dense, I realized that it was cloudy and very still. In an instant, it started raining. And it rained hard. On impulse, I ran into my living quarter, took my shirt off and sat in the open, soaking in the rain. Some others tried persuading me to come back to the discourse as the break had ended, but for some reason, I just did not feel like moving. For the next half hour or so, I simply sat there, feeling the drops of rain fall hard on my face.
“I can only hope that is so”, I had told her a few days ago.
Hope is a strange human conception. For the poorest man, it is the hope of a better life that provides the drive to exist. For one who has constantly been starved of love, a yearning for the very same thing and in that sense, a certain hope is what could, if at all, hold his mind together. To the ones who are disturbed, in one way or the other by the current state of affairs in our society – and I think any ‘educated’ and rational human being would indeed be disturbed – it is a certain mental image of a better society, and in that sense again hope, that would in all probability spurn them towards working for change.
Yet, I choose to call it strange, for I see an element of irony here. It is by the very same act of hoping, that we also place ourselves at the risk – of our hopes being shattered and hence of facing eventual disappointment. In a way, it seems that hope belongs to the future, and inevitably displaces our existence from the present.
In that brief time that I spent sitting quietly and along in the pouring rain, I was grateful for attempting to just ‘be’, however fleetingly, in that moment.