Have you ever met a soul that’s exactly like yours? A soul made up of the same colors and hues as you? The possibility of that might be a billion to one. Isn’t it magical how we all, with our unique colors and contrasting hues, exist under the same sky? And when we all look above, we realize that the sky might not be the only thing that we have in common. We all share the curiosity to find the answer to one question: What is the purpose of life? In search of the answer we all live, live, and live until we finally die. But do we find the answer? Maybe we do. Maybe we don’t. That’s what living is for. Maybe the answer lies in the question. Maybe the question is the answer itself.
I have a theory that the purpose of life is just, living. To be precise, co-existence. We lead our lives curious to find the answer but we don’t realize when the search fades away or fades in with every day in which we’re present with ourselves. Because the only way to connect with others is by connecting with ourselves first. When that happens, we forget about all the questions about the mysterious nature of life and that is when we start living in the answer.
Ever since humanity has started to exist, we have invented more and more tools to co-exist. I say that with full acceptance of the fact that the same tools have been used by us to not co-exist, but that has been talked about endlessly. What needs acknowledgment is the fact that we all somehow always blend, either by finding a soul that shares common hues with us or by finding a hue that we like. But our eyes are not the only thing that helps us find our colors.
The primary tool for co-existence is communication. Centuries ago, people used to communicate with signs, with the help of drawings and then eventually with languages. Nobody knows, to date, a verifiable story behind the origin of language. People have written books about all kinds of theories about it. Eventually, it all sums down to the need to connect, to co-exist. Everywhere you look, there’s a constant effort to co-exist. Even after centuries, communicating with signs and drawings is still eminent. In terms of communication, we have only moved forward. The will to communicate has led to the most important inventions. The requirement of physical proximity to communicate with someone has been completely eradicated. Right now, while you’re reading this, you might not know who I am but you are still communicating with me. There’s this innate desire of togetherness that takes us with everyone and everyone with us.
So when the pandemic made us all a danger for one another and humanity became a threat for itself, “WE” still kept going. It’s wonderful how we all are walking with death, to find the meaning of life. The four walls of our bedrooms made us realize that we, people, are both the mysteries and meanings of life. So when I miss the world outside my bedroom, I call a friend only to realize it’s not the world I’m missing, it’s the people in it. I continue to think maybe it’s just me. But when I get a call from a friend who’s sitting in a cafe with a beautiful view, eating her favorite meal just to tell me that she misses me, it makes me think that the world is nothing without the people in it. And how sometimes happiness and sanity are just a call away. I am privileged enough to be born in an era where I can romanticize all methods of communication. I sometimes enjoy writing letters to friends but I am thankful for the technology that helps me talk to them and look at them when I need them the most, even if they are miles away. During the lockdowns when everything shut down, from the shops to the temples and when the roads and parks were empty, the only thing that continued was connecting. The sense of collective suffering brought us all relief. During the peak of the second wave, my whole family had contracted the coronavirus which included my grandparents as well. My grandma's condition was pretty serious. Miles away a friend of mine had contracted the virus at the same time and her mother was in the ICU for several days. When we look back at those times and think about how we made it through, it hit us hard that were it not for the group chats and video calls that kept us hopeful, the sadness within would have killed us way before the disease could. One way or the other, we somehow still managed to be there for the people who were grieving their loss. Being there for people is one way to put an effort to stay in their lives, to put commas in your relationship with them. In the same way, when people involve you to share their happiness is a way they make an effort to stay in your lives. While writing this I think about the friend who had to celebrate her birthday without us for the second year in a row, but how the distance seemed a little less when we were all there with her, in the form of little blocks on her mobile screen.
So I am not sure whether this is a tribute to people or the means which let me communicate with them or both. But what I do know is that one can’t exist without the other. And if like me, this pandemic seems interminable to you too, just know that sometimes happiness and sanity might be just one call away. And when someday we all will make it through this dread together, the consoling days will make us realize that maybe the purpose of life does lie in co-existing.
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