It is sometime in the month of november, 2008. The day is saturday and it is the last lecture before the final exam. The dial on the wall shows it is 9.25 A.M. and we are waiting for our English class teacher. Yes, being a non-English speaking country, we need English lectures even at Ph.D. level. It is more of a communication and writing class. In comes the teacher, sits as usual. and out of the blue, he says today is going to be a debate. We are surprised. How can he? The topic is "Life is Absurd?". Even though nothing pleases me more than an extempore writing, the exact opposite is true when it comes to speeches and that too an impromptu one. But unfortunately or fortunately, I am not feeling well and can not take part or else I would have liked to utter a few incoherent sentences in my blabber.
By tradition, the seating arrangement in the classrooms all over Pakistan is that boys sit to the teacher's left while girls sit to the teacher's right. The brightest or most interested students usually sit in front rows while the most disinterested ones sits on the back benches. Anyways, it is time to start. The the Lady moves the motion as expected. She is one of my class-fellows who always sits at the back row and promptly replies any question that is asked by the teacher, changing the very definition of back-benchers. The teacher calls her as the Lady at the Back. Coming from one of the best women colleges in the the sub-continent, she has a fine accent and is vastly knowledgeable as well as being resourceful in the English language. And that is why I admire her even if her constant questioning during the lectures put me off during the class. Well, she is actually against the topic and she says that life is not absurd. Most of the times she uses Islam in her arguments, and i agree with her every word even though I would like her to speak outside the context of Islam as there are 80 percent non-Muslims living in this world. But none the less, she is as usual impressive in her oration.
There are a few others as well who speak on the topic and most of them are against it and using the same arguments. Only two or three persons speak in favour of the motion but can not defend it with solid arguments.
Then when all seems settled, and we are thinking that life is not absurd after all, the Lady springs to her feet and announces that she wants to speak in favour of the motion. I am disappointed. She speaks. Speaks of the maids in her home, the children, the beggars who have no aim in their life. They are only waiting for death to come and in between they are pretending to live their lives. But i am not convinced. I think everybody has an aim in life. Everything in this world is for a reason. Even beggars have small targets to achieve. So I do not buy her arguments. And the year ends on my being in disagreement with the Lady.
|Faces of Life|
Fast forward or may be slow forward to 2012 and the events of the last month or so, lead me to change my opinion. Life seems to be absurd. We do not have any aim in our lives. We work hard for our school, college and university studies and then we go from pillar to post to find a good job and then maybe a spouse and then children. Then we do every fair and unfair thing to make our children happy and succesful. and then we retire, sent to old homes and wait for months to see our own children for whom we sacrifice everything. And in the end death comes to us while we say to ourselves that oh, life was so short.
Now after 3 years, I feel like first she was wrong and I was wrong and we both agreed on the wrong thing. Then she corrected herself and I stood firmly on the wrong thing and did not agree with her. But now I think she was right then and I was wrong.
What is your opinion about this? If you think Life is Absurd, leave 3 comments. And if you think Life is not Absurd, leave 5 comments. In the end we will decide on voting.