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Looking for Alaska

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For the past week during which I have been reading and currently rereading "Looking for Alaska" by John Green, I couldn't put my mind off the question - What's the point? What's the point in living? What's the point in my writing this? What's the point of studying? What"s the point of inhaling and exhaling? If I stopped doing whatever I was meant to do, if I were to give up on my foibles and daily routines, would someone even notice? Would it make any difference in the world? I know that it's important that you go on dealing with whatever you have to confront every single day and persevere with all your little nasty habits because if you don't do it, no one else will, and perhaps someday it will stand in good stealth.

But a "perhaps" doesn't sound in the least convincing. A vague "perhaps" is neither compelling nor powerful enough to make you climb out of bed every single morning and go through the same rotation as you do on weekdays and weekends respectively. On the contrary, it makes my life, your life - even more preposterous because bottom line our meaning is entirely dependent on a variable - an unpredictable variable. A Great Perhaps. As if our whole lives- every decision we make, every endeavour we embark upon, from our very first breath to our very last breath we take - this whole time we are gambling. Our actions are like shots in the dark, and our target is a modicum of meaning, a clue to the purpose of this game or a fluorescent exit sign out of this labyrinth. We infallibly persist in our attempts to defy the odds but even if we disregard the unlikelihood of winning this lottery, the question who the winners are actually remains. We? The people who die and whose memory tags along to their funeral where it is abandoned forever, only to be revived on All Souls' Day? Or the people who morph into muffled names, instead of ashes and dust, and become the subjects of scrawls and doodles of students, and commercialized objects that Google uses as diversification to its logo. I guess, it's a lose-lose game.

There are mornings, though, when you and I, we, wake up with the boundless desire to work and to devote ourselves completely to the tasks are hand for someday all our toilsome efforts would be granted. We labour today in order to relish tomorrow. Even though we are reluctant to admit it, or refuse to believe, we spend every living second on this planet looking forward to the future - to the beneficial, perky variables that await us in the future, but in our thoughts and dreams we fail to recognise the outcomes that are not as benevolent but are much more likely. We all are "one of those people" that Alaska strives not to become. The people who talk in the present about what they are going to do in the future and never get round to doing it because you just can't put your finger on time. Now is simultaneously past, present and future. My present is my past future and, even as I'm typing this my future becomes my present. So talking about my future, I am in reality talking about my present and in the present I am still talking, so I'll retain my status as a babbling, gabbing, up to nothing person till my time halts. And the worst part is that you can't change this pattern. You can't get out of this frigging intricate labyrinth. You just can't. Because things never happen the way you imagine them, and even though we get our future, we never get our dreams, and the future we are all looking forwards to is entirely built upon and out of dreams.

So in the end of this tiresome equation (future + past = present = future + past) we retain our current state - the present filled with countless expectations of the future. In layman's terms, we are left with desire. Insatiable desire. And as the Buddha discovered precisely desire causes suffering for we wish to possess the unpossessable. We wish for what we don't own, and once its ours we go off craving for it, and find something else to drool over. That's the vicious cycle; that's the labyrinth. We are never pleased because we get what we have, and it's impossible to yearn for what we have... so ultimately we remain glutton. That's the whole point. "I don't get you!"/ "You never get me." - Alaska said. He never gets her so he never stops craving her. I think that's what I liked most about the book - the unfulfilled desire for love, sex, answers and a happy ending. Pudge's dreams never come true. Dreams are lies and lies can never become truth. I believe that this makes the book so enchanting - its veracity.

The labyrinth is desire, desire is suffering, suffering is the labyrinth, and the labyrinth is life. Life is desire, desire is suffering, suffering is life and life is the labyrinth. The labyrinth is desire, desire is suffering..... It's a vicious cycle. How do you get out of it when you are born right in the middle of it? Perhaps there is an exit. Perhaps one dies before one gets there. Perhaps the only way out is "Straight and fast". Perhaps one day we'll reveal the truth. In the long run, there is only desire and the desire to fulfill your desires. The latter goes under the name hope around here. And what is hope but a great perhaps?

“I was born into Bolivar’s labyrinth, and so I must believe in the hope of Rabelais’ Great Perhaps.”

And what's left for me to do except finish rereading "Looking for Alaska" and embark upon "The General in His Labyrinth"? After all, the closest I am ever getting to absconding the labyrinth is by reading.



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