Saturday, the meaning of life and the questions that we ask.

May 23, 2015

Life is intrinsically meaningless. It’s like a empty room. But what makes life rich, varied and interesting is what we are prepared to bring to the table of life. When I was younger I used to preoccupy so much of my time and energy asking – what is the meaning of life? why was I born in this timeline?

Now when I look back, that was such a waste to be asking those nonsensical questions, as all the while, the answers were always in me and not outside to be discovered.

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‘Some time back ago. I came across a distressed chauffeured driven car parked by the side of my lands. When I approached the car. An elegant plantation lady stepped out briskly and asked me in a very anxious tone – ‘do you happen to know whether the world’s greatest troublemaker lives in these parts?’

I looked at this woman for a very long time who by now seemed rather perplex as to why I did not supply her an answer. In a while she asked the question again,

‘Do you happen to know whether the world’s greatest trouble maker lives in these parts?’

This time I ignored the lady completely and turned my attention to join the driver who was hunching over the hood desperately trying to figure out why the car had suddenly stalled. Since it was already getting dark. I told the lady, if we cannot fix it before sundown, my lodgings will be made available for her. To which she looked most relieved. Fortunately from the looks of it, a branch had snagged the wire to the starter and it took just a while for me to get the car started again.

Thereafter the lady asked me for the third time – ‘do you happen to know whether the world’s greatest trouble maker lives around these parts?’

When I asked why such a question is so important – she replied that her father (who happens to be one of my many business enemies) had warned her to be careful of trespassing the lands of the world’s greatest troublemaker….as it would probably be very troublesome and the last thing she wanted was trouble.

That was when I told her, ‘madam, the worlds greatest troublemaker is standing right before you now.’

The plantation lady laughed and replied in a half mocking tone ‘but that cannot be sir. You are after all the Good Samaritan who rendered us assistance in the hour of need and even offered to put us up for the night.’

But as soon as she uttered these words, her once serene features began to change to an expression of grave concern. Perhaps it was the dying light that imparted such an impression. Or maybe she had recognized a distinguishing feature that her father had once recounted about the world’s greatest trouble maker. The faint bullet scar just above his right eye that ran the length of his face marked him forever in plantation high society as an incorrigible duelist. Perhaps it was his trademark copper colored sunglasses that he never ever took off even when the light waned – as many villagers believed the man who lived on the hill was not of this world and possessed supernatural powers to steal souls by just one look into his fiery eyes. It’s very hard to say, as there are so many rumors and different accounts surrounding the world’s greatest troublemaker.

Before the plantation lady’s car drove off, she wound down her window and asked in a tone of curiosity,

‘Are you really the world’s greatest troublemaker?’

I merely replied with an air of languor, ‘sometimes madam, the questions we ask of others are often the very answers we seek.’

After that she lowered head in deep reflection for a very long time and when she had raised it again as if to ask me another question or to say so something – that was when I signaled the driver to drive on. The car drove off into the bronze sunset. All I remember from that one encounter was the look the lady gave me from the rear window.

How shall I put it…..

It was an unalloyed expression of utter relief of not having the misfortune of encountering the world’s greatest troublemaker.

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