It is important for me, as I am sure for many others, that at times my senses are dulled. Perhaps, I would say, in my circumstances it becomes a necessity. In many cultures and in many eras I have observed the most efficient way of countering pain was to dull the feeling of pain, by the use of narcotics, by letting blood out to dull the patient and in modern times by the use of chloroform to cut off senses altogether.
It is not pain that I seek to alleviate, not physical pain at any rate. I seek to run away from myself, because, well, I am quite bored of myself. You would have known a person who was so predictable in his actions, so hackneyed in his views, so mundane in his conversation, that to sit with the person for hours without any alcohol or some other person to take part of the impact was sheer torture. I am such a person for myself – not always I would say, but at times, and these times seems to arrive more and more frequently. If I had the ability and inclination to quantify this feeling of boredom with myself maybe I could have made an equation out of it and predict the time after which I would be completely bored of myself.
So it is night again and I sit here at a table in front of the Air Conditioner with my supply of beer and begin to tell the story of my life for the nth time.
I have lived a life most ordinary, I have never been a celebrity; I have never contributed anything truly earthshaking to the sciences, arts, philosophy or any such human endeavor. And yet, in a way, in a very special way my life has been the most extraordinary. As a matter of fact, it is a life so extraordinary that if I were to meet someone who makes a claim to the same extraordinariness I would brush off his claim as totally untrue without even bothering to investigate. Is it sheer conceit? Not really, it is more about being reasonable. I am sure you consider yourself reasonable too, so would you believe it if I told you that I have lived at the time of Indus Valley Civilization, at the time of the Buddha, at the time of the Roman Empire, at the time of the Socrates, at the time of Shakespeare, at the time of Kalidasa, at the time of Ghalib, at the time of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi and I live now, at the time of Stephen Hawking and Noam Chomsky.
Yes, there, I have done it; I have told you my secret. You wouldn’t believe it. That’s the most interesting thing about my secret; I have no need to prevent its disclosure- for its disclosure doesn’t hurt me anymore. At certain times and ages and cultures the disclosure was a problem, people accused me of consorting with the devil and so on and so forth. Not anymore. People would rather believe in any fantastic theory to explain events or proofs I put forward rather than believe that I have lived for a few thousand years.
So would you be interested if I told you the story of life, where I was born, the places that I have been too, the jobs I have held, the relationships I have been in, the friends that I have gained and lost and so on. Would you like it if I started at the beginning and gave you a chronological account of my life? You might say that you would be bored to death with it. But let me tell you there is no such thing as bored to death, I should know!
But don’t worry I am not going to do that- I care about not inflicting that on myself as much as I care about not inflicting that on you