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Being Alive

 

A scene from Ezhattumukham in Kerala

One of the most alive characters I can mention without having to think twice is Zorba, a creation of Nikos Kazantzakis. Even in his sixties, he possessed all the passion of a young man. He sang and danced, made love, drank wine, and did not care much for the silly politics of ordinary mortals and the gods of the same mortals. What would Zorba answer if you ask him, “What does being alive mean to you?”

“To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right…” Zorba would begin. Life is freedom. Free to sing your own song and dance your own steps. It doesn’t matter whether the song jars or the dance looks clumsy. Just liberate yourself from all man-made snares like isms and religions. And live. Live your life.

To have no ambition and yet work like a horse as if you had the all the ambition of a conqueror. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To be able to stand with the land behind you and the sea in front, feeling the wind in your face, and to enjoy the urge to fling all that you have achieved so far to the wind… and move slowly to the realms of fairy tales.

I have admired Zorba from the time I came to know him. I was in my twenties when I read Zorba the Greek the first time. I read the novel many times later. Now I am as old as Zorba is in the novel. I have committed a lot of blunders which Zorba might think of as natural. At any rate, I have learnt certain valuable lessons from most of those blunders. That’s what being alive is: learning lessons from your blunders. Zorba would agree with me though I never possessed his wisdom or even the potential for such wisdom.

PS. A certain dullness of spirit is overwhelming me these days. But fellow blogger Parwati Singari’s prompt - What according to you is being alive? #beingalivebecame a gentle breeze wafting from the sea…

PPS. This blog is participating in The Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa campaign. 

Comments

  1. While running behind the goals and ambitions we forget to live no?

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    Replies
    1. Precisely. Obsession with conquests is the most serious threat to being alive!

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  2. Very true. Such a liberating post. We just forget about living while running after what we think is life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If people let go a few pursuits life would be great for them as well as some others.

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  3. Its very difficult, but that would be ultimate nirvana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps not too difficult. But I can say with certainty that it took me long years to at least realise that I was blundering pretty much.

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  4. Hari OM
    Ah Zorba - a favourite of my younger years too and you remind that it me that it may be time to reacquaint... YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure he will lead you to yet another new light.

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  5. It's a refreshing and liberating post. Most of the time we chase mundane and trivial things but we think that's life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Absolutely we need to learn lessons from our blunders

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  7. Seriously, thought provoking . Great read

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  8. Being alive and young at heart can be highly liberating. Thank you for reminding us of Zorba the Greek!

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  9. I now have Dean Jones singing Being Alive in my mind!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. So beautiful, true it seems like we don't live. we run on a rat race.

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  11. A beautiful take on being alive and allowing ourselves to grow through life with all the flaws it had given us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Being on this constant hamster wheel, most forget what it is to live. To be alive. A thought provoking post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Finding the meaning if being alive is one of the biggest paradox of life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 'That’s what being alive is: learning lessons from your blunders.'
    This motivated me a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Learning from our mistakes yet enjoying life that’s what being alive means. No one is living perfect life. It is going to full with happy and sad moments and that’s what gives us strength.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a thought-provoking, refreshing post. True that, in chasing the aimless rat race somewhere we have forgotten to live the life in real sense.

    Archana Srivastava
    archusblog

    ReplyDelete
  17. A post to think off! Learnign from mistakes is the best we could do

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am learning with my age and mistakes

    ReplyDelete

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