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The Desert Teaches

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Deserts are deceptive places. They will show you water where there is only sun-baked sand. Whole mountains will shift from once place to another within minutes; the winds will carry the sands and deposit them elsewhere. There are no roads or landmarks. You have to find your way on your own. You need expert guides if you want to cross the desert safely. Even Ibn Battuta had guides when he navigated deserts. His guide in the Sahara charged no less than a thousand mithqals of gold.

It is said that the blind made the best guides in the desert. Eyesight was delusive on the infinite stretches of sand. Your eyes show you things that don’t exist. The blind see better there. They have the desert in their veins. They know the tangs in the air. They feel the tunes of the winds in their pulses. They see clearly without eyes.

The wisdom of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince tells us that what is essential is invisible to the eye. It is only with the heart that you see rightly.

We have shut our hearts and we rely on the headlights of our cars. The road is clearly visible with the headlight on. You make it even more visible than in the day with LED headlights. It is not enough for you to see the road but you should also blind the others with your LED light.

You see too clearly. That is your problem, boss, Zorba the Greek would say. If you didn’t see so clearly, you would understand a lot more. You would feel a lot of things in your veins. You would hear the sounds in the thickets on the roadsides. You would hear the crickets stridulating in the leaves. Fireflies would dance in the darkness for you. If you didn’t see so clearly, you would be happy!

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  1. Loaded with irony. Is there an undercurrent in this post? Why do I see one, something to do with politics? That's an amazing paragraph up there. I will quote it very often now.

    1. I didn't mean any undercurrent. This sort of writing is amenable to interpretations.

  2. Loved what you wrote taking it at face value. A very quote worthy piece of writing.

  3. Awesome

    Never thought deserts a post on that can give such a philosophical lesson. U r very knowledgeable. I hav read ur posts on fb and couple of times on blog. Good to see ur also taking up challenge!

    1. I have taken a break from FB after they restricted my account for a very frivolous reason.

  4. "You see too clearly" this is so very profound and yet true!

  5. The more evolved and educated and equipped we become, the more we lose the natural insticts. The landscape, you have vhosen to demonstrate this is unusual, and for that very reason, rather apt.

  6. The description of the desert is fit to be in the first para of a novel :-)

    1. Nice to hear that. Deserts are quite deadly places as I understand. I have seen them only in movies though.

  7. Hari OM
    (Wow, I am late to this party!) Devilishly good piece - life, at times, feels like the Sahara, never quite stable!!! YAM xx

  8. Loved this. Seeing too clearly is a boon and a bane.

  9. I loved your introduction paragraph. Looking forward to your posts.

  10. Wow !! This was a very different offering from you ! I agree , sometimes we tend to see what eyes see because of preconditioning / bias etc. I loved this.

    1. Thank you, Chinmayee. You gave me much of your weekend.


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