Taking a swift swivel on my rotating chair placed firmly on the rooftop of my pretty usual building enabled a three sixty degree view of the world to me. Any keen observer would call that as the perfect formula for a nervous breakdown, for that will probably encompass more data than our memory centers can hold at optimum functionality, or the cortical neurons of our frontal lobes can process coherently in real time. In most cases, that should have been enough, particularly for someone like me, for an IQ (ridiculously overrated term) that barely crawls to the three digits, an eye sight that struggles on every possible count, both spherical and cylindrical, and a thought process that is easily some light years away from being called as normal should not ask for anything more!

But I did not see much in it, strangely. There was a lot to see, but I found nothing worth a second look. All it (the sight) did was that it disturbed some familiar memory templates in some unidentified shelves of my densely (not so dense in my case) packed neuronal network before they settled down again, not even bothering to spark even a single action potential in my axons. Obviously, my poor observation traits were to be blamed for that, but it did not do anything to change my perception, however skewed and incomplete it was. May be the roof was too low to excite any meaningful vision out of my ill-focused retina, or may be my expectations were too high to command any action to my miserly attentive facilities for such a mundane and listless view. I would like to believe that neither was true.

I was looking for something else, something I have been looking for quite some time now. Actually, I was looking for the edge of the world, a place where this world ends. Geographers will happily vote me out of this world if they happen to read this post, for the first thing they ever read in their life was that earth is round (bhoo-gol), but I have always been more inclined towards literature than geography, or any other subject for that matter, so I guess I will not mind taking that risk; offending the geographers is not one of my greatest fears (I have many) anyway!

I was once told by one of my teachers that there are limits to everything, except for one thing, our thoughts. If we go by that theory, then there has to be a limit (edge) to this world too, for Earth clearly is not a thought!

Unfortunately (fortunately I should say), I was not able to see the edge I was looking for. May be the edge is not physical; probably that’s why my eyes could not see it. But just because I couldn’t see it does not mean it’s not there. I am afraid we are nearing it slowly and steadily, all of us, for we have been pushing our boundaries much beyond acceptable levels, sailing dangerously closer to that deadly edge in the process.

We (human race) have developed drastically during last hundred years or so. For example, we have accumulated enough stockpiles of nukes to set our planet on fire anytime, a stupendous achievement by any standards (at least the modern and scientifically advanced standards!); we have found a magical indicator of development in the form of GDP, a breakthrough good enough to permanently turn the hunger of the poor into their destiny; we are on our way to track the extraterrestrial intelligence somewhere in future, so what if terrestrial wisdom has been buried (hardly matters!); children are dying due to malnutrition, but longevity is not our prime concern anyway; morals and humanity are going downhill, on their way to a definite death, burning ignominiously under the heat of modernization and development, and ironically, we call it cool!

I wonder if this was the world that God had conceptualized in his plans. I know it is not advisable to quote God in any conclusive argument which demands concrete evidence. Any forward looking and scientifically driven mind (a category I also belong to) will dismiss any such plea in a flash, calling it emotional, irrational and anti-science. But before we do that, let us introspect whether we have got our priorities right, or we have strayed at our own peril. I am afraid the latter is true.

Economics and technology should make peace with rationality and humanity before they are allowed to advance thoughtlessly. Myopic greed of money and power should not be allowed to rule/ridicule our vision, our precious ability to foresee the drastic consequences. Immediate gains (monetary and political) should not take precedence over the conventional wisdom to act for long term goals (sustainability and welfare).

There is enough space in this world for science and humanity to survive together. The sooner we realize this, the better for us. Otherwise it will not be long before we will be able to see from the ground what I was not able to see from my rooftop, the edge of the world!


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18 Responses so far.

  1. I am not professing the end of the world, I am just thinking!

  2. mysay.in says:

    Yes .. I agree NOW !! There is an edge to the world as well.. humanity has developed fire crackers big enough to eradicate the existence of the plant if need be ...
    Reminds me of Kalidas, who was cutting the branch on which he was sitting :( are we any less ?
    Although his was a happy ending but for us edge is nearing !!

  3. Bushra says:

    Your post has put me in a dilemma. Now that i have read it,i am lost in the thought that, does Earth really have an end?! Could be...could not be......but again, that's the last thing i should worry about now :)

    A gripping article Deepak :)

  4. Hello dear (mysay).. That was a great comparison you put in. Though the story of kalidas was a simple one, but it has some deep lessons hidden behind its simplicity, lessons we should pay some heed to. Thank you dear for stopping by and leaving those words of wisdom. See you again. :)

  5. Hey Bushra.. It is only that dilemma you are talking about that made me write this article. We have got ourself tangled in a bad habit of exploiting without giving a thought to sustainability of our actions. Time to think!

    Thank you dear for coming through and having your thoughts. Keep coming. :)

  6. Panchali says:

    May be the hermits from the Himalayas can see the edge...who knows! Great narration, Deepak...this article makes the readers think...!:)

  7. jahid says:

    "the edge of the world, a place where this world ends" well this reminds me of the classic movie "God Must Be Crazy" :) Very well written Deepak Sir. May be we are moving fast towards that edge.

  8. The end of the world did scare me when we were in 2012, now that fear had kid of died down. After reading your article, I have understood that the end is possible and we are heading towards it. Exploitation of mother earth without giving her anything back has always been humankinds worst attributes...I would have said lets leave a better earth for kids, but now I will rephrase and say Lets leave EARTH for our kids and not put an end to her.

  9. Very well written. Doctor wala gyan pura likhe ho... Just think who dont like biology unka kya hoga? ha ha ha ;) :)
    But this is different style of writing from your earlier posts...
    And the concept of edge of world is nicely concieved.
    With brutalisation of nature and its resource and wanton greed of humans things are surely not going to change for good :(
    But we still have time to wake up and take concrete actions and this post is a reminder for that, it tolls the danger/alarm bell that we should get up and do something at individual level and at societal level.
    Good work Kripal!

  10. Anjan Roy says:

    You medical terms are impeccable and sometimes i feel i should sit with a dictionary...as frontal lobes...seemed something like astronomical stars...which could hardly be understood...but yes...i agree with your thought over here...humanity is on the verge of extinction...and we can only hope for the co existence of rather opposite forces...!!!

  11. bushra M says:

    Hi again Deepak :)

    I have nominated your blog for the Liebster...Congratulations:)

    For more:
    http://stillettomaniac.blogspot.in/2013/05/and-awards-go-tome.html?showComment=1368275852006#c4886480454607757106

  12. Very thought provoking post.Immediate satisfaction,maximum grab is what most live by,who is concerned with the general good?

  13. Yes, with what we are upto and what's happening around everyday, world seem to have an end. If the deterioration is as fast as it is now, humanity will end more quickly.

  14. This post is too good, thoughtful ...........Nice one

  15. Yes, it's very imperative today that we find a solution, rather a compromise between science and the humanities. Only a harmonious relation here will lead to any further advancement of the human race.

  16. Makes us think that the ego of having supremacy over the world is destroying us isn't it? Be it religion,country,food......everyone thinks theirs should be the best and we the pawns always suffer due to it......selfishness is the root of everything.....technology is great....but as you said there should be a limit to everything!

  17. What u say is right if we dont wake up now we will soon be going the way Atlantis did, destroyed by self ego

  18. Unfortunately, we are greedy beyond recognition, and I don't have much hopes for the world to realize the error of its ways and getting reformed...

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