Marine Drive – Waves & Tetrapods: Flexibility & Resoluteness


Marine_Drive,_Mumbai,_India
Marine Drive – (taken from top of Air India building) Source: Wikipedia [1] [2]

At the NCPA end. Right at Land’s end. Sitting on the parapet. Looking out into the sea. Raj Bhavan/Walkeshwar right in front of me, the long arc of Queen’s Necklace on my Right, Navy Nagar & Cuffe Parade on my Left-Behind, NCPA right behind. Watching the waves crash into the tetra-pods, generating turbulent eddies of White Foam, in an ad-hoc chaotic way. I remember reading once that the behavior of waves could be characterized mathematically as Non-Linear. There was some tangential linkage to Chaos Theory as well. Not sure if it can ever be captured mathematically in its entirety. There’s something intangible & unquantifiable about it. Quite like Life. You can calculate various probabilities or account for various possibilities, or try to orient yourself along some direction or make plans based on some reasonable-ish assumptions, but Life has a knack of turning out in some Non-Linear, chaotic, ad-hoc, seemingly arbitrary way. Quite like the whooshing crashing waves. What it leaves behind is the White Foamy remnants of shattered dreams & altered Life trajectories – tragic in one sense. But then, what it also leaves in its wake is some new sense of meaning & purpose, an alternative way to carry on living – and through that, Hope gets rekindled. It’s almost as if the turbulent eddies disrupt your Life & Plans to ultimately reveal some hidden Grand Plans of their own. The Waves is like the Joker from The Dark Knight: it’s an Agent of Chaos; showing the schemers (mere mortals like us foolishly trying to formulate Life Plans, desperately trying to grasp in the dark for a sense of meaning & purpose, seeking affirmation of our existence & our narrow belief-systems, clawing in-vain for stability in an ever-changing world) how pathetic & ultimately futile all our scheming is. Of how things are fundamentally beyond our control, in ways we find it hard to imagine or comprehend.

And quite like the tetra-pods take a ferocious constant beating of their Lives at the hands of the choppy waves, and continue to stand still. Resolute. Resilient. Stoic. Imperturbable. Calm. Insouciant. Zen. Patient. Persistent … So too, must we weather the choppy waves of turmoil in our own Lives. And somehow keep standing, tall & strong & immovable as an Oak Tree … And just like the waves pull & push things on the water hither & tither. And the currents take objects where they flow … So too, must we go with the flow, and allow Life to take it’s own course. Let the waves & currents wash over you. Let Life play itself out. Be resolute & focused in one way. But don’t be too rigid, or too focused on the specifics. Let Life’s Grand Plan reveal itself. Don’t insist on a particular way of Life. Don’t be hung up on a specific set of conditions. Don’t resist. Go with the flow. Submit. Let go … It’s a fine balance. It’s a thin red line. It’s a contradiction & oxymoron unto itself. On the one hand, you’ve gotta be patient & persistent & focused in a narrow way & define your Goals clearly & not take your eye off the ball. But on the other hand, you’ve also gotta be flexible enough to take hits, or to take deviations from your planned path, and work with whatever you get, and make the most with that. With whatever way Life turns out. And adapt. And thrive. And keep moving … In the end, there’s no concrete answers. There’s no set predefined way. Nobody has any clue. There’s no guidebook or a fixed set of principles. The goalposts are arbitrarily defined & constantly moving. In fact, the Goalposts are individually defined. You can define whatever Goalposts makes sense for you (given a wide range of factors such as your interests/passions, capability, practical things like Age or Finances etc). And often, you’re going to have to keep redefining them. Time & again, waves will crash into your goalposts & disrupt your plans: Shifting them, Morphing them. Change is the only constant. The world is in a constant state of Flux. So is your individual Life. Again, quite like the Waves. In a constant state of Flux. Choppy. Turbulent. Chaotic. Never at rest. A never-ending TODO list. A constant series of problems to be solved, or tasks demanding your attention, or competing priorities jostling for your head-space, a process of laying tracks in-front of a moving train, a process of dousing 1 fire while birthing 10 others. A constant work-in-progress … In response, all you  can do is: keep moving. Ekla chalo. Bas, chalte raho.

Also, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson playing on 94.3 FM RadioOne (at least it was playing when I started writing this epic soliloquy. Since then, a dozen more songs have played lol (took me about half hour to write this whole thing; a testament to my ability to write a lot of meandering contemplative pensive hokum). In-between, there was Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison & as of writing this sentence, Rumor Hast It by Adele has hit the airwaves) … Anyway, it reminds me of my Father – who used to be a huge Michael Jackson fan. I distinctly remember him having an MJ CD in our ancient khatara Maruti Zen car. This was circa Late 1990s/Early 2000s. I remember us both driving around in that car, listening to all he MJ classics. Good/Fun times … Too bad he passed onto the other side. Been three years, but feels like a lot more. Would’ve been good to have him around now as well. But ah well, it is what it is. Life/Shit happens. I like to think he’s there in-spirit. Every time I hear an MJ song, he’s there through Nostalgic Recollections.

#MarineDrive #MarineDriveChronicles
#Nostalgia #LifeReflection

[Wrote this at Marine Drive. Around 12:30pm IST, Saturday, 25-Aug-2018 … Posted it originally as a Facebook Status, but decided it was contemplative enough to adapt (with additions/modifications) for this Blog – for a wider audience].

[Also published/mirrored on Medium HERE].

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