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    Catch-22, Drown The Ship Of Theseus

    “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep,” wrote Robert Frost. These golden lines are from his world-famous poem ‘Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening’. And what’s more, this very poem he wrote in the year 1922.

    Now, begins the year 2022.

    Joseph Heller had portrayed one situation. And now I have a situation here. There’s a serpent in the woods. This wood isn’t the Garden of Eden, there’s no Adam’s apple here either to eat or to offer. And there is no one else here to whom to offer. The serpent has nothing else to eat to survive either. It is destined to eat its own tail to live and grow. Now, it grows a little, and then eats that little. And again it grows a little and then again eats that little. God only knows what life it has given to the serpent and what curse.

    Frost is gone. Nehru’s desk with these lines engraved on it is gone. No one checks the Bible for guidance, no one checks where his or her apple comes from, no one sees if Vivekananda’s snake symbolizing kundalini shakti in the emblem of Rama Krishna Mission has actually taken man ahead on the divine path of Raja Yoga.

    Only Gaia’s atmosphere is warming up alarmingly across the globe, else the warmth of the last century is long past. Another calendar year is also past. From where I see, I see the new century, the new decade, the new year, every new day ceasing, blatantly cold, frosted, frustrated and entangled in a Catch-22 situation.

    Now we have driven our lives to such an acrophobic summit; all roads from here lead only not downwards but to downfall. Going back is no longer possible, we have entered the Chakrabyuha without full knowledge. Going up is no longer tolerable, the creation has overpowered the creator, and artificial intelligence has overpowered human intelligence. Our doors of perception are distorted and the brave new world is gone psychedelic, doped in LSD, be it Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or be it Long Since Dead.

    Why my apprehensions say the new year 2022 is in a Catch-22 situation, is for precisely this. We contaminate our food grains in an illusion of overgrowth to sufficiently feed the bloating population. A minority of the population then wastes the majority of our food and leaves majority of the population in brutal hunger. We explode our population and hallucinate to invade the moon for 99 acres on a 99-year lease. We compete in a rat race for a livelihood and in the mad rush, life skips us.

    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra, 1975 Odisha born, a Delhi University Post Graduate in Social Sciences, with a professional career in banking for around two decades, is engaged in creative writing and with film society. As on date he has two English poetry collections published, “Farewell To Kalpana Saikia” (Author’s Press, New Delhi) and “Bathing Ghat At Kotipalli” (Athena Books, Bhubaneswar). He has published English Essays, Poetry and Short Stories with English language magazine of Kendriya Sahitya Academy, Indian Literature and few others. He also does English subtitling for Odia language films. He is single and lives with his parents in Bhubaneswar.
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