Yesterday, I was taking a stroll in a nearby park. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t angry. I was simply walking believing it would make me feel good. All of a sudden I stopped. I couldn’t walk. I was completely frozen. Was something wrong in my brain? Was I getting a cardiac arrest? Maybe it was a panic attack. But it couldn’t be because I wasn’t having any palpitations, I wasn’t sweating, I wasn’t feeling any sort of breathlessness.
Most probably the culprit was an existential question that often comes to my mind. And the other day, it had a lot of gravity. “Who Am I?” was my culprit.
Am I a human?
Am I someone who is kind, considerate and compassionate?
Or am I merely my thoughts?
I think I am a good human but how do I decide what’s good and what’s bad? What are the parameters? Moreover, who gets to finalise these parameters? Why should those parameters be taken for a word?
I think I am an Indian belonging to a particular religion who is educated and very hard working. I think I am someone who loves watching movies and reading books.
Wait a minute.
What’s Indian by the way? Who told me that I am an Indian like it’s the truth? Why am I not an American or a British? Who invented concepts like Indian, American and British? And what’s with religion? Was Indian not enough as a category to divide me? And why do I have to follow certain rituals to become member of a particular religion? Why is everything so divisive in this world?
Into countries? Into regions? Into languages? Into cultures? Into colours? Into genders?
Most importantly, what’s up with my name? Why my name is Sumbul and not Basket? And why is basket a basket and not an apple? And why is Apple called an apple and not a mango?
Who am I in the midst of all this? What’s me? Who is me? Why do I know that there could be a multiverse but have so little knowledge of me? Why can I not figure out the me?
Am I just a body?
Am I my brain?
Am I the universe?
Because when I die everything will be an end for me. There would be no universe, no earth, no planets. I wouldn’t be bothered about countries as I’d be dead.
Everything will be an atrophy.
I still can’t figure out the ‘Who Am I?’.