Battling

Author: Nikita Suryawanshi

 

We all have heard people around us saying that life is full of struggles or what is life without a few ups and downs in it. Having been told this multiple times throughout our lifetimes, this beautiful quote has become something whose meaning is lost on us now. Yes, we have accepted the fact that one definitely does have to overcome numerous hurdles to achieve their goals. All of us are struggling to survive each day and to get through the difficult times of our lives.

But our own hardships have taken such precedence over others’ that we tend to think that no can have it as bad as me. And so in this situation, we are prone to disregard the hardships of other people. We, knowingly or unknowingly, may be impertinent to others and hurt their sentiments. Not everyone may be sharing or open about their problems. They may put on a smiling mask and pretend that everything is fine. This, however, does not give anyone the right to be inconsiderate towards their battles. Because, visible or not, someone has it worse.

Sometimes it may also go the other way round. Maybe someone you have known well and for a long time might suddenly be acting distant. May be they will yell at you or stop talking to you altogether. The point is, you never know what people are dealing with inside, nor what they’ve had to face in life. People don’t act out towards others in strange, inappropriate, or hurtful ways because they’re doing well in life. They act out towards others because they’re hurting inside, because their pain is getting the better of them, or because they’re on the losing end of their own inner battle.

One of my all time favourite books has been “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. The story revolves around the lives of a young girl named Laila and her neighbour, Mariam. Laila has grown up seeing Mariam in the neighbourhood everyday and has formed a judgement of her own, as has Mariam for Laila. However, circumstances lead to their lives being intertwined. This when they both realise that the pictures that they have painted of each other in their minds were very wrong. Laila sees the reasons behind Mariam’s distant behaviour and the latter realises that Laila’s life is not as perfect as she may have thought.

What the book taught me was that you never have any idea what someone is facing. Some person you see every day, talk to everyday, even a stranger you walk past on the road may be fighting battles that you never could have imagined. Everyone is confronting their own monsters and this made me realise how inconsiderate I might have been towards others’ struggles. As quoted by Shaikh Ruhi, “Everyone is fighting their own battle and maybe their fight is bigger and worse than yours.”

The Game of Life

“Was the moon landing fake?”, “Was Avril Lavigne replaced by a clone?” , “Was time travel possible?” These were the questions that consumed me once I introduced myself to conspiracy theories. They overtook the mundane thoughts I generally had: food, the unpredictability of the future and several replays of witty conversations. Even though some of them sounded far-fetched, like the flat Earth theory, there was something fascinating about them. I couldn’t help myself from sleuthing around; I needed answers. The ones with substantial proof made me question everything; Nothing seemed real anymore. Among the several evidence bearing theories, one particular theory intrigued me the most, the theory that stated the possibility of the earth being a simulation. Every other theory had enough shortcomings for me to accept that it might be a coincidence, but this one had more “What ifs” than “That’s absurd”. Of course, saying “We are a bunch of characters in a computer game” sounded insane, but something within me couldn’t discredit all the coincidences that had happened in the past and how they seemed connected to a computer game.

I used to watch Sims playthroughs for fun, but after hearing about this theory, every second of every video became an opportunity for comparison. In the game, the player was allowed to control several people at once. Their likes, dislikes, actions and lifestyle, everything was in the player’s hands but in the latest versions, the people were allowed to have a say of their own. For example, in the earlier versions if the person wasn’t given an action, they’d stay idle till an order was given, however now it was possible that the person would begin to do whatever they pleased if no orders were given and they also had the ability to deny the order and do something else. This got me thinking, what if the orders were analogous to our inner voices. Sometimes we pay heed to them, sometimes we don’t, just like the Sims characters. There were so many tiny factors like this that boggled my mind. In the game, the player had an option to cancel the character’s actions from a lineup. This seemed very similar to something that kept happening to me- I’d go into a room for some reason, then I’d forget why I was there. Another thing about the lineup was that the order of the actions could be changed, just like our order of priority. This was relevant to the fact that sometimes procrastinate homework to do something less important. We could blame that on poor willpower, but what about the times I decided to put nature on hold just to continue scrolling aimlessly on my phone. The game also allowed time to pass by faster at the click of a button. Nothing of that sort ever happened in our world, right? What about the times when time would drag on till the point where we thought our watches were broken? The times when every minute was definitely lesser than 60 seconds? It made sense.

The next 2 epiphanies I had regarding this topic were not as concrete as the previous ones, they were sillier. First, a computer simulation would explain every paranormal experience anyone had ever had, especially strange occurrences involving movement of furniture and other objects, from their original positions. The game had a feature where we could change from “game mode” to “build mode”. Game mode was the mode in which the game was played and build mode was the mode in which we could rearrange furniture, buy and sell objects etc. Second, the character’s wants would show up at the bottom of the screen and you’d have the choice of whether or not to fulfil them. This was a lot like the law of attraction, which states that “if you believe you will obtain something, it will manifest into reality”. Obviously, an object dropping from the sky would be outrageous, but the coincidences involving people getting what they really wanted were too many to ignore.

But if the world was indeed a simulation, that would mean that there would be glitches in the system? It would mean resurrection and immortality weren’t impossible. I was left with so many questions, more than when I began sleuthing around. What if the simulation crashed? Would life continue from a checkpoint, like in the games? Was that why Mandela effects existed? What was the purpose of this simulation? Who created it? And why? Who controlled us? I couldn’t believe anything as it was, everything had something hidden behind it.