Encountering the New

I have been watching myself or rather being aware when I encounter something new. A new person. A new experience. A new place. A new (unread) book. A new poem. A new (unseen) movie…. and so on.

It is exciting. This first encounter. I feel shivers of anticipation as I go into the encounter. With no ‘past’ to it and no reference, the first encounter is one of the most wonderful experiences in life. It has a certain innocence to it. A wonderment. And because there no ‘past’, there is no judgement. It is a direct experience of the senses and the being.

But like any orgasm, this thrill lasts such a short time. Before I know, I have started comparing ‘it’ to whatever I know. The ‘it is like …’ begins. And I find that the encountered is no longer real, but has become coloured, modified, added to, changed by my own imagination … The encountered has lost its reality, its innocence.

But somewhere, I don’t know when and how, the last few encounters have been direct and have remained real. No comparison has happened. And it has happened thus, without a conscious effort or thought. I suddenly noticed it that it is so.

My encounter with rain in Timbaktu (it was the first time I have really experienced it in the last 20 years !), my reading Binu’s poem, the first taste of Korra Khichdi with ripe tamarind chutney, my meeting with the ‘mathematicians’ youngsters and the rings they ran around us with their puzzles, receiving flaming mails, my journey and adventure back in the bus and the train, watching new movies with my kids, meeting my mother after so long…

They all seemed to have stopped at the experience without a judgement from the past. The freshness in the experience has remained. The feelings they generated remained undiluted. The encounter remains tart. The sheer pleasure of this undilutedness, wonderful !

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