Black Or White

Food for Thought

Black and white


               The world is either black or white. Right from the yin and yang of creation to the deepest roots of the human psyche. The world is either black, or white.

Human beings, in their struggle to evolve from drooling ape babies to drooling human babies, have always had this tendency to simplify things. And what else to contrast best than black and white? Started with all the colour blindness with the first telly, and progressed to the much greater proportions of racism. Yes, that did escalate quickly. Because in our search for simplicity, we forgot uniqueness. Ignored, rather. Why complicate life, when you could simply quantify into a table with two columns? And that search turned into an obsession.

Now, I don’t know whether you believe in God or not, but I’m sure you can’t deny the fact that nuances are what makes the world beautiful. Or else all of us would look the same and pornography wouldn’t have much purpose. Yeah, I bet that got your attention. And the human mind is the most complex machine in the world. You really wouldn’t know when yours decides that it wants to screw with you and, God forbid, bad stuff happens. And yet, there are textbooks claiming to “put down on paper” what a particular thought could mean. I know most of Freud’s theories were proved wrong, but till they hadn’t been, think of all the patients who got treated with the wrong theories. And again, if Relativity was simple, Einstein wouldn’t be Einstein.


Black or white


Put aside the randomness of the above thoughts. Seriously, I’m really hopped up on coffee after a tiring day. Any and all attempts we make are aimed at the simplest explanations possible. And though it sounds like I rather despise the banality of simplicity, it is often that you shall find the most beautiful of the experiences there. Medicine, technology, engineering - all these would crash really badly had it not been that some of the most pivoting discoveries and inventions were based on the simplest experiences, thoughts and even mistakes. You’ve probably heard how Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin just because he had a messy lab. Yes, that is why my room is messy. I’ll make a breakthrough. Quit your judging.

Humanity did fall into a trench when someone decided to take the simplification fad too far and nuke people just because they fell on the wrong side of the table. And hence, slavery began. And Nazism, and a lot of other horrifying scars in human history. Even LoTR has Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White. Seriously, if they could just have used pink or something. And then there are the much proclaimed absolutes, say the “Golden Ratio”, that explain the very basis of symmetry in this seemingly chaotic universe.

White matter, Dark matter. White thoughts, Dark thoughts. This article is just writing itself. Or the Caffeine is screwing with my head and I’m hallucinating. Either way, while our search for simplicity does lead to beautiful things, overdoing it does the opposite. Everyone should KISS. To all the perverts, that meant “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. I take no responsibility for any acts of misdemeanour you might think you just got entitled to.

Do not explain your lethargy as simplicity. Go out there. Explore. And if you can come up with beauty out of your observations – whether simple or complex - well sir, I respect you. Meanwhile, guess what the colour of my coffee is? Black.

Sketch By: Ashna Panesar