Every second of every day, there is some poor guy drudging his way through life, sitting in some cubicle, sifting through an endless stream of “important” papers that mean nothing to any, so that he may not feel left out of the idea of the “meaningful life” that was fed to him. Weary, red-eyed, he reaches home to his wife/pet/plant/cold bare floor, and flops onto the bed, wondering if it’ll ever be different. And after a date with his bottle, he falls asleep, away from the delirium, away from the chaos, far into a deep state of sleep.
But what if, just what if, he woke up the next day, and discovered that he had wings? Or that he could run faster than light? Or that he had adamantium claws? What fun! Would he then become a vigilante? Or would he just enrol himself as a delivery boy? I mean, he’d never get an order late! What if he reached the office the next day only to realise that he has been appointed boss! Would he fire that pesky ex-colleague, or would he begin by implementing all the suggestions that he’d so painstakingly written and submitted, before finally succumbing to the I-don’t-give-a-shit-it-is-never-getting-implemented-anyway attitude? What if he woke up, and realised he was a child again, with all the memories of his adulthood intact? Would he live life differently? Would he run to his mother and hug her? And in that moment seek forgiveness for all the times he ignored her because of work or any other reason? Would he respect his dad more, after having realised the hardships he must’ve faced? Or what if he woke up and realised that he was a big shot businessman, with all the money in the world, and the most beautiful woman he could imagine, for a wife? Would he go buy himself a boat? Or maybe go be someone important somewhere?
I hear John Lennon’s “Imagine” playing somewhere in the background. That sum of utopian dreams; that wish for a better world. And then what comes to mind is that joke someone cracked, about how if at any given point in time, everyone just took a drag of weed, the world would be so peaceful. Imagination, thou art a bitch. I mean don’t get me wrong, one couldn’t live without it. But imagination is what gives you your hopes and dreams. Like a toy just beyond reach, however much you might struggle, it’ll just manage to slip further out of reach. It can fulfil you or drive you insane. And no one will ever know, because no one can see inside your head, yet.
Every other concept that you have ever learnt, starting with the teacher saying “imagine a rotating body/ball/whatever” led your imagination to worlds you only knew intuitively, stretching your mind to horizons from where there is no coming back. Imagination is what made companies like Apple what they are. Imagination is what made people like Stan Lee what they are. Imagination is what made you what you are, because one day, long back, you only imagined growing up. For some, imagination is their bread and butter, for others it is what keeps them sane. For me, imagination is tinder (if your first thought was of the mobile app, I pity you); the tinder that sets ablaze the crud of daily meanderings that precipitates on my psyche, day in and day out. It is that fuel to the fire, which vanishes the fog of self-doubt. The world of imagination fills my mind with peace and tranquillity.
Sketch By: Jash Adeshra