Change has been a part of my life since time memorial. With more schools than fingers on my hands, and more names of new friends to remember than the number of elements in the periodic table, change and I have been constant companions through life. I attribute whatever little skill I have with numbers to the regular memorizing of my new phone numbers, roll number, house number, street number, STD code and pin code. After, more than two decades of being so close to change, I cannot say with conviction that I have understood change. For someone for whom change has been as much a part of life as breathing, I can’t say change has ever failed to mystify me. Change has always enchanted me. For me, change will always be as enigmatic as ever.

When things changed, I always looked for a frame of reference so I know where things are headed. To give me a sense of direction. But all my attempts to search for this stationary frame of reference were futile. I couldn’t pin point one thing in my life that has been constant throughout. Circumstances, materialistic things, people, everything seemed to change over time.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man”

Heraclitus of Ephesus

But I need not despair. There were other philosophers to rescue me from drowning in Heraclitus’ flux.

This view was strongly opposed by Parmenides, who said that reality was permanent and unchanging. According to Lavine, Parmenides asked, “How can a thing change into something else? How can it be and not be?” According to Parmenides, change is merely an illusion.

Plato believed that each thing has one unchanging essence.

I just had to find that unchanging essence. I decided I couldn’t find it in the outside world. So I started looking within me. And I am still looking for it. I know, even I have changed over time. For I firmly believe, if you do not change, life will change you, but not on your terms.

Change is not always comfortable. Change is not always as simple as a diaper change. There is no guarantee that the new scenario is always warm and dry. The beginning and end of change is actually beautiful. It’s the middle that can be disconcerting.

“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear . . . . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”

– Marilyn Ferguson

But then again, change is not such a bad thing,

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers”

– M. Scott Peck

Change can be of various types. Ranging from the subtle yet ever present to the bolts from the blue that appear like lightning.

Change can be subtle. I can keep admiring the picture. Believing it to be reality. And all the while, the agents of change are hard at work behind the scenes. Changing each pixel of the picture. One by one. And before I know it a whole new picture emerges. New developments creep in. And a realization dawns that all this while, I was looking at the negatives. The real picture is much brighter. Or was it vice versa? The negative is the “real” original picture isn’t it? The brighter the picture, the darker the negative.

Change can be so imperceptible that only after black turns to white and white turns to black do I realise that nothing was actually black or white. Just shades of grey. Different shades of grey created by different densities of grey specks of dust. Suspended specks of dust were just obscuring my view. Let Father Time take a few deep breaths. It takes just a gentle breeze of time to blow away the dust and make me realise that behind the dust lies another ocean of grey sand. Every breeze changing the landscape as I had known it. Every breeze wiping away the trails. Every breeze inviting me to create a new path of my own in the sand. Only to be wiped away again the next time Father Time takes a deep breath.

The lucky ones amongst us get our grains of sand near a sea. The sea lets us build our castles… Sand castles… But castles nonetheless… Only to wash it away with the waves of time. The difference between the winds of time and the waves of time is that the sea is kind enough leave behind a clean slate on which I can rebuild. It cleanses me as it goes away with my castle… Sand castle… But my castle nonetheless… Leaving behind water among the grains to give company to my tears. The wind just blows it all away. No, the wind also dries up my tears. They are both kind enough to try to hide my tears. One by camouflage. The other by evaporation.

Change can be fleeter than our thoughts. Like bolts from the blue that appear like lightning. Revealing the things that were hidden by the darkness of illusion of permanence. They disappear faster than they arrived. Yet they leave behind the thunderous realization that the sudden change itself was not an illusion. It was there. It leaves its resonant impact on us. Even after the thunder is gone, the reverberation lasts a long time. Leaving us looking back and trying to find the microscopic threads that might connect our past to our present. Leaving us trying to cling to the last fibre that might help us establish any correlation between the past and the present. The past and the present – separated by the bolt of change that left us bewildered.

Change has been a part of me, part of my life for so long that its kind of hard to imagine what life would have been like without change. Yeah, I would have made closer friends over time had I stayed with them for a longer time. I would have been better at this game if only life would give me a chance to settle down. But as soon as I find the answer to one question, they change the question, before I can use my solution. But change has made it possible for me to feel the joy that one feels when you meet an old friend you haven’t met for years. Change has made it possible for me to have those endless conversations with old friends where we catch up on old times. Change has made it possible for me to have that adrenaline rush when I know something new and exciting is going to pop up.

Change will always be a part of my life. It has always been with me. It has kept me going. The driving force behind me. Unknowingly, over time, I have fallen in love with change. Change has made me what I am. I wouldn’t be what I am if it weren’t for change. Is that a good thing? My answer to that question also keeps on changing.

And thus as I fall in love with change, my search for something permanent comes to an end. I have found something in my life that has never changed. I found something that I can rely on to endure the waves of time with me. Surprisingly, its Heraclitus who comes to my rescue…….

“Nothing endures but change.”

– Heraclitus of Ephesus

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4 thoughts on “CHANGE”

  1. "The beginning and end of change is actually beautiful. It’s the middle that can be disconcerting"

    This is what most of us fear!!
    Nicely written..

  2. Change is inevitable. It happens every second regardless of one’s relative position (literally and figuratively). It all depends on how well you adapt to it. Nevertheless an interesting take on “Change”.

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