Can you jump into the same river twice?
Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philospher, says ~
"You could not step twice into the same river, for other waters are ever flowing on to you."
Heraclitus says change is the only constant guiding force of the cosmos and logos is the fundamental principle of knowledge and order of this universe. Both Plato and Aristotle keep going back to Heraclitus in their texts as an important referral point. And the Weeping Philospoher as he is called, had started weeping at the predicament of humanity as far back as 5th century BC, and became one of the founding fathers of Western philospohy.
Gurpreet Mahajan and Rajeev Bhargava's classes on Western Philosophy gave tremendous insights into the fundamental concepts without which no understanding is possible. My dabbling with the subject matter is shallow and frivolous. Nevertheless, it sowed within me certain seeds of curiosity which continue to remain dormant somewhere within my soul, however much i try to murder it ruthlessly with my bloodied hands.
I cannot think of JNU without the reasoned logic of Gurpreet Mahajan or the passionate voice of Avijit Pathak. Without the late nite protest marches and the library. Without the neelgais and the redwattled lapwings. Without Prathama Banerjee and the brutal murder of Chandu. Without the chilly meditative winters and the long walks on those serenading roads sorrounded by flowering shrubs and the sheltering trees. Without Jaya Shankar and the long tryst with Old Monk.
My visit to JNU and a 5 days' stay with Shanaa in Brahmaputra Hostel in this Winter of 2010 (how contrasting from the Summer of 1969, which of course i had never experienced but felt long after i was born) will most probably be my last visit to stay at my Alma Mater. It has changed. And how! Though i dont want to get into a nostalgic rant, the lack of students' politics and the emergence of the concrete jungle all around are the twin critical pointers which indicate an acute ill health of the beautiful institution. The post-modern predicament of JNU can be no different from the rest of the world. When dreams wither away, when ideals fade off, when activists become bureaucrats, when love and ceativity gets ossified, life metamorphosises into a Hobbesian Leviathan - solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
Can i jump into the same JNU again?