Why do we realize that we exist?

A friend of mine with whom I often discuss things such as philosophy and art brought to my attention a lecture on Descartes. It got me thinking about the essential points concerning existence and that led to a consideration of the words of other thinkers such as Voltaire and Sartre (Aside: What’s with the French and thinking so hard about existence?). In all that thinking and between cups of coffee, I wondered why do I realize that I have an existence? I do not seek an answer for why we exist or what we are supposed to do since we exist. I asked why do we realize that we exist?

I did not find an answer (no shame there considering that the answer has eluded minds far greater than mine for centuries). However, I did form a rather useless ghazal (unsurprisingly composed mostly of questions) that I present below:

 

سوچتا ہوں کے میری ہستی کیوں ہے؟

ہستی تو چلو خیر، یہ مستی کیوں ہے؟

I wonder

Why I know about my existence?

Even if that may be as it is

Why am I intoxicated?

 

میں اپنی سوچ ہوں؟ کسی کا خیال ہوں؟

یہ بات اسی بات میں پھنستی کیوں ہے؟

Am I in my own mind?

Or a thought in someone else’s?

Why do I get tangled

In that thought?

 

وہ ہیں مائل با کرم اور توں بے زار؟

کارِ خیر میں تیری سستی کیوں ہے؟

She wants you

And you are not there?

Why do you hesitate

In what is good for you?

 

یا خدا یکلخت کیوں نہیں جاتی یاد اس کی؟

قطرہ قطرہ رگِ جان سے رستی کیوں ہے؟

Lord why can I not forget her?

In an instant

Her thoughts drip away from me

As life drips away slowly

 

کیا شہیدوں کے لہو سے یہ شہر بسایا؟

آج جائے اجاڑ پے یہ بستی کیوں ہے؟

Was this city founded with

miraculous blood?

Where once there was nothing

Is a bustling town

 

ہر  لحظہ توں  کمر بستہِ  سفرِ میخانہ؟

ایسے کاموں میں اتنی چستی کیوں ہے؟

Always ready aye?

To go to the tavern?

You seem quite eager

To engage in such activities?

 

کیا  راز ہے اس طرزِ ستم میں استاد؟

تیری بیوفائی پے وہ ہنستی کیوں ہے؟

And what secret

Is behind this new method of torture?

She laughs

At your infidelities?

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2 Comments

Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

2 responses to “Why do we realize that we exist?

  1. fromartsbluemouth

    seems that ive found one of the answers b ur questions.. to be tangled in thoughts is why or how i exist..
    n کیا راز ہے اس طرزِ ستم میں استاد؟

    تیری بیوفائی پے وہ ہنستی کیوں ہے؟

    And what secret

    Is behind this new method of torture?

    She laughs

    At your infidelities?
    waahh!

    Like

    • Yes that too has happened once or twice… Sometimes a laugh has so many meanings behind it that we never know what particular meaning should be applied… The ‘laugh’ as an answer often lends itself to more unanswered questions…

      Like

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