Tuesday, November 12, 2013

About Time

Recently, I came across a Youtube video of Javed Akhtar reciting one of his poems called Waqt which means time. Beautiful. On the video, his face reflects his wonder about this transient thing called time, which he has distilled in his poem.

One poetic thought made an impact on me. He asks, is time standing still and we are moving along and it only appears to move, like the stationary trees that appear to move when I travel on a train.

Wah wah!

And then today I read an article titled "Saving time: Physics killed it. Do we need it back?"  It describes a scientific theory very similar to the poetic thought I just described; that time is an illusion. The past, the present and the future coexist if we view the universe from a vantage point outside the universe.

That is uncannily close to what scientists are theorising. (Let me temporarily discount the possibility that Javed Akhtar read about this somewhere and developed it poetically. Even then, no mean achievement, really) Is this why G.P. Rajaratnam said, "ravvi kANad kavvi kaMDa"? ರವ್ವಿ ಕಾಣದ್‍ಕವ್ವಿ ಕಂಡ - A poet sees what the sun cannot see, based on a poetic idea that the sun sees everything.

A quirky idea popped up. There are some who jump in to the ring to claim that Indians knew "all this, long ago, "western" science is finding this only now". Would they claim something similar now? Or, does the language of the poem, Urdu, come in the way?

We need not say TIME will tell, do we?