The unbearable lightness of human beings: Why I read and why you should too!

Most people function as if they are eternal. They go through their assumed eternal lives chasing things that are hardly eternal; chasing careers, money, foreign postings… women. They become Assistant Managers and Managers and Associate Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents and if they are lucky, one day, they become something that sounds important enough to impress a waiter at a high end restaurant to arrange a table for them five minutes earlier than he would for an average walk-in.

All of this is based on the grand assumption of being immortal. Or perhaps it is the other way round. Lives, careers, families, education even perhaps are all built to foster the grand illusion- to make us forget what Keynes so eloquently said, “In the long run, we are all dead.” And everybody forgets that- the smartest people in the world, the highest paid- the ones who run corporations and nations and terrorist organizations. We are all terminal. In the long run, nobody gets out of a life alive.

It pains me when people smarter than me or older than me do not realize their mortality. What will a great investment, an extra degree, a better sounding title, a bigger house, a higher paying job provide you except emptiness. Hardly anyone I have met in my life has had a higher order calling- hardly any of my friends or peers or seniors or juniors speak of this. How do you define where you want to reach? And what happens when you get there? Where does it end?

I think I owe a life to a higher order calling. What shall it be? Impressing a waiter thirty years from now? Or simply, to understand what almost no one will- the objective, the meaning of everything. I don’t want my life to be defined by Abraham Maslow’s pyramid. I want to understand why I was put here. Everyday, I put my head down and try to learn something new. It gives me a purpose in life; maybe one day I will have read enough- enough classics or satire or mythology or history or warfare or politics or semi-entertaining crap to make sense of this. That shall be my one true way out of this. I simply wish to understand “Why”.

It is incredible how much wool we pull over our very own eyes.

– Vaibhav Anand



Vaibhav Anand is a 2008 passout from Delhi College of Engineering and a 2010 MBA passout from FMS, Delhi. He is currently working for a Multinational Bank in Delhi. Vaibhav is also the author of the bestselling “If God Went To B-School”. You can reach out to him through Twitter at his handle @vaibrainmaker.


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