Cerebral Fodder

August 2003

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FEATURE OF THE MONTH

TIME—Two Perspectives

by Jayant Deshpande

Time Cosmic

About a billion hours ago, human life appeared on earth
About a billion minutes ago, Christ was born
And a billion odd seconds ago I was born on this earth

I’ve been alive on this planet for roughly a billion and a half seconds
Rocks have been around for more than a billion and a half years
My life measured not in coffee spoons, but in seconds
A rock’s life measured in years
The difference in scale unfathomable

Can we ever hope to acquire such cosmic patience ?
We, merely a blip on the horizon of cosmic time
Our journey from origin to extinction just a blink
We forge ahead only with a unique brain
Intelligence but all that separates us from other creatures
Who plod along in spite of us
Mutating, adapting, evolving ever so slowly, imperceptibly
By the grace of man
Who must, after all, respect the immensity of the cosmos.


Time of Memory

We talk of contemporary; we talk of the new
What is new is new in the light of the past
The new sits on the shoulders of the past
The past clothes the present and the future
Time never passes us by
It hangs on
It accretes
More of it behind, less ahead
The clock ticks relentlessly away, time receding into memory
Making things seem
Always new
As though never knew