Sunday, April 01, 2007

Parallel Mirrors

I wash my face and as I wipe it I see myself. My selves. I am standing between two parallel mirrors in my new bathroom. The mirrors are mounted on the medicine cabinet. I see myself frozen, white towel held to my face....to infinity. Apart from the fact that I hate looking at myself in the mirror and here I see only myself, many, many times (a nightmare) it makes me think.

It makes me think about other things. About reality. About multiplicity and about self. My self. And others. And a reality in which I stand in a continuum, just one image among infinite images.

For my birthday, my niece got me a kit for the National Geographic genographic project. I scraped the inside of my cheek and sent off my DNA. Now I know that I came from the L2 branch from Africa, from the coast. I still don't know how my ancestors traveled from Africa to India. Where the lived, how they lived, why they moved. When did their features morph into the ones I see in my mirror? I have requested those results and am awaiting someone informing me about it.

Till then I stand by myself in between two parallel mirrors seeing just my own face repeated in image after image. And far away, I imagine Eve, in Africa, my oldest ancestor. What of her remains in me? What of me was already in her?

Perhaps one day I will stand in between those mirrors and see face after face, somewhat familiar but oh so strange of all those who came before me. And perhaps in the midst of all these familiar strangers, I won't be quite so alone.

And in the future, there will be someone else, several someone elses who will also wonder about their ancestors. And that will include me. Strange! Makes me aware, at the same time, of the fact that my existence is a mere blip while at the same time it brings home the fact that we are all more important than we realize. We are part of evolutionary infinity.

1 comment:

Amrita said...

Hey Jawahara - long time :) I see you're back... and was wondering if I might interest you in the following:

Apu
Me

I really hope you'll join in. Anything goes, including disagreement.