Neanderthal to Traveller


Deepak Chopra in one of his books on ageing comments on an experiment where elderly people play-act their lives as if they were younger people. The group talks of politics as it existed 20 years before, are referred to as much younger people by their spouses etc. The absolutely interesting outcome that he reports is that this group soon starts to exhibit physical signs of reversal of ageing. For instance, fingers which get shortened with age actually start to grow longer, arthritic joints start to ease up and so forth. So it seems that Time Travel as its exists today, the idea of transporting your self to a different time through a sleight of mind has great benefits. Most of us would call this nostalgia.

Last night I attended a meeting of groupi, an interesting concept set up by (among others) Nayan Patel of Google. This was a relatively informal gathering of entrepreneurs with a liberal sprinkling of ‘valley-bangalore-valley’ types. At one stage the conversation turned to the personal decision to be based in India or the US. Here was a bunch of people grappling with a personal context choice largely on the issue of physical location. 100 years ago, this did not exist; this unceasing angst to get your ‘location’ right. To me this is one of the interesting developments arising out of the marvels of 20th century transportation.

The prospect of moving & the notion of displacement is the inherent idea of all travel. Whether it is in transporting yourself in a metaphysical way over time in order to reverse ageing or it is in grappling with the place you want to ‘settle down in’, this idea of motion & displacement permeates modern life in surprising ways. So much so that when the history of the late 20th century and early 21st century is written up, maybe this could become a defining peg. Maybe we will see ourselves as having moved from the ‘neanderthal’ to the ‘traveller’.

Oh, and if you want to make yourself fascinating & attractive to everyone around you, watch the video above. If you’d rather go on an indolent holiday and gaze at your navel instead, check out all my Vacation posts.

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