(Click here for Original Marathi version)

Hunger… It is perhaps the singular instinct that animals are born with. Their first cry at birth is but a plea to satisfy this need.

But what about us humans?

It’s probably the same, but human hunger is insatiable and often all-consuming.

How so?

At birth, the instinct is perhaps no different, and human hunger, like that in animals, revolves around the need to fill one’s stomach; a pure survival instinct. At birth, our hunger is no different than the hunger of animals. The process of truly becoming ‘human’ starts where human senses begin to develop and begin to have needs of their own. While hunger in animals stays linked to an instinctive desire to survive, human hunger grows in scale & scope with our senses, moving beyond survival to become something that controls our very core, and every move.

The fascinating complexity and brilliance of the human brain can be both a boon and a curse – capable of both our enlightenment and our destruction. Hunger becomes the bedrock of our thoughts and feelings, leading to the corruption of our senses. Actions, anger, greed, arrogance, desire, jealousy…. hunger entraps our basic feelings and makes them dance to its tune…. it locks us in a cycle; from barely fulfilling our hunger, to feeling hungry again; a cycle from which there seems to be no escape.

Alarming….and for how long does this go on?

Until the last embers from our funeral pyres are extinguished.

Mustn’t there be those who have conquered hunger? Can we ever hope to defeat it?

It’s very hard; even those who consider themselves the most self-actualised and all-knowing have found themselves becoming puppets at the mercy of hunger, as it makes them dance to its tune, on the command from its thousand monstrous tongues. But it does this in a way that is deceitful and sly, and one we don’t realise. We keep collecting things and fulfilling our desires way beyond our needs – we find such people all around us. These people have no time to experience the simple pleasures of life. They spend their entire life chasing dreams and collecting things that they don’t really need, or that don’t really make them happy. They are numbed and driven into spending their whole lives in this mad chase, as hunger controls their senses and intellect. They start equating success with the satisfaction of this hunger. But the hunger is insatiable, and keeps asking for more. They run even harder in response, until their mouths froth with exertion and exhaustion, until their corpses are found, lying spent on the mounds of their accumulated possessions.

We need to understand the definition of success for such people.

It is deceptively hard. Success is very difficult to define. It’s an individualistic concept. Those who are at peace with themselves have realised that success and failure are two sides of the same coin. But that’s a different topic all-together…. let’s continue to explore hunger.

A conclusion seems to be that you cannot resist hunger, and its hold on you.

Indeed, hunger’s existence and primacy has been acknowledged by humans since ancient times, and hence all our rituals seem to be built around this core idea of fulfilling hunger. Not convinced? Observe carefully, with a critical eye. The rituals may bear different names, , but deep down, when you peel the layers, you realise that someone’s hunger was at the source of it. As the hunger stayed and grew through the ages, these rituals became more elaborate, and embedded themselves in our ways of life…. their origins are in hunger, and like hunger, they seem to be here to stay, permanently.

Hunger can sometimes become so overpowering that it can conquer our deepest fears.

Could we stop hunger from overpowering us?

Try at least once to rinse the cauldron of hunger with the soothing waters of satisfaction.

But for that we need to search for satisfaction, isn’t it?

“I need to search for an answer”, I said to myself restlessly.., and there I was, trapped by the hunger of my intellect.

-Guru Thakur

1 reply
  1. Shilpa Khare
    Shilpa Khare says:

    Hunger , ” ये दिल मांगे more” …. as you said insatiable
    Hunger of knowledge n intellect is divine…..


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