The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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“Her drama was a drama not of heaviness but of lightness.
What fell to her lot was not the burden but the unbearable lightness of being.”
(From “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera)

This is one of my favourite sentences by Milan Kundera which I kept in mind since his book was published.
Challenging Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence (the idea that the universe and its events have already occurred and will recur ad infinitum), the story’s thematic meditations posit the alternative; that each person has only one life to live, and that which occurs in life occurs only once and never again — thus the “lightness” of being.
In contrast, the concept of eternal recurrence imposes a “heaviness” on our lives and on the decisions we make (to borrow from Nietzsche’s metaphor, it gives them “weight”.)
Nietzsche believed this heaviness could be either a tremendous burden or great benefit depending on the individual’s perspective…

I met this lady at a gas pump on the road between Delhi and Varanasi.
Her expression, her saree and the way she wrapped it reminded of some Renaissance Italian paintings showing the Madonna.
Maybe the concept of eternal recurrence happens…maybe in another life this lady inspired a Master of the XVI°…”khabi khabie”…

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