16th Feb'19 44 6
“ My battery is low and its getting dark”
These are the words I woke up to this morning. I am home for a few days and one of the primary reasons I am here is because I have been feeling very lonely; I suppose that is the modern condition but there is no way I have made my peace with it. Sometimes, I also starkly feel the loneliness of others around me, to an excruciating point, where I just want to hug them and step into their world at the risk of being invasive.
This is the last message from the Mar’s rover Opporutnity (referred to as Rover hereafter), which now feels like the beloved pet of the entire world. The incoherence of these two sentences joined together seems to capture the paradox we are living. The desire to express so much that it makes you nauseated but being able to say only two broken, seemingly incomplete sentences. One can read through the gaps and what has not been said in these sentences. One can read the loneliness, one can read the despair and one can read a cry for help.
At some levels, it feels ridiculous to mourn over an inanimate object, a machine if you will. I saw this image first thing in the morning on my Facebook newsfeed, while there were people crying and saying “Goodbye Rover”, I was taken aback by how much these words resonated with me. I was crying, maybe because I am exhausted too and it seems to be getting real dark, maybe I have somehow imagined Rover to be my pet and I am mourning its death. Am I mourning the “death” of a “machine”? Who is to say we are not one?
I am crying. This picture hit me like a haunting; it verbalised my inner fears, my loneliness. I am not alone in this though. I see it all over social media. How I wish it was as literal and “feeling bad for a robot” thing. I think people relate to its loneliness and while Rover was literally alone on a massive planet, we feel the same in one that is inhabited by billions. The imagination of Rover being all alone in a wide, distant red landscape echoes how empty we feel. People identify with Rover, its fear and its dying hope.
These two broken sentences hold my frustration at the inability of language to express pain. All your education, fancy literature degrees have been thrown into fire and here you are; a pile of broken words, short incoherent sentences that barely make sense but embody your being.
“My battery is low...
...and it’s getting dark”
I know; same here.
P.C. Buzzfeed, New Scientist.