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Overheard at an Existentialist Party in Delhi

'What is sex? It’s just recombining your DNA with that of a woman.'
'Party Like Kafka' was held at an upscale Delhi bookstore on a Friday evening. Image: Vijay Pandey

You might not expect an event called Party Like Kafka—at an upscale Delhi bookstore on a Friday evening—to be a crowd-puller. But surprisingly, there were about 50 young, old, excited, and nervous existentialists in attendance. The event, organised by Art Pickles, posed "The ultimate question—Do you believe in your existence?"

Here are some of the theories we heard floating around:

“There are a thousand diamonds inside you, but you can only take out 100 of them. Meditation can help you take all of them out… What is sex? It’s just recombining your DNA with that of a woman. More important is to recombine your ideas with someone else's.” —Divyansh Sharma, owner of a virtual reality start-up.


“Heart is like a monkey mind which keeps jumping everywhere. You have to calm it down. I can meditate anywhere, even in a crowded place with Shakira’s music. I can meditate while talking to you. I am here and not here—because I have to watch Brazil versus Uruguay match at 7:30."
—Darpan Majumdar, owner of a food startup.

Darpan Majumdar (Right) and Divyansh Sharma (Centre) with a friend. Image: Zeyad Masroor Khan

“Even Deadpool had a motive. He was trying to find love and thus giving meaning to his life.“ —Anushree Ghosh, organiser and Art Pickles member. "Many people just wanting to have a job or a wife—in fact, hundreds of people are not happy with having a wife. It wouldn’t have mattered if you had known there is something like [existentialism] at all.” —Pragati Ojha, organiser and Art Pickles member.

“The theory of evolution is debatable. Are we really supposed to use technology ? In terms of Darwinian evolution, religions say that fire was an accident. I don’t think that triggered the evolution. Tools were there just to accelerate the process.” —Akul Sharma, author of Confessions of a Self Proclaimed Modern Existentialist.

“What’s the point? It’s a thought that I have had since I was intelligent enough to think.”
—Rishika Singh, 18.

Organisers of the event, Pragati Ojha (L) and Anushree Ghosh (R) at the bookstore. Image: Vijay Pandey

  • “Each person’s life is insignificant. If you are woke enough, you are going to think that at some point.” —Amrita Sivaram, 19, student at Indraprastha College for Women.
  • “My goal is to reach a state where everything is null. Only then we can try to understand why are here on earth.” —Siddharth Vikram, 26, law student at Delhi University.
  • “I think we are making a point in the present moment. Though in the greater scheme of things, [this event] is pointless, of course.” —Pragati Ojha, event organiser and Art Pickles member.

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