Strangely, when a child is born he is born with closed hands, as if he is bringing something into life. When a man dies, he dies with open hands – all is lost. There is nothing to hold in his fist, there is no need for a fist. No man has ever died with fists closed, and no child has ever been born with fists open.
It is significant. Physiologically it has different meanings. The child is not yet capable, not strong enough to open his hands. Physiologically they are not actually fists, it is because the child simply cannot open his hands. Physiologically that is the explanation, that he cannot open his hands yet. He needs a little strength, then he can open his hands.
And the dying man – his whole body becomes relaxed. Death is the ultimate relaxant. For the whole of his life he was tense; now, life is leaving the body. The body was not tense, it was the life in it – the intelligence, the mind – that was making it tense. Now, the fist is a tense state of the hands. When life leaves the body, even if you are making a fist, it is bound to happen that your fist will open up, because now there is no more energy to keep the fist closed. The child had no energy to open it up, the old man has no more energy to keep it closed. It needs strength to keep it closed – that is a physiological explanation. But the metaphor is beautiful, and I am mentioning it as a metaphor.
Every child is born with the idea that there is going to be something great.
Every child comes with hope, ambition, desire, and a confidence that all this is going to materialize; that his dreams are not going to remain dreams, they will become realities. To me, that is the metaphor of his closed fist.
He is coming with a treasure, with a secret.
He is not coming without a message – he is coming with a message to be fulfilled. He is coming with a destiny.
Hence children are not bored. They may cry, they may weep, they may laugh, they may smile, but you cannot find babies bored. They have not yet felt that life is not what it is supposed to be. They have not experienced life as made with the same stuff as dreams It needs a little growth, a little experience. And the more intelligent a child is, the sooner he becomes bored. The stupid ones take a longer time, obviously, because to see the meaninglessness of life you need a very sharp intelligence.
You ask me, do I ever feel bored? Not now, but I don’t think any one of you has felt as much boredom as I felt for the first twenty-one years of my life Perhaps I finished the quota – there is a limit to everything!
My parents were puzzled. I never participated in any games. If I make a joke of football today, it is not new; I have been making jokes of all games as long as I can remember. I have never participated in any game, in any play. My teachers were concerned, my parents were concerned: What kind of a child are you? And what do you go on doing? Go out and play.”