[Please check out this video before you read further.]
Who’s the person in this animation?
It can be anyone or all of these:
Name: Pankaj Shenoy; Role: Network Engineer; Primary Task: Monitoring health and efficiency of a voice-and-data network at a global multi-national bank; Work location: Chennai, India
Name: Michelle Davis; Role: Travel Coordinator; Py Task: Providing travel and immigration services at a tour operator; Work location: Birmingham, UK
Name: Sunil Singh; Role: Bus driver; Py Task: Driving employees from their home to factory and back, 6-days a week, on the company bus; Work location: Indore, India
Name: Bellissa Lorenzo; Role: Housekeeping Attendant; PyT: Cleaning services; Work location: Milan International Airport, Italy
Name: Sudha Amma; Role: Homemaker; PyT: Attending to all household needs of her husband and five children; Work location: Devanahalli (near Bangalore), India
Name: Klahan; Role: Gardener; PyT: Garden maintenance at a holiday resort; Work location: Krabi, Thailand
Name: Ryan Casey; Role: Seafood supplier; PyT: Supplying fresh catch to local grocery and food distributors; Work location: Cork, Ireland
Name: Athula Herath; Role: Primary School Teacher; PyT: Teaching Sinhalese language; Work Location: Kandy, Sri Lanka
Name: Gil Weinberg; Role: Kibbutz Secretary; PyT: Working at the chicken cooperative facility; Work location: Beit Alfa, a Kibbutz in North Israel
Who are these people? Why do they and their mundane work find a mention at one place in this article?
Because, I feel, they all are – Sisyphus !
In Greek mythology Sisyphus (/ˈsɪsᵻfəs/; Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísuphos) was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action for eternity.
There can be innumerable interpretations of the story of Sisyphus. The one that I resonate with is the Myth of Sisyphus, an essay by Albert Camus, a French-Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist. Camus saw Sisyphus as a metaphor for an individual’s persistent struggle against the essential monotony and absurdity of life. According to Camus, the first step an individual must take is to accept the fact of this absurdity. Despite the punishment, Camus concludes, “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” as “the struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” Camus further argues that with the joyful acceptance of the struggle against defeat, the individual gains definition and identity.
It’s in their ordinariness, I feel, the Sisyphus’s demonstrate their extraordinariness. The world needs them, but may not know or recognize their presence. I wonder if this matters to them or they even care.
All I can say is – Hail Sisyphus!
[All names in the early part of this article are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.]