Monday, January 30, 2012

The Key…Where is the Key?????

 (A Re- post)

The Car – That Car ! I couldn’t take my eyes of that car : it was a beauty beyond desciption. The colour, the contours, the sheen, the style, everything about it was so attractive. I was so happy and proud to be the owner of this magnificent car. It was a very special car with only one set of keys, for if it ever got lost no one could make a duplicate for it.

I let my imagination fly : now that I owned that car, such a special car, at that, it would give me the opportunity to show every body who I was and what I could do. Proud of all my achievements, proud of all the things I thought I was equipped with, I was raring to go. I opened my purse to take out that one and only key from it: but what HO !
There was no key in the purse !

I knew it had to be in the purse only, where I had kept it safely in a pouch. I did not panic, instead I emptied the entire contents of the purse and started my search again, but still the key could not be found. Then panic started setting in slowly : I became flustered, angry, insane with rage at having misplaced the key. May be I switched the hiding place, thinking that it would be safer some place else which I alone knew. But where?

Shoot ! How could I forget the place I had kept it for safe-keeping ?

 My mind was in a whirl, thinking about all possible places I could have kept it…..Oh, why couldn’t I remember anything at all. I looked everywhere , on the floor, near the car, anywhere and everywhere : I knew one thing for certain, I was going mad.

I spent hours searching, I asked whoever I met whether they couild help me find the key, but alas, nobody could, or would. I was all alone, seeing my dreams shattering right in front of me . I have now spent days, years of my life just looking at that car, which I believed was loaded with everything I wanted in life. I knew it was just a matter of time, and I would be zipping away in my car : I only had to find the key.

So here I was, stuck, neither being able to move forward, nor go in the reverse. I was in a real fix. All I could do was go round and round, and keep coming back to the same place with no solution to my problem.

Soon, I realised I was so obsessed with this car, that I was coming back to this earth, birth after rebirth, with only one goal: to find that key to my special, wonderful car loaded with all the goodies in it. Although, I have lost count of the many births I have taken, I was not in the least bothered: it was as if that car had trapped me forever with its beauty, and the immense possibilities it offered.

I kept asking everyone I met, the only question I knew : " can you show me a way to find the key to this unique car which belongs to me ? Different people came up with different ideas, and some joined me in the search, but just for a while, and got bored and left. People kept giving me only negative ideas. They said it would be impossible to find a key, literally lost in a haystack, and when the haystack itself was not to be found. If a thing was lost it was lost forever.

But I preferred to believe in the kind of people who told me never to give up my search, and be focused on my goal, and one day, they assured me I would find the key that I was searching for. Never a defeatist, those were the type of people I put my trust in.

Then there came a new breed of people who propagated the idea: "Fake it till you make it". Their theory was, if you didn’t have something, don’t keep on saying that you don’t have it : this would be sending a wrong and defeatist message to the Universe, which in turn would really make it happen. My, my ,my…… No way I was going to send out such a message to the Universe.

By now, I had become mentally deranged- I was willing to listen to any nonsense advocated by anybody. Soon, I changed my tactics : I started visualising that I had found the magic key to my car, and I was proudly driving on the road to success. I visualised that all my dreams and wishes had come true, and I was having a wonderful life with my car. Every time I saw the car, I would force myself to think such thoughts, till I had become adept at self-deception. I would waste precious time imagining the impossible, with the false confidence that "Fake it till you make it " really worked. That was my new mantra and I was not going to give up.

Years, and several reaincarnations passed by, with me nowhere near to finding the lost key. Sometimes I would feel very disappointed, but soon I would console myself with the newly learned art of self deception. This kept on repeating itself, until one day I could take it no more.

I knew in my heart that, one day, I was going to lick this problem which was eating away my whole life, life after life.

At this point in my life, I happened upon a very learned man, who was known far and wide for his vast knowledge and immense wisdom. I put to him my question. To which he replied that I would surely find the key, and would surely drive the car. But, he added - only when I was ready to drive. I explained to him that I was ready , able and willing to do just that for a long, long time, and that I had gone through so many births in this world, trying to find the key, so that I could drive off to glory in my wonderful car. I was ever ready, provided I knew where I had stashed away the key.

To that, he just smiled, and told me to think deeply, meditate upon my problem, and soon I would find my way to the key. I was disheartened and disillusioned with the Wise Crack. Here I was stuck in a quagmire, crying out for help, and all he could come up with was some crap called meditation. How was I to tell him I had tried everything, at sometiime or other, in some birth or the other, and found no light at the end of the tunnel ?

After, some deep thought and meditation, just as the wise man had suggested, in a flash, I realized that I did not want to own a car for which I had no key, however beautiful and tempting it might look from outside : without a key, it was as good as useless. It might be fully loaded, hi tech, sleek and snazzy : it had kept me enamoured, enchanted and entrapped with its beauty, with its false promises for too long : but I realized it was not for me.

Not for me a car whose keys could be lost, and not be found at all. With that car I would always live in fear of losing it some day. I looked at the car, and to me, it was a movie screen, with all my numerous births flashing past, mocking me, laughing at me all the while. I then understood, and regretted the many lifetimes I had wasted on it: It was time to say goodbye and good riddance.

At first I was gripped with fear at the thought of abandoning the thing I had most cherished, the object of my unceasing quest over several cycles of birth : but I had decided to take the plunge and just jump out of this circle of endless misery, forever.

I had to listen to my heart, my soul, which were both screaming at me in unison to jump off, but my mind was full of confusion, busy, drawing pictures of my doom all the while, scaring me all the more. The din created in my mind became louder and louder, beating ever more loudly the drums of disaster, and soon the voice of wisdom was almost lost. But I could still hear it feebly, from far away, begging me to jump. To do or not to do, that was the only question.

It was when I could no longer hear my heart’s call, that I suddenly decided to leave all worries behind, ignore the confused signals from my mind, and just for once do the right thing in my life.

As I plunged forward, it seemed like I was going nowhere, everything was suddenly so dark and gloomy, and I could feel myself shivering with fear. But, by and by, the darkness cleared, and so too the darkness in my mind, I could see everything clearly, I could see my past, present and my future, and I knew the path chosen by me was the right choice.

With my mind free of illusions, I landed on the other side safely. Now I felt totally free, and as I picked myself up and started forward, I spied a car -just a car, with no pretensions, no frills, no fancy colour to lure anybody, as if saying, " take me as I am, or leave me - the choice is yours". Dear reader, as you no doubt know by now I had had enough to do with any car, but still, old habits die hard. I went a little closer to to the car to have a quick peek. I liked what I saw: it had no key, it had just two gears, on one it was written, "Man Power" and on the other, "Divine Power".

I came, I saw, I conquered and in the instant I sat in the driver’s seat, I knew what had to be done: I shifted the gear from "Man Power" to "DIVINE POWER", and zoomed away to eternal bliss.

I simply love this blog. I know many of you must have already read it, however, I thought some of my new friends might like it, and so the re-post.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"All things are ready if our minds be so" - We found each other by pure serendipity! Part- 7 (the end)

                                                                                        In Spain
The brahminic rituals of the engagement ceremony having finally got over, the all clear  was sounded for refreshments  to be brought out by  caterers specially called in for the  occasion.  My father, usually a frugal and tight fisted person, chose to go against the grain  this one last time,  and the menu card bore ample testimony to his sudden change of heart.
 In good spirits and wanting to make small talk, my mother casually enquired of the boy’s aunt if the boy was given to smoking, drinking,  non-vegetarian food, etc.   To this, the aunt proudly declared, of course, he does all that : she had seen him on several occasions  in various parties with a drink in hand and a cigarette in the other as if she was describing  Humphrey Bogart and not her nephew. Beef was his favorite meat – “You know, like the Americans”, adding fuel to the already raging fire.
Now as if these bombshells which she so casually threw at my mother were not enough,  even before my mother could recover from these shockers,  she threw a few more  at random for good measure.   She went on to add that all the men in their family smoked : and as for drinks she added,  even womenfolk in their family were not averse to taking a sip now and then, now and then,  now and then....   
Their penchant to party at the slightest excuse was  widely known : in card games played for very high stakes, no man in the family was a match for the women,  past masters of the art.
                                "No one ever knows when a person you meet suddenly

                                   becomes a part of your life whom you remember

                                   each and every moment. It all happens and

only then you realize how important that person is for you".
Having thus breezily recounted the lifestyle and the family saga (of which I would soon be  part of),  she consoled my mother saying that she need have no worry – their family was very modern in their outlook and that, I would very quickly find my feet and be totally at home as had been the case with all the ladies who had married into the family – “ See how happy I am now”, biting into the melt in the mouth Mysore Pak.

Words cannot describe what my mother felt at that time. This was irony in the real sense: history repeating itself once again, only it was little too late.

 Now with more than four score people having witnessed the engagement, the date of marriage fixed,  the neighborhood too was finally letting out their combined sigh of relief in seeing me finally engaged,  (for they too had waited for so long to see me getting married),  how could she have said or done anything at that stage ?  
My mother revealed all these things to us  after all the invitees had left,  resigned to the fact that there was nothing much we could do now.
I must admit however that all things considered, the truth of the matter was that he had conquered all our hearts  and came out as a  solid dependable  person, who would be true to his vows of “till death do us part”.  The boy’s family was known to us and came well recommended :  it was a collective opinion and consensus in our family that we ought not to unnecessarily worry and make a fuss over  a non- issue.  It was as if fate was mocking at us at some level:  not that we were expecting to have these things written on his face, yet it was a shocker, for wasn’t it for the very same reason that the Army boy suitor was unceremoniously and summarily cashiered ?

 As a wise man said, 'looks can be very deceptive'.  Here I was marrying a man with similar habits, which I was happy to reject and be rejected a few days back. Was it love at first sight or was it fate,  I really don't know what to believe. That’s life I suppose!
 Be that as it may, the fact of the matter was I liked the boy, and we got married in two months’ time and it has now been 31 years from that fateful day.  We have had our share of ups and downs which all marriages have to go through with adjustments on his part and minor realignments on my part: bringing up children together, doing almost everything together learning from each other. We do go off track once in a while, but as long as we can patch up after a few days of solitary confinement in our respective rooms,  I feel we can confidently say our marriage has remained rock solid for the most part. I must admit, there were times I had seriously considered leaving him, and maybe such thoughts have occurred to him too, I don't know, for this is my story, and I can only speak for myself. As we all know, women are more emotional and impulsive by nature, they hurt easily without any rhyme or reason, but in my case, good sense always prevailed,  and made me realize the truth behind this lovely quote: "I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life". ~Rita Rudner
Yes, he smokes once in a while, he drinks at least thrice in a week and eats non veg whenever he gets an opportunity,  but only outside the home.  The point is he is not addicted to any of these things, for he can remain without them too for days and weeks.   I know it for a fact because he works from our home, and we are practically together all the time.

He is man from whom I have learnt lots of things, and he has been and would always be source of inspiration for me.  He gives me enough space to be what I want to be, and likewise I too have learnt to give him the space he needs.  Fighting and making up is all part and parcel of life,  making life all the more  spicy and interesting.

I have realized how paranoid one can become without knowing a person fully, and I still feel that my decision to marry him was right.  Somewhere a bell has to ring in your heart and in that instant you know that you have found the perfect match.
And here I would like to share with you another irony that happened, it was really very funny.  You see my father was always upset that I did not like any of the boys he brought home for us to select.  My cussedness in this matter irritated him no end :  Oftentimes in a fit of temper,  he would curse that I was fit only to get married to someone from the gutter. ( All Madrasis are no doubt familiar with the gutter curse – sakkadai ).

Truth to tell,  I did get married to a man who had specialized in Sewage and Wastewater Treatment which in layman’s term means a gutter engineer.  I suppose one should also think before cursing, because some curses may come true.   I am not complaining, for in this case obviously it came true in a positive way.

"Chance favors the prepared mind": consciously or unconsciously I had prepared my mind.  On the one hand I had reservations marrying a man who came earlier with similar traits  because I felt something was not right :  On the other, my husband with identical qualities and traits  seemed perfect to me  and made me take the plunge, to marry him without a second thought, because something within me made me feel he was the one meant for me. 

Shakespeare had said some 400 years ago in Act 4 of his play Henry V: "All things are ready if our minds be so".  We found each other by pure serendipity!