Friday, August 21, 2009

With Krishna....

Suddenly I'm staring at my self, which is 30 years younger.

'Want to go to playhome....No', sobs tejas.

We hug him and allay his fears with 'you'll only play and come back home', 'Mamma will also come with you,', 'We too went to school and playhomes long back,''You'll find many friends and teddy bears to play with'.....but he's not convinced. There's fear in his eyes, the fear of stepping into an unknown world full of strangers, without the assuring warmth of mamma and pappa. The fear I grew up with and still haven't shaken off from my core.

Nothing consoles him. His eyes are about to become small pools of water.

Like with any two and a half year old, it's irresistable not to cuddle, kiss and pamper our child. Our hearts melt at his plight. He's the apple of our eyes, the song of our hearts. Our very own little krishna.

But a fearful little krishna he is. Always playful, adorable, mischievous, sharp but also vulnerable and tender.

We want him to be fearless, to take on the world head-long, to plunge into the world and challenge it. Latch on to his purpose and pin it down. Be a hero.

And I cannot expect my son to be like the real krishna, the lord of the universe who played his flute but also slayed fearsome demons. The butter-thief who played pranks on everyone but humbled mighty rakshasas. The divine child who incarnated to set right the imbalance of this imperfect world. That spark of divinity is present, no doubt, in every child's heart, in every adult's soul. Yet I realize that it takes a herculean effort for that divinity to express itself. Forget divinity--to become the master of your own emotions, thoughts and decisions itself takes the cake.

And how easy was it for the Lord to abandon his childhood paradise and step into the terrible new world, to fulfill his destiny. He kept aside his flute and picked up the conch shell, to become a Warrior, a political strategist, a mastermind. He abandoned the brindavan of his childhood and entered the Mathura of his adulthood, never turning back once, never returning to his homeland, never visiting the sweethearts of his boyhood days. The divine lord steps out of his beloved Gokul, leaves behind his innocence and play to enter the battlefield, to enter the big, bad world out there. The battlefield is his new playground. There are armies to conquer, victories to be won, injustice to be answered. A coming of age tale. The story of every soul in this universe.

In contemplating on Lord krishna's life, in observing my son's anxiety about abandoning a known world, I also realize that I'm in a way looking at my own life, my own fears-motives-anxieties. And what's true to my son is true with me too, in another context, in a subtle way.

I've been enjoying the relative comfort of a 'career' without much risk or change for the past few years. Now the time has arrived to make a change, or abandon this known universe to step into something totally new, totally unknown. And, inspite of my desire to take a jump, inspite of my love for the new life, I can sense an apprehension, a subtle anxiety. Much like my son's fear. And unlike Krishna's acceptance of the new.

I think it was Osho who said, 'Courage will come to you. At any instance, choose the unknown.' This goes totally against the old creed:-'A known devil is better than the unknown angel'. I'm stuck with the known devil, enjoying the sense of security and hope it raises in me, revelling in the warmth of this monotony and changelessness. And in every little act, I seem to choose the devil--either consciously or unawares. The same job, same house, friends, barber shop, groceries, movies, music, food, routine....nothing binds us down than a set of activities where the result is known, where the outcome isn't threatening.

Unless this changes, I know, I cannot move an inch. Unless my kid overcomes his hesitation and fear, he cannot learn and grow.

A friend said once: 'We fear because we're attached--to an outcome, to the known world, to our routine. Only by realizing that nothing remains constant, that everything is in a state of flux do we actually overcome this attachment. With detachment comes fearlessness.'

Only with fearlessness can we embrace a new world that's in waiting. Whether this new world is a classroom full of new faces, a new company with an unknown work-challenge, a new locality with strangers to live with, a new career-path, a new attitude---or a totally new world with a different paradigm....we need to abandon our hesitation, our fear of the unknown, our attachment to the old comforts and jump into the void, so to say.

Lord krishna does this. Maybe that's why he's the Lord. Or maybe he could do this because he's a God afterall.

But the spark of krishna is within me, within my son, within everyone of us--buried deep underneath layers and layers of our egos. My effort therefore should not be to strengthen this ego in any way but uncover the hidden divinity. In every thought, in every action, in every intent of mine, I need to strive to bring this out. I need to make conscious choices, take bold decisions, but first make a sincere effort to lose my attachment with the known world. Love it but keep a distance--internally.

We are at a great and turbulent period in our individual and collective history, where the known is going to collapse and a new order is getting ready to take birth. The signs are ominous--with a little attention, anyone can notice the great surge of changes that are happening all over the world. The financial collapse was just a beginning of this series of waves. The coming days will test the mettle of each individual on this planet and one question everyone of us will have to answer individually is this:'Do I want to go with the new or am I going to get crushed along with the old?'

I can never forget this from 'Rang de basanthi': 'I'd met two kinds of people. Those who went to their gallows wailing and protesting; those who went in silence. Then I met the third type--those who went singing and dancing'.

The gallows of the old give birth to an unimaginable new. How do we enter this crossover point--in fear, in mute silence or in ecstacy?

How can I arrive at this point in ecstacy? How....?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tweet Tweet...

Me on Twitter. Here.

And all along I was thinking that it's just mindless chitchat. Nope. Inspiring stuff gleams every now and then. And the links are priceless. Many of my favourite bloggers are already there.

All my one-line musings go there, henceforth. The lengthier ramblings will be here on this blog.

Do you tweet? If so, drop a line and I'll come visiting to your nest

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Nothing's crap

A lone star gives company to the waning moon in the cloudy sky. It's as though the moon's feeling very lonely and a star comes out to say, don't worry, I'm here with you all night.

There has to be this life-affirming force, this immense motivation to live--else you can't lift a finger, can't look beyond yourself, can't take a step further. I've been wondering about this and many more things in the past three days. At one point, I was just asking myself,'Why am I alive, right now? Why should I be? Where's the drive to go ahead with the daily chore? What's the purpose of my life?' You're justified to be in this mood if you're adrift alone on a boat in the high seas for months on end, without the sight of the shore, but to ask this in the thick of life? Maybe life's a sea at times and you get bloody lost.

I'm standing on the terrace, patting tejas to sleep, answering his questions half-heartedly and it's the dead of the night. The road out there is dimly lit, utterly deserted and there's a small arguement going on for the past 10 minutes, between a young man and a lady, who's on a two-wheeler. He appears agitated and isn't allowing her to start her vehicle. Who are these people and what's happening in their lives? Is she married to someone else and having an affair with this guy? Is he stalking her and threatening her to give in to his wishes? He's trying to kiss her, places his hands on her head in a gesture of making promises etc, and she pushes his hands out. What'll happen now? Will he beat her up? Will she shout for help? What'll happen if the beat policemen come up and stop over here? Are these two aware of someone like me standing on a nearby terrace, making assumptions about their lives? Why should I be bothered about who they are and what on earth they've been doing with their life? What if someone does the same with my life?

At night, this road tells a different story, with all the night creatures swarming out and making merry. Drunkards and prostitutes, rowdies and the homeless, police and their victims--it's a different world. A group of drunken teenagers were caught once by a policeman, who grabbed one of them while the others escaped. He thrashed the young boy mercilessly and mounted him on his bike, deaf to all his pleas and cries. That was a year ago. Where is that boy now? What has happened to his life in the past one year?

I tell my team lead that I want a break. '...five days,' I tell him, after an exhausting project. 'Difficult,' he blabbers. 'Our project lead has denied leaves for all team members.' 'Where's he, haven't seen him this week,' I ask and he says, 'He's on a leave, has gone to his native'.
I suppress my urge to spit on his smirking face. I have severe antisocial thoughts that evening--something like blowing up this whole building.

Suddenly Life has acquired a break-neck speed. Look back on the past few months if you don't believe me. Many equations have severely reversed in my life, just this year itself. And sometimes the pace is too much to cope up with, to withstand and bear. I told my Mom that I'll be shifting away from here, to another place where I'll be working henceforth and she was terribly upset. I had another thousand things to tell but didn't. I should've left the nest long back so that my parents wouldn't have got used to my continuous presence. Maybe it should be mandatory--that once you reach adulthood, you build your own nest, far away. Healthy. So that when you decide, you have nobody to be answerable to. It's your life and you take a decision, to drown or to stay afloat.
I'll do the same with my son. Kick him out once he grows up so that he doesn't stay crippled. So that he learns to fly on his own.

Taliban chief Mehsud is dead. That'll give enough fodder for our newsmedia for a couple of days. And now, there's the swine flu scare in India.'One third of the world's population will be affected in 2 years,' says a collegue, quoting WHO. Of course, there'll be new tidings in the next 2 years. We're also discussing and contemplating the flowering of a new consciousness, in the next two years. By 2012!

I wake up early one morning, on an eclipse day, and sit through meditations for an hour. Then sleep. Then wake up with this immense freshness--of being flushed and wiped clean of all blemish. Like a flower.

'Will there be a pay hike?' We've stopped asking this now. A few numbers on my bank account will not decide my happiness. More numbers. Lesser numbers. No numbers. Life depends on these numbers. Sick of such existence, such calculations, such a life. Wanting a new life. Call me an escapist. Like Mccandles of 'Into the wild'.

After a turmoil, I decide vehemently. That I'm much, much beyond any relationships. I'm not my roles. Father, husband, son, disciple, friend, citizen, wage-slave...what else? Nobody decides my happiness, nothing will shape my life henceforth. Then? To simply ask, 'What do I want?' and once the straight answer arrives, to put it into practice. Live simple. Without being dishonest to your self. Will I do it? Can I?

Tejas is fast asleep. The arguement has ended down below on the road and the lady speeds off on her bike. The young man walks in the opposite direction, truimphantly. Slowly, a few more stars come out of the clouds and smile nervously.