Thursday, October 11, 2012

Your life is not yours...

it's difficult to forget this....

 the little boy was around 7 or 8 and he was playing in the courtyard while the maid sat at a distance, washing clothes. It was a regular school day, but the boy was sick, so his parents wrote a leave letter and dispatched it with his sister who was a couple of years older. At around 11 am, when the house was empty and the maid was washing clothes outside the house and the boy was playing in the mud nearby, a tall dark young man came near the fence.

 'The boy's mother has met with an accident,' he said to the maid.'And she wants him to be sent immediately. Send him, I'll take him to her.'

 The maid was no more than 15, a village girl who had accompanied the family to the city, lived  in their house, did all the household work as well as taking care of the three kids. Maybe she had been warned of such incidents or maybe her instincts were alert. She flatly refused to send the boy inspite of the young man exhorting her, again and again, that the mother was in a very serious condition and wanted to see her son one last time. 'It's alright,' the boy heard her telling the young man. 'Let anything happen to the mother, i'll not send him.'

 What if she had given in and sent the kid with that man? Where would I be now, in which part of the country(or Universe)? Maybe they'd have sold me into begging in some big city, or given away in adoption, or maybe worse? It's no exaggeration that I owe the rest of my life as I know it, from that point onwards, to my maid and her little act of bravery and common sense. I'm recollecting and writing that incident now, thanks to her.

What I really wanted to reflect upon was much of our life is really ours? What forces control our lives and destinies? How do very insignificant incidents and activities change the course of one's life, or set in motion a new set of events? How do the past, present and the future come together in one grand syncronicity, forming a perfect arc of events, stretching over from birth to death--maybe extending infinetely back and forth into eternity?

It's easy to get emotional about this. I had a friend come over and remind me how our lives were shaped because of the grace of one particular person and how we gotta be grateful, etc, but it's not that simple I guess. You can't place your finger on one event, person or decision that lead all the way to where you stand right now. Sometimes you feel that the whole Universe is conspiring in a curious way in order to shape your life. At other times, it appears as if everything is random or chance, and you're no more important than a speck of dust. That person whose grace was supposed to have shaped our lives had himself been helped, supported and uplifted by umpteen individuals, without whose grace, he would have spiraled off into obscurity(and thus have no opportunity to bestowe his grace upon us). In this long chain of unknown people and events, to whom do you express your gratitude?

 Does it all matter, really? I was born at a time when parents had a craze for a baby boy(they still do), and I know people who've had half a dozen daughters, still trying for that elusive son. The first two in our family were daughters before I incarnated(!), but I'm pretty sure that if my parents had had a son and a daughter instead of two girls, they wouldn't have considered going for the third child. So, in effect, I owe my very existence to my two elder sisters and my parents' conformist inclination towards having a son. Damn all grace and stuff, they came later!

 Much of this was triggered after watching the trailer of Cloud atlas! Can't wait to watch the movie, and more importantly, the book on which it is based!