Agneepariksha

sita-agni-pariksha-the-ramayana

It was just a usual weekday morning where I was at the dining table with my got cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. While going through the paper a headline caught my eye that a 27 year of was raped by the same Taxi Driver while she was on her way home after availing the cab service of the same provider. This was a very reputed cab company, but it had a record of such similar incident earlier as well. At reading it in a little more detail, it was pretty clear tar the company had failed to conduct the background checks for their hired employee. The girl had to pay the price of someone else’s irresponsibility. Her life is completely ruined.

Putting a little more thought into this scenario, it made me realize that the value of the girl’s life & her reputation is equal to nothing. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened neither would it be the last. But have we put a thought is to why is this happening? How is it possible, that the gender which is capable of bringing a new life to this very world has to fear for her own life at times? Is her life this expendable? Why is it that the girls have completely lost their respect& the value of their own existence? Where did this gender fail? Like the usual reasons, please do not even attempt to tell me that this happens because of the way the girls dress up & all. I find this argument not even worth a second of my thinking time.

I have a theory regarding the entire cliché. Knowing that my mind is a wanderer, it went all the way back well into the mythological era in hopes to get a clue of the beginning of the patriarchy revolution. I think this all became very prominent from the Ram Rajya, i.e. the Ramayana. You all would be like ‘WTF is she talking about’. But seriously, try and recall the entire Ramayana and then stop at the point where a lower class Dhobi (washer man) had asked the King (Ram) regarding the purity of his Queen (Sita). This doubt came into existence because she was abducted by Ravana and kept as a prisoner for quite some time (at least the time they finished constructing the bridge). I remember my childhood when my grandmother used to tell me Ramayana (mostly to keep me away from the Disney stories) I always used to wonder why would even one think about such a thing. How could someone else even think like this about a person knowing that they have come back after a huge fight? How does the physical part of the body has anything to do with purity? What happens about the person’s heart, feelings, the intimacy they shared? The biggest question which still remains unanswered is that Why didn’t she refuse?

Coming back to our Sita, she did stand firmly with her husband at all times. Please do not forget similar to Ram she was also from the royal family, a princess. She willingly spent all the years with Ram in his ‘Vanvas’. I agree that she got kidnapped and all, but they were just a series of unfortunately accidents which landed her into huge amount of trouble. But then her knight who wasn’t exactly a Knight in Shining Armor but rather a leader of monkey army did come and rescue her and took her to their rightful home. But what did she get after coming home, she was forced to give Agneepariksha to prove her purity. Which leads to my basic question, how to prove purity of a person? I never understood why Ram never defended Sita to the Dhobi. Didn’t she prove that she loved him in those 14 years? Wasn’t she the one who walked away leaving all the luxuries of the palace for a life with him? Let us for a say that he was forced to question her. She should’ve refused to give Agneeparisksha. Like she was alone in some other land so was he, making him also doubtful in her mind, although this thought never occurred to her.

I feel that when she accepted to give the Agneeparisksha she just made her gender the weaker one who would be again and again forcefully made to bend by the opposite gender. We would be forced into following the rules created by Men. I think if it weren’t for this incident Patriarchy would not have existed up to this extent and major population would have lived under the umbrella of equality. We all would be living in a different world where the Women/Girls would be treated with much more respect.

Hence I say that She Should Have Refused. It would have saved a lot of lives today.

Hall of Mirrors

Hall of MirrorsWe all think about people no matter how much we claim that we don’t judge them. But inevitably we do. I reached this to this thought after visiting an interesting place. The interesting place which I mentioned was actually a local amusement park in my city. It was bright with many stalls, a dozen rides, colorful tents and all. There was a tent which had caught my attention; it was the ‘Hall of Mirrors‘. After entering I noticed that there wasn’t much crowd in there. The tent appeared to be faded and old, with a shredded carpet which could not be called as a carpet anymore. The mirrors which were hung were all very old and unclean. They were hung opposite each other. Some were round, some were square, and some were tall while some were curve and oval. Very few people were mingling around, laughing, joking, wondering, frowning etc. I could see people looking at themselves and each other into the mirrors.

Now, you must be wondering what I was doing there. Well, I was over there with my niece, who was all over the place with excitement. We were moving from mirror to mirror looking at ourselves. In some of them we were looking tall, in some we were short, in some we were fat and in some we were ugly. But there was not a mirror were we were perfect; however, I happier looking at my overexcited niece. Her excitement was actually contagious.

I noticed that like me many people were looking at us and smiling. Some were openly staring at us; some were gawking at us while some were looking at us through their mirrors. It was then I realized that our Life more or less is a like our own ‘Hall of Mirrors’. Here we all see each other through our own eyes or someone else’s eyes.

We all have our own lives to live; while we get busy living our life. While being busy doing this we encounter many people in this lifetime of ours. We built perceptions about them. Some perceptions are of our own while some are built on others opinion and experience. Like the reflections we see in the mirrors, most of them get lost within these mirrors like a shadow of the past but some linger and remain with us till the very end. Sometimes it’s only us who remain with our own selves.

In these mirrors we also see ourselves with the others. We also see ourselves differently than what people see us. Sometimes we see ourselves as extremely great people. Sometimes we also end up hating ourselves. While people see us completely opposite of what people see us as.

What our life is nothing but a play of perception. Some perceptions match ours while some are completely different from ours. These perceptions keep altering as time passes. The time either fades away the person and their shadow fades away or it lingers somewhere in the darkest corner of our minds. These are later known as Memories. The good ones are at least while is rest of them as called as Experiences.

Come let’s look into these mirrors and try and look beyond our perceptions; rather than asking the same question ‘Mirror Mirror on the Wall; Who’s the Fairest of All’ rather ask a different question or perhaps no question at all…

User & Abuser

U&A

Everyone says that there are two kinds of people that live in this World, “The Good” and “The Bad“. There was a time I also believed in the same; however Time and Experience taught me something altogether different. I know that the two kinds of people that exist in this world are “The Users” and”The Abusers”. How did I reach to this conclusion? Well, we’ll get there in sometime.

All of us are always surrounded by people at all times. Some are family, some are friends and some are coined as relatives while some would be close relatives. Then we also have different circles like office, gym, friends of friends and so on. Each of these we meet leaves an impression on us. We like some that we become close pals while some we never even consider. In all those people who crossed our lives each of them has left an imprint in our life. Something’s we would admire about them while some we would always despise.

Amongst all this sea of people we have the two kinds which I had earlier mentioned. They can also be called as The Giver and The Taker; but then they’re the Users and then the Abusers.

Explaining the above further, we all friends meet up, catch up on weekends. A random plan is made where everyone turns up. Then we go through the regular series of catching up, then teasing and so on. After spending hours it even though it feels like minutes the waiter comes in with the bill. The over enthusiast amongst the group will always pay the bill first. The rest would also volunteer after the bill has been taken up by someone. In this chaos we always fail to notice someone who will never pay for anything; although they would be present for everything. Well, this scenario is seen many a times. This has happened with us quite a number of times, no matter how much we deny.

Lately there is something known as Conveyance Friends. I came across this word while I was talking to a friend. She was regularly in touch with some guy and used to be a lot around him. When I asked her where would this be going? She said nowhere; he takes care of the bills, the commute what else do I need? For a minute I was shocked because I had never expected this from her. But then I realized that we would never know someone completely. Hold on, most of the guys would agree saying that yes Girls always do this; but yes, for this the girls also payback In Kind. Hence, I think we’re living in the old days again where we all thrive on the Barter System. The goods in transactions are different. Earlier they used to be goods while today its Emotions and Feelings.

Is there a way to avoid this? Ideally, I should be saying yes. But being a little Realistic I would say no. We all no matter how much we say are good get into this system on daily basis. The ones who do this on small scale are Users while the players playing on a larger scale are Abusers.

Our MindHeart and whatever is left of our Conscience keeps flashing us the warning signs which we conveniently ignore. We come up with various reasons for this. The best one is “It’s Friendship Man. We’re the buddies”. But the ultimate fact remains that one always keeps losing. Is this the correct thing to do? Being friends is a reason to ignore this? Does this affect the dynamics of the friendship? Frankly speaking I don’t think even Google would have any answer to these.

From whatever I understand (which is very limited), every relation has its limits. No relation in this entire world is selfless. Some would deny and say Parent-Child relationship, but again they also have expectations from each other. Good Career, Fame their name along with the same. It’s a win-win situation for both if all ends well. Or else, even parents sometimes feel regret no matter how much anyone denies.

Someone said that this isn’t fair people should be understanding. However, I say that people are much smarter than what they show to the world. Everyone would enjoy a free joyride. After all, that seems a luxury these days in such an expensive market…

 

Diabolical Circle of Expectation

There is a dialog in ‘Friends’, where Joey says to Phoebe “There is no Act which is a Selfless Act”. At that point of time we must have not given it much of a thought. But now when sitting in peace with all the chaos around, these words make sense. But these words started ringing yesterday again when I was talking with my best friend over a call. She was spiraling in the tornado of expectations not fulfilled by someone.

This is something we all go through probably even on daily basis. We set expectations from everyone & everything. Our cell phone to work properly, at least remain charged the entire day. Expectation of the day to go as planned, expectations to not get stuck in traffic and so on. I think you must have got a fair idea, but here begins the vicious circle of expectations.

Why do we expect? Is it okay to expect? Should we even expect? I remember a quote from Bhagwat Gita wherein it says “Karam kar phal ki apeksha mat kar” which ideally means, ‘Keep working or doing your duties, without expecting any returns’. Is it possible? Is it correct? Is this how life should be lived? There is no wrong or right in this? There is neither any correct answer for this question.

There is a pattern to all of this, we do then we expect returns. Many of you would disagree, but somewhere when we give we do expect something in return. Its a circle and soon without us realizing it becomes a circle in which we keep spinning till our end. This non stop spin makes us dizzy and delirious. This is a pattern, a very common pattern. Unless we don’t break this, we will be like ‘Abhimanyu’ who was stuck in the Chakravyu. I am not suggesting to stop helping others, but yes help them within a reasonable amount. We do not have to bend or kill ourselves for others. When we go overboard that is when the expectations from others start creeping in.

What we fail to realize is that we are burdened with our own expectations. We put ourselves in misery, when we assume that the other person is responsible for our happiness. We give them the control for our happiness when it is solely in our hands. Why do we do it? We never knew that our happiness is in our hands and not others. Our ignorance regarding this has made us miserable.

The day we let go of expecting from people, stop giving them the power to know that we expect something from them. That will be the very day your happiness will be in your hands. This is not easy, not easily applicable and certainly not a day’s job. We have to work on this over and over again. We will get back to the old pattern of doing things for people and then assuming that they owe you a favor and will return when you expect. The life is not a Godfather movie. We need to get real, need to understand the amount of dependencies we really have on people. We need to learn to recognize real people and not take them on face value.

This all will take a little time. But we need to be patient with ourselves. We cannot blame ourselves for making mistakes. Learn to break the pattern which hold us back. Embrace a new & positive life. Accept that we only need to expect from ourselves. Rest all will fall in place like the puzzle. A beautiful puzzle. 🙂

A Good Book

He is being inquisitive about her he further asked, ‘What are your hobbies?’. She replied, ‘Reading Books’.

Many unknown conversations start like this. The connection which we feel with the books is be totally different. The silent quotes which we later realize while talking to someone were read somewhere. Books, this is a parallel universe where we escape from the present reality. The escape to be someone else. A Vampire, a Princess, a Frog, a Secret Agent etc. The romance which we might not have in real, the books make them alive for us. It is there we can make a universe which we want to live.

We all relate to books, some prefer Kindle while some still prefer the page books, where they can feel the pages, smell the pages, read the words on them. There was a time when the books where not affordable, buying a book or a comic could cost us a week’s saving. These old books when bought from the second-hand library the best were the notes scribbled on them. A story of its own between a story. We can imagine so many things about the people who might have written it.

Being an avid reader myself, I am usually asked regarding my favorite book. I earlier used to give the name of the book whichever I was reading at that point of time. But in real a good book would be the one which remains with you for a long time. A book which you will somewhere in future read again. A book every time we re-read we find something new in it.

It’s Just a Matter of Love

Running away from people and keeping yourself away from them is very easy. Be rude or unresponsive people just walk away assuming that either your dead or in deep sleep. But it’s these very own people who teach us harsh lessons that leave scars imprinted on us always. He too was tired with the ways of the world. Just living in hiding buried in work. She got busy fighting her own life. Needed to reach a goal which was unlikely but she had set her mind. Their paths crossed in very odd ways. The parents came first then followed the rest.

He was someone who could influence you with his presence while she was someone who made a presence with a hint of influence. They seemed more like competitors rather than mates; each of them thinking that they were pushing each other further away. They were playing the game of chess never realizing they were similar in many ways. How did things start? That’s interesting because the wheel of destiny just churned them in. Round and round it all begin.

It started with a missed call which she thought now went wrong. Early rays of the sun on a weekend, she never even is up this early on any day. She saw the missed called and knew who it was from. In a panic, she freshened up and hit the call-back button. The voice on the other end was baritone yet a pleasure to the ear. She wasn’t sure what went wrong when he told her that the call was a mistake made in the early hours. She pretended that it didn’t matter, although somewhere deep within her yes it bothered.

A few days passed away with silence as he told her that he would be busy until no end. She knew that he had forgotten her as she thought wasn’t beautiful or intelligent of any kinds. She never knew how wrong she was about her until the day he told her what he had seen in her.

The wait for his call seemed endless. She quit waiting as it was always the days passing made it clearer that waiting never seemed to end & when it did; it was just another dead end. Giving up the hopes she moved on her life, thinking of a reason the call was less than 5 seconds.

Just being busy one day, she heard her phone ring. It was the shock of her life to see his name flashing on it. She answered the call, but he didn’t seem keen to talk. She called back assuming the networks game was up. He gave the same reply saying that it was a call made by mistake after all. She couldn’t realize how the phone ended up dialing her while he remained this aloof. Often she wondered what her destiny is really trying to tell her.

The days went on soon it became weeks she just got tired and left him in heat, Her usual day at the office had ended a little late. On her way back, her phone flashed his name. Answering the nerve wrecking ring; without a hello she declared to him that it’s his phone again that’s made the mistake. This time it was different, though, he said a hello and laughed at her reply. He must never have expected her to say this because he didn’t know how blunt she could be. A brief conversation took place between them once the snide pleasantries were done. She reached home as usual but never realizes the time. He did keep her busy all that time. Later at night she wondered what was he made of. He runs away from her giving her reasons then comes back to her without any reason. For the first time, she felt a little hope for the unknown connection.

Time flew as if it was in a hurry, he again became silent and she began to worry. She never knew what went wrong. She beat herself up recalling the conversation over and over again. Not finding a fault in anything ever shared between them. Her family used to ask her about him. She never had any answers to begin with. She told about the silence, they just assumed that she wasn’t giving in. She was told to take it forward, she never knew where was it stuck and where she should fire. The time went on, she couldn’t forget him. She wanted him to say a clear no instead of the silence which he was giving. Words mattered to her; words gave her the necessary final closure.

It was just a bad day. Being her special no one made it special to celebrate it for her in any way. The day dragged on. She realized that she gave so much to people that when it came to giving her back there just wasn’t anyone around her. The day ended in a mess. She thought that life couldn’t be worse so she thought to even listen to his ‘No’ today. She is someone who always looked after leaping; sent a text in order to end everything and all. She thought that this would make him say No easily putting the blame on her the way many did. She would’ve taken the blame for him. She never wondered even for a bit why she would want to do such a thing. She thought that she had to protect him for whatever she felt for him even in that briefest moment. She did the worst deed and waited for something beyond worse. She seemed desperate indeed. What he said next was a shock to her. There was no denial and a ‘Hi. How are you?’ as an answer. She thought that she read the message wrong or probably he had not read it at all.

The conversation flowed naturally as if he was just waiting for me to explode. The conversations now ended at night with a promise to see her soon the next night. He did text her the other day, but she was still angry because she needed an answer to his silence for all the previous days. She knew that she’ll ask him that eventually or probably he would tell that soon in order to keep this harmony. The days flowed so did the conversations from the day they began to till the night and beyond. So this started with a new story. I will tell you all the same soonest as the pages turn for newer stories.

Decades in a Suitcase

If I ask you what is the hardest thing in one’s life I would get numerous answers from ‘Climbing Mont Blanc’ to ‘The Journey from Rags to Riches’ and so on. However, I think the hardest thing in life would be packing decades of your of life & memories in a suitcase; or writing down the entire 50 years of experience in a two page resume. I felt a similar sense of loss while trying to get 3 decades of my life into one suitcase. Neither, could I leave my things behind nor could I take away all my things. Everything I touched had a good or a bad memory associated with it. While moving from one room to the other room with my mother fretting over everything around me I could see the emptying cupboards and the filling bags. But none of these things could match the sense of loss I was feeling from within.

We have everything new which needs to be packed, but how to leave behind the old ones? They are a part of who we were and what we are today. When we have a pack up from a house full of memories, how does one decide where to start from? What if we leave some of the memories behind? How to decide which memories to even leave behind? It’s very difficult to pack the bags with eyes full of tears & heavy heart. No matter how hard we try, we can’t help break down a few times in the process. Especially when we know that we would no longer be able to come back. After all life is all about moving on and not remaining where we always were. The things would never be the same again. We would no longer be the part of this life again.

There is a new life waiting out there for us; which is chosen & destined for us. It would be even more beautiful than this home. But still leaving home nonetheless is always very tiresome; because out there building our own home is even more difficult. But yes, the peace of living in our own home is the best.

One’s Hell Other’s Heaven

I might sound a little hypocritical in this post hence you all would have to excuse me. But then here it goes, Internet has a significant impact in our lives since its discovery. The entire world now has come to our fingertips. We no longer have to work our asses off to gain any remote information from any corner of the world. The virtual world has become our Reality while Reality seems non-existent. We all live more on the virtual world rather than the real one. Talking to strangers seems more addictive than drugs. But alas, all of this at the cost of our happiness. Now we actually need to wonder is this worth all the effort?

Yes, I know you all would say that I am playing the Devil’s Advocate here. Maybe I am, I am not denying it. But now this is why I decided to write a blog regarding this. I belong to the normal world where I am addicted to the virtual world & all the Social Networking Sites. On one of these I met someone who is so alone & is going through a bad phase of life since past couple of years. I wondered why was he alone with all the 500+ Facebook friends at his fingertips. Out of curiosity I asked the very same question to him. The answer was as I had expected, no one is usually there when we actually need them. Then where is everyone? Why are we so alone when we have all we could ask around us?

Maybe now it’s really the time to untangle ourselves from the evil luring spider sitting on the web he has woven to attract us to it making sure that we never leave. I think the trick worked very well. We are all entangled in this very web we call internet. Searching for someone who will take us away from our hidden loneliness. Somewhere we all are alone too scared to let anyone in thinking that loneliness would be a better company. But is it really a better company? Is it really better than human touch & interaction? I cannot answer this for anyone, each one of you will have to look out for this answer by yourself.

I was one a prey of this web running away from human interaction lonely but still better off by staying that way by choice. Was this choice forced on me? In a way yes, I had forced this upon me. I had made myself miserable assuming that the virtual people are better than the people around me. It cost me a lot of wasted time. Yes, Time a resource we all take extremely casually & by the Time we realize what we have lost we already have lost it.

What we think is hell actually can be someone else’s heaven. Why not? There is always something at the back of our minds which we want most dearly or wish most dearly & we see others having it. We soon conclude that our lives are Hell while the other living your dream is in Heaven. But is it always true? How do we know? Where ever we all are no matter whom do we all talk we all realize that each one of us is unsatisfied at certain levels in our lives. Have we purposefully done it? Or is this what Karma has served us? We shall leave the Karma part for other sometime or else this blog would become a bit too heavy for idiots like us to read. 😛

Now what do we do of these unsatisfied dreams & wishes? Come to think of it we really can’t do much about it other than strive to make our dreams come true or else watch others live our dream. When this happens we literally think that we’re living in Hell and the one living our dream is in Heaven. There will always exist the vicious circle

Silence

Silence and Light I
The Walk of Life Seems so Lonely The Want of Me Will seem Only Your Thirst for this Mirage Made you walk Miles Beware Though It’s a Mirage, might be Lies I may not be; what I seem to be A Heartbroken One Who gave you the Sharpest Piece Watching you Bleed Sanding Alone Mind says Run Heart says Don’t Leave Him Alone