Sometimes I Wonder…….

What a fantastic topic that Shackman has come up with for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post where he and I write on the same topic. Please do go over to his blog to see his take on the subject.

Why sometimes? I wonder often about many things and right now at the beginning of our monsoon season, I wonder how something as rain drops falling on parched earth could release such a magnificent scent, yes, the petrichor never fails to release a sense of awe and wonder in me. I have searched high and low to get that in a perfume bottle or spray without any success. And sadly enough, it becomes just a memory till the monsoon is over and the earth dries up again and another unseasonal shower revives it.

I often wonder at how fortunate I have been in my life considering that as a teenager I was given up my extended family as being a nogoodnik with no prospects for the future.  There were just two relatives, besides my mother who had faith that I will do well.  It eventually turned out that I did well, very well indeed, much to the surprise of many and shock of some. The main reason that I am a total believer in the theory of karma.

Every time some one from my long forgotten past pops up to renew contact on facebook or WhatsApp or just telephones having got my telephone number from a mutual acquaintance, I wonder what makes for such affection that wants to renew contact. I also wonder when something triggers a memory and I try and locate someone from my past to renew the contact again.

Another wonder in my life just now is the latest addition to our family. Koko a blind dog who came into our home three weeks ago. It never fails to amaze me as to how she uses her other senses to get along and does not appear to miss being sans eyesight. She cheerfully bangs into furniture and people but has got her bearings inside the house to a tee and can navigate very well. Every time I see her playing around, I wonder at the karma that has made her blind but also brought her into our life.  That in turn leads me to wonder about so many inexplicable situations that appear in my life for which, other than karma, I have no answers.

The biggest wonder of course in these attempts is that modern social media and the internet makes it possible to. Let me give you how I made two new friends by using exactly this modern wonder. Reading reviews of books led me to two such friends who were the reviewers. In one case, the email id was given at the end of the review and I simply had to send him a mail which led to exchanges of mails and telephone calls and today he is among my closest friends. In the other case, I had to search for his contact using the net and finally found it via Linkedin and though he has not quite become a close friend, he and I are in frequent touch on matters of mutual interest.

I often wonder how we lived without the internet in the good old days!

Earlier this week, I had gone on one of my rare outings to buy a chair for my bedroom. It was after a long time that I went to that particular part of the city and I wondered where such growth of the city will end in. The traffic was at least four times denser than what it was the last time that I had gone to that place. Our local Metro Railway is coming up in that area and once that comes, it may ease the congestion somewhat but, while the construction is going on, the road having become narrower causes for traffic jams. I wondered at the madness of modern urbanisation. I am sure that I will keep wondering about this phenomenon in the future also.

I can go on and on about the things that I wonder at or about and instead, shall end with this old favourite of mine which came to my mind immediately on getting the topic from Shackman. I hope that it will trigger as many memories for you as it did it for me listening to it after so many years.

Justice And Arithmetics.

This is a fable that I remembered for its Arithmetical jugglery when I read Ekoshapu’s 2019 Through Recreational Mathematics. I am not into mathematics and his post flew right over my head but this story is something that has come back to me as a result of reading the post.

A traveller seeks shelter in a stormy night in a temple and finds that there are two monks already camping there. Tired and hungry, he asks them if he can get some food. One monk says that he has five rotis and the other three. Both express their inability to decide how to share the rotis. The traveller suggests that both of them divide each roti into three equal parts so that they will have a total of 24 pieces of roti which then could be divided amongst them at eight pieces per head. This is duly done and the three have the meal and go off to sleep.

In the morning, the traveller finds that the rain has stopped and on his way out, gives eight gold coins to the two monks as an expression of his gratitude and goes away.

The two monks then start to quibble about how to share the coins. The monk who had contributed three rotis suggests that they share it four pieces each while the monk who had contributed five suggests that he should get five and the first one only three in proportion to the number of rotis each contributed.

Not finding an amicable solution, they go to the Abbot and ask for justice.

The Abbot after mulling over the matter gives one coin to the monk who had contributed three rotis and seven to the monk who had contributed five. The former immediately cries that this is unfair and asks for an explanation as he points out that the other monk had already offered three coins which was not acceptable to him.

The Abbot explains that the first monk with the five rotis actually gave seven pieces of rotis to the guest from his fifteen pieces whereas the monk with the three gave only one from his share of nine pieces from his original three rotis. So, the monk who gave seven pieces of rotis should get seven coins and the monk who gave only one piece should get one coin!

This story is often used to explain how Karma actually works and I hope that Ekoshapu will come up with some such enlightening stories from his fun with recreational mathematics.

Lion (2016) Movie,

My children Manjiree and Ranjan insisted that I see Lion, and I am glad that they did. I would have gladly given it a miss had I depended on just the kind of publicity that it has received here. In fact, till I sat down to write this post, I did not even know that this film is a multiple award nominee and winner. I had vaguely heard that Dev Patel got some award for his performance in this film but other than that, I was totally ignorant.

Briefly, this is a real life story of a five year old boy from the heartland of India who gets lost, is sheltered in a foster home and eventually gets adopted by an Australian couple. He eventually returns as an adult after going through a traumatic life of memories, to find that his mother has never given up on him.

The story does everything possible to pluck at your emotional strings. Joy, amusement, anger, pity, frustration and so on and I must complement the director who has been able to do so successfully in his debut film. The child actors perform so well that they overshadow Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. The very effective music score at the background soothes and excites by turns and the overall effect is a pleasant experience, somewhat like a roller coaster ride that ends well.

If ever there was a movie that strengthened my belief in the theory of Karma, this is it. Many questions like why the young lad gets separated, and unlike more than hundreds of thousands of young children who go missing every year in India, why he gets adopted by an Australian couple, why the other child adopted by the same couple becomes a disappointment etc, can be answered only with the logic of Karma.

If you can, you must see it.

Incidentally, this is the third Indian film that has featured Australia that I have enjoyed seeing. I have written about UnIndian but not about Bhag Milka Bhag, a song from which keeps bugging me as an earworm on and off. Let me share that  song with you.

Agony Uncle III.

The exchange of mails continues on its merry course.  Mr. Tookay responded after the last mail in my post Agony Uncle II:

Dear Sir,

Thanks once again for taking time off to reply to my weird questions/doubts.

I was really sorry  to learn that your late wife was afflicted by cerebral and cardiac infarcts. Good that you took up the challenge of being her primary caretaker for eight years before she died.  May her soul rest in peace.

Guess, it’s true that learning to cook properly is akin to riding a bicycle. I can cook a few dishes but I am no match to the ladies!  But how nice if we men would be allowed to have 2 wives so that both would compete to give us 100% to us in all areas and we could live a happy life – and when one goes to MIL, the other is there to cook for us! But alas, the Hindu Law and all that crap! Good to know that you are blessed with a wonderful son and daughter in law along with two very loyal help.

I have  only one last question, hopefully: whenever I tell my wife that we have been blessed with a selfish son and that we are not millionaires/billionaires, then she tells me that I might have committed lots of sins in my previous life and therefore I am suffering a lot in present life and I mostly do not get what I wish and pray for – its very rare that God is awake to listen to me! I tell my wife, how does she know that I have committed sins – did any saint/saadu tell her so?  Logic stronger than reason tells me that there is no way to know whether we were even born earlier and that we may be born again [ to again reap the fruits of our good deeds /suffer due to bad deeds of  present life ] This is all hum bug – there is nothing called Karma. What we see and experience in our present lives is the only TRUTH.

By the way, how do you keep fit ? Do you go for long morning/evening walks?

Your thoughts and viewpoints on above will be much appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks & Regards,

Tookay

I responded:

Nothing stops Indian men from having a second wife or a mistress, provided they can get away with such an arrangement.  Similarly, nothing stops an Indian woman from having a lover on the side though I have not come across any who has got a secret second husband hidden away somewhere.  I know or know of  some men and women who are in such situations  though,  quite why they do so is beyond me.  I would have thought that one experience would be enough.

Yes, I am indeed very blessed and I am truly grateful for that.

In Physics, there is Newton’s Third Law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.”  This is not mumbo jumbo, but science.  Our ancients could not use such sophisticated language and came up with their own law called the theory of karma.  There is a remarkably simple book by that same name written by Hirabhai Thakker which explains this very nicely.  If you let me have your address, I will see to it that you receive a copy with my compliments.  Having said that however, I must confess that I do not believe in the idea of sin.  If I were to talk about it, it would take another hour of your time, and so I think that we should leave it for a hopeful face to face meeting sometime.

I practice yogabhyas every morning that lasts for upto an hour.  I also go for walks which should really be called ambles in the evenings whenever the weather permits.  Other than that, I eat sensibly and keep a cheerful disposition which I am told, helps in being fit.

I hope that you will find my answers to your satisfaction.  I also hope that you would have by now read my blog post.  Some very interesting comments have been offered by my readers which may amuse you.  I intend posting further correspondence too.

With kind regards,

Rummuser

There has been no response to that so far and perhaps the exchange has come to a halt.  If there is any further mail from Mr. Tookay, I shall keep my readers informed.

Fate.

I hope that you enjoy reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where six of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic was chosen by The Old Fossil. The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, gaelikaa, Maxi, Paul, Shackman, and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!
endless knot
fate
feɪt/
noun
noun: fate; plural noun: Fates; plural noun: the Fates

1.
the development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.
“fate decided his course for him”
verb
past participle: fated; verb: fate; 3rd person present: fates; gerund or present participle: fating

1.
be destined to happen, turn out, or act in a particular way.
“the regime was fated to end badly”
A beautiful word that can be used as a noun as well as a verb. For me, an Indian, a necessary word in day to day conversations. Karma. Karma in turn means so many things depending on context that a separate post will be needed. For the purpose of this post, suffice it to say that I intend focusing on the endless action / reaction chain that is depicted in the endless knot shown at the start of this post.

“Now as a man is like this or like that,
according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad;
he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;

And here they say that a person consists of desires,
and as is his desire, so is his will;
and as is his will, so is his deed;
and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.”

~ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

The core aspect in this theory is that all beings come into existence and move on till they reach the stage in evolution when they stop getting born again. Popularly known as Nirvana, Mukti and Liberation.

There are three types of karmas.
1. Sanchita Karmas are accumulated works,
2. Prarabdha Karmas are ripe or fructuous actions, and
3. Kriyamana or Agami Karmas are current works

We use a modern phenomenon to explain this. Sanchita karma is the accumulated balance in one’s bank account. Please note that there is nothing good or bad about this accumulation. It is there collected over many lives. Prarabhda karmas are the ones where one removes some amounts for current expenditure and Agami karmas are what you put back into the balance to add to the Sanchita Karma.

Once one gains knowledge of Brahma, or attains Buddhahood or whatever, his Sanchita karma is completely wiped out but the mind body intellect complex that has already manifested itself as a result of pervious Sanchitas has to undergo the effect part of its own karmic cycles. The consciousness which is Brahma simply witnesses the process. The I stops being the I.

Hari Om Tatsat.

Fathers Day.

My household has not celebrated any festival or special day like birthday, anniversary etc for decades. So, for the first time ever, my son Ranjan gave me a big hug for fathers day and a gift I was overwhelmed.

Two other adopted sons too called me from far away places to wish me and it was embarrassing. And to cap it all, I got this SMSfrom an adopted grand daughter: “A very happy fathers day to you! God bless! You are an amazing dad!”

Thank you Moni.

So, I decided to do something for my father too. Ranjan came to the rescue and went shopping for something that the former had been wanting for some time. My father was happy.

I did something more. I played a stay at home father and changed my father’s diaper.

Okay, it is not anything special that I did for fathers day, but I can’t help wonder if karma is all that it is cranked up to be. From all accounts from my late mother, my father never changed my diapers when I was in need of such a service. Inevitably either she or a servant did. On the other hand, I did change Ranjan’s diapers often when he was a child.

Talking about karma, a few days ago, my father, oddly enough, while I was changing his diaper lamented “What negative karmic effect is this that you have to suffer like this?” I answered that it was not his negative karma that I was suffering but mine. In fact, it was his good karma that he had me in his life to do it for him!

If I did not have such moments of inspiration, by now Ranjan would have been changing my diapers.