Women And Men.

“We talk about how many women were raped last year, not how many men raped women. We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. We talk about how many teenage girls in the state of Vermont got pregnant last year, rather than how many boys and men impregnated teenage girls.

Even the term ‘violence against women’ is problematic. It’s a bad thing that happens to women, but when you look at that term, ‘violence against women,’ nobody is doing it to them. It just happens to them. Men aren’t even a part of it.”

~ Jackson Katz

Sanctity Of Life.

As has happened so many times in my life, synchronicity strikes again.

I read about an assault on a gynaecologist in this morning’s newspapers. Abortion is legal in India incidentally, but only under specified circumstances. This is an adjunct to our thrust on family planning and I have no quarrel with the legality or the ethics part of it. Since there are other problems involved in that, I don’t wish to elaborate but suffice it to say, that I am impressed by the doctor’s insistence on being on the right side of the law and condemn the goons who attacked him.

I read the newspapers in the morning and after my siesta earlier this afternoon, I got this clip in Whatsapp from a friend.

And that is the synchronicity!

The Pythagorean Cup.

You can learn all about the Pythagorean cup in this Wikipedia entry.

Like many other events in my life there has been synchronicity here too. On Tuesday night, my friend Koushik who features in so many such synchronicities, exchanged ideas with me about Aparigraha as a way of life. Lo and behold, just a few minutes later another friend Arun sent me the image that features on top showing the Pythagorean cup.

Let me quote a sentence from the Wikipedia entry; “The virtue of aparigraha means taking what is truly necessary and no more.” Is it not strange that the same concept seems to have worked on the mind of Pythagoras?

Further Wikipedia also quotes Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras;

Yoga Sutra’s sutra 2.39 states,

अपरिग्रहस्थैर्ये जन्मकथंतासंबोधः ॥३९॥

With constancy of aparigraha, a spiritual illumination of the how and why of motives and birth emerges. (39)

— Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 2.39

The symbol of this cup should also apply to the modern fad of Minimalism.

The Universe is sending me a big message. I am hearing it loud and clear.

Food For Thought.

When I looked around for an inspiring thought for today, I found this image in the internet.

This took me on a different quest for something that I had read some time ago. Let me give my own reactions to the five regrets listed there for this post.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

I honestly believe that I have lived my life as it evolved without ever wanting to change it and welcoming events as they took place. Perhaps that is why, I have come to this three score and ten plus years stage with hardly any stress which surprises the medical profession no end.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

I never worked “so” hard. And, I am not being facetious at all. When I worked I enjoyed every moment of it.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

This has been a weakness but not something that I would regret as not having had the courage. I would say that I was concerned about the other’s feelings and so avoided expressing my own feelings. There have however been instances when I had indeed expressed my feelings without any restraint when those feelings were on the positive side.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

As my readers well know, I have and so this is not a regret that I have at all.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I have let myself be a happy person and bar those unfortunate losses which gave me sadness, my life has by and large been a happy one.

At the end of the Guardian article this question is asked “What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?”

My answer is simple. I lost my wife too soon. I have no big ambitions left and no desires to change anything. My oft repeated prayer is a Sanskrit one which simply asks for a death that is no trouble to me or my near and dear ones and a life without penury. I have the latter and hope that I will get the former too.

As a post script, let me add another paragraph to discuss the contents of the image given above. Among the unstated regrets that most men have in their lives is one that is rarely if ever openly admitted to. They would like to lead lives as depicted in the song Wandering Star and My Way. Highly impractical former and possible but not likely in the latter. I too have had my share of longing for both and like to hear the songs every now and then just to go gaga! I am sure that there must be songs with similar thoughts for women and I will appreciate some of my readers leading me to them.

Pravin had suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

Impatience.

பொறுத்தார் பூமி ஆளுவார்.
That is a Thamizh adage transliterated as Poruthaar boomi aaluvaar.

It means that the one who is patient will rule the world.

I belong to a generation of Indians on whom patience was thrust upon. We simply had no choice in the matter. We had to wait in queues for just about everything. I distinctly remember waiting in a queue to purchase a token plate which would enable me to buy a limited quantity of pasturised milk once a day. If one did not have that, one had to compromise with adulterated milk supplied by a monopoly of milkmen. I also remember having booked for an HMT wrist watch and waiting for six months before it was delivered to me. People had to wait for years to get landline telephone connections and to purchase motorcycles and scooters besides cars. The less said the better about queues for booking railway and bus tickets and the planning that had to be undertaken months in advance to reserve tickets for both train and air travel. Such lives taught us patience and also value for things bought at considerable sacrifice.

The present day generation does not believe us oldies when we talk about those days. It cannot visualise those hard times at all because it is now a generation totally used to and demanding instant gratification. In other words, impatient for results. Gone are the days of plodding with the same employer for a life time of employment and retirement. It is rare nowadays to see some youngsters working in the same organisation for more than a few years!

Impatience, resulting in the desperate need for instant gratification, also results in debt of unmanageable proportions leading to stress at young age. In our times, we could not get loans to finance homes and durables, whereas now lenders are chasing prospective buyers with attractive schemes and instalment payment plans to trap them into the instant gratification trap and stress. Such lures even cover vacations!

The attitudes developed on the basis of such impatience manifests in almost all walks of life including the way the young drive nowadays. To state the obvious, such a value system also affects relationships and the way they are broken and new ones started clearly is indicative of a vastly different value system than the one that I grew up in,

Do I envy these young people? To be brutally honest, yes, to an extent, That extent is that things are now available. I will still not buy anything on hire-purchase and the three credit card issuers that I deal with must be very unhappy with me because, I use them more as a convenience than to repay on instalments. I do not envy their lifestyles and stress at all. I am willing to be patient.

Pravin has suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.