This And That.

I suspect that Maria has lived in the Hindi heartland in India for too long.  Because I doubt very much that this phrase is used in English by anyone other than an Indian who thinks in Hindi and translates the thought into English.  In Hindi, to be vague about anything one simply says, ye wo, meaning this and that, which also stands for etcetera.  Ye meaning this and wo meaning that/she/he.

Philosophically speaking of course, this can be that.  This being the individual and that being the whole.  I somehow cannot however,  picture Maria being philosophical about anything.

On the other hand, she has got plenty of etceteras in her life about which I hope she will do justice in her LBC post which she incidentally has not been writing for a while, being preoccupied as she is with housework, and ye wo.

This and that is also used poetically in India,  to talk about the wonder if this is not that, or more aptly, whether this,  being that, the long sought after girl of the dreams or for a girl, this man who has appeared in her life being the man of her dreams!   For such love struck people, everything reminds them of the lover.  Here is an all time favourite of mine from a remarkable film “Haqueekat”.  A very difficult tune to sing and the singer Lata Mangeshkar carries it so well.  And the lyrics by Kaifi Azmi  set to music by composer Madan Mohan,  will make even misanthropes change!

Zara Si Aahat Hoti Hai To Dil Sochta Hai
Kahin Yeh Woh To Nahin
Kahin Yeh Woh To Nahin (2)
Whenever there’s a slight sound,
My heart is given to think
Could this be him?

Chhup Ke Seene Mein, Aaaa
Chhup Ke Seene Mein Koi Jaise Sadaa Deta Hai
Shaam Se Pehle Diya Dil Ka Jalaa Deta Hai
Hai Usi Ki Yeh Sadaa, Hai Usi Ki Yeh Adaa
Kahin Yeh Woh To Nahin (3)

Like someone hidden in my body,  a tune in the bosom
Lights up the lamp of the heart before dusk
This tune is he, this attribute is he,
Could this be him?

Shakl Phirti Hai, Haa Aa
Shakl Phirti Hai Nigahon Mein Wohi Pyaari Si
Meri Nas Nas Mein Machalne Lagi Chingari Si
Chhoo Gayi Jism Mera, Kiske Daaman Ki Hawa
Kahin Yeh Woh To Nahin (3)
Zara Si Aahat Hoti Hai To Dil Sochta Hai
Kahin Yeh Woh To Nahin (3)

His face wanders in my sight lovingly
And has begun to agitate me in  every vein like sparks
The breeze that touched my body, where did it come from?
Could this be him?

That song leads me to the possibility that Maria, despite my misgivings about her, may well have had such romantic notions when she suggested this topic.  Let us see what she has to say about it.

This topic was also suggested by Maria the gaelikaa, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin,  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, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Gratitude And Happiness.

Last week, as part of the Thanksgiving messages going around the internet I got this on FaceBook:

I strongly believe that this is true and as my readers who have been with me for some time know, I am one thankful dude. (Tammy, how do you like the description?) I shared the image on my page on FB and my friend Nandu had this to say about it.

“Nice one and got me going again I am afraid! (Nandu is a gifted orator who can wax eloquent on any subject.)

Sadly there are so many people who have SO MUCH to be thankful for (applies to most of us if not all on FB at least) and yet are unhappy! I always advice the moaners around me ” Just visit a hospital – or a slum or deep rural areas – and walk around for 1/2 hour to realise how lucky you are – even marvel at the spirit and positive attitude of the seriously ( even terminally ) ill and maimed.” Some might object saying it smacks of “contentment with a mediocre/sub-optimal existence”, not happiness or those stuck in abject poverty. But that precisely is about people working hard to preserve their state of unhappiness and wallowing in misplaced self pity!

I sometimes marvel at the people of especially our country who are poor ( by any definition , except our Governments, and who do not have any “social security” net worth talking about) and yet smile & laugh & share, poor and yet DO NOT resort to crime (more than can be said of the rich and famous!) , poor and yet proud , poor and yet hope & dream , poor and yet have the courage (not ignorance ) to have children ( especially a girl child ) despite an uncertain future for them – many somehow educating them so that they do not inherit the same fetters of misfortune and go on to lead better lives in a cruel world !

They fully realise that only a pitiful few become “slumdog millionaires” or even come anywhere close to it or have Dame Luck smile upon them once in a while . Disparaging as some of us “better off intellectuals” are of Bollywood “formula” film genre , at least it transports these people into a dream world for a couple of hours for a few rupees – brief respite from a harsh inescapable existence!

In this scenario “charity” (in any form, even giving time) by the relatively well-off is hardly an optional or discretionary act of “do gooding ” – it is an obligation that transcends being Thankful (to God or Fate or whatever) and makes our short existence on the planet a bit more meaningful and just…we owe it!

Narsi Bhagat’s poem so loved by Mahatma Gandhi puts it beautifully.

Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye jay peerh paraaye janneyray;

He who understands the pain of others is one of God’s own.
Helping others in need, he or she does not gloat in pride.

This person respects all people in the world, and does not condemn or criticize anyone.
He or she is pure in speech, deed and thought. Mother of such person is blessed indeed!

He is equanimous and has given up all desires. To him, other women are [equivalent to] mothers.
He or she never speaks a lie, and does not covet others’ wealth.

Delusion and attachment do not affect him or her, with mind firm in detachment.
Such a person is ever engrossed in meditation of God, and embodies all places of pilgrimage.

Such a person has no greed or deceit, and has overcome lust and anger.
Narsi says: Such a person is worthy of worship, and alone elevates his entire race”