Monday, February 27, 2012

Me and the dessert.

Self control. Blech. Sounds very restricting to my freedom. Let's call it self-mastery. Ah! Sounds empowering.

Everytime I have an ice cream, I know that the moment it is taken away from me, I wont think about it. I wont crave it. In its absence, I wont mess up other things I'm doing, coz I'm thinking about that ice cream. This sounds new, almost weird. 

There's that guy you hate in your class. Everytime he's absent from class, your day goes surprisingly wonderful. Everytime you see him, his 'stupid face first thing in the morning', it bugs you to no end. "But I can hate whoever I want. I'm a free person." His presence or absence decides the course of your day. Does this sound like a free person to you?

Freedom is the opportunity to make your own choices. I'm sure everyone agrees with that. By "own choices" I mean everything that YOU think is right.
Like say, I love eating. And I do it ALL the time. I dont see anything wrong with it. And I'm not hurting anybody in the process. "I like it, toh I'll do it."(Sound familiar?)

Problem is, even when you are full, and there's dessert in front of you, your mind doesnt even have a choice. Normally, the internal dynamics must go like this:

Dessert: Im right here, waiting to be eaten.
Mind: But I'm full. And dessert isnt even that good for health. Let's skip it this time. It's not like I'll never ever have dessert again, anyway.
Dessert: But...
Mind: Nope. Sorry. Decided.

But if youre in LOVE with that particular dessert, the conversation goes a tad differently:

Dessert:  Im right here, waiting to be eaten.
Mind: Oh, I'm full. But you look tempting. I just cant seem to say no!'
Dessert: (smiles smugly)

Brahmacharya or discipline is not about celibacy or not marrying, it's about knowing that you will be happy, whether a certain thing is present or absent.
About realising that your happiness isnt in fact, a function of whether the object is there or not, but of your REACTION to its presence or absence.

After a lot of thoight, I realised that restriction isn't the opposite of freedom. Restriction is the tool used to enjoy freedom better and more fully.

Without restriction, you would have gobbled up that dessert, and probably asked for more. End of that story = toothache/stomachache.

With restriction, you'd have some of the dessert and stop. Or give up the dessert, so your system stays okay. You had the freedom of choice, and exercising restriction in this case made you healthier and happier than the 2 seconds of dessert in your mouth, and the 2 days of clutching your stomach in pain.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Ant and the Bully

There’s a girl walking on the street
Who says she doesn’t need your help
And BAM! She hits a lamp-post
And down she falls, letting out a yelp.

You walk over and say
“I told you you need me
But you never listen ,do you?”
But it’s your eyes she doesn’t see.

Hurt as she is
She walks right ahead
Towards the end of the road
Ignoring what you said

You run behind her
Running as she walks
Telling her she can’t manage
There’s no end to your mocks

She tries not to listen
She tries walking faster
But you just run harder
Until you’re her master

You pin her to the ground
And she’s hopeless as an ant
And yes, you are the bully
With the taunts incessant.

And you stand up
Powerful as you are
Leave her to her fate
And simply wave from afar

And now, she sees your smile
And she sees your hand
Realises she is lost forever
And wonders who to reprimand.

- Written by me, in a state of depression over some petty issues that seemed the world to me about 2 years ago.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Everytime I enter the Siddhivinayak temple, thoughts that rarely come to me, gush into me. Deep thoughts. Frivolous thoughts. Spiritual thoughts. Worldly thoughts. All at once. And then I get a sudden urge to write it all down. So here I am.

I was in the main sanctum, where the idol is kept, being pushed around by atleast 20 odd different people. There were the young ones, who, because of their height, were struggling to catch a glimpse of the wonderful gold idol. Then there were the youths, the ones who were being pushed by their mothers ‘Jaa beta darshan toh leke aa, yahan kyon khada hai?’ and were reluctantly pushed forward into the chaos of flowers, coconuts and grass.

Then there were also the middle aged folk, the uncles and aunties praying for their sons’ and daughters’ impending board exams (Panditji, aapne theek se nahi chadhaye phool, gir gaye woh’). They take a looooong look at the idol once they manage to reach the front of the line(?) and then stay there, until the watchman says ‘tsala tsala pudhe’. (Marathi for ‘come on, come on, move ahead’)

And finally there were the really old folk, the folk praying for forgiveness for all the things they did in their lives or thankful for the wonderful grandson they got recently, and they can’t seem to stand in one place as people young and old start pushing them this way and that, because after all, everyone wants some time right there, in front of the idol, where the idol can really see you clearly.

And that’s when I thought. About thoughts itself. Each one is like a devotee. Struggling for just a minute of your time. Each one thought is a different one, so different in its nature, so different in its intentions, so different in its own way. It takes up your time for a second, or a minute, or more, depending on how long you entertain it. And then it goes away. And another thought comes in its place, again hoping you would entertain it for a while. And all day long, every week of every month of every year throughout your life, these thoughts flow like a river into, through and out of you.

Your intellect is the watchman. It must see which thought comes in, how long it has stayed, and whether it is now time to say ‘pudhe tsala’ to it, so a better, nobler thought with more integrity can come in place of it.