A new month has begun... Time's flying, though it sure isn't the direction I'd like it to go...
My reading of the Mahabharata has crossed the stage of the Bhagavad Gita. (The post title means doing one's duty with perfection.) The most famous lines are - "Karmani ave adhikars te, ma phalesu kadachana, ma karmaphal hetur bhoo, ma sangostu akramani"... meaning - you have the power to act only, you do not have the power to influence the result; therefore you must act without the anticipation of the result, without succumbing to inaction.
I relate to this section as the boring speech amidst the great war. No offence, it’s just that I hate self-help and philosophical stuff. Hell! I couldn’t even finish the acclaimed “Monk who sold his Ferrari” and Catch 22 by the Heller guy. (I did read and enjoy Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead, though.)
Krishna’s monologue is all about how a human being should behave and how he shouldn’t. Prodded by Arjuna, he answers queries like who is the good man, and how does a person attain moksha, and the like. I glanced through the pages and did not waste too much effort and attention on details. However, a few things caught my eye... And I’m gona share them with you, like it or not.
You know the 5 senses of the body. (C’mon! you learnt those in school! Yeah, that’s right – the sense of smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing.) However, have you ever known the senses of the mind? They are pleasure, pain, sense, desire and revulsion. (I know the sense of sense sounds a little weird, but it makes sense...)
Our senses are powerful and wild. They get attached to varied objects (like tongue to food, nose to perfumes and so on) giving rise to desire. Anger develops from this desire, and anger gives rise to confusion. The cycle continues as confusion causes forgetfulness - you forget your values, principles, lessons from experience... And that’s the sure way to arrive at destruction.
No! That does not mean you’ll be a perfect being if you do nothing and wish for nothing. Even the gods look down upon laziness and procrastination. (Refer top para in this post) The lesson is - do the tasks you’re meant to do, and do it without any desire for the result. It’s mighty tough, I know. When one studies, it’s with the wish to get good grades, and if you remove the grade bit, why the hell would you study?!! But no, the scriptures say you ought to study because that’s the right thing for you to do... (Whatever. Not my cup of tea.)
So, I’ve gleaned a few feasible things for me to do as a mortal organism. One is to address the god inside each human however irritating and useless the individual may be. This means that I will strive to be unprejudiced and calm whenever I interact with anyone, and try not to hurt that person.
Whoever said saying is easier than doing hit it bang on target, but I’m really going to attempt this, friends. You should, too.
The other is to work on the ego and conceit part. I tend to confuse the thin line between self-respect and vanity, and I shall try to be more relaxed and easygoing hereon. I don’t know whether this endeavor will last 2 hours, 2 days or 2 months... (My guess is this will work only when I’m away from people.)
However, Anuja shall have a shot at this.
Pray for me!!
What I’m reading now is the actual battle. I’m loving the descriptions and visual imagery of the war formations (“vyuha”) and attacking strategies. The way Bheeshma and Dhristadyumna (the commanders of the Kuru and Pandava army respectively) are planning their assault is thrilling. Thousands get killed, and millions get wounded. Bheeshma shoots arrows at Krishna, too, but He plucks them out leaving no scar or blood. Some magic!! And the awesome way Bheeshma dies... I read that Shikhandi (previously Amba) loved Bheeshma and wanted to end his suffering in this mortal life, and the Kuru patriarch loved her, too, but for his oath of celibacy.
(I was wondering the other day whether there were any Muslims in the war – there’s a hundred kings and warriors named there, and none sounds Islamic.)
Enough about mythology, history and philosophy. Let me tell you about hell-o-logy. I mean “Hell Down Under”, or simply Roadies 7.0. You remember I was telling you the other day about their stink- and whack-happy episode? Well, the recent one (that I managed to see only halfway) had them dancing to Rajasthani tunes and steps. The guys elicited quite a few laughs thanks to their crazy antics and moves.
Amusingly, right after I wrote about Roadies in my last post, Pune Mirror published an article about Roadies trivia and the city lass Suzanna who is presently on the show. Here’s some stuff I read there – Roadies 1 was no contest, it was just another show, and Rannvijay didn’t win it; he was just the most popular. Also, Raghu’s job application was rejected by MTV in 2001, and Rannvijay suggested that his twin bro join the auditions for the current season.
Roadies – where strangers come together and traverse the countryside in search of name, money, fun and fame. Don’t we do the same? I often think of life as a path. When people meet, the paths cross; when they spend time together, the roads coincide and continue; when they are physically together yet aloof, they walk parallel without intersecting. And then they walk on to their separate identities and destinies...
People come and people go... What remains is memories... Memories of the fun I had with Sarikadi, memories of the drama with Vaibhav (he spelt it “Vebhav”) Gupta, memories of KP and Fauzil (aka Fossil fuel), memories of learning with Meenakshi Iyer (inlingua), memories of work and enjoyment at Optimos, memories of times with Deepti and so many more...
And yet I walk alone...