Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Humane - Divine..

Do you believe you are human...?! Do you know if you really are?? What if I tell you, that I BELIEVE in something different... would that make me less human? ...Or perhaps, more arrogant, if I were to tell you what I truly believe in....
Let me explain...

I have been thinking a lot, for almost all my life, but never really committed it to paper- or keyboard, as the case may be- before. Sometimes, my thought process was so effervescent, like bubbles in a glass of Coke... barely there, and so very volatile, they never were meant for anything anyway... never amounting to anything more, just there for the flavour, if you see what I mean!??
This made me feel as if I should give my thoughts time to mature... like a fine wine; which gains its flavour, its age in itself, its true worth... (pardon me for resorting to coke and wine; I did not do this deliberately and my thoughts are not along those lines, I assure you!)
so, perhaps, now is the right time to elaborate.
...to write, and be read...
...to speak and be heard...
...to believe and be told that it is not baseless to believe in oneself...

If I look at my parents, and the values they've always stood for, I feel proud and confident of their inherent virtue, I feel humble...like a speck of cloud in the azure, expansive skies above; small, and yet larger-than-life; sure of my forefathers' immortality.
Not in form,
not even in words,
but as a school of thought that they came from.
This belief, this surety stems from the profound wisdom, the unshakable greatness of both my grandfathers, the simplicity and yet, the hard-working stock of my grandmothers, who, by performing their worldly duties and standing by their husbands so steadfastly, denoted to me all that was good and right in the world in those days.
When marriages were, truly, made in Heaven, and facilitated, nay, merely formalised by our Elders...
When the Marital vows were strong and robust, when the husband worked hard and provided for his family not only in terms of where their next meal came, but also how, in a home where he was just a presence that was 'felt' rather than 'seen'; 'experienced' and not so often 'heard' it was his principles that flowed in the veins of his progeny.
When the youngsters of the family knew, by the way their mothers spoke of their fathers, not taking their name...just by a whisper of a reference, by the sight of a familiar set of shoes in the place he always left them, by the way a window that was always half-open so she could know he had arrived...from the echo of his footfall...from the sound of the bicycle, scooter or car in the gully below... that HE was home..., that he was, indeed, a palpable a presence in his home. Its spirit, its soul its life-breath.
My Paternal Grandfather,Shri Halubha Shivubha Sodha, was just such a patriarch. He was always referred to as 'Bapuji' by all of us, He was straightforward, a man of high principles, and a low voice. He never did need to raise it, really. his mere presence commanded respect and admiration. All his children looked up to him, and strove to make him proud...
The reverence, the overpowering, overwhelming affection he stirred in his children's hearts...was expressed in the way they cast down their eyes when he was in the same place as them. The seldom spoke at him, but always listened, rapt, to his words, even though, more often than not, youth, age and irreverent recklessness gave free rein to the dreams and desires of their closest friends.
One of the most beautiful anecdotes my father shared with us, many moons ago, was the time when, having returned late in the evening from a movie he went for, with a friend, my father was told by Ba, my gran, that Bapuji was home,
"બાપુજી આવી ગયા છે..મેં કઈ દીધું છે, અજય ના ઘરે ગયો છે."
(She had told Bapuji, when he inquired, that Dad had gone out to a friend's place.)
 Later, when Bapuji asked Dad where he'd been, he looked into his father's eyes and said" I was out with Ajay, to see a film"... At this, Bapuji looked up at Ba....I can only imagine the pride and happiness he felt for his son then. They briefly conversed about what film that was (a WW-II film, if I recollect, something along the lines of those days' epic sagas from Hollywood) and both father and son shared a deeper understanding of each others' true nature.
There are many more incidents, both big and small, that have shaped the lives and thoughts of my father and mother in their lifetime.
So, you see, this is the kind of value-system I owe my existence to. I'm humbled by their solid morals and take immense pride in this heritage of Truth and Respect...

Who am I and what is the purpose of life?
This is a question we all might sometimes ask ourselves at some point in our lives. I often ask myself..and wonder...
Mystics say it takes us a lifetime (and beyond) to find the answer..

I believe, as surely as I believe in God, that, at the time of birth, each and every child is unaware of "I" and immersed in the fluid, all-pervading Godliness.... of itself. Maybe, that is the reason why all babies, at the time of birh have their eyes tightly shut, clenched fists rigid and unrelenting, as if holding on to Him... Their one-ness from God is reflected in the cry at birth, in the lament of a torturous human existence, as if removed from the embrace of a loving mother...
since I became a mother I marvel at the mechanics of the Universe- all the more mysterious, altogether  more sublime...
Mother-hood and miracles go hand-in-hand. Each new day is different...and yet, the same. In the incessant cycle of life we come, grow, go and leave behind us a legacy of memories, memoirs and mementoes. Every Child is divine, at birth; it is we who make them humans....It is only appropriate that we etrive to impart good values to them, so that they may become better human beings tomorrow...
This life, given us by our parents...Bestowed in grace and a gift, if you will, from God Himself...It is meaningful and useful only if we live up to our essence- divinity, and our extent- humanity...

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