Sunday, March 28, 2010


Fate and Destiny are probably two of the most enamoring terms in the world right now. People who do not believe in them seem to be more interested than the ones who do, simply because of the reason that they might be waiting to experience them by (not) achieving what they’ve always wanted in life and call it their Predestination. Predestination basically addresses the concept of destiny or fate which means being determined in advance; especially the school of thought that God has foreordained every event throughout eternity.

The last time I remember myself thinking about my destiny was when I scored low in my examinations despite of the fact that I had worked really hard. “Maybe my destiny”, I thought to myself, disregarding the fact that maybe a little more of that ‘hard work’ could have done the trick. This very situation could have conjured many different reactions from me. Had I succeeded in achieving what I wanted, I would have said to myself, “I worked hard and scored well, hence I am shaping up my destiny pretty well”. I could have used it as a means of displaying my modesty too,”I did not do anything, maybe it was in my destiny to do well, that’s it.” Had the result gone the other way, “maybe my destiny, hence I did not score well”. Garbled? Yes, I think so. As for me, I haven’t really experienced the ‘shaping up my destiny’ part that often in my life, so at times I use it as a means to hide my failures from myself.

Predestination, as a concept, has had me mystified for quite a long time now. I have wondered if it really does exist or not. My inclination has been towards the view that it does exist irrespective of the way in which we comprehend it. There would be many who wouldn’t agree with the thought. They would believe in the reasoning that if you have done it, it becomes your destiny (if you really want to give it a name, that is) and not that it is your destiny, which is why you have done it. I am not going to speak against the view in any which way, because this very view might have kept them going in their life, and we all should respect that.

Since we are talking over the concept of determining the events that could affect our destiny to a reasonable extent in ‘advance’, getting attracted to the subject even if we don’t believe in it seems pretty normal. There was a time when I used to deny the fact that any of the predictions about the events slated to happen in our lives and be ‘called’ our destiny can be true. Nevertheless, I used to get attracted to the whole construct and the ways by which various practitioners recite to their clients their fate by the all interesting names like face reading, palm reading etc. but my state of denial started transforming into a ‘confused’ one when I started encountering the stages of my life that had been predicted and which I earlier thought can only be ‘pure coincidences’.

Now, I have encountered a number of people who are firm believers of each and every word the prediction of their destiny. Sometimes people tend to take their predicted destiny to be word by word true the moment they hear it and start living their lives relying solely on that, which can pose serious problems in their lives. For example, I’m told by a practitioner that my destiny holds for me studies which cannot be termed even half of what we call average. Now, if I am a firm believer of the view that, since it is not my destiny, it will not happen, then these few words are more than enough to make me believe that I cannot do it. In the end, if I don’t believe that I can do it, then it cannot be done by any stretch of imagination and then whatever happens in our lives is in accordance with the predicted destiny which in turn will make us believe the line “my destiny, hence…”.

Most of us do not take it to be entirely true. We still want to believe that our ‘destiny’ has a lot more surprises in store for us or rather, WE have a lot more surprises in store for our destiny.

Friday, March 12, 2010

God.Or is He?

“God, you’ve become an atheist!”, mother bawled out. The expressions on her face seemed linearly related to the number of days I hadn’t paid reverence in the temple since the last month. My guilt-ridden heart impelled my head to start staring at my feet without any intentions of furnishing an explanation for the ‘wrong doing’. I decided to listen to my heart though there was this corner of my mind that was cerebrating the fact that I had done the same in the small little temple in my home and mother was very much aware of the fact. That very moment there were three questions that raised hands in my mind. Can a temple be ‘small’ and ‘little’ or ‘big’ and ‘large’? Is praying in a ‘small and little’ temple any different from praying in a ‘big and large’ one? Does ‘God’ attend to the ‘sinlessness’ of the heart that seeks his blessings or the ‘place’ where the heart comes?

I can be tagged as ‘ignoramus’ when it comes to the scientific knowledge of the existence of god. Thence, touching a section that we have little or no knowledge about and considering a subject as sensitive as this, it would certainly be no less than a ‘sin’ at bird’s eye view. I will try clinging on to the three questions as much as possible. First and foremost, the answers to all the three questions are based on the human psyche in the way I look at it and not the way the mortals look at it. Period.

Can a temple be ‘small’ and ‘little’ or ‘big’ and ‘large’?
For my money, the straight and forward answer to this question is a NO. If we look at it at the very outset without any designs of mystifying the answer, then the simple explanation would be that the size of the temple and even its location for that matter should be of the least interest and of no importance whatsoever to a soul who ‘believes’ in his ‘God’ or the divine power or existence as he considers it to be. With a true heart, the smallest temple can be considered to be the largest in the world. But the thought that makes me sad is that today, temples and their divine power is measured by the amount of offerings that a temple collects in a day in cash or in kind. That is what makes a temple ‘big’ and ‘large’ today which in my view is simply ridiculous.

Is praying in a ‘small and little’ temple any different from praying in a ‘big and large’ one?
Guessing from the above mentioned it is reasonably simple to figure out my answer to this question, NO. Let’s complicate things a bit for this one. Going by the psychological essence of it, it can be any one’s guess that a majority of the section of the society does believe that they feel a lot better when they visit a temple (which is not in their home). This spiritual sensation is very much understandable because the ambience and the environs of a temple are such that you are bound to feel unstrained. This eyeshot has been embedded into almost every being’s mind that for blessings a public or a so called big and large temple has to be the place. The thought that God sits in all his glory in a hallowed ‘looking’ structure and not in a dilapidated and a fractured one in a destitute’s house is just outrageous.

Does ‘God’ attend to the ‘sinlessness’ of the heart that seeks his blessings or the ‘place’ where the heart comes?
Having answered the above two questions, answering this one would be a two line affair. If you respect the Almighty with your purest of thoughts he will bestow upon you his choicest of blessings which will help you transform ‘your’ small and little temple into a big and large one.

I am not against visiting a temple and whatnot. It is very important to pay one’s reverence to God but I just want to urge you to not to demean that divine power by even taking into account the place in which it resides for at the end of the day we all are answerable to him and not this society.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Nondescript

This, this is the dénouement of what you have been working for, for the last two years. The reverie that you have been chasing in the pursuit of what you call, success. You are slowly falling into an uneasy state of mind for this is the moment that can make or break your dream of being called the Extraordinary. You want your heart to stop the ever increasing noise of its rhythm for you want to hear your name. Does your dream End? Or does it see the light of the day? Well, let’s go for the End. The next thought that takes a safari through your mind is capital O Ordinary. That is what you are. The Nondescript.

What is the definition of Ordinary? Well, the very first thought that comes to mind is a person who cannot spell Over-Achieve. The formal definition is “Not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree”. Both the above mentioned ‘definitions’ pretty much coincide.

Is success the only touchstone to label a person Extraordinaire? In worldly concern, it IS ‘to an extent’ the only yardstick, for we never see a person from the streets of New York being tagged a ‘hero’ for spending 30 days and 30 nights in temperatures which could be as low as -2 degrees centigrade when a magician just got his name infixed into the world records book for spending 63 hours and 42 minutes (to be precise) in an ice block. But when there is a ‘to an extent’ there has to be the other side of the coin. Not taking anything away from the people who deserve it, there would a number of mortals who would be proponents of the theory that Success in fact should not be the measure of potential in a being.

The mere thought for a highly focalized being of not being able to make it to where he sees himself sometime from now can give him the quivers and if he actually doesn’t, Depression, which sometimes leads to suicide. Suicide is a leading cause of death for people worldwide, and one of the three leading causes of death for young people under 25. Every year, approximately one million people die by suicide - one death every two minutes. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that mental disorders (particularly depression and personal unhappiness) are associated with more than 90 percent of all cases of suicide ( That pretty much sums up the importance of not giving success the God like stature. So the theme of being a Nondescript is far more unplayful than it seems.

All the souls need to understand that it is OK to be ordinary. In fact, no one has to be ordinary. The skill needs to be shown the sunlight so that it can find its way out. Clichéd? Yes. In worldly concern, the view possesses little rationality, as many would say. There could be a number of reasons that preclude them from believing the fact (view, rather). One would obviously be lack of cognition. Every 6 out of 10 would be of the view that Kangchenjunga and K2 are OK but Everest it has to be, not to undermine the fact that one should always try for the Everest or try to excel in his field. But that field has to be of one’s interest. Proper tunneling would be decent thereafter.

Another agency that could well serve to the purpose is school. Yes, the grass root level.
Parents need to understand the meaning of The best things come in small packages. Take success one step at a time. Do not burden your children to become the best in the future. If he’s interested in what he is doing, he might well do it, but gradually. There are a number of modes of doing this, and force is definitely not one of them.

This could well begin one’s transition from the ordinary to the….(any guesses?). By the end of the transition we will have noticed that the spread between the two provinces has been boiled down to cypher.

This effort is not intended to undermine the value of success. This is just an effort to fortify at least the face-value of what we call dreams.