Sunday, 10 November 2013

Why are you like this?

"Why are you like this?," is an Indianism, but I know that I say it too often for my own good and the good of those who I say it to, and more worryingly; I think it- at least three times the number of times I say it.

I am sure I am not the only mother who knows it is wrong, yet tends to compare her children, their habits, their reactions, their achievements, their qualities and their failures. There is a lot of childrearing one learns from experience and hence some of it is inevitable and benefits the younger child but most of the time, comparison is destructive.

Hence I found Shivaniji's explanation about what determines people's behaviour, quite enlightening.

It seems our values and behaviours are influenced by five things,

1) Values or sanskars we receive from our parents or family. Yes, children of couch potatoes don't usually end up running marathons and sons and daughters of champions usually do pursue a sporting activity.

2) Values which we imbibe from our environment, which includes the country we live in, the culture we are exposed to, the school we go to, the political situation our country may be caught in i.e, war, famine, disease.

This can be a powerful influence and it could be, about how you have seen the women being treated at home or in society or it could be  about your attitude to work. The fervour with which you try to protect the sanctity of your weekends, for instance.

 My son when I ask him to make a routine for himself, usually starts out by putting TV times first, the work then slots in around that- don't know if it is parental or environmental influence!

3) Values which have been with you as a result of your karma in previous births. It seems we all know the age of our physical costumes i.e our bodies, yet we don't know how old our souls are and all that the soul has experienced in previous births, is ingrained like grooves on a CD.

Parents are well advised to remember that their children are not a clean slate, for them to start writing on. They already have an underlying operating system, on which one tries to run one's programs. So again the soul, depending on its experiences of different parents and cultures, may be a quiet, introverted person, who finds it difficult to lie about his age to watch a movie or  somebody who has a lot to say and thinks nothing of adjusting the truth to suit the occasion.

It reminds me of someone describing his two daughters to me. One shops at Oxford street, wears designer clothes, wants luxury in her daily life... whereas the younger one gets a doggy bag packed if something is left behind after they have eaten out in a restaurant, takes the train even if it costs the earth to reduce her carbon foot print, shops for clothes and shoes only when necessary and when they are on SALE and hence in his opinion the two daughters are poles apart.

Even identical twins who have the same genes and environments have different personalities. (Incidentally I read a very interesting story of a Catholic American white man who tried hard to find another plausible reason for his two year old recounting the horrors of the second world war, yet all his research based on what his son was saying, led him to find out that his son had been a fighter pilot in his previous birth, who was killed in combat. The two year old gave the leads about the type of aircraft, who the enemies were, the names of friends etc)

4) Values which you develop through your own will power.

These are by far the most powerful, because they can erase the influences of family, environment and those from previous births.

So guys, there is no excuse- just because nobody in my family has ever run a marathon, doesn't mean I couldn't have and indeed one can see numerous examples of how people have broken through barriers and comfort zones to create something of value for themselves and for the next generation.

5) The original qualities of the soul before it embarked on its journey, before the CD got scratched from the various experiences of births, deaths and rebirths.

This is the default state, something we all are looking for- happiness, peace, power, purity!

The soul is originally happy, therefore doesn't need a glass of Smirnoff Ice to feel happy, certainly does not need a Lamborgini or a mansion and also no particular person can make the soul happy, because it originally is....though sometimes people and situations can assist in helping to find our original state.

The soul does not get angry or irritated, it is at peace, in spite of people and situations which we perceive as able to provoke anger or irritation. We have a perfect picture in our minds which we are forever trying to complete as per our specifications, not realising it is He who is filling in the colours, we just need to stand by and enjoy the revelations.

However the soul never feels victimised and always feels powerful enough to know its original true nature and is able to program the mind, body and intellect to act accordingly.

I have a job trying to keep calm and maintain peace when dealing with my children, so it helps to know there is only so much I can do but more importantly I am always aware of the fact that all the experiences are getting recorded in their brains. The younger the person, more soul conscious and thus more receptive to all influences.

We realise now how the most important formative and foundation laying influences of our life have been when we were young, impressionable, pure and easily moulded!


PDA-Public display of affection, in India???

After having read about the harems maintained by English officers along with the Mughal noblemen and emperors, I am beginning to have my own theories about why Islam is the second most popular religion in the world,

But the surprise comment came from a sixteen year old- "polygamy would be good for us, the women."

She went on to elaborate that women are always hard to get, but if more than one could lay claim to the superior gene pool, like it happens in the animal kingdom, we women would be more sought after!

I did not try contradict her statement, don't know whether I was dumbfounded or worried or both.

But in actual fact celebrities are targeted by many, however that's true about both men and women. I wonder what would have happened if David Beckham, Brad Pitt (lets not talk about Clooney, he doesn't even have one) and the like, had a harem of wives. Would Angelina Jolie and Posh be happy being one of many or would they too have a male harem?

Talking about Mughals and harems, I wonder how many of us have actually visited the Safdarjung Tomb (the Mughal Emperor's Prime Minister in late eighteenth century). Even though it is a very prominent landmark on Delhi's roads and we have all crossed it, I bet nobody except a few mad people like me have set foot in it.

I don't remember who amongst us three brave and foolish girls' mad idea it was, but somehow one fine evening we landed at the Safdarjung Tomb's entrance. I was driving, so I asked the rest to get down while I parked. As I was parking, we all noticed strange looks coming our way.

We had been to the neighbouring restaurant, Khatir, apparently owned by Shahrukh Khan, amongst other glamorous pads in we did not think much of foraying into the entrance of the imposing monument in the neighbourhood.

We have regretted it ever since. As we went in, the enclosed gardens looked very green and the monument indeed very well maintained and clean, yet as we started walking around we saw the love birds behind the bushes.

This was a good two decades back, don't know what the situation is today but on that day the place was full of couples "making out" if you know what I mean!

We soon realised why all at the gate, had been giving us odd looks. We felt so uncomfortable, the place was so silent and deserted, yet so crowded and full of activity of a hushed taboo kind that we rushed out as fast as we could.

Since then I have travelled abroad and probably seen much worse, yet the heavy, fear and guilt ridden atmosphere on that evening inside the tomb- I will never forget!

We still seemed to be in the Salim Anarkali age, where love is punished; when it should be celebrated irrespective of all the man made and perceived differences between us homo sapiens, or is it just a case lack of affordable housing? I have never known!