Monday, June 25, 2012
An easy going attitude can be a virtue as well as a fault! Rather than being uniformly easy going in attiutude, I believe it is more favorable to know - where to go easy and where to be firm and being able to follow through with that knowledge! But what we often see is, mountains made out of molehills and molehills made out of mountains! Much of the evils in life are the result of being firm where we should have gone easy, and going easy where we should have been firm.
As another child falls into an uncapped abandoned borewell and dies(June 20), one cannot but pause and feel guilty along with the nation for having gone easy on the first offender years ago who did not follow the regulation of capping an abandoned borewell. If only the media had made it a point to do a follow up after the first such incident covered six years ago(Prince) and shown the nation not only the drama of painful circumstances but also the grimness of what happens to the offender, then the many following deaths could have been avoided. If only a punishment grim enough had really been meted out then, to create enough fear, it could have prevented such callous attitudes in serious matters as this.
As I flipped through the biography of a gangster "Dawood" who went on to be the cause behind terror in India, I came upon a passage that told me his beginnings in a small conning gang. "As they got away with little offenses they grew more and more confident that they could get away with anything in the country"! And I knew then, that its again our fault; if the soicety had made it a point to severely punish the first offence, it would have nipped crime at the bud and society would not become responsible for terror and thousands of deaths in the nation.
Sometimes forgiveness and mercy is a worse sin. As the little girl Mahi called out to her father to save her out of the borewell, his father could do nothing but wait outside helplessly for three days. The whole world joined together to pray to God the Father for the life of the girl, and still He did not intervene either. If we don't learn when a life is spared as with Prince, what do we require to learn?...A Mahi? (a name which means "Earth Goddess"...)
I have seen that when an issue repeats in our life, it means only one thing; we haven't learnt our lesson with the first. What is the lesson we are not learning in this and other issues in our country? Why are we too kind to callousness and to the likes of Kasab who go on a killing spree? In being kind to one life we are being unkind to thousands of innocent lives in future who may be suscepted to another Kasab,another Dawood, another uncapped borewell.
Are we too much of the forgiving kind? No, not really! We are merely hypocrites. If we (the common man) see one frivolous error in a man who likes to walk the straight path, we are quick to point it out. Why? It is because he is "affected" by his faults and because we enjoy his discomfort in being affected.
But we see "ourselves" in the likes of people who leave a bore well open for saving expenses; we see "ourselves" in a Dawood who in a lust of money, manhood and power showed so called "bravado", "cleverness" and "manliness" in his growth to a Don; which a "man cant help appreciating", in spite of everything it meant eventually. There is no fun in criticising and punishing "ourselves" for having saved some effort and money in capping a borewell, but yeah 'such fun' in pricking the perfectionist as a duffer and good for nothing, over say an umbrella he failed to take! We see ourselves in people who lust the world and not in people who love the good and so we pick the wrong, frivolous battles to fight!
We do have to be wise and not frivolous in choosing our battles. . But I reiterate what I wrote before....If we laze out of the first worthwhile battle, we create for us a worse and woeful war to fight someday.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Apart from the convenience of being totally understood, there are also a lot of household tips to gain from having a married woman as a friend in the neighbourhood. But since last four years I have not had such luck, (although I have had unmarried friends, which does not give the same benefits). It was frustrating until one day I decided; what the heck I will just ask my neighbor directly whatever I might need to know, and I asked -“Whats the best way to keep the house clear of coakroches.” And pleasantly without the process of intimate friendship and sharing I realized I could just get away with good solutions from pointed questions without much embarrassment!
I called up another friend and got the same suggestion and the whole procedure for the massacre as well. It must be good I decided. So I brought the powder and made the dough and stuck it wherever I felt the roaches would visit. The next morning as assured, I expected to see some dead roaches lying about. I was bitterly disappointed..Not even one! But then from the second day on I saw the dead roaches here and there. And I was so thrilled to see the dead ones! The writhing ones I smashed to the finish line.
It is a slow process to becoming a murderer. First time it is difficult and then it becomes easier and easier, until your senses are numbed to the misery of the coachroach. I, the tender heart, was so merciless with the roaches. “Be careful about what you condemn, for that you are in danger of becoming!” is what came to my mind as I boasted about the number of kills each day. But then Gandhiji's words came to my rescue or rather my modified version of what he said.
Well let me warn you first; what he said may not even remotely seem to be linked to my topic. So here's what he said “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." But as a corollary doesn’t it mean “In whatever evil we do we have to check whether it is for a justifiable need or a reckless greed.”? Am I twisting it too much? Well I know Benjamin Franklin seems to have said, "Man is a very reasoning creature; he creates a reason for whatever he wants to do". Yeah sure I know that; but examples might help here to justify my reasoning. Killing a common fowl for food as opposed to killing for sport, is an example of it. If I had gone about hating and killing all the coakroaches in the world it would have been an evil, than killing some roaches that encroached into a space I mark as mine. That is a need. It should have respected my space and kept away or bear with the consequences, right?
“Every war is fought for peace” Once the threat to our space is removed, and the adversary learns to respect our space, the war should cease. "Life is too short to spend in quarrels", and yet life is lived by doing what needs to be done for peace, even when it is a quarrel, a battle, a war that is a requisite to attain it.. We often have to fight a few battles to avoid a destructive war
And now for some whisper of an advice; whatever we do, even if termed wrong, may be perfectly fine as long as it brings good in the long run, but there are dangers when conscience erodes or when we lose sight of the purpose. That is why even one offence is such a dangerous thing, which is also why some religions prefer to teach to refrain from even killing a fly; as one may slowly learn the pleasures of killing (or other evils similarly). We might chose a “wrong path” where the end justifies the means; but we must always check not to become what we once despised. Our war should easily cease when it is peace.