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My tryst with the millenial fairy tale

The Prince and Princess of Wales. For a long time they were the opposite poles of a dichotomy of love and hate. Diana was ofcourse the centre of all affection. Because weirdly, I related to her. I identified with her. Because her words, were able to contain my pain. Naturally all my hatred was channelled to Charles, just as popular media wanted me to think.

But of late, during the lockdown our family sat down to watch “The Crown”. This series spoke to me on a different level. It was essentially therapeutic for me. Season 3 revealed to me a different side of Charles. A different side to the familiar story, an untold story. For the first time in forever, I felt for Charles.

Ofcourse I do not know where to draw the line between fact and fiction. I do know, as always fictional was more lovable than real. But knowing better, I can do better. I do realize now that my hatred towards Charles was in fact, my resentment towards those who’ve hurt me, in disguise. I feel sorry for Charles and Diana and now, I find myself trying to understand Camilla.

Unlike before, I refrain from holding anyone accountable for the tragic episodes of this relationship. In a world where information is rationed, cooked and spoon fed to common man like myself, the best thing to be done is to avoid taking sides. I’d like to believe that it just happened. They are all ordinary, imperfect, fallible people, just like me- timid, quivering and stumbling before God’s grand scheme for this universe

This was a pleasant failure from my side. It just revealed to me how much of a judgmental brute I had been. It also showed me how ignorant I can be about it. In essence this failure opened my eyes to one of my fundamental weaknesses that I believe, I share with most of the human race.

This just reaffirmed my faith in kindness, goodness and forgiveness. I do sincerely hope and wish to avoid this mistake in the future. I am amused at how the story of someone whom I’ll probably never meet, has opened my eyes in a way that is so profound and intimate. I feel overwhelmed and grateful as I write this. Its humbling and beautiful.

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Thoughts during a wrinkle in time

I realize that the past is more than what I thought it was. The past, it appears, is not merely a passive parasite that sucks out the life force from our future. The past apparently is the devil to whom we have pawned our soul in exchange for the rest of our lives. I do not know (And I do not know if I am allowed to doubt it) if changing our thoughts is a permanent solution to the problems of the past. Because how much of ownership can we claim upon our thoughts?

Artwork by: Anthony Clarkson

I believe that the only way to rewrite past is by writing the future accordingly. And that does not seem to be a matter of concern exclusive to free will alone. I do feel that free will is at times a bit too over rated. Determinism is grim, unpleasant and uncomfortable like most other truths. So we’d rather be comfy in comfortable lies and everlasting denial. But the answer lies in modifying the future so as to rectify the past. And I believe this is only possible through an interplay of determinism and freewill. For the time being, the present shall be a mirror, where the past and the future, mutually reflecting the other, stands wearing a weary wicked grin.

Disintegration of Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
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A sinner’s reflection

The Genesis story has always captured my imagination. I used to wonder why God allowed the Snake into the garden in the first place. God being omnipresent and omnipotent should have known that the snake is seductive and tempting and that man and woman are rather weak. If this is true, then I think the only plausible conclusion is that God wanted this to happen.

Image courtesy: Sex Museum, Shanghai, China.

God enforces banishment to a land with even more temptations for man and woman. Something is implied here. From my limited understanding, I gather that this implies the necessity for us to sin. For sin is essential for a sense of guilt. Guilt and remorse the gatekeepers of unconscious let’s us see how as humanity, we share the same ugliness. The darkness in me, could be hidden somewhere deep inside you as well. Deep down, there are many things we share.

This realization could be the beginning of Wisdom. Because here we begin to empathize and expand our love to a sense of agape. We will forgive quickly, because we understand quickly. We understand quickly because we have a better frame of reference founded in our exploration of our own darkness, our possibility to be the same as our offenders. This is when we might be able to forbid ourselves from judging without asking ourselves in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation we might not have done the same, to quote Viktor Frankl. 

Alongside forgiveness, we shall learn to love freely, unconditionally. Love every ray, every bit of this Universe. That’s how we fill ourselves with God. We find futility in staying unhappy for love is smiling through everything. We become the grace of life. Something we must hold dear at perilous times like this.

All these are easier said than done. While writing this, I hold myself in doubt as to how far I have understood and absorbed this notion. I am unsure as to how much I will be able to put this into practice. In a world where we are constantly seduced by temptations every saint stands a high chance to repeat his history.

Image courtesy: Cocorrina and Co.

Recognizing and resisting the pull, as they say, is the only way to build muscle. Perhaps, the same applies here as well. Resistance of temptations, striving towards the ideal, prevailing over self doubt and derogation is how we reclaim the lost Paradise. Love, and only love is our destiny and the direction.

Image Courtesy: Detroit Institute of Arts Museum

And to the presence in the room he said, 
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head, 
And with a look made of all sweet accord, 
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.” 
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,” 
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, 
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.” The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night 
It came again with a great wakening light, 
And showed the names whom love of God had blest, 
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest. 

Abou Ben Adhem, Liegh Hunt