Have a Happy and Pollution Free Diwali

DiwaliDiwali is here. Its that time of the year when we all get together with our families and loved ones and celebrate India’s grandest festival. I am not religious at all, neither do I really care about the story behind Diwali. The only thing I care about is that it is an occasion that brings families and loved ones together. I enjoy lighting candles and diyas, decorating our houses, buying new clothes, nice food, and the company of my favourite people.

The only thing that has stopped making sense to me, since over a decade and a half now, is people burning firecrackers. I cannot understand what point people are trying to make when they go nuts about firecrackers and cause so much polution that their fellow humans and animals can barely survive. What is it? Is it ego? Is it too much Money? Why the blatant disregard for the environment and our own health and safety?

This Diwali, spare a thought for the thousands, if not more, who already have it tough trying to breathe and how difficult it is going to become for them and everyone else, just because some people place their own amusement above the greater good of the planet.

Hope you have a nice but pollution free Diwali!!

The Fake Wellwisher

Often, when you are not too happy, you might find a lot of people empathising with you. And, that is a good thing because you feel you are not alone.
However, when things turn around and you are happy again, most of those people would continue to be happy for you but there would be a few who would suddenly vanish. All your deep ties appear broken.
I wonder why that happens. Maybe it is human nature that brings out the good in people when they see others unhappy and that somehow makes them feel their lives are so much better.
But it is much more difficult for them to see the same people become happy, maybe because it rubs away the special feeling that they have enjoyed till then.
Truth be told, once you identify this behaviour, you should be even happier than before because now you know that someone is jealous.

Love and Loss

Sometimes, when you love someone, then the most difficult thing that you can endure isn’t losing them but having to watch them lose you.

You cry not because of your own loss, but because you know someone else is crying too.

It’s not my Karma

Karma

 

Karma, they say, basically means that your good and bad actions or deeds come back to reward or punish you. So, if something good is happening in your life right now, it is because of your past good Karma and if something bad is happening, it must be some bad Karma.

Of course, it is only a concept that people theorize about and it comes mostly from religious texts but, of course, no one can ever know for sure. Well, then why am I writing on this? It is for two reasons.

First, I think it is completely wrong. Why? Because it requires me to presuppose that the Universe is a just place. It tries to fool me into assuming that I am the most special component at the centre of this universe and the entire universe along with the laws of nature are colluding to make things happen with only me on its mind. Or, increase the subset and say it has us – all humans – on its mind. Even then, I feel that once you consider the vast expanse of the universe and our relatively tiny and irrelevant place in it, the concept just stops making sense right then and there. The universe is huge and we haven’t explored even 1% of its size to see if there are any others like us on some other planets. It is so vast that we haven’t yet, and might never be able to discover any other forms of life in it. Yet, we can be so arrogant and self-centred to make this gigantic claim to know that the same universe is designed to run as this rewarding and punishing machine that know exactly what some tiny human did and what he/she should get in return.

Secondly, let us suppose that this concept was somehow acceptable on the grounds that it encourages us to do good deeds increasingly more often than bad ones fearing Karmic retribution. Fair enough. But I am still not too happy with it because now it attempts to do something else that spoils the essence of being human. That it does by telling people that their achievements and failures are somehow magically linked with a past that they might never know to be true (like from “past lives”), thereby fictionalizing our lives. Does it also mean that one’s efforts to achieve something and their emotions and feelings attached to it are basically irrelevant in front of Karma?

We don’t need to find supernatural explanations in everything. Sometimes, things just happen. The essence of being human is in doing and dreaming, it is in rising and falling, it is in flying and hurting. We deeply cherish both our good days and bad days and that is how humanity gets its charm. Let us not trivialize it by resorting to a concept that stinks of wishful thinking and immaturity in order to gain a placebo effect.

Unintelligent Comments

unintelligent

I find it most amusing to read comments made by readers of the news website timesofindia.com on its various news reports. I am only singling out TOI because I haven’t been reading news on any other website and so it might appear that I am only talking about TOI, but my point is not the news site but the intellectual level of the readers in general (myself excluded hopefully).

So, I would like to present a few examples of comments left by readers of some news articles which sometimes have NO RELATION whatsoever to the actual piece of news and even if there is a relation, the arguments are mostly nonsensical. It makes me wonder about the incredibly funny ways in which some people interpret what is being reported and how little they really understand speech and how narrowly their minds respond to intellectual stimulus. And, in all these cases, you will find the complete lack of intellect whatesoever, to the point of being outright idiotic.

As an example, there was a news item today that said that the latest Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism has found that the number of non religious people in India as well as the world has risen over the last 6-8 years and then goes on to give some stats. There is no judging these results, only pure stats. And now, look at what some people’s comments have been:

  • “THIS IS BECAUSE OF UP WALAS AND BIHARIS THEY MAKE YOUR LIFE HELL YOU STOP BELEIVING IN GOD I KNOW SOME PEOPLE IN DELHI WHO ABUSE GOD TOO THEY GONE MAD IN PITAMPURA AND WAZIRPUR INDUSTRIAL AREA
  • “My stomach is full, had been everywhere, enjoyed too much, had beautiful wife & children, Having decent settled living. Now , I am looking for perfect bliss somewhere in temple or church under saddguru. Maharaj ! Now teach me what is religion? Show me the way to happiness. The donkey phase of life I just finished.”
  • Just become Western slave instead–is it?”
  • “God will born, when believing % touch 100.”
  • “Effect of congress rule… Law didn’t punished but why God not punishing corrupt??? If god existed he should have punished all corrupts by now… corrupt die natural death till then he enjoys…. its simple god doesn’t exist…”
  • “If you don’t believe in one god then you will not feel accountable, which will lead to destruction of the society. How can anyone deny existence of god? Anyway atheists are mindless people.
  • The person who call himself an atheist is biggest believer of god. They many not attached to any religion. Because many of the religion has become corrupt because of self styled godman. So called atheist believe in helping the needy in time of distress and helping the society in their own way. They don’t go to the temple or mask or church to please god. They do there work silently without creating divide among the people in the name of god. For me they are true believer of god. They don’t identify themselves with any religion or God.”

Does it just show the depths to which the average intellectual level has fallen?

The phobia of reading Romance

There is something weird about reading novels on romance because I have never been able to read one. Yes, Love Story by Eric Segal is something almost everyone has read and so have I, but I must declare, with humbleness, that that is where my affair with the genre ends (so far as reading books is concerned).

I’ve bought and read hundreds of books in my life – philosophy, biographies, crime, drama, humor, etc. – but I have never been able to pick up another book on romance. I’ve heard a lot about authors who write very good romance and I’ve also considered getting my hands on Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, but something doesn’t click. Trust me, I am not against the concept of romance, and like everyone else, I do aspire for it in the same way, but there is something about these books that makes me keep away from reading them.

After years and years, I finally own The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – a book that is only about 180 pages. I’ve had it with me for over 2 months and yet I am unable to finish it.

What is this phobia then? Is it the fear of loss or the possibility of happiness that they might falsely promise?

Does everything happen for good?

good bad

When something bad happens and people tell you, “In the end, everything happens for the good,” I find it unbelievable how easy and simplistic they make it sound. How do you know things ALWAYS happen for the good? And how do you know that that good will be for everyone involved? Moreover, how and when will you know the end if there ever was one?

If someone was born physically challenged. Would you say everything happened for the good? You know what could have been good? Being born NOT physically challenged.

If someone contracts a fatal disease, like cancer, would you say everything happens for the good? One might give examples of survivors like Neil Armstrong and Yuvraj Singh and make a point that “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” But ask yourself this. Did cancer make them stronger or was it the fact that it was cured that made them stronger? And what about the thousands that Cancer really kills as opposed to the very few handful who survive?

Two people who love each other get separated. Would you say everything happened for the good? Good of whom? For one, I could understand, but for both? I can’t agree. And by “In the end..” what do you mean? When should that end have been? Finding the next partner? But even that might not be the end? You might separate from them also. Then what? Will the end keep shifting until the whole thing becomes pointless?

Life is not for people to pretend to simplify. Human beings are complex and their lives and situations are complex. Good doesn’t always happen. Nothing’s ever right and you can’t always make things right.

Let us not cheat each other of our tragedies by saying that everything happens for the good. Things just happen. You don’t get what is good for you, you just get what you get. There is no universe looking out for you trying to strike a balance. You just need to be happy in whatever you have.

Enjoy your happiness but equally enjoy your miseries.

 

%d bloggers like this: