Thursday, March 10, 2011

I have realized eventually that my extended family : Big B

I have realized eventually that my extended family : Big B
Bhopal , MP        Mar  10 , 2011    Thu  11 : 09 PM
I have realized eventually that my extended family consists of many that are far more conversant with philosophy and many other aspects of life, than me. They are also more intelligent, astute and literate and have that great capacity to be able to take on any debate on any subject.
This comes about after a quick run through of all the responses that I garnered this evening. Many among them gave valuable commentary, challenged aspects of what they had read and believed, which was most enlightening. And many admired my own little argument on the subject. Some felt it to be out of place for me to have indulged in a topic as vast and concentrated as this, whilst others wondered if I had been sitting on the Himalayas before putting down my words of ‘wisdom’.
The Himalayas, apart from being the highest mountain range in the world, apart from being the symbolic, and for long, before science improved and deflated beliefs, the physical protector of the region, has been an important element in our literature, religiosity and our social morality. Its vastness and its magnitude has been looked upon as insurmountable, giving the thinkers and writers sufficient ammunition in referring to them when ever a metaphor was desired to express awe and wonder, purity and beauty. In Hindu religious reference,  it has been the abode of great divinity, the home of the supernatural, the region where Gods and Goddesses finally found residence and existence and where those that wished to be in their vicinity, practiced preached and devoted themselves to prayer and meditation. Going to the Himalayas was always construed as devoting oneself to sainthood. In the more contemporary mode of converse, it has become a common sarcastic and at times tongue in cheek reference to someone wanting to rise above the travails of modern life and living - ‘ if your’e going to be so moralistic and clean and pure, why are you here with us, within the evils of modern society, go to the Himalayas, buddy ! ‘ Or, when there is need or reference to the absolute disgust with the ‘modern, corrupt and uncivilized world’, there is the need to ‘go to the Himalayas’ !!
How magnificently mankind has incorporated natures wonders to be as close and representative of the Godly. The reverence to the rivers that supplied them their daily needs of living. The masses of ocean that protected them from invasion and therefore their god sent presence. The awe and wonder and fear of the bursting lava from unpredictable volcanoes, and the reverence there to prevent it occurring again. The ‘anger of the heavens’ as they thundered and lit up the sky with ferocity, bringing devastation in its excesses. And despite the 21st century and development and science and invention, we still remain dependent and vulnerable to one such force that for reasons inexplainable, remains imbedded in us and for which we still seek answers.
Many of the atheists among us will scoff and disagree, which is something we respect and regard, but the sheer vastness of this complicated and intricate world simply cannot be put aside. And really this is certainly not a platform to question belief, or to impose it upon anyone. It is but an observation. And the freedom to indulge in it is what our medium, this platform is all about.
We started with philosophical ingenuity among us, shifted to the vastness of the Himalayas and have ended up with religion. Reason enough to understand that this is a complicated world !
My Father too was fascinated by the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas. And those that had occasion to hear one of his poems on it, in recitation from me, would recollect its significant reference. His take on it was obtuse but most relevant.
He addressed the white pure, clean and reflective mirror like snowcapped mountain tops, challenging and questioning it on its presence and existence.
” O ! you pure, white, mirror like reflection quality, clean Him khand , snow laden mountain ! You have been shining throughout as though the rays of the moon have been frozen, or that, melted moonshine has been poured within the outline of your body.”
“But, hey him khan sheetal aur samujwal, until you melt yourself down and mingle with the soil of the earth, down here, you shall never be able to understand the romance that life offers, nor shall you be able to understand the importance of the greening of the grass and the beauty of the colorful foliage and flowers that exist upon it, nor shall you be able to understand the pain of that existence, expressed in tears, by the early morning dew drops on its plants and leaves. ”
” If you take pride in the fact that you exist rootless, a lifeless corpse like existence, then you can and shall never become my ideal.”
” Come down ! Mingle with the earth. This earth that sings and weeps, that tempts and immerses us in our sins, that washes them away also, this earth that changes ever so often, this earth that alters the vagaries of life. ”
” You O ! glorious mountain ! You take pride in your arrogance, that you have been shining since the time, nature and life breathed for the very first time … you imbecile ! when ever did you give any test or examination of life ? That one gift that the Almighty gave, you have clung on to it against your chest ever since ! Is this your only contribution ?? What use did you put this gift to, questions will be asked, have you an answer ??.”
” Come down from your exalted perch ! Mix and mingle with the mud of this earth ! Be alive ! Stop living this leper like existence. Bring color and fragrance to your existence ! What ? Lovers break portions of you in loving jest ? Consider yourself fortunate ! Come into our hands and move along with us !!”
Translations are such a flagrancy ! I never would wish to indulge in it, or advise others into it either. But I needed to convey these thoughts. All poetry has a deeper meaning. Well, good poetry really ! This is not so much about the illusive snow capped mountains, as it is about the arrogance of superiority. Or assumed superiority !
We may be superior, but its true value would be the ability and voluntary desire, to mingle with those that tread the mire, sludge and soil of the earth, to be one with them, to move and travel with them in our journey of life.
I remain with love and care …
Amitabh Bachchan
Source:  Big B Blog bigadda

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