Saturday, August 24, 2013

Of Evil and Sin

The concept is 'made clear' to you, since the time you are able to understand the world. 
When you are still in your half-pants and frocks, you are taught 'paap' and 'punyam'. The difference between God and Asura is described in detail. You are made to understand (over a number of years), what (certain) things are 'forbidden'.
As you grow older, you venture out into the world. You come across people, form opinions and absorb experiences .Your childhood definition of Evil changes .You modify it to suit your own needs.
You understand that lying is not 'Evil', it is necessary. Stealing is also okay to some extent, and so is 'talking bad' about people. Most of us stop here, and turn out to be 'civilized people’.
Some other unfortunate ones go ahead and become murderers , terrorists and rapists. 
The point being, Evil is a relative term ! It changes it's boundaries and definitions (much like it's propagators, the form changing jinns and rakshasaas)

Who decides as to whether you committed a sin ? Who do you look up to , for relieving your burden of guilt ? 

Here's a secret , no one . Your priest, your inspirational writer, your guru ,your parents and your friends are all on the same level as you.
All of them get confused and scratch their heads at some point or the other .They all rely on the same instrument as you (eventually) do , the omnipresent 'conscience' .

That inner instinct that beeps every time you step out of line .For it carries the wisdom of ages within it .It remembers all that you have been ,since the beginning of time.
And sometimes ( when it suits us) , we choose to mute it completely.

The definition of evil has changed its forms, from the mythical demons to Hitler and Osama. Evil has changed uniforms and methods. But, what has remained constant is the firm belief in 'Evil' 
What if I told you that there existed no Evil. That it is just a fragment of your imagination. In the end , it's your conscience that decides what is evil . You; and you alone decide if your actions and thoughts are 'sinful' or not.
You would explode; all of us would. It's a great power, to be free of the burden of judgement. To be able to do anything, as long as your mind claimed that it was okay.
Ponder over it, and reflect . Maybe that's why all religions lay down a million definitions of Evil. They are scared of making man realize his inner power. They bind  man with fear, guilt and shame.
And rightly so, for man is weak and unstable .If left untamed, we shall stop at nothing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fat ,short ,bald and dark

Yes , this is what I call the 'BDSF' syndrome .If a tiny part of you cringed inside ( while reading the title ) ,you are probably a patient too.

It begins at the very outset of life . Right when you jump out of your amniotic sac ,and are handed over to the hawk-like nani/dadi .
Then begins the long list of comparisons,
"Colour went after mom"
"Eyes went after papa"
"Eyebrows were photocopied from the distant mausiji"
"Lips took a flying ticket from that ancestor's phenotype"

And once the wheels have been set in motion, the exercise never stops. The color is kept a watch upon , any minor variations are immediately reported to the head of genetics ( some ancient know-it-all amma ).

Fat baby, short baby, tall baby, cranky baby, skinny baby, stubborn baby. Blah blah blah ! They do it, until the importance of physical appearance has been drilled deep into your cerebrum.

Yes , I know what you feel like.
Trust me, no one knows better than I do .
In all the 'well fed' households ( add to that , well rounded house members ), you get over stuffed . You grow into a cute little adolescent with round thighs , rounder face and roundest belly.
You start going to school ,finding out that you can't run .Let's not go into the painful world of childhood pranks and sarcastic comments . Let's just say that the 'baby fat' melts away before you reach college.
Or else , it will be a long series of hiding your body in photos . Also , pulling in your tummy and throwing away 'M' and 'S' clothes.
Oh ! and the dear old omnipresent guilt.

"Arre , you have grown so tall !" , Pammi aunty pinches your chubby cheeks and smiles.
It's like a competition , who's kid has gained how many inches ! Hanging by the bars , drinking 'complan' and other ingenious new methods are put in practice.

Thank God genetics steps in , and saves you from taking all the blame . 
But it haunts you nevertheless . Be it the front row of the class photograph ,or the high heels cutting your foot . 
If you are a woman, it's excused . The inner pain of a man who cannot find a wife shorter than him, is exquisite.
Well, you keep standing on your heels , and try to look a little higher and higher 

You roll up in your bed , cuddling with the soft lumpy pillow . And open your eyes to the mass of fallen hair on your bed . You sit right up ,stare in horror and wave them off with your hand ( like some 80's murderer wiping off finger prints ).
The story repeats over and over again . On your towel , on your table , in the sink and on your coat . The more you worry over it , the more they abandon you.
You try herbal treatment, allopathy, tantra , hair products and God knows what not .
You cover them up with dupattas and caps . You let them grow longer , just to hide that bald patch .
And when nothing works ,you go bald ( or the new age miracle of 'hair transplant' )

But most of us , keep tearing our hair over it !

Ah ! If only Krishna bhagwan was alive , he would probably be advertising 'Fair and Handsome' !
Childhood cruel names , laments of your granny and giggles of your fairer siblings come in a package . You rub 'Fair and lovely' , 'ubtan' , 'malai' , 'face washes' and every other product you can lay your hands upon.

The groom wants a fair wife , the future mom-in-law wants a fair grandchild . No matter if the bride is uncouth , ugly ,rude or bitchy .The bleach of fairness outshines it all.

And there we stand , wrapped in our own miseries and 'inferiority complexes'.
Talents , personalities and morals come second . The sculpture outside ,is always the most prominent . 
If you are strong enough , you end up as a 'normal' ,well adjusted person . If you aren't , dear old society shall make you as bitter and unsatisfied as itself .

Wash them away . It shall take years to do so . But do it ! 
Do it for yourself , do it b'coz your childhood suffered under it . Do it because your youth is still struggling with it . Do it so that your old age isn't sad.
Recognize and value yourself for who you TRULY are . Surround yourself with people who do the same.

Do it for the piece of Him , that lies within you . You are beautiful , eternally beautiful. Forever and ever.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vish Kanya - II

Tarini lifted the palaquin curtains and put her veil over her face . Through the sheer silk over her eyes , she could see the soldiers gazing at all six of them.
They averted their eyes , from time to time .After all ,it wasn't polite to stare at a woman in public . Even if she was there for the purpose they thought she was here .

She did not look back at her sisters . Each of them was led into tents at the centre of the camp . She noted the number of soldiers posted around each one of them .
Two at the front gates , two near the back  . The flags of their king fluttered gently over the tops . The area of clearing around each ,made it even more evident . These tents clearly belonged to some important generals.

As she entered the tent , her guide bowed and left . The interior was well lit .A simple wooden table was piled high with papers , a bed in the centre , a basin of water and an assortment of weapons glittered in the corner.
The man she was supposed to entertain , was not here yet . She threw off the veil , her ears ( sharpened by years of blindfold sword fighting ) alert for the sound of any approaching footsteps

The papers on the table were all in sanskrit . She ruffled through them , as fast as she could . The information she needed would be much more cryptic than that .
Finally at the very bottom of the pile , she chanced upon the random incomprehensible symbols . Incomprehensible to the uneducated eyes . She had been trained in the delicate vidya of codes and encryption  ,by the very masters themselves .
She read it as fast as she could . It was indeed impossible to decipher it all , in such short a time . But she managed to gather enough information . There was no doubt about it . These men were planning to plant their own spies inside the city's walls.
Chanakya gurudev was right , yet again . Nothing escaped that twisted old brahman's notice.

She was so engrossed in it all , that she almost missed the approaching footsteps . As fast she could , Tarini readjusted her veil and rushed to the side of the bed .
The timing had been near perfection ! No sooner had she bowed her head , and lowered her eyes down that the flaps parted .

She could hear the dull clunk of the armour , the heavy military boots . It was an unwritten code of respect that she could not look at him , until he lifted the veil.

She could see his bulging muscles , the rough hardened hands of a warrior . He threw off the silk veil gently , almost delicately . And lifted her chin , staring directly into those eyes .

Tarini stood rooted to the spot . Whatever and whoever she had been expecting .This was not him , no .
He must have been in his early twenties ,with a chiseled face and deep probing eyes .
His high nose , the broad forehead and the handlebar moustache combined to give him the aura of a kshatriya demigod .

She could feel herself blushing red . As his hands travelled up and down her arms , she shuddered . All her life men had touched her to train her , to slash swords with her .
This , this was different . She could see the anticipation in his eyes . The touch of those gentle ,warm hands and the intoxicating odour of his breath upon her face .
What if she was not worth him ? What if he came to know that Tarini was but an inexperienced virgin . She felt so powerless ,as he lovingly pushed her on the bed .
Her heart was hammering inside her chest . He threw off his heavy armour . Glittering in the flickering light of the torch , he gently pulled her lips towards him.
Tarini responded with a passion so deep , it surprised her .Their lips locked , and those tongues intermingled with each other . .He pulled her even closer , hugging her in an embrace

Suddenly she felt his grip loosen ,almost trying to pull away . Those eyes full of fire , dilated with fear and confusion . His hand closed upon her wrist tightly !
Before she knew ,the flames were gone . Those pupils became pin points , the body slackened.
 And , he was dead .

Tarini was so shocked , she let him slide to the ground and drew back.
She stared in horror , aghast at her own naivety . What had she expected ? Years of training had been  forgotten in a moment of passion ?
She was nought but a vessel , filled to the brim with venom . Oh ! Love and embraces were not meant for her .She wiped her mouth ,almost as if wiping his death off her .
Damn it ! She wheeled around in anger . Years of rage against the injustice of the world ,was screaming within her.

She could already hear commotion inside . Some of her sisters must have started the onslaught . She dragged out the dagger hidden in her skirt.
Almost as if on the cue ,four of the soldiers barged inside .

She threw the dagger at the nearest one . Catching him in the throat , right where the biggest artery pulsated . Without waiting to see if the dagger had hit it's mark ,she lunged at the other one . He  was holding his hands wide apart , ready to strike .
Bloody fool ! she walked right into his embrace . A kiss of death on his lips ,as she grabbed his sword at struck at the other two .

She grabbed a sword in one hand , and a dagger in the other . The moemnt she slithered out of the tent ,she coudl see that the massacre had already begun.
With a war cry of her own , she jumped in the fray . With her deadly skills and the rage pulsating within , it was almost too easy . Almost a pleasure.

Each of her sisters were striking down the puny soldiers . With the generals dead ,these were dyed-in-the-wool military minions. Most of them were confused , and almost all of them underestimated their enemy . By the time they realized how vicoius the enemy really was , it was too late.

The advantage of having a dagger and a sword was , the enemy never knew which one was coming . She severed arteries , poked through eyes , pierced abdomens and flailed chests .
They kept coming , and she kept striking . Each of those six women , worked like an animal in heat  . Ruthless ,inexhaustable , blood thirsty animals.

Where the metal failed , the kisses , bites and scratches worked . Even the blood that was splashed on the soldiers;'face , was enough to blind or cripple them to death.

The battle finshed quickly enough  . At the end ,there were only six women left standing.
Tarini stood rooted to the ground , unsure of how many had she chopped off . Her hair was matted with gore . Her nails had pieces of flesh and ripped skin stuck in them  . Her mouth tasted of salt  ,sweat and blood.
Her heart raced wildly ,her pulse was thundering and her muscles were still straining . She looked at her sisters , all of them mirroring her thoughts.

The amount of fury that they had unleashed that night had shocked them too . But what was more shocking ,was the mad surge of power they felt within.
In that tiny little camp , amidst bodies of their their first victims . The 'vish kanyas' were truly born.