Amazing people who make me go on n on n on:)

08 March, 2009

Are we Programmed for Life?

All of us have been provided with inbuilt or complementary landmarks and yardsticks for life that we need to or are supposed to cross and move ahead. They come free with the existence that is bestowed on us. In fact these are such generic milestones that without crossing them perhaps we just might or at least are expected to grope our way into nothingness. The great playwright Shakespeare classified life into The Seven Ages...quite aptly though...infancy, school-life childhood, the burning lover, career oriented soldier, the wise justice, the aged pantaloon and the eventual despairing age of second childishness awaiting the doom.

However, life is not as simple and wistfully not so well categorised, especially for my women folk. In the course of natural progression it is not just expected behaviour but a way of life to move through education, career, wedding, children and eventual spirituality; perhaps with a score of other do’s and do not’s that the moral police has subscribed for us. A natural delay or a conscious refusal to confirm to any of these standards is not just doubted but also tantamount to almost blasphemous. Like say a slight hesitation to help the injured man on the road may be regarded as subconscious fear of consequences but a bit of reluctance in adapting to motherhood is branded as bad character in a woman. If you are a woman of 30 and minus a baby or worse still 30 and minus a shaadi, these are cardinal sins my friend, that you have to groan under and that too silently. Who makes these guidelines? Who gives others the authority to judge us or set limitations?
Are we really in need of these landmarks or are we just programmed to breeze through them without the slightest of dilly-dallying, complaints or whining?

Almost into our third decade of life, a few very dear friends of mine have still not walked the to speak. As if it’s not bad enough to encounter ridiculous propositions of the so-called suitable men “arranged” for their courting, these women have to face the constantly scrutinizing eyes of the social buffoons who sit with their hoity toity smug noses, raised in critical judgements. To them we just say, sit on our middle fingers and spin, for all we care...
On what particular achievements and their own highly dubious merit have they acquired the right to condone or condemn our actions and predicament?
What the bloody f@#$!

So when this lovely friend of mine returns home after the arranged meeting with the self professed “perfect” guy....she calls me up and we have a gala time shredding the nincompoop into pieces through our digs. Every week or so, she is put through the ridiculous drill of these ‘meets’, thanks to and well meaning acquaintances, which abound in our vicinity in greater amount in India than the beggars on our streets. Initially the thought of another disappointment would shove her into despair for we just laugh it off....

Like this very ‘nice’ munda commented to her that he wore only kurta pyjamas when he went to watch Hindi movies in theatres.....WHAT?????? And if it was an English movie would he wear bermudas or oblige the audience with a strip tease then and there...I reasoned. Then there was another one who appeared shocked when he saw my friend in person with very short hair, as opposed to her longer tresses that he had seen in her picture shown beforehand. So the wise guy commented upon the state of affairs...and when this kiddo kind of justified... ‘Oh it’s just a temporary thing and anyways my hair grows pretty fast’....He retorted... “They better”. Helloooooo control freak!!!!!!!!!!! Bhaisaab, aapko yeh adhikar abhi mila nahi hain. Another would proclaim that they would eat whatever the lady would order and then quickly add in “suggestions” for what would suit the occasion from appetizers to downright the desserts. Such insane queries and conditions galore at these set ups, which makes me almost red with fury at having my wonderful buddy to go through this torture just to please the social bugs. She is stunning to look at, well settled in a career she has carved for herself...but no, she has to have the married tag stamped on her forehead to be a part of the civilized mess.

I am not approving of being whimsical yaar...but then you can’t embrace a bizarre situation or person, completely contrasting to your sensibilities and aptitude just because you have the world watching you, and waiting for you to take the plunge....Oh come on!
Or maybe you have to....!
Ah! So much for democracy, freedom, rights and all the rest of the politically right crap...!

What a perfect world it would be, when we would be given the authority over our own lives! How idyllic though far-fetched the day seems, when we would be able to rise up and say that “I” have taken this resolution, because “I” choose it to be like this and “I” accept all responsibility for it! When do we realize that we have truly grown up...when we are given the choice to take our decisions or when we realize that the decisions we are mouthing are not those of the people surrounding us, but come from our own latent desires and aspirations from within...!
So much for my expressions on Women’s Day!
Happy Women’s Day, my friends!


Medsin said...

I like reading you.


Anonymous said...

Happiness is the Mind’s Bottom Line
In the final analysis, the hope of every person is simply peace of's something i'd like to share:

The Dalai Lama

Most of us have become so focused on what it is we think we want, we have forgotten what it is we are really seeking. We seldom ask ourselves “What is it we really want?” When we go deeply into this question we find a common theme behind all our desires. We want to feel better. We may give this inner feeling various different names -- joy, happiness, inner peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, bliss, contentment, ease, well-being -- but however we describe the quality of mind we seek, the underlying motivation is the same. We are looking to avoid pain and suffering, and find a more enjoyable state of consciousness.

This is completely natural, and is as true for every other sentient being on this planet as it is for us. It is the organism’s way of monitoring how it is doing in life. If there is something amiss -- if we need food, for instance -- we feel hungry, which is usually an uncomfortable experience. We don’t feel good and so, quite naturally, we look for something will relieve our suffering -- in this case food. Having eaten we feel better; our lives are in balance again.

This is one thing that unites us all; we all want to reduce our suffering and find a more comfortable, satisfying state of mind.

I may decide to change jobs because I believe I will be happier. I may choose to play tennis with a friend because I expect to get some pleasure from the game, some good feelings from the exercise, and some satisfaction from winning -- or perhaps from seeing my friend win. I may take up hang-gliding because I find the challenge enjoyable -- or because I get a kick from the release of adrenaline. I may spend time writing a book, foregoing other pleasures, because I gain satisfaction from following my inner drive. If my mind wanders into daydreams, it is probably because they are more entertaining than the task at hand. And I may meditate to feel more at peace within myself.

However, although we may all be looking for a more fulfilling state of mind, our search is not always successful. Sometimes, through short-sightedness or factors beyond our control, we do not achieve our objectives. At other times we may well get the things we desire only to find they have not made us any happier; they may even have led us to suffer more. How many of us have started a new job, a new course of study, or a new relationship, believing it will make them happy, only to discover later they were happier the way things were?

Nor is it always immediate gratification that we are after. We may not enjoy visiting the dentist, but we go in the hope that life will be more enjoyable later. At other times we may worry about the future, creating much discomfort for ourselves, because we unconsciously assume that our worrying will help us avoid future sources of discomfort.

The same principle lies behind our more altruistic actions. We may give up all sense of personal gain and devote time to helping others feel better, perhaps putting ourselves to considerable inconvenience or hardship. But we do it because at some deeper level we feel better for it.

Even the masochist who sets out to cause himself pain does so because he gets pleasure from it -- or imagines he will.

A more pleasant state of consciousness is the mind’s bottom line. It is the fundamental criterion by which, consciously or unconsciously, we make our decisions.

Trying to discourage this drive is to miss the point of life. Our error lies not in seeking inner peace, fulfillment, happiness or joy, but in the ways we set about finding it. Our cultural conditioning has trapped us in a materialist mindset -- a meme that says if we are not happy then something in the world around us needs to change.

This is the “virus” that has infected our minds. This is the bug in our thinking that lies at the root of our malignant attitudes and behaviors.

All the Best in wat ever you decide, stay happy and find peace!

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