Saturday, May 3, 2014

Stray Fb Pickings: Only the uniquely fortunate are allowed to kiss the tears they caused.

Back to simplicity, back to happiness. Back to truth, back to freedom. The first is relatively easy; the second is the way of saints - easy for them, and perhaps for them only. Fb May 3

As simple as truth, and as beautiful and strong..The man who defined my childhood --.Lal Bahadur Shahstri.  

Between a lifetime of fretting on a throne gained through intrigue and maintained through greater intrigue on the one hand and an hour spent in the simplicity of secure and honest livelihood earned through the sweat of one's brow, basking in the glow of the gaze of loved ones, secure in peace which only success gained through honest hard work brings - on the other - who among us would be foolish enough to opt for the first?
I am no romantic advocate of poverty and in fact glorify all the luxuries and comforts that money can buy, but between honest poverty and dishonest riches, I would still opt for the first, though I would prefer honest success to honest failure.

And my experience is that there is no reason to be a pessimist about the presence and prevalence of honesty even in an atmosphere reeking with dishonesty.

Just as love thrives in an age of hatred too, so does honesty thrive amid the stink of corruption.

Think of it, honesty has always thrived in the stink of fraud, lies, dishonesty, injustice and demons like that. All the epics from ancient times to this day tell us the story of the eternal battle between forces of evil and of good.

There never was such a thing as Satyug even in the times of Nanak - "Kood amavas sach chandrama, disai nahi keh chadhya" but then came Nanak - "Jio kar suraj niklia, taare chhipe, andher paloa."

To those who think that Nanak was an exception, let Nanak speak:

"Sabh mae jot jot hai soi" --- May 2

"Voting officially over in Punjab, duties done and performed. You have done what you thought was the best thing to do for you and for your country and the people. Now, its perhaps time to shake the monkey off your back, sink into an easy chair, lock your fingers and palms around your nape, stretch your legs, look at the sky above, take a deep breath, and think of your friends and murmur (as the saying goes):

"I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful."

Sip a glass of clear water, close your eyes and fall in love with people and life once again." .. April 30

This day, this morning , just around the start of polling, I am reminded of a similar hour about 46 years ago.

The only election I ever contested in life was for presidency of the Students' Central Association , as 'Students Union' was called in our college. I was a nominated member of the Association, by virtue of being the editor of the College Magazine.
This was during my BA II in college in our village. I vaguely recall that I needed perhaps 14 votes to win and was sure of getting 24 - out of 27 ! I remember being assured of "100 phee sadi vote te support" not only by fellow student members but even by members of their families. I believed that they all of them loved me very warmly and were really keen to see me in the job. ( of the President of CA)

I remember I campaigned for two days on bicycle, visiting houses of members in and outside our village, Mahilpur. Around this time the day of polling, I remember feeling quietly confident of a landslide win - a no contest . I could not think of a single member except my rival who would want to vote against me. ( Well , i even believed that the rival , his name was Parminder, too would secretly vote for me ! he had come across to me several times to tell me that he was contesting only because our teacher in Political Science had forced him to . Parminder, i believed, was an extremely decent soul, and his family too had confirmed his version to me and had told me not to worry about the out come at all. I did not see any reason to disbelieve any of them, and I also believed what I was told about the Political Science Teacher pressurising my rival to contest against his will, because I thought that the concerned teacher did not really like me for some reason.) Parminder was a nice boy and I had offered to withdraw in his favour if he was serious about contesting.

On the day of polling, all 27 members voted. ( I could be wrong on the exact number.)

Instead of the 14 needed and 24 I expected to secure, I got 7 -including my own.

That was when I knew in life that politics was never going to be my cup of tea.

I was so hurt and so thoroughly ashamed that I did not feel like ever going to college again, and did not do so for about a week.
I can now recall that I sobbed inconsolably once I was alone in a rented room of a classmate and close friend. The friend, an extremely simple soul and one who is still one of my closest friends, knew just how sharp was the pain I felt at what I then thought was a needless betrayal by friends and their families. More than the loss of an election, it was the betrayal that hurt deep. For some time, I felt so shattered that I almost lost faith in human goodness and felt that the ace was the most needlessly cunning of all species.

Luckily, I recovered soon enough, laughed at my own stupidity in making an ass of myself, swore never to contest an election again. And never did.

That was my first lesson in electoral politics. I did not need another.

Elections are different from writing poems or reciting Gurbani or being in love with people. I have never ever been in a race for a political ticket, post or appointment. And if I ever feel that even for the post I hold now I will have to compete with someone else politically, I know what I would do: bow out, wishing my rival well. I have been downright lucky that no one else seems ever to have wanted to be in my shoes . I have been here practically all my life by default.

And what a coincidence that I have spent my life in the company of someone who has almost never lost an election in his long political career, and happen to be with a party that set new record with back to back victories in the state assembly poll.

I admire the courage of those who fight elections.".... April 30.

Just came back after winding up campaign operations. Now, its over to the people. To me here, as on every occasion when I stepped on the ground during my days as a tennis player, it does not matter who wins or loses. What mattered was how well was I able to play. To my mind, during this campaign, I played as well as I could and, what is even more important, played by the rule-book. That satisfaction has always been the most important of my possessions at the end of all the matches or battles I have ever featured in. This, and the fact that I was able to come out of the play field with no malice towards my opponent. If I won, I would offer a word of encouragement to my rival and tell him , often honestly, that my victory was only a fluke. And if I lost, which was more often than not, I would congratulate the guy. In all cases, the respect I had for my opponents never went away.

I hope it will be the same tomorrow and on 16th of May, regardless of who wins or loses.".... April 30

"Only the uniquely fortunate are allowed to kiss the tears they caused."  April 30
"The child we lose daily in the world outside waits for us at home every evening  - provided we are alone and have the time to meet his smile with smile."   April 29

"When things collapse around you and you find misery and stink everywhere, there is one thing you must learn to give without demur or condition: love. And there is one thing you must learn to take without demur or explanation: blame. On the face of it, it might look too idealistic. But in life, you will find that there is a strong case for both. Generally, the stink is the stink of your failure to be the dream you thought you were. When that dream crashes in another's eye, have the honesty and the courage to own the tears that roll down the cheek below that eye.

Only the uniquely fortunate are allowed to kiss the tears they caused.

As for your own pain and share of misfortune, if these were indeed sacred and pious, life will weave an epic out of these. But if it doesn't, count that too a punishment you must receive to restore balance in nature."  April 29

"You really don't win anything in war if you do not win the respect of your opponent and,more importantly, if you do not learn to give that respect to the man who considered you good enough to engaged with. Never start or join a war if you do not respect your rival at least enough to shake hands with him as friends at some point or the other: why would you fight with someone whom you do not even deem your equal? How can someone who is not good enough to be your friend be good enough to be your foe: after all, friend or foe, they all reflect on who we are." April 29

"Arrogance is not only bad;it is downright stupid. Arrogance proclaims sovereignty and how can anything that has to end in death one day ever be sovereign? There is enough in life to convince us of the stupidity of arrogance, but even if one fails to see that, there is always death waiting at the end of all our stories of personal aggrandizement to make a nonsense of all our proud achievements.

Humility is nice for another reason: it allows you to discover that everything in your life is worthy of your love, and that usually means abundance of love in your life." ...April 29
,"The only way to free oneself of one's truth is to admit it. That is the beginning of all freedom. "

"The child we lose daily in the world outside waits for us at home every evening - provided we are alone and have the time to meet his smile with smile."


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