there’s a Marathi (my mother tongue) song which goes ‘rakat desha, kankhar desha, dagdanchya desha’..
hard to translate in English but it’s a love song for the land we live in describing it as bold, strong and rocky ..as in literally full of rocks. It takes a special kind of love to describe something as rocky and yet mean it as a compliment.
This image is from the backwaters of a little mud dam located in a village some 100 kms from Pune. The landscape of India is what keeps me rooted here.. Because every time I spend 45 minutes in traffic for a 10 minute distance, get rudely called off by people on the road, face immense amount of resistance to good ideas just because of cultural attitudes or never get work done in public offices, when life is so busy that work days become 12 hour stretches with no time to spare for things I love.. I have to keep reminding myself that there is beauty here. It needs to be unearthed… Under the callous exterior there is tenderness somewhere. The scruffiness is brought upon by circumstance and not by choice. No matter how I hate the everyday life..I still love being here.. It seems to be a hard comparison to make. But how do you decide if you are happy even when days are spent in misery? Probably because at the end of the day, sleep comes with a satisfaction of being at home…
I don’t know.
the young guy was texting..probably to some girl friend
he has a whole life ahead..
with lots of dreams..
the elderly gentleman was begging for change outside the temple
his life is pretty much behind him..
I see him everyday on my way to work..
he doesn’t smile..
life doesn’t stop for either of them..
A face is considered beautiful when it is symmetric in features. Anything in patterns is very attractive to the human brain. We like to think in cause and effect..zeros and ones. You do good, you get good. And this logic seems to have worked for us. This tricking ourselves all through life, that this one sorrow today definitely means there is one joy stored in the future. Everything will be balanced out at the end. The universe will make it right. Or god or whoever it is..who is supposed to be holding the strings.
But that’s not really true, is it? A little girl in the deserts of Africa suffering from AIDS and a little princess with a pony in her lush Connecticut home. Their entire lives are the zeros and ones. So the troubles the poor girl goes through are balanced out by the good life the princess gets? And really, what karma is at play here? What kind of pattern is this.. and to which sensible mind does this logic appeal?
Truth is, there is no balancing out. We get what we get and that’s it.
Life is a test.
It’s only a test.