Tag Archive | friends

I believe….(II)

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For five years one’s son should be pampered, the next ten years he should be beaten (meaning he should be disciplined) and once he turns sixteen he should be treated as a friend

Chanakya

I am curious to know what would have been Chanakya’s reaction when a certain celebrity and his father partied for long and then the father cleared the road so that the son could ‘run’ his car. You might say that it was good that the road was cleared or else there would have been casualties. True but then why did the father allow the son to get high??

I  mean isn’t there a difference between being friendly and being friends. Does being friends mean to share the same mug of beer or puff  the same cigarette?

Long ago when sending girls to college was not an ‘in’ thing, a girl was sent to do her postgraduate in a far-off well-known college. When she came home for the first vacation, her mother asked, ‘koi ladka mila kya?’ (Did you meet any boy). Obviously meaning that do you have a boyfriend?

The girl’s answer, ‘Ladke kya aloo pyaj hain jo sadak pe mil jayenge’ (Are boys onion or potatoes whom you can meet on the road?)

Apt answer I feel. Later she had an arrange marriage and remained in that marriage.

No, I am not propagating arranged marriage either.

The point I am making is there is a difference between being friendly and being friends. In the first case; the father was being friends and in the second; the mother was being friendly. In the first, the father should have realized that stopping his son from being high was his responsibility. In the second, the mother was gently asking whether her daughter had found somebody.

Do you share everything with all your friends. I don’t think so. Maybe you tell everything to one or two, with others you reserve a bit, don’t you? For all practical purposes it isn’t possible to share everything even with your spouse. There is a little bit you hold back from him/ her too.

So it is with children. You be friends and yet not be. The relationship should be comfortable and yet it should not be that comfortable that you are on back-slapping terms. The sanctity of parenthood should be maintained.

Let me illustrate with an example. As teenagers we love adventures or like to take risks. Lets assume that you filch an apple from the grocers. Not that you are hungry but just for the fun of it. You may go and brag about your accomplishment to your friends but however friendly you are with your parents you would be hesitant to tell your parents. Because after all what you did was wrong.

Even if you go and tell your parents about it, it is the parents responsibility to correct you and tell that you are wrong. Not say ‘wow’ and do a HI5.

Being friendly with our children does not give us the liberty to forget our duty of raising responsible children.

Krishna and Arjuna were good friends. But in his heart Arjuna always knew that Krishna was not an ordinary being and always respected him as a father. And so we see when Arjuna refuses to fight on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Krishna guides Arjuna on to the right path. And yet when Bhisma attacks Arjuna full on, Krishna takes a broken wheel to fight Bhisma. That for me is the ideal relation between a father and son/ daughter. That of being a friend, a guide and a protector.

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are entirely my own and not meant to hurt anyone.

Me and Sheena

I recited…..

I raised my hands,

A handful of sand,

Time passes by.

‘NO… Please do not recite further’, she screamed. I was a bit confused. ‘What happened’, I asked. ‘Don’t tell me anything about time’, she screamed, ‘as such the wrinkles on the face, the dullness of my hair is enough to remind me of time’, she said.

I giggled. But Sheena has always been like that. For her being 22 is already old. Her original plan was to get married to a wealthy millionaire by 21. So she is running late according to her calculations.

‘Tell me, Madhu, why do you write all this. Now don’t give me a lecture on creative expressions etc. Aren’t you fed up of  tending to all these sick people. Go have a party or best go date someone wealthy’.

‘No, thank you’, I said, ‘I am an intern and I am very happy with my choices’.

‘Whatever…How am I looking?’, she asked.

I looked at her made up face, her curled hair, her short red dress and made a face.

‘Huh whom am I asking…’, she muttered,

Sheena and me are diametrically opposites. But the fact is that we have always been friends. While my mother detests her saying that she is a bad influence on me, her mother adores me for the stability that I give Sheena.

Sheena meanwhile has toned down her make up and done something with her hair which makes her look better., at least to me.

The doorbell rings, ‘It must be Avinash’, she says with stars in her eyes. Avinash is the son of a local businessman. While Sheena had dreamed of marring a tycoon, she has scaled down her dreams and is now dating ‘local’ tycoons.

‘Hi Avi’, she says and they hug. I move my gaze away.

And then she says, ‘This is my friend Madhu, a doctor’.

‘An intern at present’, I add.

‘Doctor, wow’, he says, his gaze not leaving my face. ‘Why don’t you join us?’, he asks. And over my protests I am forced to join them.

And from then on I am always a part of their outings. I hate crowded places or loud music, so we roam elsewhere. eating at quaint joints, laughing at silly jokes and very often I find myself alone with Avi.

‘Madhu, I think he likes you’, Sheena says one day.

‘What? I say, ‘But I don’t have time for all these things, I have to do my MD and…’

‘Madhu don’t let your ambitions to come in the way of life, enjoy every single moment that life brings  you’, she admonishes.

I mull over that. From then on I take care of my looks. I notice that Avi is gentle, not at all proud even though he has people at call and a wallet full of cards.

We move on to holding hands and locking eyes. His hands often linger for sometime on my back.

Sheena has moved on and found a Fashion designer, me and Avi now go out on our own.

I am back after a 48 hours call. Sometimes we have to do duties like that too. I barely have any energy to eat and lie on the couch and sleep.

‘Madhu, Madhu, ‘ It is Sheena,

‘I jump up’, visions of an unwanted pregnancy pop up in my mind when I see her appearance. Bloodshot eyes, hair all messed up, in her tights and tee,

‘How far have you gone out with Avi’, she demands,

Not able to understand her I just say ‘huh’

‘Woman, don’t you understand…. are you phyical with that slime’, she asks.

I flinch, ‘No’, I said.

Sheena flops down besides me in relief.

‘What happened?’, I asked my subconsious already understanding what was to be revealed.

‘I had been to the Cafe’, she said. There is a ‘happening’ cafe where in Sheena frequents.

‘And guess what’, she continues, ‘Avi was there with his gang. He was boasting about how he had made friends with a Doctor. He said he was fed up with dating all the society chicks and wanted to know how it felt to date a nerd. He said he was tired of talking romantic nonsense and walking on idle roads . He said he had a tough time breaking your icy reserve…That is why I was suspecting that you were physical with him.’

I was too tired to respond.

‘Are you fine’, she asked.

‘Yeah’, I said. ‘But why do you look so harried’, I asked.

She gave a devilish grin. ‘I gave him two solid slaps and then removed my shoes and gave his sidekicks two-two. How dare he take advantage of my innocent Madhu.’

We burst out laughing. Friends are precious, aren’t they.

* fiction

Association

Now and then when I read about young people being brainwashed to doing wrong things, I am pained. A young life lost just because the person was in wrong association, believed that a wrong person was a true friend, sad isn’t it?

Haven’t we heard, ‘A person is known by the company he keeps’. And don’t we mothers act as hawks to check out whom our kids associate with?  A person who is a smoker tends to offer a cigarette to the people next to him or a person dependent on drugs tends to invite his associates to try some and so on. No, I am not going to elaborate on how to avoid such company but just want to emphasise the importance of ‘Saddhu sangha’. Saddhu does not mean that you associate with sadhus but the people who are true and who do not possess bad habits.

Adi Sankaracharya in his popular composition ‘Bhaja Govindam’ says

सत्संगत्वे निस्संगत्वं,
निस्संगत्वे निर्मोहत्वं।
निर्मोहत्वे निश्चलतत्त्वं
निश्चलतत्त्वे जीवन्मुक्तिः ॥

Association with saints brings  non-attachment, non-attachment leads to right knowledge, right knowledge leads us to permanent awareness,to which liberation follows.

In the Bhagvatham two things are emphasized upon:

First is that in this Kaliyug the name of the Lord itself has great potency and there is no real need of doing meditation as they used to do in Satyuga or to perform Yagnas as they used to do in Tretayug and neither is the need for running to the temple for any occasion as done in Dwapar Yug. Just keeping on chanting the holy name is enough.

Secondly the association of saintly persons has to be craved for. Because only by that can we stay on the right path.

Now Narada muni had the doubt as to how a person can succeed or even achieve liberation by associating with a saint. And so he went to Narayana (Vishnu)

Vishnu said fine I will make you understand by example provided you are ready to run about. Narad said he is ready. So Narayana says go to such and such garden in the Himalayas and look for a  bee.

Narad goes, sees the  bee. The  bee also looks at him. After some minutes the bee falls and dies.

Narad goes back to Narayana and tells what has happened. Narayana says, its alright go to such and such place and watch for an eagle. Narada  goes and sees  a beautiful eagle and sees that an eaglet is just coming out of its shell. It watches Narad observing him and after a second dies.

Crestfallen Narad returns to Narayana who sends him to a cow shed where a cow is about to give birth. Narad watches whilst a calf comes out. The calf slowly tries to stand, looks at Narada and falls down and dies.

By now Narad has started considering himself as an ill omen.

But Narayana sends him to a palace. The king is very happy to see Narada and welcomes him as a saint has to be welcomed and then tells him that after many years his wife has borne him a son. Will he not go inside and bless the infant and his mother. Afraid because of his track record, Narada refuses . But the king keeps on insisting and Narada goes inside. The baby opens his eyes just for a second but he notices Narad, looks at him and then……stops breathing.

Narada runs off to Narayana and asks why has He made him into an ill omen. Narayana says…’Haven’t you realized that every time you looked at the baby it died, only to take birth in a higher form. So the bee died to take birth as an eaglet then as a calf and then finally the highest form; that of a human and then because of its association with you left his body and is now residing with me. And out comes the young boy who has been playing behind Narayana.

Such is the effect of ‘Sadhu sanga’ or good association.