Kabir’s Common Sense

‘With mud, bricks and stones they raised a praying hall,

A priest then calls from top, as if He doesn’t hear at all.’

‘Reading books never made any one knowledgeable,

Unless you have imbibed the four letters of love.’

‘If your heart is pure, you are holy – your life is holy,

Even the water soaking animal hide becomes holy.’

‘Don’t throw away small when you find one bigger,

While mending your shirt, a sword loses to the needle.’

‘Don’t condemn anything, even the dust below your feet,

If that enters your eyes you will know how painful it is.’

‘A saint is like a sieve, with knowledge of good and useless,

He should be able to keep the good and blow away the useless.’

Owning Nothingness

Gautam announced

Today is the best day of his life!

Everyone was surprised, happily

But strangely no one noticed it

They tried to find it on him

In him,

The happiness

In fact he is never happy

He is also never sad

I guess that is not really normal

He is so ‘in between’,

Sadness and happiness

I don’t know what state is that

But it seems it works for him

To be in that ‘in between’ state

But how does it matter to Gautam                       

Or to anyone else for that matter

Is it not a good thing to be happy?

And is it bad to be sad?

But if you are sad and you can find ‘why’

Then you have the reason

And you can work on it

To remove the problems making you sad

That is a good approach

Very practical

Very normal

Everyone should try to improve their lives

And other’s

But… what if nothing is wrong?

That, I guess is a very impractical idea

No one has that kind of life

No one can get it

Anyone who is alive has problems

So if Gautam is in that ‘in between’ state

How does he benefit?

Everyone knows he had his share of troubles

Perhaps much bigger than many of us

His family

Parents, wife

His kingdom

The wars

His search for knowledge

Search for the truth

He is not trying to reclaim his glorious past

He is comfortable with what he has lost

And with what he has today

And also with the thought

That tomorrow there may be nothing

Out of all the nothingness that he owns today

(24 June, 2013)

Keep Walking

In life when we all move ahead to achieve our goals, be it just reaching the office or improving the bottom line of a manufacturing unit, we come across various obstacles. As a person moves ahead on a certain path, he meets so many obstacles or doors that are shut, breaking his progress. Obstacles have to be overcome and the doors have to be opened in order to move ahead in the direction one has chosen. So what do we do when see a door shut on our path from a distance itself? Do we stop in out tracks right there, or reach the door then see what happens, or may be slow down the speed and watch if the delay helps or just move with confidence? And finally when we reach the door do we just push open it if it is still shut or find an alternate route without even touching it?
The kind of decisions that we take tell a lot about our attitude to life. We could be a pessimist, optimist, unconfident, over confidant, scared or couldn’t careless types. There is no denying that everyone’s life has challenges, obstacles or if nothing, tricky situations. And if anyone has to get anywhere he has to keep moving in the chosen direction.

What I do to go about in life could be considered between optimistic and reckless. I must be having it from my childhood. I remember when I was just 12 years old I used to cycle very fast. I was in Allahabad, which is fairly a big city. I had to cycle about 5 km one way between my home and school. I had to cross many heavy traffic zones. Although there were mostly bicycles, cycle rickshaws, few cars and scooters, but I went fast right till the point I met the real stop point. My reflexes were good and I was confidant of myself. But what I realized that mostly I went through the traffic in the same speed, because I found some gap that got created by the time I got there. That was an attitude of an optimistic to the point of being reckless. It is also true that I would have definitely braked if I was going to bump into something in front. So somehow I got trained into acquiring that attitude in life.

No sensible person really would kill himself on purpose. There is no way through the two head lights of a truck, obviously. After all of us are carrying a lot of responsibilities, of our family, work, our health and social ones. But the attitude of always playing safe can eat into the height our success could have reached, if we were a little bold.
I feel most of my decisions have gone right. I jumped into studying films without knowing the consequences. I was just so excited. Living so far from Bombay, I had never thought that movies could ever be my career. I was fascinated. I never imagined that I will be making money from those stars, whose films I would not be able to watch because I had no money. I only dreamt about them day and night. Even when I got my admission in the film school I was not sure where I was headed, after I finished. But I went ahead, studied hard and when I reached Bollywood, the doors just opened. Now I have been around here since 1972 and did fairly well too.

I am not trying say that this is the attitude to be followed. I am also not saying that all of my decisions have been right. I am only trying to put across that if someone does not walk with a resolve of finding the doors open by the time he gets there, then a lot of his time and valuable opportunities may be lost. Perhaps one should consider the doors and obstacles in your path more like illusions rather than reality and just keep walking.

6 May, 2007