Arranged vows and true acts of love!

\ Pics courtesy: Devdas I am not the best person to talk about this. Because I really don’t know much about traditional Indian society — its villages, parents, joint families, elders, and the tangle of duties, rites, rituals and relationships. I don’t know which caste I belong to. I’ve had glimpses of it from outside, as an outsider. I grew up on science and whatever I could make of philosophy, and later on through personal life experiences. So that makes my voice very faint when it comes to dealing with problems of Indian culture! I know something of it, without really knowing. If my school friend were to meet me today, they would find me exactly in the same state of mind as they knew it then. I still don’t want to have anything to do with ‘it’. Happy to be an outsider. If you have read Turgenev’s ‘Fathers and Sons’, you will know what I mean. Traditional marriages of India make for stories...
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In line with the world

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is the basic principle of misbegotten people that they do not lend support to those who don’t follow the ‘line’, which is basically the way ‘everyone’ behaves and lives. So no surprises when those who fall out of line do not get calls or friendly visits. But the day you are ‘back’, is the day when surprise visits and calls inundate you. You then belong to the nasty world. Simple methods govern rules of interaction. Yet, truth is always deeper than we can reach. Look underneath the surface of the world, and see how petty divisions rule lives, and how very happy you are who has left it all behind to live a cleaner life, to follow your own line. ...
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Richard Cory and the world

There was this poem, Richard Cory, that we read in school. Richard Cory was a gentleman, from sole to crown. He was rich, fluttered pulses, and was graced in every virtue. Everyone wished to be like him. And yet, one fine evening, he went home and… The last line, when we read it, only amused our young minds. We didn’t wonder much about his last act. It even seemed like, sort of natural… a result of some hidden misfortune, pain or grief. Adults could harbour such pain, we felt, and it could happen. It was a normal, volitional act of a well meaning, healthy man. There was no point speculating on what ailed him; the poem gave no clues. That’s how complex life could be. Looking at today’s booming world, it could drive normal sensitive men nuts. Is there a cause to be happy? The ones who are happy are happy. The sadder lot carries its misfortunes alone. Some can take it in their...
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The play of passions

“As for me, my business was his money. The passive jade thinks of no pleasure but the money.” – Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe Freedom is a basic necessity of man. If there is any worth and dignity to be have in being a human being, it lies in being free. So much so that, for all crimes the simple punishment consists of taking away this vital element of life. Constraints and necessities too rob us of this precious element. Yet, freedom itself brings along with it a mortal enemy which, given a free reign, reduces man to a mere animal governed by his own instincts. The enemy is pleasure. The dersire to be free comes instinctively to every one of us, and its opponents are easily identified too, dictators of all types and anyone in a position of authority over others. The control exercised by them comes from outside. Inside us there are forces at work that can have a similar effect,...
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Growing up to be free

Young adults must learn to live on their own, lead their own life, and decide for themselves if they are to be human beings in the real sense of this term. Living under tutelage of parents is harmful in a real sense — it destroys a healthy sense of self-worth and well being, and the ability to look at the world as fresh as one did when one was born. Here is what the mother of Shilpa Shetty, the Indian actress reportedly bullied recently on the reality tv show Celebrity Big Brother said about her daughter’s past life: “”She is waited upon, she has an entourage travelling with her, I travel with her, she is never on her own. Everything is done for her but she thought that she wanted to experience this on her own,” she said. “May be it would also show her something of the other side of life,” she added. In countries like India, parenthood is often glorified...
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