"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




"Always respect the food and the place from where it is coming.." instructed the dad to his teenage son as they took the walk in the garden. "Why are you so undisciplined when it comes to food?" The son was getting irritated and it was showing on his face. But this time the dad would not give up, as it was high time they talked about the food discipline subject.

As always, the father dragged the son to the bench under the guava tree and they sat there. They had many good memories playing together there, of plucking raw guavas in the summer and generally frolicking around. Hence, the place always created the mood where father and son bonded well.
 
"Have you ever realized how careless you are when it comes to respecting food?" questioned the dad in a somewhat irritated tone.

The son just looked up at the guava tree looking for ripe guavas so as to showcase his indifference as rebellion at being advised in such boring matters. However, sensing that dad was getting eager for a response, the son managed to eke out a "I do eat my food fast and I clear the plate na, dad?"

"Those are table manners and thanks for following them." said the dad with a consolatory tone, "but I want to advise you on something more than that. You need to show respect towards the food and also towards the place where it coming from"

"Okay tell me dad. What more rules should I follow?"

Father did not like the word rules, but having gotten a positive response both father and son began warming up. "Why are you never focusing on the food while you are eating it?" said the father as he joined his son to search for ripe guavas on the tree, "you are either talking on the phone, reading newspaper or watching the TV. That is blatant disrespect to what is on your plate son!"

Father spotted a ripe guava. He jumped up to pluck it and gave it to the son. Both were really warming up now.

"Yes I get it dad. I shall focus on what I am eating and will not indulge into any distraction or talking..." and the son began intently munching on the guava.

"Here, listen to me.. just one more thing. You also need to show some gratitude for where the food comes from." said the father gesturing his son to look at him, "your mum works so hard to cook all that for us. Have you ever thanked her even once for it? Have you even shown a smiling face when she serves food on your plate? Do you know how happy she gets when she serves you? On days when you have a nice meal, there is a spring in her step like she is dancing... It would mean a world to her if you just tell her how you liked the food.. maybe just a small thanks.. don't you think so?"

"Yes dad! I get it. I shall make sure I acknowledge mom's contribution.. and will always remember to thank her.. "

"That's my boy!" said a proud father as he plucked another ripe guava to appreciate the son's receptivity. "Here take this one. You deserve to enjoy it.. " and both father and son happily walked back inside the house.

In the garden the guava tree kept swaying its branches to the wind, as if dancing in joy...


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It is said the law of rebirth exists in order to iron out the injustice of inequality in this world. So that men who are born unequal, gain equality through a sequence of higher and lower births?

Yes
And how are the higher and lower births decided?

Based on the karma one accumulates in one's present life. Evil acts attract negative karma and result in lower birth in the next life.

So unequal births are not really a natural occurrence then? It is an effect of human acts itself.

Hmmm!

So karma is a divine justice system against human acts, and not any natural inequality?

What do you mean by natural inequality? Mother Nature has always stood for balance. She never takes any sides. It is human acts that take shades of right and wrong.

So in that case, how did the inequality begin in the first place? When God created the world, did everyone have equal birth?

Surely they did! God's will is perfect. He sees everyone as equal.

And it was based on the acts committed by those first human beings that their next births became higher or lower?

Obviously.

In that case, your original argument that rebirth and karma work together to eradicate the injustice of unequal birth becomes irrelevant for the first humans, as they were all born equal.

Okay, so?

Then either the argument for rebirth is logically inconsistent or the law of karma has to encompass divine will itself.

Karma cannot be illogical.

Why not?

Because karma is ordained by divine will.

So are you saying that divine will cannot be seen as ordaining something to remedy its own irrationality?

You are subverting the argument by confusing illogical with irrational?

Oh! am I?



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How can I be great? That's for humans. I am beyond greatness. There is an intermediate level of those who contribute silently, but I am beyond that too.
 
Greatness is so earthly. Its something they define in their language - that medium which is as opaque as it is opiate. The so-called dictionaries of their language keep changing from time to time. And hell they don't even have one dictionary for everyone.
 
So greatness it seems differs from place to place, time to time, even from person to person. For the more learned person, greatness is in knowledge, while for the artistically inclined, greatness is matter of artistic achievement. Hell! they even attach greatness to mortal souls who shine for a moment and burn out the next moment. They attach greatness to those who do not even know the true sense of the word, err, I mean, true sense of the world.
 
Greatness when labelled on mortals that achieve something singularly appreciable becomes, by itself, a narrow word. Hell! they are pruning and trimming the very notion of greatness itself.
 
Greatness is certainly not for me. It is a mortal concept, it is a term whose normativity is limited to the social context it dwells in. It is emblazoned by fools and tyrants. It is a cloak that embellishes mediocrity. It is, after all, merely a euphemism of the escapists, a catamaran that tired souls employ in their attempt to catch the drift towards escaping nothingness.
 
Greatness is an embalmment for the human condition. Therefore, greatness is for humans. I am beyond it.
 
Every time they say, "God is great!" it churns my insides. What am I to do? If I was really as great as they say, then, as their great one would do, I could just stop them from saying it at all. But I don't stop them. Because I am not great. I am beyond it.
 
 
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It was suffocating her, having stood there motionless, cramped, in the rush-hour train station, waiting for that sweet music of the train to come by and help her break out of that dense huddle. There was jostling, ruffling, and people pressing ever more harder against each other... all jam-packed into the single lane platform like it was some kind of time-warp cocoon that imprisoned the masses.

 
The moth shook and struggled, and pressed against the cocoon's walls. It was tired and suffocated of being curled up for so long. It waited to hear that afternoon breeze and its rustling, which would parch the cocoon walls and help it crack open the suppressing bubble.


The train was not to be seen. Instead she saw more people assembling in the bridge above. And as the crowds swelled, it began to rain. Claps of thunder celebrated the pushing and shoving.

The summer breeze was not to be heard. Instead the moth heard rain drops tapping the walls of the cocoon. It wasn't sure of what to do... the cocoon was beginning to soften up.

As more people joined, the cocoon of the platform began pressing at its seams. She was getting literally suffocated now.

The moth knew it had to push now. When the rain stopped, the cocoon walls would dry and firm up again. It had to start pushing.

The last time she remembered seeing an agglomeration like this was when she had watched a clutch of spider hatchlings just out of their egg nest, and those cockroaches huddled up when she had lifted the cover of their gutter. How did humans come about to be the same way? She could not digest it. She had to push those thoughts out, else she would puke. The thought agitated her and, so, she also began to push and shove. With every shove that came to her, she pushed back harder.
 
The moth began to push. Every time a wall tried to restrict it, it pushed harder.

The pushing and shoving gathered steam. The thunder clapped harder. The bridge above began shaking and a wave of panic began to spread. People on the bridge wanted to get off in a hurry and a stampede ensued.

The moth pushed with all its power, using its legs, wings, head and all. The cocoon resisted, it pushed back even. The leaf and the branch swayed to the struggle.

The suffocation increased as crowds began to pour down the bridge. There were screams and moans of agony as some of them began to be crushed under the stampede. She was in the crowd but not amidst the tragedy. She could have ran aside and escaped the stampede, but something in her was refusing to let her do that. Like a moth that gets attracted to the light, she felt a pull to rush into the stampede.

The cocoon began to harden and the moth's efforts were going in vain. Yet it felt an energy to push harder, to break the walls and see the light outside.

She gathered all her force and lunged towards the bridge. As the stampede cascaded down, she ran head on into it. It was like something in her was wanting to break out...

The moth gathered all its force and lunged forward to the tip of the cocoon where lay its best chance to break open.

The stampede washed over her and crushed her beneath. A wave of panicked people that hit her so hard that it took her life in an instant.

The cocoon was crushed and the moth was out, in a burst of energy that filled it with life in an instant.

Her soul had been freed. Free from the agglomeration of cockroaches and spiders. Free from the suffocating cocoon of life. It would now ascend into a new world.

The moth spread its wings, basking in the pride of its new freedom. It descended from the cocoon into the new world... of the cage where all the Emperor moths were reared.




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