The Mahabharata Always Intrigues Me

We grew up watching the Mahabharat on the television; Sunday mornings always meant Mahabharat at home with the whole family. This constituted a full hour of complete silence where only sighs of relief or tension were let out from time to time both by both the elders and the younger ones like us. One single lesson that we learnt from this Epic was the fact that “Good wins over Evil eventually, but gradually”, that Krishna has answers to everything, also that Pandavs were right and Kauravs were terribly and obscenely wrong.

But as I grew up and started questioning every possible thing existing under the sun, I realized that not all was well under my fantasy world of Mahabharat. I realized I am not a very big fan of the supposedly “goody-goody” Pandavs. And then I read the “Yajneseni” by Pratibha Ray and the little left love and compassion for the Pandavs dwindled inside me. And hence as it is me, I started finding things against the Pandavs, started brewing in my head all wrong that they did (yeah I can get pretty obsessive like this). And in the scheme of things I comprehended that I actually like Duryoudhan and especially Karna. It is absurd, surreal for some elderly but this is the truth. I do like them, Karna more than Duryoudhan though (Probably because in my head he looks smashing HOT!!). But whatever, he was a nice guy you see.

So Karna in the Mahabharat, as we know him has been blamed of causing the war, taking the wrong sides, choosing friendship and loyalty over judging what is wrong and right. He is often blamed for not choosing his loyalties wisely. But how far can we blame him for what he was, there are many who conclude that his misfortune shaped him the way he was, his circumstances made him what he was.

Born to a young princess who decided to let go of him in a wicker basket at the mercy of the river to avoid any disdain to her and her family’s reputation, a poor couple who finds him and nurtures him with all the love affection, he grows up a to be a fine warrior. From the very beginning he knows he wants to be a warrior and also knows that he can be good at it but the teachers refuse to teach him. But he does not leave hope, so he finds another teacher. The irony of his life, the first teacher does not teach him owing to the fact that he belongs to the lower strata of the society, the other decides to teach him since he does not belong to the upper strata of the society but curses him when he realizes that secretly he does belong to the upper strata (He is after all the son of a princess, nevertheless she decided to abandon). So every time in life when he decides to move forward his past drags him behind. When he showcases his powers the mighty feels threatened by him and decide that he should leave the city. It is at this time that Duryoudhan comes to his rescue and makes him his own, for whatever selfish reasons Duryoudhan has in mind; nevertheless he gives him all the respect Karna commands and deserves. And he is ridiculed by Draupadi who calls him of the lower caste and refuses to let him participate in the competition held to choose her husband. Alright so basically there is too much going bad with this guy, don’t you think.

And eventually war is declared due to whatever reasons; Karna decides to support Duryoudhan to the best of his abilities. And what possibly is wrong with this, he would have to take sides right, he had to and he chose the side that supported, loved and fed him for all over the years. And why would not he? He is obliged to, he wants to repay them. He is but human, he wants to take revenge for all the wrongdoings done to him, he is no GOD, who would simply forget and forgive. It does not come easy to a common man does it, that too, to a person who knows he is as good as the others. Did not he take the right path, I feel he did. At times it is not very easy to take sides and much so when so many strong emotions are involved.

When eventually Lord Krishna and his mother decide to reveal his true identity to him at their own whim, intimidated by his courage and strength in an effort to dissuade him to wage a war against his own brothers, he declines the offer. And why should not he, is it not, Too little Too late. He wanted no kingdoms or wealth, he only craved for recognition and respect which all failed to give him. Accepting their offer meant letting go of his foster parents who cared for him when his own left him survive alone, in that case according to the Hindu culture he would not have been able to perform their last rites. Accepting their offer of peace and switching sides would mean betraying a friendship where for the first time he had felt accepted for who he was. Hence his decisions made sense to me.

I completely accept that the Kauravs had the courage to wage a war against the Pandavs only because they had Karna at their side, there was many times where Karna could have stopped Duryoudhan from being a miscreant. I also accept that Karna was wrong at many levels, and he did make some bad decisions, but so did many including the Pandavs. Probably the inevitable could be stopped but it is tough for many to let go of their ego and accept defeat. They fought and lost, but it is important to know their side as well. At the end of day, Goodness prevailed and the Evil were defeated, or so we believe. But it is important to look at the complete picture before we become judgmental about these characters of history. Much about a person characters can be defined if we understood their mind. Karna might have been one of the reasons for Mahabharat happened, but he can’t be made accountable for it alone, after all, It Always Takes TWO to quarrel right. And here we talk about the biggest war.

Note:
Why this post today:
There is this serial Mahabharat airing on television these days, though I don’t watch it ardently but I know that Karna is going to be killed today or in a day or two, so as he dies and many applaud to recognize the win of Good over Evil, I sit and ponder on his life, a good life gone bad for reasons we can never find answers to.

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And I Found the Right Bra for ME!! 

Huh, these are not just 8 little words spun together to form a sentence, these words put together make all the difference in a girl’s life. At least in mine they do. These bring out happiness, contentment, ease of mind in me. I don’t know about other women, but finding the right bra has always been a task for me. I have realized that it is an art to find the perfect piece, that perfect fit, the perfect coverage, the perfect strap or no strap, everything perfect. It’s like having someone serve me the perfect plate of steaming hot red sauce pasta with the correct seasoning that too for free after a tough day at work. I know the comparison is absurd but I love my pasta you see.
So coming back to finding the perfect piece of the most important part of my attire, it is tough finding the “Faultless” piece of absolute perfection don’t you think. My first bra was bought by my mother, because as they say, “God knows better but mom knows best”. And I don’t remember how it had fit me, or probably I did not understand the fact that it needs to fit. At that time it was all excitement, excitement of growing up, another step closer towards being a woman. Ahhh the silliness of being a teenager!! And then as I kept growing so did these two little dangling of mine. Lest I say I was not a very big fan of them, I just wanted them to be small and petty. The large ones just did not fascinate me enough. And it is here that the quest for the perfect piece started. I gained weight, lost weight, and with every few pounds I gained and lost these two also suffered the brunt. And subsequently the quest got more vigorous.
And then I got married, and times for them changed again, both of us (My two little precious pieces and me, and not my husband and me) were in a happy space for a long time until we decided to get pregnant (My husband and me and not my two little precious pieces and me :P). And we were on a roller coaster ride. They recoiled and blew up, blew up and recoiled again. And trust me it was frustrating. A better half of my salary went away spending on this treasure. And trust me the quest is not over.
I walk in a lingerie shop and try out variety of shapes and sizes and finally find that near to perfect piece, and end up buying them in all possible colors, and then when I need to buy them again, DAMN the company stops their production, and introduces a new design. I smell conspiracy I swear!! And what really irks me; trust me I question the lord all the time, why don’t men have some problem like this. Why there undies size remains almost same all through their life. I mean I understand that possessing these makes us so womanly and all, but perhaps I could have done without them; it is really a hassle at times. But on the contrary I still like them, it’s nice having them around at times, and of course this one thing we have and these men don’t, makes us so fascinating to them, Just saying :P. So any which way I have to live with them, just that I wish they would have come with a manual with all the instructions. And one last request please god open a shop which provides me the perfect fit. Thanks in advance!!

How Justified Is War ????

Patriotism, I really don’t know where this word stands in my life, how much it means to me, and what difference does it make. It influences my existence I know, because people formulate opinions about me depending on the country I belong to. Most of them are biased I know but still they exist and I accept them because I know what I am.
Anyway coming back to the topic of patriotism, I am bewildered by this word. It evokes a swarm of emotions in me. I see so many refugees shifting each year; it pains me to see their agony, perplexed they look around trying to adjust to the new environment, their new existence, their new country. I realize how important it is to have a country you can call your own; it defines you in so many ways. I remember watching “The Terminal”, and as usual Tom Hanks made me cry till my nerves started to twitch, losing a country meant so much.
And still I become livid when I see soldiers being killed for protecting their homeland, I know how it works, and you cannot possibly sit idle when an enemy attacks your independence, it is important to make the enemy realize that you are not a weakling, imperative that they now that we have what it takes to defend ourselves, but loosing precious human lives in the process, I don’t know. War justified for mistakes that our forefathers made, for political agendas, for maniac terrorists, mistakes of our leaders; provocation of the enemy does not make sense to me. I agree that these fine gentlemen we call “Soldiers” are out there in chilling winters and scorching heat to protect us, so that we can live a comfortable life. No matter how trite this might sound but this is the truth. I respect them for what they do, utterly and absolutely adore what they are doing for me. Yet it infuriates me when my country or rather any other country goes to war. I really don’t know whose fault it is, and perhaps I am not in a position to judge or comment on topics of political significance, but these are somebody’s children, somebody’s brothers and sisters, somebody’s parents who go out there to fight. We fight, we kill and we conquer but in this process thousands lose their lives and many families lose their loved ones. Nothing could be more distressing and dispiriting than this.
No matter how many countries exist in this world, humans live in them, the most gifted living being, we should be able to respect human life. I might be wrong at certain levels to understand the significance of war but it does not make sense to me. I believe, all barring some nuisance creating element want peace and harmony. I understand that it is imperative to be able to stand up for injustice and cruelty but at the price of human life does not make sense. Its pride, vindication, and the hunger to satiate the ego that leads to war. We go to war because we sought to teach our enemies a lesson, to make him accountable for his heinous deeds but loose so much of ourselves in the process. I realize that the life of those lost in war should never go in vain, because for me their sacrifice for their motherland is much greater than any other form of love or sacrifice. There is nothing that can surpass this ultimate sacrifice, for something that is not exclusively yours, shared among millions of people, something that can only be felt not owned. These men command our utmost veneration, for what they do cannot be compared to anything else. And manifold respect to the families who happily send their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, parents to fight for the nation. Anything we do for them would be less in comparison to what they do for us.

Dear Mumbai, Be Nice to my Brother

Alas, the day has finally come when my bro needs to leave for Mumbai. These past few weeks have been tough and very rough; I can’t really keep a count of the number of times my eyes welled up with tears at the mere thought of his going. I realized one thing, I am very weak emotionally, after all he is leaving to make his career, to earn money and fame. But I fail to look at the bright future ahead and somehow keeping falling in the pit of the past.
I realized that it’s not his going and not being able to see him that often (Come on, Mumbai is a 2 hour flight) which hurts me as much as the fact that I keep thinking of the times that we spent together, that they will never come back. They will never be times when I would be the strict teacher that I was to him, making him learn lessons for school, shouting out from the balcony to call him back to study, never again would he misspell “SIX” as “SEX”, the time that I went out movies with him, any crap movie in the theaters to watch with him at our leisure would be rare, he would not be there when I visit my mum’s house from now to pick me up and my luggage from downstairs, his laptop with the millions of our favorite films will be gone, his persistence to make me watch movies and serials he likes won’t bother me anymore when I go home, no one would empty the casseroles of food my mum makes so quickly that we never have anything left for us, he would not be available at my beck and call whenever I needed a shoulder to cry or someone to share a joke with, the times when we sang songs all night before sleep engulfed us would be a luxury now, making faces and discussing the fact that our mom has always long stories that never end would be few in between our busy schedules, discussions of our father being unreasonable at times, his borrowing money from me, there are just so many things that won’t be happening from now on which tears my heart.
A friend of mine told me that I should look at the bigger picture, that this is life, he has to go and make a life for himself, that it is stupid of me to be so emotional, I realized that she was right. Perhaps he will settle in Mumbai I will visit him, will have a new place to visit, my bro will be independent, we will travel, eat, enjoy, read, life will be more settled by then. But somehow the prospect of the future does not entice me, the past holds me tight. The bottom line is I never wanted to grow up, and I understand this is bad; I am still clinging to the memories of my childhood which is not helping in any way. How I wish I could remain unperturbed among all the changes happening around me, nonchalant to people moving in and out, but this is not me. I get affected and that too very easily. I want to be wired differently, something in my heart is not right.
Any which way he has to go and he will go, so I need to accept it and move on, I need to keep myself more busy now so I can keep my mind of him. I need to be more available to my parents now; they would be lonelier than I am without him. I need to take a grasp of the situation (I know I am making a small change in life sound so BIG, overstating the emotions) and pray for all the good in life for him. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
P.S.: On reading the second time I was amused, it felt as if I was talking about an old boyfriend.