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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Zindagi Pyar ki do char ghadi hoti hai… (Life is but a few short hours of loving…)

The other day, as I was listening to that deep, rich, sonorous and very unique voice of Hemantada singing those poignant lyrics penned by Rajendra krishan— Zindagi Pyar ki do char ghadi hoti hai —all of a sudden flashed in my mind what my revered teacher once said: “Never ever leave a true relation for a few faults, for no one is perfect, no one is always correct”. He also said, “What ultimately matters most in our relations is ‘affection’”. Sounds pretty, isn’t it? 

As the song is progressing slowly—Taaj ya takht ya daulat ho zamaane bhar ki / kaun si cheez mohabbat se badi hoti hai?—asserting that these few short hours of loving mean much more than a crown and all the riches  in the world— the whole course of discussions that I subsequently had with friends over what my teacher said rolled before me ...

One evening, as I shared what my teacher said to my friends, one among them, questioning, ‘What is perfection?” quoted Mark Twain, saying that the very meaning of ‘perfection’ is continuously getting perfected all the time. In other words, what he, perhaps, meant to say is: There is nothing like ‘the’ perfection, for it is always evolving.

Going even farther, another friend questioned, “why perfection at all?” for, in his view, perfection is always accompanied by undesirables. “For instance, beautiful rose is accompanied by thorns”, says he. Even otherwise, he goes on arguing: perfection is after all defined by us, the human beings. So, what is perfect today could become imperfect tomorrow; what is acceptable at one place may turn out to be a taboo at another place.

Indeed he hates perfection! For, he feels that in the pursuit of perfection—a state of completeness, flawlessness, or supreme excellence—one gets deprived of even simple pleasures of life—could not enjoy even whatever accomplishments that one’s limited resources/abilities enabled one to pocket.

He also argues that it is always easy to relate with a man of slight imperfection rather than with an altogether perfect man, for he would always be a kind of intimidating lot—particularly to the lesser mortals. Then he enquired, if I have ever seen a mountain range. He says there is no harmony among them—some are high while some are not; yet the mountain ranges look beautiful, aren’t they? He therefore asserts that it is the same with many of us, the imperfect beings: we trip here, stumble there and yet get one or two things done right here and there in our long journey through the mist of the life… and that is the marvellous imperfection of us, the beautiful beings…

Remember, we are not the angels… we are after all human beings trying to get our bearings alright to lead meaningful life here on this planet unredeemed … So, let us not condemn ourselves, if we here and there bruise our integrity or trip over our values… for, we are after all ordinary mortals with our own inherent imperfections…

But that doesn’t mean, you be with it!  No, do get up and try bettering it… That is the meaning of ‘living’. All living things are eternally imperfect for there is always room for bettering the existing perfection… it’s only inanimate objects like a table or a chair that once made cannot be bettered!  In other words, it’s perfectly alright to be imperfect, so long there is a desire to improve… and happiness rests in not how perfectly we did a job but doing something better—better than previously.

There is another interesting question that my friend raised: If everyone is perfect where the love would go? Intriguingly, he goes on to say that it is our imperfections and the resulting differences which make us to search for that missing half so that we can become full. And that missing half is nothing but the ‘love’ which appears in the form of ‘forgiveness’—the act of excusing imperfections.

This obviously raises a question: What is love? Being awake, being alive to what is happening right now… makes one more vibrant, and in that vibrancy one loses all solidity… rigidity … one becomes more fluid. And therefore nothing sticks … concepts and theories won’t stick and so openness pops up. In that openness one is no more in the know of what everything is… and in it emerges freedom and this state of ‘freedom’ is love. In this love everything becomes devotion. No matter whether it is perfect or imperfect, anything done in devotion turns out to be alright. 

Incidentally, children and animals, they say live in this plane. They approach everything with no pre-set ideas. They see the things simply as they are in front of them without colouring them with concepts and labels. They see the world around them thus not because they are more enlightened.  It simply happens—happens because, they might be looking at it in their natural meditation!! Indeed, such simple seeing happens for us, the adults, too but the problem is: the all-pervading idea of ‘me’ as somebody different separates our seeing from that of the children and animals i.e. our beliefs obscure the reality. And hence the perfection and imperfection.  

So, don’t get bogged down by concepts, labels, beliefs, etc., for they are the imaginary constructs of the conventions that the society has bred and they are, unfortunately, powerful-enough to even obscure the reality from mind.  So, learn to simply look at the happenings around in a total freedom.  And when we do what we do sans expectations—expectations as to how things should be, without colouring them with idealism and blame, but with more openness and compassion—any kind of outcome thereof would become alright. In such an approach imperfections even lose their sting.
That freedom—the freedom which enables one to see the asymmetry, the mess, the unresolved … the imperfect, the terrible  as they appear all around in their true colours—never lets one sacrifice the loved one merely because he or she is imperfect. And,  remember: Zindagi Pyar ki do char ghadi hoti hai …  and particularly, the next line—Chaahe thodi bhi ho ye umar badi hoti hai (may be a little, but it [s fragrance] lasts longer). 


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