Belonging to something/someone has its bane, whether you like it or not, the moment you belong to something, something else almost always alienates you instantly. That’s how the world works!
For the past months, I was constantly coming across these clear contrasts, and how each one was voicing for their side. Here are a few:
- Humans of New York had a picture of a woman, who exercised her choice of not wanting a kid, but how she was constantly pursued by people known to her to have a child.
- Women’s web posted an article saying how people should understand that questions like, “When are you getting married”, or “Okay. Now that you are married, what about kids?” are over the line for anyone to ask, and that they are such personal things.
- Logical Indian had a post on women vs. men fights on dressing right, which ended up in use of obscene words in public forum.
- There was another cheeky status by a friend on FB, who commented how whether literate or not, people tend to comment on physical appearance of a person: you’re too thin, too fat, too this, too that, which are appalling to say the least.
I agreed to all of ’em. My hands itched to post something. Itched to support, like all those others who stood up to support. I almost did. In fact, I have been itching to post on this ‘belonging’ factor for a long, long time now.
I remember when I was single, I too faced these questions, but I never minded them for the reason that, I had no emotion attached to it. I had made a choice to not marry, unless of course He said something, my guru. I had wanted to address those people, who though had not affected me, had given such needless pressure to those other single pals I love.
Nor did I ever address this issue the first time, which was when I joined my institute. That is perhaps the first time, when this belonging tug of war hit me. So many people had gathered right under my guru’s umbrella, kids my age and seniors. I am not sure if anyone felt what I felt there, as I entered His portals: the inherent need of the kids to connect to people from their hometown or state.
Juniors, seniors, batch mates – they all had an inclination to join their crowd: there was the Tamil crowd, Nepali crowd, Mallu crowd, School crowd, etc. By final year, it changed of course, but there in that Institute was the same difference. I couldn’t take it.
I had told Him right then, I don’t want to be a Tamilian, or anything that I am, if that would make me see someone in a different light.
Somehow it ruffled my palate: the people’s innate need to identify to something, and that identification in turn taking them away from everything else. I had explained this precise point in my reply post to Maria Writh as well.
I had thought: When has togetherness stopped being so enticing?
So coming back to last week:
There I was in front of my keyboard, about to write a post.
But then, I stopped and asked my guru, “Why Swami?”
[why are there these contrasts, these fights…]
He replied, “Difference.”
As I recall His word now, I feel so humbled and teary eyed. All the commotion, unrest, groupism, support, validation, section 66as, or hashtags like ShamedInSydney or ShameOnTimesNow, all of this and much more is all because of one feeling ‘difference’ or what we call ‘dvaita’.
We see the other person as different to ourselves. We see them, judge them, perhaps talk nasty, because we don’t see the latent oneness. How simple, and how complex.
Truly, isn’t that the need of the hour: oneness and not belongingness?
Because life is all-inclusive, faith is just a part, belongingness is just a part. Because we are a package – a convoluted replica of the larger universe. All of us cannot be same, identical. We will be opinionated. That’s that.
This I know to be one of the biggest love lessons: the acknowledgement of this inclusiveness. Because of which, though I enjoyed my service and medical camps with fellow Sai alumni, I chose to come out. I wanted to do service, but I wanted to do it with people who were not Saiyans. I spoke to my work friends, and we started our own service group, which has been running for more than three years now. In the long haul, it might not even survive, but that’s besides the point, and the point is LOVE.
Why does it matter – if someone is a theist, atheist, agnostic; sexual, asexual, homosexual; drinks, doesn’t; eats non-veg, doesn’t; married, single, divorced; 10 kids or none; Tamilian, or descendants of Anglo-Saxon; thin or fat. It simply doesn’t .
Okay. I didn’t write about it all these years. In fact, I didn’t even write about it last week, when He gave me His message. Then why now, you might ask.
Now because: I just finished writing a review for the book ‘Visa, stickers and other matters of the soul’, which I will be publishing tomorrow. A beautiful book on faith, life and parenting, written by a fellow alumni, Lom Harshini. As much as I loved it, I know, if it gets to the hands of those sticklers of rules, of rights and wrongs, they will comment on how few of the things mentioned therein are not expected out of a ‘Sai Student‘. In fact, I already read a comment on the internet elsewhere.
Oh! That ruthless dvaita that infests this world.
So there: it is now because, the idea had to be released to the universe, and I did.
I am at peace though, and loving the fact that He makes me write something else on any chosen day, when I should have in fact written as per my schedule.
Till that time – here is to love – and the want to connect to everybody – to live and embrace even the transient life to bits, with an understanding glamour that we are parts of the whole – and that we all are never, ever minutely different.<3
Bear hugs people,