The Balancing Act!

11 OCT, 2015
by Bikash Mohanty

Hard to believe; but I hardly ever celebrated my Birthday in the past. Since Class 8; I have been out of my parental home and I can’t blame my parents for not celebrating my birthday. Friends celebrated my 30th in a grand fashion in Australia, in a limousine, which I remember quite fondly until date. But the best I remember of my birthday celebration; was when I was growing up with my beloved Grand-father in his family home until Class 8 in the school. There was no Cake cutting ceremony existed those days; nope; we had something called “Nagi badha”; where 10-15 different delicacies cooked by my grand-mother, under the strict direction of my grand-father to make them extra special, for his very special grand-son (eldest). My friends (school mates, cricket mates) were all invited to come and have lunch at our home and then the remainder of the food were distributed amongst the neighbours and poor people. That explains why I never was keen to celebrate my birthday. We essentially do things for experience and I never underwent another acute experience after my grand-father. I get emotional, even with the mere mention of my grand-father.

At the end of the day, yes: we are just ordinary people. It's more important to be beautiful from inside than to have a perfect outer appearance. If I look back at my life and count the things that matter to me; nothing can ever make me have the look in my eyes  that I have with the thought of my grand-father. He made and he is still making me a better person every single day.  His love and affection for me was rare and I still carry lot of his qualities as my guidance, my forte.

I was telling this to my sister, few weeks ago. Mere Zindagi ka tambu teen bambuo pe latka hua hai. If you consider my life is like a tent, it has been resting upon three tent poles…. ”Experience”, “Celebration” and “Evolution”. I am not interested in maintaining a huge bank balance, rather I shall experience everything, whichever, wherever it inspires me. Who knows what’s in store tomorrow. So why waste time now? Celebration is equally important as the hard-work for the success. It’s like other side of the coin, which make the identify of the coin complete. Good can not be experienced, without experiencing bad…likewise…without celebration, hard-work can not be sustained for long. And evolution? I tell this little story to Rishi, when he gets upset with the remark of any of his fellow football mates about his football skills. I tell him about two glasses…one is full with water and the other is empty. If we pour more water into two of these individual glasses; one will absorb it, while other will spill it out. Spilling out means, we have no space. No space means, we learn nothing new, we hold on to what we had learnt in the past and we do not improve at all, while all our surrounding keeps changing, keeps improving. At the end, we remain where we were before and those who embrace changes/improvement; go far ahead the circle of life….far they go. I asked him, what he wants to be…an empty glass or the other glass full of water. I think he got my point right…he said “I want to be the empty glass, Papa”. Brilliant choice my son, I am so proud of you.

That’s about the human evolution. What about the technological evolution? Do we really think it is really helping us or destroying us? When we have money, we first attempt to do damage to ourselves and then buy expensive medical insurances to protect us. That’s exactly what money is worth….medical insurance…not health. Health will come from living normally, where we pay attention to the source…we take care of the sources, so that they do not finish…we do not destroy them….destroying them is like destroying us. No? Land conversion is such a politicized and gloomy area. I have seen these both in the west and also in the developing countries. Rate at which land conversion is taking place, soon will come a time, when we shall have more residential land than agricultural land. Will Technological evolution keep the food affordable for us still? Having one house is necessity, having multiple houses is luxury. Whether it is multiple houses, or multiple cars or multiple lands…driven by our greed is causing the imbalance to the source, to our mother nature, which may never repair again after.

An example in which robotic and mechanical solutions create a more efficient production line than a human workforce and cause mass unemployment. If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.  So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option i.e. with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

Technological evolution should not only support capitalism, rather should work towards fixing the damages which we have already done to our sources. The world is now nearly certain to warm by up to 2C compared with pre-industrial levels, with political efforts concentrated on holding the potential temperature rise to no higher than that limit. But some analyses suggest that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow at current rates then warming of as much as 5C could be in store. Food price riots have been seen in several developing countries following sudden rises of less than 10% in food prices in recent years, demonstrating the vulnerability of the poor to grain prices. The global population is currently over 7bn and is forecast to rise to at least 9bn, and potentially up to 12bn, by 2050, which will put more pressure on agricultural land and water sources. Apple has launched IPhone 6S or Amazon has started drone dropped delivery service are not technological evolution as such, they don’t make any impact to the sustainability issues which are far greater than our individual comfort or luxury. We are only fixing things though technological evolution, which we had broken at the first place for no reason.

The first thing that comes into our mind, when we talk about Charlie Chaplin is that; he was a comedian. Do we know Chaplin's childhood in London was defined by poverty and hardship? As his father was absent and his mother struggled financially, he was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. When he was 14, his mother was committed to a mental asylum. Chaplin began performing at an early age, touring music halls and later working as a stage actor and comedian. That speaks the ability of the person, who had challenged his adversities and turned them to his advantages. How? I don’t know. I know he said something, which could provide a linkage… he said something like this “As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”. So in order for us to be strong, where we can turn adversities to advantages; we need to first love ourselves, look after ourselves. How? Common, you know that!!! We have to reject everything which is not good for us. This is what Charlie Chaplin had said above…that we should run away from bad habbits (Alcohol, smoking), bad company, bad situation, bad things & bad food.

I shall leave these topics to our very own capable hands. For now; it is Navratri time. It starts this Tuesdays this week? For the first time ever, I am going to fast during Navratri. Why? Don’t know. Just the experience. Never have done this before. No, I don’t need anything from the Goddess. She is always been kind to me. What else I can ask for? Maa knows it all, she is JagatJanani…she is Jagadambha…she is the wife of my Aradhya Mahadev….the source…the energy…the power! Feel free to join me, if interested.

Lastly; thank you very much for all your kind birthday wishes. They mean a lot to me. Abhar prakat karta hoon. Dhanyabad. You know next one is the big one…I’ll be keen to celebrate my birthday next year, for sure. All are invited. God knows why but I  have a feeling its going to be a wonderful journey from now until then, for me, for you, for us all. Take good care of yourself and Remember to Remember: “To Believe”; “Good things happen, when you do Believe.”! Good Night, Subh-Rati and Sabah-Khair!