Of happiness and misery

Caressing her, he said: “It is by their own actions, good or bad, that men are happy or miserable. The virtues or vices of others will not affect us in the least.”

Sukracharya tries to console his daughter Devayani after she is insulted and hurt by her companion – Sarmishta – the king’s daughter.

(Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari – p.33)

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What an Idea, Sirji!

A few days ago, I came up with silly expansions using the letters in the word “idea” –

IDEA – Intellectual Declaration of Enhanced Apprehension

(Bad) IDEA – Idiotic Disclosure of Extravagant Attitude

(Good) IDEA – Innovative Deduction of an Employable Axiom

What do you think? Do they make sense? 🙂

What is love?

Love – it is undoubtedly the most widely discussed topics any where in the world. Love knows no language, is not limited by any boundaries and when you are in love, you cannot deny the fact that it is the most beautiful thing that could ever happen to you.

Love is more giving than receiving; more listening than speaking; more ‘we’, ‘ours’ and ‘us’ than ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘I’. Though it is discussed and thought of so much about, nobody has ever come to coherent conclusion about ‘what’ love really is. That’s probably because, love comes in various forms. Love that parents have towards her children, or that siblings have for each other, or even the love which you have for that special person in life.

Following is my understanding of what love is. It is more generalization of true love and I won’t be delving into the forms of love because I believe that all forms of love have a lot in common – which I try to explain here.

So what is love? According to me Love depends on five parameters: Acceptance, Surrender, Freedom, Understanding and Time. Sounds weird? Read on…

Love is acceptance

When you are in love, you accept the person completely knowing very well that the person isn’t perfect (believe me no one is). Also, more importantly, you accept the person for what he/she is and not what he/she can become. Acceptance is unconditional. In true love, you don’t hear: “I love you but I hate your singing” or “I love you but I can’t stand your parents”. Because, when you truly accept someone, you will also love what that person loves. You learn to accept their mistakes, forgive and also forget. Forgetting is very important, because if you cannot forget, it will never be able to forgive.

Acceptance also defines responsibility. You feel responsible for the welfare of that person. You take measures to ensure that the person is healthy, happy and safe. Another very important aspect to be mentioned here is the fact that you do not see the necessity to change yourself consciously. You will automatically change when you realize that some of your actions are disheartening the other person. And most likely these changes are mutual and happen at a subtler level, and almost always go unnoticed.

Love is surrender

Why do you think they call it ‘falling’ into love? That is because you surrender yourself completely to the will of that person. Anything they do/say/think will seem the best. Surrender does not mean you are becoming a slave. Surrender really means that you are placing the person above your ego. You are becoming less selfish and less self-centered towards that person.

It also means that you are ready to compromise and adapt to situations when necessary, which by the way, is very important to any relationship.

Love is freedom

Love is free, like a bird. You cannot expect a caged bird to love you. Set the bird free, if you really love it, the bird will surely come back to you. In love, freedom means that you do not feel you are superior and try to dominate over the person. Instead, you set them free; and make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing or wherever they are going. Trying to be over possessive is really not the way. By granting freedom, you do not hear yourself say, “I don’t like you doing this”. Also, you do not resort to emotional blackmail, “It will hurt me if you do this”.

Love is understanding

Belief, trust, loyalty and understanding are the pillars of any relationship. And understanding is the most important of them all. When you are in love, you’ll know that whatever the other person does, always has something good in it for you. Small issues, which are inevitable, are handled without a word of disagreement. And consensus conclusions are arrived at, while making important decisions. Mistakes are forgiven (and forgotten) without a word of dissent or blame.

Also, in love there is unconditional support. You believe the person completely and back him/her till the end even if the idea seems far fetched. Constant motivation and encouragement is always present, this not only boosts the self-confidence, makes them happy and stress-free, but also gives them the security of being in safe hands and allows them to move forward without fear.

Love is time

Time is a commodity that is becoming very scarce nowadays. Days are flying by, years are rolling on without a notice. For the present generation, which is taken in by the technological advancements and the sophisticated working environment, it has become very hard to even make a few hours each day for our loved ones. Love is something that thrives on time. You always try hard to make time for each other, in spite of busy work schedules. You will be longing to see the other’s face at the end of the day, like a mother who waits at the doorstep for her children to return home from school.

In the end, love is what makes life beautiful and worth living for. 🙂

How much of ‘bad’ is ‘good’?

I was contemplating upon how we tend to rate things (or even people for that matter) as good or bad. And a realistic fact hit me: Good and bad are relative and opinionated. Meaning, something good for me needn’t be so for you. Just like: ‘One man’s music is another man’s noise‘ or ‘One man’s treasure is another’s garbage‘.

This tends to happen a lot when it comes to believing and trusting people. Some people whom we think are good might just be on the top of some one else’s bad books. Such situations are pretty hard to handle, especially if you are (some one like me and) a friend of both. I’ve had a lot of such situations in life. I sometimes try to change the opinion about that person; but I have come to realize that most of the times it is of no use. Either people refuse to change themselves or even their opinions.

I believe in having an open mind when dealing with people. Accept their opinions but never let them change your beliefs (until you are sure about it).

Coming back to the discussion of good and bad, their relativity is established, like I mentioned above. But I sometimes ask myself: Do we recognize and respect the good only because there is something bad in this world? Is the bad really necessary to emphasize the existence of the good in this world? If so, how much of bad is good?

For example, will the position of the police be recognized as good, if there weren’t a thief?

And sometimes, actions are also deemed good when performed by some people and bad when done so by others. A soldier killing to safe guard his country is good while an extremist doing it is bad.

I think good and bad are contents of a wobbly balance. The world lives in harmony as long as their weights cancel each other out.