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Archive for April, 2012

THE WORD!


While i was in a city far away from my state of domicile, a friend of mine asked me, “IF JESUS WAS GOD, THEN WHILE HE WAS IN THE FLESH IN THIS WORLD, WHAT HAPPENED TO GOD? DID THE CHRISTIAN GOD LOSE THAT MUCH GODNESS?”

The question seemed an insult to my belief, then. So i asked him, “If you believe that Lord Rama or Lord Krishna were on an incarnation in this world, then who were attending to the functions of the preserver Lord Vishnu?”

My friend was calm and said, “Firstly, we have many Gods and they are interdependent and not like the Christian God concept of three in one. Secondly, by your questioning my beliefs you cannot convince yourself of the veracity of your beliefs……………….so think or ask and tell me.”

I had no convincing answer to his question, much worse was the state of my own thus far held assertions. A new question had been flung at me, for which i had no answer. The challenge was RATIONAL and there was no way i could shirk or shrug and leave that question.

The peculiar problem that a Christian faces is that he cannot ask such questions, as the enquirer would be open to being called a blasphemous person. As a lay person, i am to accept the postulates and start off with certain indoctrinated fundamental beliefs. So, i was left with my question with no one to ask or refer the problem. So like in life, as we put many questions in the back burner and get on with our day to day lives,  i also put this question in the back burner of my mind and forgot all about it over a period of time.

After about two years had passed by, one evening i was with another Hindu friend, who told me that you Christians flaunt the verse John 3:16 FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLATING LIFE, but it is the 2 verses appearing in
John 5: 26 & 27

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

which is the crux of  the DIVINITY of CHRIST and the empowerment granted by the Father.

I was stunned! I had read The Bible many a time and have never thought of these 2 verses having the significance which my Hindu friend expatiated as follows:

SEE GOD THE ‘FATHER’ HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, WHICH MEANS HE IS SELF ORIGINATING, SELF PERPETUATING AND SELF RESURRECTING (in the unlikely event of his own death, for any reason whatsoever). That God the father, gave the Son those ATTRIBUTES to have LIFE in himself.

The second part is the “AUTHORITY” granted because he was brought into this world as a mortal and yet was not tainted by the sins of this world and therefore the Son was granted the authority to judge men, with whom the Son had been a peer once. So JESUS is the interface between GOD and MAN. What amazing verses…………and he fell into a vacant thoughtfulness.

I realized that BELIEF comes very much in the way of our understanding of the WORD. When we do not have the openness of mind we miss what is being said and read what we already hold as a belief.

After hearing that explanation by my friend Raj, i am convinced that WORD has the power to convey meanings which no  BELIEF can ever substitute! I believe that the first question raised by my other friend stands answered.

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Mother as the natural guardian!


FATHERING is different from PARENTING. Every person who “fathers” may not take up the responsibility of “parenting”, which is a sustained responsibility. There are umpteen examples to prove my point. It is to impose this responsibility of “parenting” on the father of the child that this “guardianship” was granted. Of course, in olden times women and children were thought of as chattels of the man and therefore did not have the legal standing in the society to represent their cases or causes, except through their husbands or fathers.  But now things have changed although the LAWS have not kept up with the changes which have been accepted by the society at large.

What is the effect of GUARDIANSHIP?

THE HINDU MINORITY AND GUARDIANSHIP ACT, 1956

6.Natural guardians of a Hindu Minor. The natural guardians of a
Hindu minor, in respect of the minors person as well as in respect of the minors property (excluding his or her undivided interest in joint family property), are-
(a) in the case of a boy or an unmarried girl-the father.
and after him, the mother: provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother;
(b) in the case of an illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl-the mother, and after her, the father;                                                                                                           (c) in the case of a married girl-the husband:
Provided that no person shall be entitled to act as the natural guardian of a minor under the provisions of this section-
(a) if he has ceased to be a Hindu, or
(b) if he has completely and finally renounced the world by becoming a hermit (vanaprastha) or an ascetic (yati or sanyasi).
Explanation.-In this section, the expressions ” father ” and
“mother” do not include a step-father and a step-mother.

THE GUARDIANS AND WARDS ACT,1890

19. Guardian not to be appointed by the court in certain cases
Nothing in this Chapter shall authorize the court to appoint or declare a guardian of the property of a minor whose property is under the superintendence of a Court of Wards or to appoint or declare a guardian of the person-
(a) of a minor who is married female and whose husband is not, in the opinion of court, unfit to be guardian of her person; or
(b) 15[* * *] of a minor whose father is living and is not in the opinion of the court, unfit to be guardian of the person of the minor; or
(c) of a minor whose property is under the superintendence of a Court of Wards competent to appoint a guardian of the person of the minor.

So, as per both the Acts, the ‘father” of the child is the NATURAL GUARDIAN of the child.

No doubt, the mother spends more time with her children, than the father who goes out attending to his occupation. But should she be made the guardian merely because she spends more time with the child? I DO NOT THINK SO.

The Guardianship envisaged in all the Acts, have split up the responsibilities in terms of the ‘person’ of the minor and the ‘property’ of the minor. The mother, no doubt, would be able to provide better EMOTIONAL SUPPORT to the child, but when it comes to the property of the child, would the father be better equipped or would the mother be better equipped to handle the properties of the minor? In our country, where the female literacy levels  are appallingly low, would they be able to deal with it or would the men folk be better equipped? I THINK  A MAN WOULD BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH PROPERTY ISSUES.

IN my opinion, making the mother the NATURAL GUARDIAN seems another tokenism, which would remain in the statutes, yet the menfolk would have to function as guardians of the minor’s properties without being de jure guardians of minors!

 

The Lion & the Rat!


The lion which spared the Rat (mouse in AESOP’S FABLES) and got subsequently helped by the same Rat met many moons after the Rat nibbled at the net which had ensnared the Lion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion_and_the_Mouse (a link for those who want to refresh their memory of the fable)

The Lion was happy to meet the rat. As is ascribed, the Lion was “generous” and profusely thanked the rat again. The rat was not used to generosity neither by its own nature nor by having been accustomed to others showing generosity to the rat. The RAT was overwhelmed, but at the same time deeply suspicious of the motives of the Lion.

The rat had actually helped the lion, as  the enmeshed lion was no threat to its body, secondly, despite its nature to be busy scrounging the labour of others, spared time to nibble at the net and enlarge the lion, as it was merely curious. Further, this rat was totally UNRECOGNIZED by the other rats in its community, so it wanted to do a deed which would elevate its status among the other rats. So this Rat took a chance, and it fructified. This rat had been telling its community rats from time to time that it had rescued a Lion, the king of the forest, from certain capture, if not death.Yet a RAT is a RAT.

When the Lion re-thanked the rat after many months of the event, the Rat was not merely overwhelmed, but wanted to ‘confess’ certain thoughts it had about itself. The rat told the Lion, “Sir, you are a Lion, a hunter when hungry but unlike the Tiger, at peace with all the animals when your stomach is full. But we Rats are a wretched lot, we forage through the nights and it we find a field, where human labour has been expended for many months and if we find any grain or corn we shamelessly clip and store in our underground larder. We are an INSECURE lot. We prepare for a hunger that might arise tomorrow! But you, believe in God’s mercy to provide. It is that FAITH in God which makes you the KING OF THE FOREST. And we as a community, respect your clan.”

The Lion had heard such paeans before from other beasts and animals. The Lion took it as a fully deserved  praise of his character. But deep down, the LION was wondering if ever to trust a “RAT” which lives off the LABOUR of others!

An occasional act of kindness of a RAT never ever changes the nature of a RAT. A RAT SHALL REMAIN A RAT FOREVER- ITS OWN INSECURITY AND ACQUISITIVE NATURE WILL KEEP IT THAT WAY!             

Cultural crisis!


So this friend of mine gets an offer from a leading KPO to take up the operations of  their Chennai Division. He was mightily thrilled about the offer, however his place of posting was not palatable. His roots being from the state of Uttar Pradesh, and being from the Brahmin community, had been used to being addressed as PANDITJI. When a person is addressed as PANDIT, even the over-hearers are under notice that the person so addressed is a Brahmin.

Though he had a name which announced his caste, he had not stayed in Uttar Pradesh and had made West Bengal (which lies on the East of India) his state of domicile. So schooling and college were completed in Bengal. There was this Bengali influence in him which was visible in the way he dealt with women. He had undue reverence for ‘women’. Although he thought of such courtesy as a sign of breeding, he was quite scathing in his assessment of women in private chat with his friends of same gender.

To compound to this cultural mix, he started his career in Bangalore, where any language works and is the most linguistic neutral city of India. So his impressions of the Southern India had been limited to his exposure to Bangalore and consequently, had no feel of the intense Thamizh culture.

So when he got the offer, he called me and asked if he could wear shorts and visit shops in Chennai. I said, “Boss, you have two options in LIFE, one is to be yourself and care a damn about what others think or do. The second is, study the local behaviour and keep yourself in conformity with the local practices and not stand out in the crowd, thereby pass off for a local. The choice is yours.”

So Mr. Pandey was not happy with my suggestion. He wanted a firm choice to be pronounced by me so that if something were to go wayward, he could blame me for the choice. Now he had to choose. A choice is difficult when we want the cake and eat it too. When i told him that, he wanted me to exemplify so as to clarify that point. So i said, see, if a techie girl were to see u in shorts with an i-pod  ear pieces stuck in your ears are likely to be impressed, but if an auto driver sees you you would be seen as a perfect victim for fleecing! So make your “CHOICE” and reap what you have sown.

Then, Mr. Pandey asked me about the weather in Chennai. I said, ” I have met at least 10 North Indian friends, who though had never visited Chennai, had said that Chennai has 3 types of weather HOT, HOTTER and HOTTEST!” I love it. I remember what Lao Tzu had to say about small minds, ” A small mind the moment it finds someone well fed and clothed, triggers his mind to discover the ugly side of that person. That is the only source of their superiority!” So, most forget that even our country’s capital has extreme weather conditions, yet we don’t have such negative perceptions about it. Instead we cope with it. So people in Chennai have coped with weather conditions which are to say the least, “INCLEMENT”. Yet, on a drizzly day. to drive on the ECR would be unparalleled! Well, these are the benefits which accrue when we not merely put up with situations beyond our control but learn to draw the pleasant things out of it.

So, Pandey has convinced himself that he is going to discover the brighter side of  Chennai. I told Pandey, “Look here, we never chose our place of birth, but we were born there. Next is we were not given the choice to grow wherever we would have liked, instead in the security of our homes we were raised and therefore our habits were set. It is just that we have glorified our circumstances and now, as an adult we have an opportunity to explore and have a first hand experience of the places about which we have opinions but no experience. So if you want to be truthful to yourself, get those opinions out and get real first hand experience. MAybe you may bump into a girl/woman of your ‘taste’!”

Pandey saw a point in my argument and he would be landing in Chennai on this Easter evening. I hope he copes with the muggy summer that might follow. The bigger principle is , as said in Tamizh, “If fortune can be acquired only by crossing the seas, then cross the seas.”

Good luck to you Pandey, hope you “enjoy” your stay at Chennai. But you have to get used to sambar, idli and dosai…………..see you soon, a shade less fair. Carry saffron if you can, why should  pregnant women alone have saffron? You can reduce the darkening of the skin….may be! LOL

 

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