So I was at this impromptu dinner where I laughed so much that it hurt my cheeks (really grateful for I had had such rough time in the past couple of months). We talked about all sorts of things under the sun or beyond it. There was this German guy who was telling comically tragic anecdotes from his life and one from the UK who made the audience along with my wonderful friends Shilpi, Manish, my husband Manish and I. While we were laughing to the point we had tears as the German guy told tales with an absolute straight and innocent face, I couldn’t help notice the British guy would say often say, “Hmmm…” and go into deep contemplation.
I am into observing people, nature, things, incidents, life, anything observable at all, and the fact that the English guy was very handsome only made my job easier. He had many different variations of “hmmm” like “hmmmmmmmmm….” or “hmmm!” or “hmmm?” or plain vanilla “hmmm…”.
It’s not that he did nothing but say hmmm, he asked pertinent questions and contributed lively to the discussion but wherever he found something contrary to what he knew or believed… he would just go, “hmmmm…” and ponder on that.
Just hmmm… and not a single word invalidating the views, no matter how scandalizing or contradictory those were to his information and beliefs. He was just taking things in and from what I could read from his expressions, he was like, “Okay, I didn’t know this. I thought it was the opposite but, here, there’s this perspective too.”
Then today somebody was discussing about the lies and myths that we tell our children till the time they are old enough of understand things. That got me thinking… I have seen many parents feeling all smug that the kids don’t understand what we do (I could be guilty of the same). They are too young and immature to know ‘realities of life’. Perhaps.
But do we know ‘realities of life’?
By realities, most of them mean birds-and-bees stuff mostly, but I have realized that understanding biological processes is simple. It is natural for kids who grow up on farms (or a toddler with an internet connection), or the ones who aren’t colored by adults’ conditioning on right and wrong, as there is no rocket science involved in it.
It’s the smug adults that baffle me, who feel they know so much. I don’t know much. Fine, the ‘act’ does it but how does the act ‘create’ a baby? How do a sperm and an ovum become a human being? Why does one human being have all those characteristics that they have? Why do some people have a burning desire to find out, or at least try? While for others, thinking about these things is just plain silly.
That’s some knowledge I could feel smug about!
There is this another very dear friend who (lovingly) asks me – why do you have all these questions on your blog? Why can’t you just be happy?
Well, I am happy and I also happen to have these questions.
I want people to read my blogs, but then I don’t, and then I do. Yes, I am confused. I am sure Einstein couldn’t have been crystal clear in his thoughts before he discovered whatever he did. Confusion leads to clarity. There is chaos before anything substantial and worthwhile. That’s how this world is made. And everything in it. (The ‘act’ of making babies is also a bit of a chaos, you would agree.)
It’s ok to own up to your confusion, it’s as much a part of you as are your firm beliefs, both of which are illusory, some would say.
In fact, I am more wary of firm beliefs than confusion. They make you stagnant (and hence stink). Why do we have this need to put everything in concrete… why can’t things be just flowing…? As they are…
I say, every time you feel this surge of “I know this!” rising up in you, that’s the cue – stop! Tilt your head a little in a different direction (figuratively and/or literally) and allow… “Hmm… maybe there’s more to it… even if just a little bit”.
Because if you won’t, life will hold your head and tilt it and… ouch! That can be a bit painful!
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