indian culture · random thoughts

Sab Saala Maaya hain … its all a bloody illusion

What if somebody told you that the earth is a mass of gas and water is green in color? That you are actually transported to the Mars whenever you sleep? It is your body that is here but your soul goes to Mars in about 3 nano-seconds, and while it sleeps for 18 or 20 or whatever hours you stay awake in this gaseous planet, you keep sleeping in Mars. In all likelihood, you will consider these questions completely preposterous. If you happen to be a colleague, you might conclude that my brain has been rewired, albeit in an unwanted manner, thanks to the gobbledygook of corporate presentations made in the name of strategy, operations and metrics relating to income, revenue, costs, ROI and what not.  Bloody analysts and the impact they can have on corporate denizens! But my dear reader, colleague and of course my dear Blog, the point is something else. No, it is not about resisting change, it is about the Truth and the lack of evidence to prove facts. So what do you accept as truth other than make an assumption that every matter has 2 sides and equate matter to coin?

As a child, you grow up reading Ramayana. Don’t read too much into the usage of the word ‘reading’ in the previous sentence. The multimedia channel is not important because kids today watch it as a cartoon or a serial on the Internet or TV or a tab. What is important is the story! There are definitely differences between different versions depending on the author … Valmiki or Kambar or anybody else like that Sagar fellow. [Deliberate Digression: Like the Ramandad Sagar Ramayan, Mahabharat definitely made an impact because when we saw Rupa Ganguly in the recent movie, Barfi, I heard a few people in the theatre murmuring, ‘Hey that is Draupadi’]. Ok, ok! So the point is despite different Ramayana versions, the basic plot, relationships between characters etc do not change, right?  Again and again, the battle of the Good over Evil shows what can happen to an evil, another man’s wife chasing, brilliant warrior, learned scholar but rowdy rakshasa king like Ravan? Even if you chose to read a comic like Amar Chitra Katha, the pictures show Ravan, Indrajit, Kumbha, Mareecha and even Soorpanakha etc as ugly giants. Of course Vibhishan is always shown as a gentleman. That traitor sided with the Lord of Dharma, right? Without getting into controversies and risking the possibility of getting drawn out my bed at 5 am like that IAC activist, I still want to highlight my point of view and shall speak out. If you want to know what I am talking about and care to decode, read ‘The Asura’. It is Ravanayana, the other side of the Ramayana coin! I found this to be an extremely well written book. The entire book alternates between the perspectives of two people: the king, Ravana and an ordinary Asura citizen, Bhadra. In this process, our beliefs and ‘facts’, as we have learnt are questioned in such a manner that I have no other way to describe it but use the questions I asked you to consider in the first few sentences of this post. Water is green in color etc! For example, Sita is a look alike of Mandodri because she is Ravana’s daughter. Kumbhakarna is a drug addict and not somebody who sleeps 6 months only to be awake the other 6.

The Asura population is just like other normal people … over time, exaggerated depiction is what makes us believe that they are huge and ugly. For all you know, maybe Ravana looked like Mahela Jayavardhane or Sangakkara … and even played cricket in its older form, the gilli danda. It is all about the 2 sides of the same coin – isn’t that what Shiva confronts when you read the Naga series as well …. ?

The moral: Sab Saala Maaya hain … everything is a bloody illusion!

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