Diwali 2020; such an apt name for a fun fair on a local ground where people would love to loiter around and spend time with family, eat the most unhygienic pau bhaji and curse the excess chilly the next morning. Although it’s sad that this year it’s not the same. Diwali came in and left like the winter morning heat… just enough but not satisfying. The corona virus has visited more homes this diwali than that box of soan papdi that travels its way to various relative’s place during all festive seasons… you don’t want it but it still arrives and you pass it on to others with you own hands! Both, Soan papdi and the virus.
Even when we know no one is visiting our homes this year, we still clean the cupboards and mandatory storage rooms like every year. Pulling out the young black and white memories, wrapping the home with its warmth and laughter and putting it back in the storage. Many things rest in that store room, in that same position and is removed for an annual cleaning only to be put back again in that same position.
That beautiful leather boots that were bought in sale but never worn because there was no perfect outfit for them to be adorned with. So you think it’s time to use it, like wear it in an all different way, and pair it with various outfits for a quirky look like those instagram bloggers do. The pair of boots are cleaned with that 3 for rs.20 washcloths you bought from the local vendor and neatly piled next to your other footwear. It now stays in a new promising space but slowly is forgotten as it gets piled under a new pair of walking shoes or party heels and the dusty lines on it try to console the boots that it may not be totally forgotten like the entire last year…
The boots have promised to stand tall and shine just like that blogger who wore hers with a sari, skirt and even pajamas. The boots has dreams of being worn and praised by that group of freaky teenagers who would ask for the url but it would be all sold out by then, such an envy it will be for them. The black matte color still so smooth and unwrinkled; it still takes pride to be picked up from a store shelf that read ‘vegan and cruelty free’. What a new stride of fashion… it thought!
A few months later as the summer precedes the boots go back to its old space in the store room, they will meet the eyes again during the Diwali cleaning; for sure. Under a neat mulmul string bag it goes back to the long hibernating slumber, hopeful of being waken up before the festivity begins that year.
I have somehow concluded that people are shit scared of everything in life. They are scared of loving, they are scared to commitments, they are scared of dying early and some are scared of not being able to live life the way they envisioned. The real struggle starts only when you are in deep shit. Until then the sky is pretty and the path is flowery. Motivational speakers fail to bring peace and courage in troubled souls. Friends fail to shower support and spouses fail to stick together in the most delicate times. Our traditional society and mythological stories have also weaved yarns where the weaker ones are losers and the stronger ones win… Where even the most charming and confident person may still require a super power induced superhero to save them from the goons of future. Why must a woman or a man wait for a hero to come and save them wearing spandex and lycra? Superheroes are all those who also feed the needy. Superheroes are all those teachers who must have encouraged hundreds of students to speak up and topple down the fear of public speaking and stuttering. A little help, a few pushes, an empathetic talk is all one needs.
I can recollect a very famous mythological story when both the Pandavas and Kauravas were about to begin the battle of Kurukshetra and had approached Lord Krishna for His help. Lord Krishna was asleep when both the brothers, Duryodhan and Arjun reached and planned to wait until He is awake to seek his help. Duryodhan sat next to Krishna’s head so He would wake up and see him first while Arjun sat near Krishna’s feet. When the Lord woke up He saw Arjun first and asked for his reason for a visit. Duryodhan was so angry with the Lord’s behavior since he arrived there first. Arjun was asked what he wished for and Arjun asked the Lord himself to aid by his side during the war. Duryodhan asked if he could have the Lord’s entire army and ammunitions. The Kauravas thought they had everything, the mightiest of men and meanest of ammunitions leaving the Pandavas with Nothing… This is where they went wrong. The Pandavas had nothing but the Lord by their side. Those who think they have nothing have The Almighty by their side but they are seeking something materialistic that can be measured acting as an assurance of not being in a void. Nothing is nothing until nothing becomes nothing… until then Nothing is still something if looked within. As Nicherin Daishonin mentions, to attain buddhahood, one has to surpass various devils but it isn’t impossible. With faith and determination we can make a Nothing feel like everything… The Pandavas had everything when Lord Krishna decided to side by them even when the Kauravas had the entire army with them. Always always keep this in mind… Nothing isn’t nothing unless you think its nothing. Stay Strong, Stay Positive. #NMHRK