Childhood memories are one of the root causes for all our dreams, our sub-conscious thoughts and Sigmund Freud coming up with a pretty thick book called the “Interpretation of Dreams”. After reading his book, anyone who has had a normal childhood, will thank all the gods; I did too. I thanked my granny for a better than normal childhood.
I was 9 months when my parents went abroad leaving me with my grandma. Things that I can recall from my childhood doesn’t start with clutching my dad’s hands while crossing streets, but sitting besides grandma assuring her to cure all her old time diseases when I grow up and become a doctor. Whenever I was told that someday I was to go somewhere far away with my parents, I would end up in tears. I remember making plans with her and grandpa to build a house in the backyard, in a way making sure that I wasn’t going anywhere. “I am gonna dig a hole and bury you if you take me away from my mom and dad”. Those were few words I had saved for my parents when they did come back after 5 years. That’s a topic of laugh every time I visit my grandparents now.
Most of what I am is because of grandma and things that she taught me, and no matter how hard I try, it’s still hard to go against her. I became what she taught me and to go against her would mean to change myself. If change just meant something new, not experimented and uncertain, I would be happy to change just for the sake of excitement and curiosity. That’s not always the case. A big change means accepting that all my beliefs that I had molded, shaped, and believed on throughout the years were wrong. I wouldn’t want to go against her, after all she wishes well of me, but things that she taught me don’t really apply in the world we live in today.
I didn’t learn from her what no other child has ever heard of; same thing we get to read in books – to be honest, not to tell lies, believe in god, not to be too proud so as to underestimate others, not to boast etc. These things she taught me are dear to me because she showed me how to follow them. She always followed them herself as if there was nothing called evil in this world, or even if there was, it couldn’t penetrate the circle she built around herself and those around her. It’s all so easy for her, but not so easy for me because I live in “Kali Yug” and it’s very hard to live here thinking for others, being honest all the time. If you don’t blow your own horn, nobody notices you here. It’s not so important to be noticed by others until people start neglecting your capabilities and others who sing their own praises make their way to the top. Well if not to the top, they will at least make their ways easier. Today, people only hear what is loud and only see what’s in front.
There’s always some conflict when I share my views with my parents. My mom wonders why I don’t talk much with her and spend so much time on the phone. Where there’s no listening, there’s no talking. My parents believe that happiness is in god and Puja can solve all the problems. They donate money for maintenance of temples etc, which is good, but I would be much happier if I had donated that same money for people in need, for the hungry. My parents are worried that I don’t believe in god, I don’t wear “janai” and tell me how bad that can get. That’s their values and I don’t like attacking on peoples value system directly. I believe the only difference between myself and them is the definition of few words and values; after all we all don’t have the same dictionary to refer to. Trying to tell them my version of the dictionary doesn’t work, because the truth is they want me to believe in what they believe. So I have stopped those conversations with them.
Talking about beliefs, my granny understands me much better. Though I am two generations ahead of her, she knows what is important to me and what’s not. I don’t believe in generation gap when it comes to understanding the other person. The important thing is how much you can connect with the other person, to understand what is important to the other, what makes them happy or sad. I used to think that I would be a very understanding father and support my son all the way. If he wants to live in with his girlfriend before getting married, I might approve on it too. When I come to think of it now I feel so stupid to have planned on things he could do. All the plans that I make are from what I see around in the world today. With time changing so fast and all the technology advancements in the field of cloning and organ generation, my son could come up to me and say “I want my sexual organs cloned on my forehead, I have a dress designed for it too and my friends say it would look cool”. I would never have imagined myself approving on my son to be a walking d$#@ head.
I believe that connecting with the other person should give you all the answers. My granny once told me to repeat the word “OM” few times whenever I get afraid. The word “OM” used to have a very divine meaning for me. She told me that the single word “OM” represents all gods. I read somewhere that the sound of OM resonates with the continuous cosmic vibration, but I don’t believe in any of that anymore. “OM” is nothing more than the word “OM”. What more can there be in a word. It’s just a word that is helpful for practicing rhythmic breathing and since there is no abrupt change in the pitch throughout the word it keeps the concentration steady. The sound of “M” in the end produces the most vibration than other words so it is useful in practicing meditation. But when I am with my grandma, OM still sounds divine; big words like truth, and honesty again have a different meaning.