A Recap. Starring: A checklist!

Over 4 months gone and then one fine day, you’re back. Back with still more stray thoughts running unsupervised around your head, with a little more learnt, and a lot more to think of.

It’s hard to tell where the time has gone. All I know is that, last I checked, it was still 2009 and everything in my mind was in the place where I had put it last. Until something came along and shook it all around. But enough talking in puzzles.

First, the hard facts:

  1. I’m co-hosting a corporate party this Friday & just writing it down this way makes me nervous as hell. Wait till I tell you I actually volunteered for this. Guess it had to be done sometime…and sometime just happens to be 4 days away on Friday. This Friday! Yes! I still can’t believe it! Forgive all the superfluous exclamation marks please!
  2. In better news, I seem to have finally found a fitness regime that sticks. It involves waking up a Whole 30 Minutes Early (Hey! It’s 5.40 am so wipe that smirk off your face already!) – and walking briskly around a pretty little garden the authorities have been nice enough to construct in my locality.
  3. With reference to 2 above, I have also found the flipside to a fitness regime. It’s called guilt-free bingeing & it comes in all flavours – from plum to chocolate…even with gajar ka halwa seasoning.
  4. I find myself overwhelmed with work these days. And it’s happening once too often for my liking. But you already knew that, right? What? You mean you didn’t wonder where I was gone for 4 Whole Months?!
  5. Attended half a dozen (extended) family engagement/ wedding events over the past one month. That’s the only way to tag them: events. The Big Fat Indian Wedding didn’t seem quite so big or fat until I saw it up close. And now that I have, I still have rather ‘mixed’ feelings about it. (For those not privileged enough to be my friends in real life, ‘mixed’ is my way of keeping things polite).
  6. I suddenly find myself with a lot of free time on my hands (yes, I know this contradicts 4 above but they are different matters entirely, trust you me). So using all this free time, I am trying to swing my very own website into cyberspace. Built by myself, 100% from scratch. You will hear all about it from the rooftops. Soon. I promise.
  7. I realized – yet again – just how bad it hurts to lose someone you’ve learnt to take for granted. If life is a series of lessons, I had learnt this one already. Really didn’t want to go back to this chapter ever again. But can’t help these things, can we?

…Oh Dang! Just realized that my ‘hard facts’ have taken up more than their fair share of space in this post. Well anyway, with so much catching-up to get done, what’s a girl to do?

So anyway, time to bid adieu again. Shall return with some not-so-hard facts. Soon. I promise. (Did I use that already?! Never mind…)

Radha-Krishna: The greatest, unconsummated, love story ever

Did you know that, as per Indian mythology, Radha & Krishna never got married? Apparently, there are some intricate explanations for their unfulfilled – yet eternal – love. Non-religious that I am, I had never paid much attention to all those mythological stories that you tend to absorb no matter where you live, what you do and who you interact with, in India. If anything, these flotsam stories about divine love, about Krishna’s innumerable wives and his flirting around with all those gopis only pissed me off. Here was a guy we called God, I’d argue, and even he couldn’t stay faithful to one wife, one woman! And then we crib about the patriarchal society we live in!

After all, if you can block out the image of Ram asking his wash-his-feet-and-drink-the-water pativrata wife to take the Fidelity Fire Test, or of honourable Arjun wandering off and taking every beautiful woman he met as one of his wives, or of Krishna getting married to not one, two or three but to 16,000 women and fathering 16,000 children (!), well then I have very little to say to you. Except that you and I have nothing in common.

A few days ago, however, I attended a dear friend’s lavish wedding. The bride’s party had engaged a group of folk singers to keep the guests entertained as, onstage, the various rituals and pheras were being conducted. Though almost all the songs were in Gujarati with the vocals almost drowned out by the chanting of the priests or the chatter of the wedding guests, yet whatever little I heard of the music gave me goosebumps. Here and there I caught phrases about the various promises Radha makes to meet Krishna on the banks of the river, about how Krishna woos her with the music of his flute or about how nature rejoices at the union of these two divine souls, here on earth. Later, a Gujarati friend helpfully pointed out: “The music was so touching. All the vows, all the rituals of the wedding were being mirrored and enhanced by it. Each of the songs depicted the many moods of the Radha-Krishna pair – the greatest love story ever!”

After the wedding, I more or less forgot about the whole thing. Until recently when I happened to watch one episode of a TV series about Krishna. The characters were discussing how Radha and Krishna had been cursed by some saint (or someone of that sort) and would never be able to meet – post their childhood – for the duration of their earthly avatar. And it was a long duration – Krishna is believed to have lived to be approximately 125 years old!

5 minutes of googling told me this: In Indian tradition, Radha and Krishna are considered the most divine, the most passionate, of lovers. Yet they spent their lives never being able to consummate their love whether by sight or by touch. Apparently, at one point, Radha even asks Krishna to marry her (presumably before they were separated at around age 10). After making the request, when she turns around to face her lover, she finds another Radha standing in his place. And Krishna tells her: “Can you marry yourself? I am you, and you are me. We are one – how can anyone unite one entity?”

I admit I found this thought incredibly moving, deeply romantic. In a world where everything is so transient, where people divorce for reasons as trivial as you can imagine, can you also imagine a love so strong, so unshakeable, that 115 years of separation could do nothing to change that feeling?

Of course I do not believe that the people we worship as gods were anything more than the well-known, good or popular people of those times. By that token, I do not believe that Krishna and Radha were a god & goddess who came down to earth by divine plan. And if there is any truth to the stories, then whatever did happen, happened to normal earthly beings like you and me. Putting it in this perspective, I feel, only adds to the amazing dimensions of the Radha-Krishna love story (if it can be called that). Two average human beings, separated almost all their lives, yet carrying a torch for each other all through those long years. Now where do you find something of that quality anymore? 🙂