Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thought for the Day - What Is It That I Want

If I ask myself, what is it that I want, many times I find no answer. I remember a time when after a puja that my mother had performed for me a few decades ago (she suspected that I was under the influence of some bad planetary moves - not knowing that I was under the influence of my own bad moves, and did not need the bad moves of planets to help me), the pujari thrust a coconut at my face and said - this is most auspicious, ask for what you want.

This was most unexpected.

I looked at it dazed, not knowing what to ask. Could I ask really? For myself? But what do I need? Why burden this god with this petty request of mine? Time ticked away. God was waiting. I decided to nobly give the chance a go by. I think after a while I settled for world peace. God granted me world peace in my neighbourhood.

A few years later when I went to Ajmer with a group of friends I cautioned them as we entered the dargah and told them of what had happened to me and the coconut. 'Think of what you want and ask,' I advised. At Ajmer Sharif, they say you will get what you want. Once again, when my turn came, I looked on blankly. I could not think of anything for myself. I think I once again settled for world peace.

By now, the universe figured out that I was incapable of asking anything for myself and in one of the unforgettable moments of my life - in an act touched by the divine - something precious was granted to me without my asking for it. Among the two or three moments of clarity and absolute wonder in my life, that remains.

In many ways, that has been the story of my life. I never asked. I never knew what to ask for. Most times I don't know what I want. Except world peace of course. When asked recently by a friend of mine, I felt the futility of being without knowing what I want. Clearly I mean. A vague idea like world peace, yes, but no clarity. Almost as if I feared that I deserved it not - if it happened good, if not, fine. It's an ok existence but its nowhere near the excitement that the 'dil maange more' promises.

Maybe I think, its not a bad idea to want for myself. Not everyone is going to be as generous as Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer and understand my state and grant me a boon. Not everyone would want to put up with a wavering, directionless existence of a man without any clear wants - except world peace - and that only the world at large would be interested in.

So a new resolution - to want. To want for myself first. Clearly, unequivocally. And to set aside all else that interfere with my want. I have the power to want. So, each time, before any act, I will ask myself this one question - what do I want from this? If I am clear about it I act. If I am not, I refrain. No more hanging about with others and their wants. If I want I will, if not I leave.

I feel like a Hollywood star already. Maybe, I think, my life just got a little bit more exciting! 

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