Karma, the Karmic theory, that we Indians swear by, somehow has a way of stepping foot in our conversations, whether of the peripheral flimsiness sorts or of the erudite professorial magnitude! Karma, how would one define it… kismat, cosmic comeuppance. We are all where we are on account of our “Past Life”, and so with unquestioning faith in fate we totally surrender, take whatever circumstances come what may, with the kind of passive acceptance that puts the mind at ease; over hundreds of generations the brain trained so that burning a circuit could never occur to it, lighting a constant incense at the altar of foreordination a way of life. So with knowledgeable resignation, with a numbness that makes no room for pain, one takes the punches, without wincing, straight on the chin. (By the way, for ages now “karma” is cosily enfolded in the Oxford Dictionary and “earning bad karma and good karma” swimmingly thrown in by Western folk, usually though as in the, “As you Sow, So you Reap” context of this present life.)

Westerners with their analytical, rational minds of 2+2=4 and therefore if one has to put in “X” amount of work a job promotion would be the natural order of the day, may be some days later than expected, but definitely on the cards. And if certain bad personal choices had been made, one could not, with the wave of a tarot card, go back in time, but yes, matters are rectifiable. Life can be sorted out, and things shall thus fall in place, fresh beginnings are on the horizon, drawn out not from the skies above, but from a methodically designed blue-print penned from the stylus of the phone, which would at your command, give you any information from all galaxies and beyond, with full-flavoured specificity. My question—which I have been lugging around for years, only stockpiling the weight of answers to unconvinced ears—how is it that we can lay our lot at the doorsteps of karma and carry on as enlightened souls?

Wherever then comes the bickering, the jealousy, the office politics, the kitchen politics, the legal feuds between siblings, the non-acceptance of life at far too many turns?! Kicking off the day as a walking ’n’ talking Complaint Box, going to bed in the same mode except now one is in lying position and the grunting snoring does the talking? Illuminated Beings only when we sit and talk of Predestination (which of course, we without proof, consider the truth, the entire truth and nothing but the truth!) But then Monday to Sunday, lose sight of it, unless it’s piloted in when lightning strikes a young man dead or when an orphan found in a dumpster is brought home by Bollywood royalty, and after having led a Trump Tower’s life, married off in a lushly opulent wedding, putting a Princess Royale’s ceremony in the shade. Destiny, yet again, leads the way! I, myself, would call the former ill-luck and the latter charmed-luck. (Somehow, though our passivity for the foredoomed and foreordained is indisputable yet we, as said, still speak from both sides of the mouth!)

I, see, much to my discomposure, that I have departed from where this pen was heading to and am sideswiping like a goat let loose to graze after being bird-caged for days! Now to continue uninterrupted. No more strolling; running it has to be! Filmed in an in-your-face wide shot. To capture these videos: Marriage, one may have rushed into it. The flush of youth, succumbed to family pressure… So now, for droves of years, one may want out, with no ill-will but the karma flag is raised at high-mast. The marriage was pre-set by the stars, “so who are you or me” to un-align them?! The frozen image: Stay put despite the lump that obstructs the throat, making it impossible to swallow. One never wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer but how can one dare stray from the family profession, who would take over the reins once one’s parents are laid to rest—this “Calling”, prenatally charted-out. Predetermined paths are for walking on. Here try conjuring Robert Frost’s lines, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference.”

This holding no water, one still remaining stuck thick on solidified, set-in-stone karmic ground. Now really would the karmic cycle explode in one’s face if one walked out of a cul-de-sac marriage to finally experience the sheer release of the pristinely transient? And would a maniacal epidemic break out if one swapped those surgical gloves for a paint-plate—a nemesis for going against the karmic tide?! Then there’s sneering if one happens to be born into a privileged background. The contemptuous curl of the lips snickering at those born with a silver spoon thereby the insinuating taunts of, “getting to have and eating their cake too”. Now where went karma—the theory that they must have done some hefty good in their “past life” so thus reaping the fruit?! Why this thesis, now not making the mark, scoffingly thrown out of the window?!

Last of all, before I rest my case, when there is so much suffering, call it punishment, should one not know why one is going through this trial-by-fire without knowing the crime committed?! Should not the cat be let out of the bag to spill the beans on what past karma one is being “tried for”, so as to make sense out of it?! To be able to connect the dots…

 

Dr Renée Ranchan writes on socio-psychological issues, quasi-political matters and concerns that touch us all