Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

In February 2003, my uncle who lives in Canada visited India and brought with him posters showing the Canadian life. One of the things which fascinated me was snow. While I could hardly see the faces of people in the posters (as the faces were fully covered), I could not take off my eyes from soothing views which the snow-covered streets and snow-capped houses provided. I still remember how I developed a lurking desire in me to visit the country and experience what it is to walk in snow. But honestly speaking, I never believed I would ever be able to fly to Canada.

Today I am sitting in my uncle’s house in Ottawa, ON. When I look outside the window, I see a similar view which was there in the poster. The streets look as beautiful as they show in the movies.  I had read about snow looking like gold when the slanting sun rays fall on it. I can see that happening right now as I am writing this blog post. It is like a dream come true.

Life takes us by surprises; we get what we had never thought of. And things which we want, at times, remain out of our reach for a long time. It sometimes feels that everything which happens around us is controlled by a larger entity, and no matter how hard the mankind tries, it has to accept what is doomed to happen.

This sounds like the Oriental philosophy of fatalism, which believes that everything is destined and we cannot change the course of what is predetermined for us. While the Western thoughts are marred with more power given in the hands of humans, I believe that we cannot control a lot of things. We do not choose who are parents are going to be or who our siblings are going to be. Similarly, a lot of life events are predetermined. At times, it looks as if we are working under the influence of the social pressures and at times, it seems as if monetary constraints determine the course of our actions. But whichever pressure it is which forces us to take a certain course of action, these are the things which we do not control.

And then there are accidents about which nothing can be predicted. And in those few seconds, life changes its course. This reminds me of the movie ‘The Butterfly Effect’ in which variations in a small incident during the childhood of the protagonist lead to different outcomes when he grows up. And when we come across so many small incidents each day, the course of our lives is getting changed each day. But one thing which is sure is that we do not know what course each incident has led us to. And we do not determine which incidents happen with us through the day. Yes, we decide to go to work on a certain day but who we meet on the bus while on way to work is something which is beyond our control. And I believe this is all decided by our destiny which is laid out for us and we just follow what is destined.

For some this thought might seem like constraining and even suffocating. I see this something which liberates me. Something which gives me hopes that each day would be full of pleasant surprises and bring more happiness than ever. And do these surprises make life more interesting?

Wishing all a year full of pleasant surprises!