Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Mogul Who Loved His Son More Than Him

Often we blame the industrial age and the cyber age for the ills in the social fabric and the values that we now have. While at the same time acknowledging the wonders and astonishing changes these revolutions have brought forth. Though our social behaviour  have a general disposition warranted by evolution, I believe that, culture along with the shackles of religion have an important hand in determining and controlling human behaviour, determining values and systems. Our feelings too!

The subject of Love was touched upon quite manifestly in the blog ‘B-Log’. Reactions have poured in plenty. This post intends to nudge upon the matter and not just love as was discussed then, but on a more micro level.

I have had ( in retrospect) the amusing  experiences of attending a couple of discourses ostensibly called ”Yoga sessions” and “Inner engineering course”, organised by two gentlemen in ocher robes. I was intoxicated very much during those few days I was at those sessions ,that, when I left the venue I felt wonderfully inebriated and I was virtually walking levitated. A few days after, when reality of life knocked me with its characteristic knock out hook,my behaviour and attitude went back to my old self. I used to say and acknowledged by C that,the immediate aftermath were the days I seldom nagged C or picked up a fight with her. I was floating in blissful spiritual hallucination. Here there was nothing to do with religion or faith.In fact the change for the brief few days was noticeable in me and C. I must categorically discourage any notion that we went to those two ‘vacations’ for transforming ourselves or to seek divine interventions in our affairs. We were cajoled by a couple of acquaintances and thence we undertook the fact finding missions.

So that tells a lot about the impact that  spiritual, religious and occult discourses that are dispensed at the many “divine abodes” and prayer congregations that have mushroomed all over, especially in that stretch of the national Highway from Trichur to Aluva.

If these centres of divine ordinance and dispensations were of any impact, society would have usurped what we are told that heaven is like. Love, compassion, understanding, unselfishness and the few other virtues would have eclipsed the many other vices that are corroding the fabric. There would not have been necessity for “old age homes” – a refuge where we banish people when they turn feeble, sick and old. There may not have been the real life picture of an old infirm mother in her nineties confined into the corner of a cow shed by her own sons and daughters. There may not have been avarice, greed and insensitivity, even amongst siblings and children of the same womb.

A fascinating anachronism has to be mentioned here, however trifle it may be to some. A respected elderly gentleman passed away a few months back. He is survived by his three children. The last many years of his life was spent with his youngest child. His children are all well educated and in respectable positions in life. It was after a couple of months after his passing away, that his youngest child noticed his bank balance of a few lakhs of Rupees. Instead of cornering the small fortune to her, which would not have surfaced anyway as nobody else had an idea of that, she divided the money into six equals and deposited into six accounts in the credit of the late gentleman’s six grand children and sent the deposit receipts to them. “A watershed in stupidity in the present day”!

No divine ordaining was required for the act I mentioned. It was ingrained in the gene. While learning history in the middle school, most of us may have been told about the unrequited love of the Mogul invader Babur for his son who was ailing and sinking .It is said that he spent an whole night by the sick son’s bed and prayed to his God .He pleaded and beseeched his god to relieve his child from the suffering and appropriate his life instead. The wish was granted, so the legend notes! This act of the Prussian monarch was espoused as selfless, laudable and heavenly. In simple terms a father bartering his life if that would save his child.

If a parent is told about his or her child’s illness, accident or misfortune there may not be parents who would not overcome everything in their way to be near the child. They may invoke all gods and offer themselves in every which way, if that can provide reprieve to the child. We call it selflessness; we call it love in pristine form. We may enact a “Babur”. By the same token how would Man react if it is the parents’ life that is on the block? Will Man, without batting an eyelid exercise the same love for his/her father or mother?
It may not be untruth to say that Man may not and that may be because Man see little of him in the parent, but see himself in his biological creation.

And we call it love- selfless!


ousu said...

Anil - You struck a chord with what I been thinking after Reading Insignia about Love and the comments that followed. The giving of ones life for the offspring, in barter like the Moghul was contemplated and reasoned as selfless. I do know it is true, parents do that for the fruit of their libido, their creations, but to term it as selfless is a little too peripheral for my reasoning. It is here that you did strike the chords with me. I find the giving on ones life for his creation, the ultimate selfishness and not selfless. The barter is opted only because, there is a ME/MINE written all over it, if it wasn't then the barter would have never been made.

Insignia said...


:-) Do you recall my response to a couple of comments.

I mentioned things like "its not love anymore" and "more than love".

I didnt take the trouble of explaining more on it but left it with safe phrases as these.

You know sometimes its best not to debate when each party wont let go of their belief.

Is there anybody out there who loves anyone else more than himself? Himself here includes his creations as well. Selflessness is the word for convenience. 'Barter' seems so business-like isnt it :)

So we have stuck to a noble word - selfless.

Bikramjit said...

individual people have there own thoughts and way of thinking ..

and as we grow up our own thoughts change what seemed selfless now seems with a hidden agenda .. its upto a individual how they see and the situation they are in ..


dr.antony said...

There is no love more then the way one loves himself.That is why the Bible asks you to do the impossible.
Loving one's child is not selfless love.That is probably an example of selfish love.
Afterall, what is this thing called love? The most physical of all acts is called love making !

Mélange said...

Well,a very sensible piece Anil.The 'selfless' and all is jus we love to paint most of the things here in this part of the world.

To comment on what you have written there in few paragraphs,I don't know how can I confine since it's a vast area.

1.Most of us consider our own child and his/her life as an extension of ours.The outcome is what we see in daily lives with the rift,emotional dramas and so on.

2.We directly and indirectly bargain from our own children.Like the clichéd "nine months hard time' from mothers and other difficulties we 'suffer' from both daddy and mom,asking for a 'reasonable' return (not only financial).So the basic tactics of careful bargaining we inject and love to forget as parents.The same is been repeated by the next gen and then we can easily blame..this is truly the stupid game going on.

If we call it as a basic human instinct,we have this tendency to 'ask for' than 'giving away'..Only few can come out of one example you wrote there.It's comparatively easy to demand from children with whatever so called 'trump cards' in hand than dutifully carrying out the responsibilities to parents where we no more can go on with 'demands'..

We love to paint everything as selfless may be A)we don't want to think reasonably on this,continue with this 'emotional blackmailing' B)We are shallow thinkers. C)we find much comfort in continuing with the same old pattern.

Whenever I presented this one,I earned nothing but lots of enemies.Till few years,they all emphasised that I am not even a mom or parent to say all these.Disappointingly,in this part of the world,children don't have the power or allowed to present thoughts/opinions on such matters.But now being the mother of 6 year old,what I carefully try to do is,a)to accept and realise the fact that her life is not the extension of mine,so to be lived by her b)never to do the emotional blackmailing and demand anything since I am sure she was the result of what I longed for.Not that she begged me to carry.Now that at least I can honestly share my opinion here.

It's all basically about setting ourselves free from the thinking pattern I believe.Not to pretend and at least be honest in what we do to 'our lives'..
And yes,when someone say this,don't jump into conclusions and argue for nothing,but to defend.

thanks for the pretty thought there !

anilkurup said...

@ Osu,
In this context it is difficult to term an act as selfish or unselfish. But it is a matter of fact that people see their mirror image in their child and not in their parents. I do not know if that disposition is biological or social.

Love as it is, is relative. One cannot define it as this or that. Can we? And I have only contempt for the word sacrifice and revulsion when someone claims to have sacrificed. No one sacrifices- the word itself is used to pat one’s own back. And then call it an act of love. No one has sacrificed without extracting their pound of flesh at a later time in life.

Thanks for the comments.

@ insignia,
B , “holding steadfast on ones belief..” obstinacy is the hallmark of disbelief and lack of conviction.

The discussion we have must be seen as discussions. If we see reasons why not hold on to it. But to see reason one should not be obstinate and one has to be open,
No love is complete if it is not love for self.

I once happend to read an article written by Paupul Jaykar. She had gone to visit J. Krishnamurthy and was privy to a discussion JK was having with a bereaved woman. She had lost her husband. He died of old age related ailments. The woman was inconsolable. Krishnamurthy asked her for which husband she was lamenting, the geriatric sick man who died; the middle aged wise guy that he was once;, or the young , youthful and robust man she romanced with.

Can we answer this in a way that it does not diminish our love?

@ Bikramjit

I’m a little disquiet about openly stating an opinion or throwing up a topic for thought. There is a tendency amongst even the reasoned gentry to ridicule it and term it as the offshoot of arrogance and indignantly remind people’s right to do what they want etc . No one is disputing ones right. One can discuss rather than hold stead fast

@ Doc Antony,
You said it doc.

The act of love making, a term coined by the westerner for physical act of sex is itself selfish. And a one night stand of sexual act with an escort girl is also called “making love”. Funny !!!
The word “love” is blasphemed.

@ melange,

Oh that is one long reaction!
Not to worry when people lambast you for speaking your mind. Our desire to hear and see only things that will make us comfortable is itself selfishness and love for our own self. And even if it is factual in relation to some one. We try to believe that certain things are not , even if they are, because we are in love with self.

It is an absolute fact of life that parents are lower down in the preference table and we love ourselves more by loving our child. Many things that we see happen around only reinforces that anomaly in love.

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Love! Well, even after all these years of walking on planet earth, if asked to define love I’m sure I would be at a loss. However, I feel that the most important thing in love - whether it’s among spouses or parents and children – is the willingness to allow the other a space of their own. But often what one sees around is rigidity, emotional blackmailing, or parents trying to fulfill what they couldn’t achieve through their children. I think Gibran puts it beautifully. The following lines from ‘The Prophet’ provides an ideal way to look at/treat one’s offspring.
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Before conclude let me quote one of the most irreverent, yet thought provoking poems, This be the verse by Philip Larkin:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Your post and the brilliant comments followed made me sit back and think, probably in a long time. Thanks for the wonderful experience. And yeah, I’ve a feeling that I deviated a bit from the subject, do I?, not deliberately though. Your post and the comments, as I already said, inundated me with a thousand and one thoughts and I was just trying to express them.

anilkurup said...

@ Arun Meethale Chirakkal

Thanks for the comment and for reminding the wonderful poem.
"Sneham , premam ,ennu nammal visheshippikunnathu verum appekashika manu",( love is merely relative), said a person who has seen many of life.