If you are Indian, you’ve obviously heard of karma or fate. If not from the great Hindu Epics, then definitely from Bollywood and its innumerable references to Karma. The dictionary meaning of Karma goes, “Karma is Destiny or Fate, following as effect from cause” 🙂
I never really put much thought into it till a personal experience forced me too. A few months ago, 6 months to be precise, I was in Bombay (when I was’nt supposed to be there),went for an event (which I wasn’t even supposed to go for) and precisely 20 minutes into the event, I fell down, on a hard concrete surface and suffered a multiple fracture on my right hand. Two titanium rods later (which had to be inserted into the hand to fix the bone broken in 3 places on and around the elbow), innumerable psyiotherapy sessions later and with a semi functional right arm for which I am still under pain killers, I am definitely thinking, “What If I had never gone that night”
Oh yes,the picture above is of the same night i am talking about, it was the Navy Queen Ball, the friend with me on the extreme right is one of the sponsors, the girl in the centre is the current Navy Queen who was crowned that night and that’s me on the extreme left-exactly 10 mins before I broke my right hand-neither the hand nor me have been the same since 😦
Apart from the physical pain etc and also the fact that I am in a profession where a broken arm meant I couldn’t work for almost half a year, the entire experience was a life changing one for me. It took me more than 2 months even to be able to eat with my right hand and three months to be even able to comb my hair with it. I discovered a lot about life and the people around me (both good and bad) during the time-and this again had far reaching and life altering effects on me.
Then I thought back to the number of times we have seen or heard of an accident or incident and said, oh only if he had left the house earlier/driven slower/done this differently etc etc….
I refer once more to the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, that tells us that our Karma chases us. But it also orders us to rage against karma and its dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present”
So what’s the answer actually?Is everything really predestined? Is everything always, “meant to be”? Everything? Whether good or bad? I don’t really know the answer-maybe it’s just the meds that i am still on that are making me philosophical 🙂 Oh well!
I leave you all with a very famous and thought provoking short story called “The Appointment in Samarra” (as retold by W. Somerset Maugham)
The narrator in this story is Death.
Once upon a time there was a merchant in Bagdad. And early one morning he sent his most trusted and faithful servant to the market to tend to his business.
About an hour later the man ran back to his master his face as white as a sheet. He fell to his knees and begged him to lend him his swiftest horse.
“Master I have just met Death who stared into my face. Please lend me your horse so that I can flee to Samarra, where he cannot find me.”
So being a kindly man, he lent the horse to his servant. Then early that afternoon he set off to the market himself. And on the way he met Death who was relaxing under a fig tree, eating some figs.
“Hello,” he said. “Why did you give my servant such a bad fright this morning?”
“I’m sorry,” Death replied. “I didn’t mean to. It was just that I was surprised to see him here in Bagdad. Because I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”