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Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

Boy, did my last post get me into trouble! I’d had a productive day and to celebrate my achievements, I was baking a cake (eggless, of course. I’m a vegan). I was carefully folding in the flour, when the phone rang. I balanced the phone in the crook between my head and shoulder and absently said, “Hello.”

“If you’re so unhappy, why don’t you convert?” My mom shrieked from the other end.

What the f…? Momentarily befuddled, I tried to figure out what I’d said or done to earn that reaction. And then I remembered. She must’ve read my post yesterday and taken my rather shallow, and frankly flippant, criticism of the Gita as blasphemy. After all, the Gita is words spoken directly by Lord Krishna. Now, her knowledge about New Age spirituality is limited to the Beatles indulging in transcendental meditation under the tutelage of Maharishi Yogi so naturally she figured I was just a step away from converting to Christianity or Islam.

I silently cursed the day I encouraged her, no, bullied her into reading my posts. She had, as usual, missed the point of the post and latched onto the one thing that upset her.

“You think Hindu texts are misogynistic stuff, wait till you see what’s in the Quran. When you’re covered head to toe in a burkha then we’ll see who’s complaining,” she said darkly.

“The Quran doesn’t really say anything about that,” I wanted to protest but then I figure I don’t really know that for sure. And it’s dangerous to argue with Mom on that because she has lived all her life in UP surrounded by predominantly Muslim neighbours and as such knows much more about the Quran than I do. So I fall back on a rather tame protest instead. “Mom, in any case, I’m talking about New Age stuff!”

“That’s what I mean!” she insisted. I tried to work my way through her rather convoluted logic. And I had to admit that where she was coming from, if you really look at it, considering the antiquity of Hinduism, practically every other religion, Christianity and Islam included, is New Age.

By then, not only was a developing a royal pain in neck, telltale bumps had started to sprout in the batter. “Now look what you’ve done. The flour had lumped up in the batter.”

“That’s what you get for blasphemy,” she said smugly.

I was starting to get irritated. I considered the wisdom of telling her that some scholars have hinted that Krishna and Arjun were gay lovers. But I also didn’t want her to faint. So I said, “But why are you defending Krishna? Didn’t you yourself say that he’s paying for his sins?”

According to some Jain philosophy, Krishna is the eagerly awaited twenty-fifth tirthankar but at the moment he’s in hell, paying for his evil machinations during the Mahabharata. Don’t ask. Even I haven’t figured out how one can go from hell, straight to an exalted position.

“Just as you will,” she said, as usual avoiding arguments for which she has no answer.

And I did! Yesterday was a disaster. A Complete Catastrophe. The cake, needless to say, turned out to be clumpy and hard as a rock; I twisted my ankle nastily while running, a feat I’ve managed to avoid for three years; my iPod hung, leaving me with the only option of letting the battery die out; I had a major war of words with an autowalla who scraped the fender of my car and; two of the six mangoes I bought had maggots in them.

Now, whether it was blasphemy, my mother’s curse or my own mind turning against me as a result of that dire warning, I’m not taking any chances. Just like I don’t when I perform a Graha-Pravesh when moving into a new house. So no more blaspheming scriptures which are actually reservoirs of timeless wisdom. Except the Manu Smriti. I can’t help it!

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You know how us Indians, almost all of us universally, have been brought up on the funda that life is a constant grind? And that all we can do is struggle and hope for the best? And as a corollary, the oft repeated verse from the Gita – Karmanyevadhikaraste Maphaleshu Kadachan is quoted? (Methinks it’s the only thing people have read in the Gita. Certainly, it’s the only one I’ve read. I tried to read the whole book, though. Honestly I did. Many times. I gave it up every time. Almost all Hindu texts, to me, appear to be misogynistic rants.)

It’s a whole load of crap. Let me tell you where I’m coming from:

Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions: When I first started writing, I just wrote because I had a story that excited me. And I knew I was writing it well. That’s it. I just wanted it published. I knew it was good enough to be published. More importantly, I believed it was going to get published. And lo! Within three days of submitting the MS I got a contract. The second one followed. And now there, are expectations that I’ll churn out a third one before the year is out. My life is harder now than when I first began writing! Which brings me to an unrelated but important observation – getting success is easy, maintaining it is hard.

Blog: I started blogging because I write a journal-like entry every morning anyway. So I figured, why not put it on the Net? And let’s face it, it gives me a platform to voice my opinions, pontificate and popularize my book (soon to be books). As an added advantage, it allows me to put up favorable reviews and edit bad ones. Other than that, I’m the laziest blogger in the whole world.

Therefore, it came as pleasant surprise when I did a search for my blog and found it tops in many directories! I don’t know how and when that happened (Certainly, my blog doesn’t inform me when someone links me). It’s not that I consciously cultivate readership. I don’t go that many other blogs. Or comment on them. I just don’t have the time. When I’m not writing my novel, I’m writing for TV. And when I’m not doing that, I’m writing film screenplays. Then there are newspapers and magazines who want my ‘expert’ opinion on something.

Sales of Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions: I’ve never harangued my publishers for better publicity and promotion for the book, knowing their efforts are inadequate and lots more could be done. I don’t do that because I believe the product is good enough to do well without it. And it is in the bestsellers list every time. More importantly, it’s not dead stock. Every book store I ask tells me the book is a ‘fast moving item.’

There was this one books store in Powai which didn’t have the book in its display. When I asked a salesman about it, he helpfully got up and tried to locate it for me. While he was searching, I asked him why it wasn’t on prominent display. He stopped, shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. “It wasn’t a moving.” My heart sank. Anyway, after a few minutes of fruitless searching, he went back to his desk and checked in the computer. And looked up, dazed. “We had fifteen copies. It’s sold out! We’ve placed an order for more.”

Which brings me to another unrelated important observation – in things like books, movies and almost anything to do with popular culture, it is word of mouth publicity that counts. Sure, splashy campaigns in traditional media help in generating visibility, but they don’t always translate into sales. I read many reviews and author interviews in newspapers but I don’t rush out to buy their books. I wait for an opinion from a friend I trust before I fork out the money.

Anyway, to come back to point of this rambling and long winded post, new age stuff with its emphasis on ‘abundance’ and ‘getting what you want is easy’ really works! All you have to do is believe.

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