October 07, 2005

The bliss of familiarity, spirituality and such light Friday topics!

Getting married gives you a lot of food for thought. Right from the people you meet on your flight to India to little things that your in-laws or relatives slip out, carried away by the excitement of fleeting moments - they all become tiny bits of memories that I call upon during moments of pensive recollections.

Coming to one such instance that keeps popping up in the most irrelevant of circumstances, during our reception in Bombay, my in-laws were positively glowing. One reason for their pride was that three out of five people who came to greet us said that I looked like a Gujarathi bahu; to quote them - "She does not look like a South Indian at all!", "You brought home a Gujarathi bahu!". Firstly, why is this of any significance? And secondly, whatever its significance, it was making my in-laws really happy.

So, I wondered, why is it that we burden familiarity with so much more importance than it deserves credit for? We manage to wrap relief, comfort, even happiness all in that little bundle and when it unravels and it's blissful cloak falls apart, perhaps we discover that it's just what it is - plain old familiarity! I confess, I am guilty of leaning towards familiary, resisting small changes that probably meant no harm just because...well, this is what I know, have grown up with and this is what am comfortable with!

Anyway, somehow this trail of thought seemed to be connected in some way to the topic of spirituality - what we believe is God and spirituality, and I realized, I am inflexible when it comes to changing my established and definitely incomplete, inadequate(?) faith/belief system! I may not know to name the ten avatarams in the dasavatharam kept in my Golu, I may not know to recite the Vishnu Sahasranamam without consulting a book but what I know and believe in is still important to me and somehow I am uncomfortable with anything else and here's a very well written and thought provoking article on a similar vein that brought about this introspective revelation on a Friday!


dinesh said...

Thought Provoking ! I have wondered why we credit familiarity with such importance also. I have had discussions with my parents about why such trivial things are given so much importance. One thing I discovered though, is that I am guilty of doing it myself (albeit at a different level). In a new town, and in a sea of strange faces, when I hear "enna da" at a distance, I turn around and try to find the involuntary moment of relief/comfort happens, and with it the guilt of seeking familiarity (in language and geographical connections), the same things I had deemed superficial factors!

Zeppelin said...

rs, very nice post...

dins.. well said mama.... relief of familiarity and guilt of seeking familiarity... hmm an amazing paradox... if thats the right word.. :)

sometimes I feel we are stuck in the wrong generation... (many of them, and I am not generalizing , in both cases) Our elders seek familiarity and the people younger than us dont care two hoots about all this for the most part. But we are sort of in a limbo, wanting familiarity sometimes but at the exact same moment feeling...ugh!!!

or is it just me ? ;)

RS, a sort of related post -

Parth said...

Could it be as harmless as you dressing up in a Gujarati sari and them making small talk? We all steadfastedly hold on to what is familiar, because what is familiar defines and comforts us.

RS said...

Dinesh - I guess we make a conscious attempt to also enjoy, be comfortable with what is not familiar just so we keep learning new things in life!

phil - Not just you, trust me! Lovely post - that!

parth - yes, could be...guess a bit of exaggerated extrapolating by yours truly :)

Zeppelin said...


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