Tuesday, 30 August 2011


17 days later.....we are mentally more used to the idea that Mom is not going to be around.
The void is hard to fill, every where I look, I see her favorite things. There is no-one to argue with
about which channel to have the TV tuned to  -- tennis or Indian soaps. In fact I have hardly even
put the TV on during my stay.

After our Mom's death, a lot of people came and remarked that one cannot avoid one's
destiny. Of course, there are many events not under our control, but their view is that
our future is completely "pre-determined". I asked how? One answer I got was essentially --
look, when a bomb falls, it lands on someone in the city and he/she dies, but not you. So
it was pre-determined that they would die. My answer -- I will toss a coin, I know it will
come up either heads or tails, but whatever event happens was not pre-determined.
The same way, when the bomb lands, it might miss everyone, or it might fall on someone,
and they die -- it does not follow that it was pre-determined. Maybe it lands on my friend's
house and he was luckily not at home, that was sheer luck/good fortune. Does not mean that
it was pre-determined that he would not die. There are some things we control directly -- like
taking basic precautions, and there are other things not under our control.
I could be driving on the road and fall asleep, and run over a
pedestrian -- does not mean it was pre-determined.  There are a lot of random variables not
under our control, that all affect us every day -- I dont see how it follows that all of these
were pre-determined.

My understanding of Indian philosophy is that this way of thinking helps you be calm, and face
reality more easily, if you believe that you have no control over the situation and events
were pre-determined. Maybe its a way of helping us cope with the loss.

All the same, I suggest always driving with the seat-belt on, whether or not its pre-determined that
you will be in an accident today, it will save you from at least getting a ticket. Talking about
car accidents, the worst present for your teenager are the keys to a new BMW. Dont do it.

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