the twin paradox

somewhere along the line, i revealed my virtual existence in this blog to some of my real friends. talking of real friends, sometimes i wonder if they really are my real friends. i don’t for a moment doubt their love, intention or integrity. but when u begin to view things objectively (if there is something like objectivity), one begins questioning the relative reality of just about everything. but thats running off on a tangent now.

coming back to the subject of my friends reading this blog. some of them seem to think that this blog does not reflect the real me. this particular ‘sentiment’ of theirs has even been reflected in some of the comments at times. disagreeing with this statement in its entirety would not only be denying some of the less intelligent ones their share of a certain cheap thrill, it would simply be unfair.

i know two dharmabums. i witness one or the other of them at every moment. there is the bum that all you fellow bloggers know. u’ve been reading him through his blogs. he loves everybody(dogs a little more than others), yearns for adventure and bums around like few other bums do. then there is his twin – the masked bum, the one born out of his interactions with the world around him, out of the expectations from others.

looking at it another way, we all want to to confirm to a certain set of ideals. these are our own, not set by others, and hence independent of what the world thinks of us. we hope to be this ‘perfect’ being, the perfection so defined in our own paradigm of thinking. but then we are, from time to time, faced with the real us – the one that we feel, somwhere and somehow, falls short of these ideals.

and much of our life, is spent in managing this conflict.

and so i was thinking of some of the things my close friends and loved ones have thought and expressed to me, about me. and i thought i must share them with you all –

‘you are terribly selfish. in spite of everything else, you end up doing only what you want to do’

‘you are the most insensitive person in the world. you don’t care one bit about other people’s sentiments’

‘you are the enfant terrible who gives perennial heartburn and anxiety, to me at least, from which i am trying hard to escape’

‘you have a problem with love. why can’t you just accept love? why does it not make a difference to you if i love you or not?’

‘you are rude. and intentionally so. you like hurting others. you feel a certain thrill in seeing others hurt’

they say that improvement starts with making mistakes. but then sometimes, we can keep making mistakes and not even know about it. i think improvement starts with realising our mistakes. it begins with awareness. and like they say, awareness is in the moment.

i am grateful to all the friends, family, loved ones, passers by and everybody else for pointing out to me my own shortcomings, time and time again. and even though this whole exercise can make me feel suffocated, why, even nauseated sometimes, i am still grateful.


Na tâto na mâtâ na bandhur na dâtâ Na putro na putrî na bhrityo na bhartâ
Na jâyâ na vidyâ na vrittir mamaiva Gatistwam gatistwam twam ekâ bhavâni

No father have I, no mother, no comrade, no donor; no son, no daughter, no servant, no husband or master.
No wife, no wisdom, no vocation have I, You alone are my path, you are my goal O Bhavani!

– Bhavanyashtakam, by Adi Sankara.


61 thoughts on “the twin paradox

  1. Well Balu, i dont agree with the comment that u r rude and intentionally so. U speak ur mind, call a spade a spade. In the process, maybe some do feel hurt but for me thats 1 of the cherished traits that define u and i am truely grateful for such moments that have helped me realize my mistakes.luv shek

  2. At least they’re honest with you and we should believe that they’ve said those things to enlighten you, because truly, most of the time, we aren’t aware of our mistakes.If other people were as honest with me, I’d have a fit and not talk to them for months, but maybe it’d be better than wondering about what they’re thinking lolWe all have different sides to us and sometimes we can’t show them to the people we want, when we want…but that’s normal.Maybe I don’t know the two Dharmabums, but I like the one I know.

  3. i think there is the way we see ourselves and there is the way the world percieves us… the two rarely are the same and yet two sides of the same coin.. besides, who perfected life but in death… everyone makes mistakes.. its how we learn.. its how we grow.. isnt it?

  4. if my frnd tells me i am sweet i start doubting there intention.I think the ones who tell u your grave side are the ones who knw u well..and coincedence i must say as i am typing this i am lstng to soundarya lahari!

  5. That’s all? Just two of you? If I took a survey, my friends would tell me that there are more than half of dozen of me :D. And knowing that, I surely wouldn’t be grateful for it :-/ See thats y I don’t do it! 😉

  6. HMM… this is some feedback, is it not? In the next post, also tell us what u are doing about things here, if anything is intended.. In the meantime, I m going to call up ppl close to me and ask them. Though of course, the list can be half predicted right now – headstrong, rude, selfish, the works..

  7. real, relatively real, virtual… boy dharma!!! you should get into physics of the meta… all that theory of relativity sounded like I was reading my favorite quantum physics book… 🙂 good job… keep going…

  8. But why is the blog supposed to reflect real you? IT’s a very misleading ideas that many bloggers have. A Blog can be about anything .. and a blogger doesn’t owe it’s readers anything personal other than the topic/blog-type at hand.And well .. for the selfish and rude part .. if one starts depicting that on a blog, then hey there are more selfish and rude people out there .. more intense than perhaps you .. and they will be more rude .. simple.

  9. Okies… just a doubt here…”my own shortcomings”… this is in reference to what your loved ones have said about you?And what do you think? That they are indeed shortcomings? I don’t understand how you feel about them… what do you mean by “suffocated” and “nauseated”? :SBecause, in my opinion, it is only up to us to decide what are really shortcomings and what are not. One of the quotes said that you have a “problem” with love.. the fact that you don’t care whether the love is given back to you or not is considered a problem by that person… but does it mean anything to you? Is that a problem, or a difference in ideas on how to love?I hope some of my ramblings have made sense here lol… they sure did in my head 😛

  10. oh life is such a conflict man! i hate having no peace of mind at times!oh I’ve heard all those things at some time in the past, things that ur friends and close ppl have said to u. i have been at the end of receiving those words myself, said some of it to some people and witnessed others saying it to their loved ones!i think we are all selfish. in some ways, in little ways or bigger ways. and that trait has been planted in us for some reason. its not a worthless trait as my dad says! there has to be a balance between the good and the bad…. and who says selfishness is always bad! but not caring for others sentiments is not so good…the loved one I’m talking about! 🙂

  11. “looking at it another way, we all want to to confirm to a certain set of ideals. these are our own, not set by others, and hence independent of what the world thinks of us. we hope to be this ‘perfect’ being, the perfection so defined in our own paradigm of thinking. but then we are, from time to time, faced with the real us – the one that we feel, somwhere and somehow, falls short of these ideals.and much of our life, is spent in managing this conflict.”So true!!!Very existential, right?

  12. Dharma i have never read suchthings written about you frompeople – only wonderful admiring comments -I can only speak for myself -and you help me think and learn andgrow and just appreciate yourway of seeing. And someone recentlysaid to me when I was worried abouthow I see things…”Maddie – that is how we developea more wholesome view of something – by taking into consideration -everyone’s point of view. You don’t see things with rose-tinted glasses – your vision is noless true.”He made me feel better because I worry I am not so intellectual -and as for you….you clearly have a heart of gold.You have an enquiring (sp?)mind – and the word “intention”is so important – you would neverever intentionally hurt anyone.Please don’t be saddened by suchthings. We all love you!:) hugs

  13. We r all selfish, rude, hurtful etc etc to different extents no matter how we wanna see ourselves.What really matters in the end is if ur happy with urself…if not, then u’ve got to change.Keshi.

  14. interesting post and these lines are so true” i think improvement starts with realising our mistakes. it begins with awareness. and like they say, awareness is in the moment.

  15. ZEUS,welcome aboard, comrade?SHEK,u r very generous da, and am glad to have friends like u! honestly.DEVIL,its normal u say? yay! maybe i shud throw a party. i been thinking i am far from normal ;)the dharmabum likes the devil, and qiote naturally. the very name is irresistible u see :PSHANKARI,LOL. just couldn’t stop laughing when i read that comment from u. it is so very… akka. i love u for this trait. thank you for making me laugh!ADITI,i do believe there are people who perfected living. much before they atually ‘died’.DEEPTHI,coincidence indeed. and u r sweet -does that make u doubtful now? :)SUPERNOVA,maybe they have, but they sure have been few and forgettable :)MISS IYER,ha ha. that is so typical of u girl! shall we make another ‘dasavatharam’ movie – starring the iyer girl? 😀

  16. D’bum…I dpn’t know but what your friends said about you…is applicable to them as well. There is nothing called pure, true friendship, love, etc…perhaps this a concept emnating from the word ‘utopia’. Anyhow….you asked me what do i mean by being unsuccessful and you urself have the answer in your own words…I don’t for a moment doubt their love, intention or integrity. but when u begin to view things objectively (if there is something like objectivity), one begins questioning the relative reality of just about everything.

  17. HDWK,yes, the ‘action plan’ has been on my mind too, and for a while now. the answers though, are hard to come by. :(your comment has inspired me – to keep thinking and try and come up with answers. it might take a while, but does that mean i shudn’t post anything until then, i wonder? ;)thank you. it certainly is a journey, and we can only do our little bit to extend help to our fellow ‘raahis’ :)ZEUS,:)

  18. CM,thanks. physics was actually at one time my fav subject. i started reading about the meta and all at a time when i hardly even understood it. not that i do now anyways, but still ;)oh, and jaya here is to be read as ‘jaaya’ (see annotation in the original) – root word ‘ja’ – meaning to bring forth – referring to one’s wife, who brings forth children or something like that. bottom line is, in this verse, it isn’t jaya (victory) but jaaya (wife)NABEEL,interesting idea, about blogs and blogging. looking at it that way, i don’t have to feel so bad after all :)thank you.GAYATHRI,no madam :)SUNRISE,suffocated means when u’ve had enough, but are dished out more and more and are unable to take it any longer!!!about love – well, it is something, i feel most people will not understand. u seem to be an exception :)TRINNIE,isn’t hate too strong a word? and if we had piece of mind ALL the mind, then wouldn’t life become a little,…aimless? i mean, what then do we strive for?VASU,existential? meaning that philosophy nietzsche and all? :O :O :O whats the connection between that and what i said? me is just a bum u know, and i said what i had to say – no idea wheather it is existential or whatever! :)MADDIE,the sadness was very temporary. after all, u can’t keep the bum sad for too long, can u?u r a sweetheart maddie. u the one with the golden heart and all that!warm hugs and lots of love to u :)KESHI,cool – that sounds nice, wise and simple! thank you.STARRY,thank you.ENDE,:)D,beg to disagree. there IS love – and its true. jus coz we don’t know it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.also, please re-read my query in yoru blog. i had requested you to define ‘success’. and if u think u can smartly evade it, well u are wrong. i want YOUR definition of success, if u please.thank you 🙂

  19. You think people can stand some more of me in a movie? :-POh and to answer you, maybe I still am suffering from a pretty serious writer’s block, but really, I haven’t even given it a try yet, meaning “I’m seriously busy too” and I hate being that way! :-/

  20. VASU,what i meant was that i couldn’t connect the philosophy of existentialism with this. tried reading up, and still wasn’t convinced. wonder what u had in mind?MISS I,am sure they can! ever heard of veerasami? if people can tolerate that THING, they sure can tolerate a charming young iyer girl :)oh, and keep trying.KESHI,:)ADITI,no doubt we have a long way to go. but it ain’t impossible is it?PRITIKA,welcome aboard! am not that ‘inslulated’ to the people around me. not yet atleast!

  21. “about love – well, it is something, i feel most people will not understand. u seem to be an exception :)”:) “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to just love…” ?

  22. Hi,stopping by to say hi!well we all see ourselves differently than how the world sees us…..if you have friends who are willing to be honest with you then you have the best friends…as long as they do so with love and there’s not bad intent…lisa

  23. SUNRISE,beautiful – ‘just’ being the key word here, i am sure u wud agree?TK,ho ho! hawt one, as i am sure many others wud agree ;)LISA,hullo there! yes, i am lucky to have friends such as u have described.KESHI,bored? and keshi? i don’t believe it. i am great girl, hope u r well too 🙂

  24. We are all a union of opposites. We are selfish and we are giving, we are cruel and we are kind, we are brave and we are cowardly.The trick is to live an authentic life in the now, here. To be both at once and have peace with it.We all censor in blog life. We can edit, discard, post only when happy, reflective, calm. Real life is much more challenging – that is where we practice our yoga best (as my beloved Swami Satchidananda used to say).Yes. It is true. you are rude and you are you are compassionate. Can you accept that? I can accept it in us both.xxPinks

  25. Dharma…I only know you are a janoo person and I respect you and adore you the way you are :)Hugsssssssssssss!I’m doing fine and I was in Istanbul with my sweetheart and and and and woh mai hoon who is wearing necklace :)Thanks for the lovely comments :)Stay Beautiful…!

  26. Ref : Your comment about ‘Where is home…’In some way, the space around us translates into the boundaries we draw within. Or vice versa. We aren’t a one way street so I can’t really point the cause/effect. Chicken, egg who cares as long as the biryani tastes good. Ok, silly, I agree :).The first day of the trip to Delhi was stifling. More than sky as my roof, I want the sea.The sea is always home. Any place as long as there are waves to wash away everything.Thank you for visiting.Warmest,Sru

  27. :)I don’t know. I am also confused now!Well, you could respond on my blog, for I get these email notifications which tell me someone has pinged. If you responded here, I wouldn’t know, I would have to come back and look again and again, which I could do too. But, seeking comfort (being the bum I am sure you’d understand) I beseech you to post on my blog :).Ta!

  28. Morally noble and strategically accurate war…..(The End Of An Era!!…).well ……what I meant was Afghanistan was being run by terrorist suporters(Talibanis) who were abusing,torturing their own people, who were sheltering terrorists…..hence strategically accurate to remove them from power(India should be happy since the Talibs were also supporting anti-India terror groups)……and Morality(Oh Yes……a grey area).but seeing the miserable plight of Afghans under the fanatic Talibs….I just feel it was morally right to liberate them….not that the Afghans today are living a wonderful,prosperous existence….but they are better off than what they were under the Talibs…..I feel…………oh by the way..( are a Tamilian…..from Pondicherry….It is a scenic territory)

  29. PINK,the union of opposites – very profound, that. for me, it isn’t easy to just accept it perse – and so i work towards bridging the gap – and thats my very own yoga. the bum yoga? hey, mebbe i whus try patenting it and make some money – am sure there’l be takers, specially in america.SUGARLIPS,so very kind of u – thanks and warm hugs to u thats u? OMG – absolutely gorgeous. tauba kisi ki nazar na lagey. and istanbul – wow 🙂 hope u had a great time.SUNRISE,i haven’t watched it either – somehow the trailer didn’t catch my attention so much.SRU / SANKECHITA,welcome aboard! well well, one helluva confusion, eh? i mean, writing a comment and replying to it – here, there everywhere :Dso i’m gonna go back to ur blog now and reply there – jus like u requested :PBRAAVILE,tamilian – how did u know? well thats right, partially so 😉 and pondicherry – absolutely!thanks for visiting.KESHI,hey thanks girl. i figgered that myself, but am working against time. will post soon as i get a respite.

  30. This is a great post & thought provoking too.I agree, we all have alter egos.& I love the point where you say that we have to REALISE our mistakes. 🙂

  31. Knock, knock. Did you by any chance reply on my blog? Couldn’t find it.Sruhttp://srusrid.livejournal.comps: Am sorry for cluttering this thread with unrelated messages!

  32. SRU,no need to apologise – welcome to clutter, anytime :phaven’t replied as yet, wil do so soon.IYER,that would be the most charming haunt ever, i am sure! ;)PINK,i am honoured. touched. too much happening on the work front, will be back with something soon, i assure u. thank you so much!

  33. hey dharma! striking post…” you are terribly selfish. in spite of everything else, you end up doing only what you want to do “but i thinkt this would be the honest thing ever a perfect man could perceive…if we started to stand on others shoes…we would have to end up with thousands of dharmas… :)if we true to our value systems, thats enough as i think…but sometimes it could make us to feel bit of guilty and would make us to feel like the Meursault from ” The Stranger ” but its better to stand on our own values than to pledge ouserlve to others opinion….hmmm….am i right?

  34. hello monk!first of all, welcome to this space! u ask if u r right? well, bums don’t know much about themselves being right, let alone the others. and moreover, right and wrong are all subject to our conditioning, no? :)thanks for your comment and do keep coming by!

  35. hey you are right bum! but by my habit i told am i right…(which i want to change that finishing everything with a ‘am i right?’) :Eanyway nice to hear from you man…am admiring your writings…keep writing 🙂

  36. whoa whoa MONK!so the dharmabum has a fan club now? 😀 jokes apart – thank you. thats a lot of encouragement. keep coming by, and i shall most certainly keep writing. :0

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