“There are no coincidences in life, everything is planned,” wrote James Redfield in The Celestine Prophecy. There has much debate about that logic what with Christian theologists claiming that God has indeed planned everything and even though we might think an event/occurrence is a coincidence, it was supposed to happen. Hinduism too believes in Destiny being preordained and while we might make our choices, our path in life has already been decided. As far as I am concerned, both decided Destiny and coincidence could well be true. Like going underground (hiding on the fourth floor that is) for three months and the night I decide to go out, I crash a guy’s party with common friends – without any intention of meeting any prospective love interest – and the host turns out to be by Partner now. And two years after I wrote it, he is word for word the man I had wished for in a post called, Here’s my Soulmate.
Like from going on a decided path to becoming a doctor, my father gets posted to Delhi, we have a neighbour who’s daughter was studying journalism and lo! I enroll into a journalism course. Or as I wrote earlier, on our first class assignment, a professor declaring “You are the next Shobhaa De” (we will never ask my Dad for his opinions on that, ok?) and then being a panelist with her on a TV show nine years later… What was destiny and what is coincidence?
Like is it coincidence that the next chapter on Mishraji’s Musings was written right after I participated in ‘We the People’ in January 2008… and now that I am going to republish it, last night NDTV re-ran the programme? Destiny, coincidence, convenience?
If you have had experiences that seemed like coincidence and turned out to be of major importance, write in and share… let’s get spooked! Mishraji’s Musings Chapter 6
Sex is against the Indian culture
It was a perfect January morning till the madly chiming doorbell woke one up. After no interaction with one's elderly neighbour Mishraji for a fair bit, there he was, standing at my door, in his pyjama-kurta and looking very angry. One opened the door and waited.
For a minute Mishraji just stood glaring, then pointing a finger at one's nose said, "You lied. You are NOT a journalist, I know WHAT you are." Having just woken up - that too rudely - one mumbled something about showing him the appointment letter and immediately wished one had kept shut.
"I don't care what your appointment letter says madam. How is that you work for a TV company and I have never seen you on TV?" Mishraji demanded. One pointed out that one worked for the Internet company owned by the TV channel and not...
"STOP lying madam!" Mishraji growled, clearly in no mood for even logical interruptions. "I know exactly WHAT you write on the Internet." That statement removed all vestiges of sleep and one was wide-awake. All the previous posts about the Mishra family flashed before one's eyes. One knew that Mishraji did not read blogs, but it was apparent that someone had told him. Even as one thought of a suitable response to explain why one had been writing about the Mishra Family Drama, Mishraji spoke.
"You cannot masquerade as a journalist anymore madam. YOU are a... are a... SEX writer!" One was stunned. Mishraji continued, "You cannot deny it. Someone I know saw you on that TV show with Barkha Dutt." And then it hit home: Mishraji had found out about an episode of a talk-show where yours truly was one of the eight panelists on a discussion on blogging. One had not realized that some Mishra family acquaintaince could also be watching the show. They had and one wanted to kick one's own backside for not thinking about the ramifications of participating on the show earlier.
One tried to explain that one wrote on women's issues, child sexual abuse, relationships and... Mishraji would have none of it. "This is a respectable colony in respectable India, madam. We don't talk about such things here. I have grown up kids and they will get wrong ideas when they read you. My very dutiful wife will get new ideas when she reads you. Sex is against the Indian culture," he declared. One wondered aloud on how new ideas were against Indian culture... Mishraji exploded.
"I always knew you were the danger-to-society type. Living alone with two dogs, too outspoken, wearing only jeans, no shame... You are the type of scarlet woman who misleads the youth of this country. You are a shame on India, on this colony..." Mishraji nearly frothed at the mouth.
At that precise moment - even as one reeled under the attack - Pinkiji (Mishraji's 19-year-old daughter for those who don't know) came running out of the house. She was wearing her pink nightie, had morning hair and her face was chalk-white.
"Papaji, papaji, please come quick. Tinku bhaiya has... he has..." and Pinkiji burst out crying. Even as an alarmed Mishraji turned towards his house, Mrs Mishraji came running out too.
"Aap gussa mat kariye, please don't get angry, everything will be all right, keep your cool," she said trembling. She held a sheet of paper in her hand. Mishraji stopped dead in his tracks and took the note from her and read it aloud. It was from his 22-year-old son Tinkuji.
I know you will never forgive me. But I really love her and I don't care about approval, though I would like to have yours and Mummyji's. The new generation does not think like you do. We don't care about religion, at least not when it comes to love. I love her and will marry her. I am leaving house. I am marrying Catrina. Married couples with age difference and religion difference is nothing new. It's happening all over. You can check the Internet."
Tinkuji had run away with Catrina Kohli who was a Sikh and 10 years older to him.
Everyone stood silently; yours truly shivered in the cold January breeze. Mishraji crushed the note into a ball, his shoulders shook, one didn't know with shock or... He turned and as he looked at one, his face was full of hate and his eyes mere pinpoints.
"YOU! It's Internet people like you who are teaching these things to our children, showing them ways different from the way things have been. If my son does not return, YOU will have to answer," and Mishraji threw the balled note on one's face, spat on the ground and stalked off.
To be continued...