Destiny my lord:
Destiny be thy name, the very word conjures up a myriad of reactions and responses, from the comical to the stoic and acquiesce to the religious, and ultra philosophical, and practically everything in between.
Being born a hindu, I became a hindu, by default I had no choice in the matter, however studying in Sanawar, where we were “exposed” to the Christian & Catholic faith, we became I would say fairly tolerant to Christianity per se, as opposed to say Islam where as kids we had little or no inter action, and knew little about.
Through college and the years that followed, I did wonder where my destiny would take me, what I would do & where I would end up, it was a matter of conjecture, debate and thought, which would occur and re-occur at regular intervals.
What was fixed in my mind and perhaps drilled into my head was that destiny or fate or, “karm” was pre ordained, it was written in the stars and had to happen, no matter what.
Important events such as marriage I perceived for instance, and was told in no uncertain terms were embedded in stone and could not be changed.
Short of my 22nd birthday, I went to Iran, “to find and make my fortune”, I found neither, what I did find was utter misery, dreariness and very hard work. I was self catapulted from a life of sheer joy and fun to one of extreme hardship. This was definitely a self inflicted blow, there was absolutely no reasoned reason for me to do what I did, I would tell myself.
At no point in time, did I ever think that this was destiny or pre ordained. It was plain and utter foolishness. To quote President Bill Clinton, I did what I did, simply because, “I could”, which at the end of day turned out quite well, and has stood me well in life.
When I was about 34 years old, I suddenly left for New Zealand. I say suddenly, because that’s precisely how it happened. I went to New Zealand for a holiday and stayed there for more than eighteen eventful glorious years.
In New Zealand, I kind of found a couple of gears I didn’t think I had, all said and done, it was a truly fabulous life experience, and I am so glad I did it that way; my way. I setup offices in multiple Countries, worked in Auckland, Melbourne, Singapore, Los Angeles, Vancouver, London, Doha, Mumbai and Bangalore.
I even got myself a Green Card in USA, literally within 14 months of arrival, and I was never in Los Angeles for more than two weeks for a stretch. At no point of my time in New Zealand, USA, Doha et all, did I put any of this down to destiny, it was pure hard work, coupled with luck, and business risks paying off.
Richard Branson, once famously said that opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming. I fully, whole heartedly and totally subscribe to this and believe in it.
In the intervening years, I always maintained close to extremely close links with various, “Babas” in my life. Sometimes it was for sheer comic relief, and at times it was for self introspection.
In the years that I lived overseas, and indeed I have lived in various Countries and met countless number of people from different faiths and backgrounds, the two intrinsic elements which always kept me going and looking ahead was hard work and riding ones luck. To me everything else was secondary.
No destiny did not pay a hand in what I did over the years.Strangely its only now when I reflect on my life gone by, do I come to this conclusion. I have now been back in India, living at Goa for the last seven years.
Over the last few years, I have again became acquainted with a baba, but do I devolve everything to destiny; I would think not, I still desist that and strongly question the origins and, “deliverance” of destiny.
I do find that that people with religious faiths tend to believe in destiny far more. Anything and everything is “mere takdeer mein yehi lehka tha” philosophy. (It happened cause it was my destiny.)
As hindus we believe in re-birth, just the other day I was talking to a friend who told me that we should prepare for re-birth, or for the time when we are re-born, I am simply unable to understand and comprehend that, and think it’s an utter waste of time.
What I do know is that we must concentrate on the present, as today will become tomorrow. If today is good, logic will say, so will tomorrow. The good thing is life in a way is like driving in the hills, you just don’t know for certain what around the corner !
So listen up, be happy, do whatever that brings a smile, its easier said than done, but nonetheless its worth the try.
If it still dosen`t work, have a drink or two, that will get you charged up…hopefully ! Destiny maybe calling..
Sanjiv T Lall