Responsible Gambling 

​ਜ਼ਿੰਮੇਵਾਰ ਸੱਟਾ 

ਕੁਝ ਦਿਨ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਦੀ ਗੱਲ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਮੇਰੇ ਇੱਕ ਮਿੱਤਰ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਤਨ ਜਾਣਾ ਸੀ ਕਿਸੇ ਪਰਿਵਾਰਕ ਕਾਰਨ ਕਰਕੇ ਤੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਢਾਲਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਤੰਗੀ ਸੀ। ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਾ ਗੁਣ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਰੱਬ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ ਛੇਤੀ ਕਦੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੂੰ ਸਵਾਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਾਉਂਦੇ। ਪਰ ਮੇਰੇ ਨਾਲ ਦੁੱਖ ਸੁੱਖ ਸਾਂਝਾ ਕਰ ਲੈਂਦੇ ਹਨ। ਹੁਣ ਅੱਜ ਕੱਲ ਮੈਂ ਵੀ ਸੰਕਟ ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਲੰਘ ਰਿਹਾ ਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਦੀ ਕੋਈ ਬਹੁਤੀ ਮਦਦ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ। ਉਹਨਾਂ ਮੈਂਨੂੰ ਕੋਈ ਸਵਾਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਪਾਇਆ ਤੇ ਆਪਾਂ ਵੀ ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੁਕਰ ਮਨਾਇਆ। ਪਰ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਪੀੜ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਮਹਿਸੂਸ ਹੋਈ ਤੇ ਆਪਣੀ ਪੀੜ ਨਿਗੂਣੀ ਲੱਗੀ। 

ਸੋ ਕਿਸੇ ਬਹਾਨੇ ਕੁਝ ਦਿਨ ਬਾਅਦ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨ ਬਹੁਤ ਖੁਸ਼ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਮੈਂ ਗਰੌਸਰੀ ਖਰੀਦਣ ਇਕ ਸ਼ਾਪਿੰਗ ਸੈਂਟਰ ਵਿਚ ਜਾ ਵੜਿਆ। ਜਦੋਂ ਖਰੀਦੋ ਫ਼ਰੋਖ਼ਤ ਕਰਕੇ ਮੈਂ ਵੂਲੀਸ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਹਰ ਨਿਕਲਿਆ ਤਾਂ ਨਿਗਾਹ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ ਲੌਟਰੀ ਵਾਲੀ ਦੁਕਾਨ ਤੇ ਪਈ। ਮੈਂ ਥੋੜ੍ਹਾ ਬਹੁਤ ਪੰਡਿਤਪੁਣਾ ਕਰ ਲੈਨਾਂ ਤੇ ਅਸੀਂ ਅਕਸਰ ਹੀ ਜੋਤਸ਼ ਵਾਲਾ ਸ਼ੁਗਲ ਕਰ ਲਈਦਾ। ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਕੁੰਡਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਲੌਟਰੀ ਨਿਕਲਣੀ ਲਿਖੀ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਵੀ। ਮੈਂਨੂੰ ਭਾਰਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਕਈ ਵਾਰ ਨਿੱਕੀਆਂ ਮੋਟੀਆਂ ਲੌਟਰੀਆਂ ਨਿਕਲੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਆਸਟ੍ਰੇਲੀਆ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ। 

ਮੈਂ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਹੀ ਇਹ ਸੋਚ ਕੇ ਲੌਟਰੀ ਪਾਉਣਾ ਕਿ ਜੇ ਨਿਕਲ ਆਈ ਤਾਂ ਰੱਬ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੁਕਰ ਮਨਾਵਾਂਗੇ ਤੇ ਜੇ ਨਾ ਨਿਕਲੀ ਤਾਂ ਲੋਕ ਭਲਾਈ ਹੀ ਸਹੀ। ਮੇਰੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਿਸੇ ਦੇ ਤਾਂ ਕੰਮ ਆਊ। ਸੋ ਇਸ ਸੋਚ ਨਾਲ ਮੈਂ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਸਤੀ ਟਿੱਕਟ ਖਰੀਦਦਾਂ ਤੇ ਉਹ ਲੌਟਰੀ ਖਰੀਦਦਾਂ ਜਿਸ ਵਿਚ ਇਨਾਮ ਬਹੁਤ ਹੋਵੇ। ਸੋ ਮੈਂ ਸੱਤ ਅੱਠ ਡਾਲਰ ਵਿਚ ਦੱਸ ਮਿਲਿਅਨ ਡਾਲਰ ਵਾਲੀ ਟਿੱਕਟ ਖਰੀਦ ਲਈ ਤੇ ਘਰ ਨੂੰ ਚਾਲੇ ਪਾ ਦਿੱਤੇ।

ਰਸਤੇ ਵਿਚ ਕਾਰ ਚਲਾਉਂਦਿਆਂ ਮੇਰੀ ਸੋਚ ਕੁੱਝ ਜ਼ਿਆਦਾ ਹੀ ਲਾਲਚੀ ਤੇ ਦਿਆਨਤਦਾਰ ਹੋ ਗਈ । ਮੈਂ ਸੋਚ ਰਿਹਾ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਜੇ ਲਾਟਰੀ ਨਿਕਲ ਆਈ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ ਅੱਧਾ ਇਨਾਮ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਿੱਤਰ ਨੂੰ ਦੇਦੂੰ। ਸੋ ਮੈਂ ਘਰ ਪਹੁੰਚ ਕਿ ਰੱਬ ਅੱਗੇ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿ ਜੇ 10 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਡਾਲਰ ਵਾਲੀ ਲਾਟਰੀ ਨਿਕਲੀ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ 5 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਿੱਤਰ ਨੂੰ ਦੇਦੂੰ। ਫਿਰ ਮੈਂ 5 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਡਾਲਰ ਦੇ ਸੁਪਨੇ ਲੈਣੇ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਅਤੇ ਕੁੱਝ ਦਿਨ ਇਹੀ ਸੋਚਦਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਮੈਂ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਡਾਲਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਕੀ ਕਰਾਂਗਾ।

ਮੈਂ ਲੋਚਿਆ ਕਿ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਤਾਂ ਮੈਂ 2500 ਏਕੜ ਜ਼ਮੀਨ ਖਰੀਦੂੰਗਾ। ਫਿਰ ਮੈਂ ਸ਼ਹਿਰੀ ਜਾਇਦਾਦ ਬਣਾਊਂਗਾ ਤੇ ਫਿਰ ਰੂਸ, ਕਨੇਡਾ ਤੇ ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਘੁੰਮਣ ਜਾਊਂਗਾ। ਮੈਂ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ-ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਕੁਝ ਦਿਨ ਬੀਤ ਜਾਣ ਦਿੱਤੇ। ਮੈਂਨੂੰ ਯਕੀਨ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਲਾਟਰੀ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਨਿਕਲੇਗੀ ਪਰ 10 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਡਾਲਰ ਦਾ ਭਰੋਸਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਸੀ। ਸੋ ਕੁਝ ਦਿਨ ਬਾਅਦ ਮੈਂ ਨਿਊਜ਼ਅਜੈਂਸੀ ਤੇ ਲਾਟਰੀ ਦਾ ਪਤਾ ਕੀਤਾ। ਮੇਰੀ ਲਾਟਰੀ ਨਿਕਲ ਗਈ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਮੇਰੀ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਸੱਤਵੇਂ ਆਸਮਾਨ ਤੇ ਸੀ। ਮੈਂ $25.35 ਜਿੱਤੇ ਸਨ ਪਰ ਖੁਸ਼ੀ ਮੈਂਨੂੰ 10 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਡਾਲਰਾਂ ਜਿੰਨੀ ਸੀ।

ਹੁਣ ਜੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਭਾਂਡਾ ਵੱਡਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਤੇ ਮੈਂ ਪੂਰੇ ਵਿਸ਼ਵਾਸ ਨਾਲ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਤਾਂ ਰੱਬ ਨੇ ਮੈਂਨੂੰ 10 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਵੀ ਦੇ ਦੇਣੇ ਸੀ। ਪਰ ਅੱਜ ਕੱਲ ਮੇਰੀ ਨੀਅਤ ਕੰਮ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੈ ਤੇ ਜੇ ਦਸ ਨਹੁੰਆਂ ਦੀ ਕਮਾਈ ਨਾਲ 10 ਮਿਲੀਅਨ ਡਾਲਰ ਮਿਲ ਜਾਣ ਤਾਂ ਜ਼ਿਆਦਾ ਬਿਹਤਰ ਹੈ। ਸੋ ਆਪਾਂ ਆਵਦੀ ਅਰਦਾਸ ਦੇ ਪੱਕੇ ਰਹੇ ਤੇ ਅੱਧੇ ਡਾਲਰ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਿੱਤਰ ਨੂੰ ਦੇ ਦਿੱਤੇ। ਅਤੇ ਰੱਬ ਨੇ ਵੀ ਆਪਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕੰਮ ਵਾਲੇ ਰਾਹ ਪਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ।

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Toxic Beloved 

She was a highly toxic person. Her remembrance made him feel dizzy and brought on nausea. In her presence his heart pounded like a piston, alarm bells rang in his ears and his soul just wanted to flee his body. She sucked life out of him and over the years he became chronically ill. Life with her was like a life imprisonment and their three daughters prevented any chance of his escape.

The man suffered over the years, his career floundered and he lost focus in his life. He looked ten years older than his real age and people sympathised with her for carrying the family burden. She flourished and always looked young while he was fast approaching death. One fine morning he was found dead in bed. She called the police and ambulance. Post mortem report revealed that he died of an acute heart attack.


A man who was a fine athlete in his youth, was known for being honest, forgetting enmity with anyone like a child and whose heart beat always stayed below sixty per minute, died of an heart attack. Police had no clue and treated his death as natural death in light of his chronic illness. She in fact got away with murder.


She killed him slowly over the years by her constant nagging and highly abusive behaviour. Her tongue was like scissors and gave him multiple stab wounds over the years. Her silence was even deadlier and he always feared for her volcano to burst anytime and burn the whole house with her lava. Finally, he couldn’t take it any longer and silently died in his bed during the night.


ਸਿਆਣਾ ਚੋਰ ਤੇ ਭੋਲਾ ਸਾਧ 

ਕਹਿੰਦੇ ਇੱਕ ਸਾਧ ਦੇ ਘਰ ਇੱਕ ਚੋਰ ਚੋਰੀ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਨੀਅਤ ਨਾਲ ਆ ਵੜਿਆ। ਹੁਣ ਝੋਟਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਘਰੋਂ ਲੱਸੀ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਮਿਲੇ? ਜਦ ਚੋਰ ਨੂੰ ਚੋਰੀ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਕੁੱਝ ਨਾ ਲੱਭਾ ਤਾਂ ਉਹ ਖਾਲੀ ਹੱਥ ਮੁੜ ਚੱਲਿਆ। ਇੰਨੇ ਨੂੰ ਸਾਧ ਦੀ ਵੀ ਨੀਂਦ ਟੁੱਟ ਗਈ ਅਤੇ ਉਸਨੇ ਚੋਰ ਖਾਲੀ ਹੱਥ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਵੇਖਿਆ। ਠੰਡੀ ਰੁੱਤ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਬਾਹਰ ਬਰਫ ਪਈ ਹੋਈ ਸੀ। ਸਾਧ ਨੂੰ ਚੋਰ ਤੇ ਤਰਸ ਆ ਗਿਆ ਤੇ ਉਸਨੇ ਚੋਰ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣੀ ਕੰਬਲੀ ਲੈ ਜਾਣ ਲਈ ਕਿਹਾ।

ਪਰ ਚੋਰ ਹੈਰਾਨ ਤੇ ਪਸ਼ੇਮਾਨ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ। ਉਸਦੀ ਚੋਰੀ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਨੀਅਤ ਪਲਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਛੂ ਮੰਤਰ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਅਤੇ ਉਹ ਸਾਧ ਦੇ ਪੈਰੀਂ ਡਿੱਗ ਪਿਆ। ਕਹਿਣ ਦਾ ਭਾਵ ਇਹ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਚੰਦਨ ਦੇ ਰੁੱਖ ਉੱਤੇ ਉਸਦੀ ਠੰਡਕ ਤੇ ਸੁਗੰਧ ਕਰਕੇ ਸੱਪ ਬਹੁਤ ਲਿਪਟਦੇ ਹਨ ਪਰ ਚੰਦਨ ਵਾਂਗ ਸਾਧ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਜ਼ਹਿਰੀਲੇ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੋ ਜਾਂਦੇ। ਚੋਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੋਰ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਤਾਂ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਸੁਣੇ ਹੋਣੇ ਪਰ ਕਦੇ ਸਾਧ ਪੈਂਦੇ ਸੁਣੇ?

ਬਹੁਤੇ ਸਿਆਣੇ ਲੋਕ ਥੋੜੇ ਜਿਹੇ ਨਿਕਟ ਵਰਤੀ ਲਾਭ ਲਈ ਚੋਰਾਂ ਵਾਂਗ ਜਾਣੇ ਅਣਜਾਣੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੀ ਆਪਣਾ ਦੀਨ ਇਮਾਨ ਗੁਆ ਦਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਜਿੰਨੀ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਿਆਣਪ ਭਰੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ ਲੋਭ ਵੀ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਹੀ ਜ਼ਿਆਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਇਹਨਾਂ ਸਿਆਣਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਅਕਸਰ ਹੀ ਵਹਿਮ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਇਹਨਾਂ ਵਰਗੀ ਚਿੱਟੀ ਚਾਦਰ ਕਿਸੇ ਦੀ ਨਹੀਂ। ਹੁਣ ਜਦੋਂ ਕਿਸੇ ਨਾਲ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਚੋਰੀ, ਠੱਗੀ, ਡਕੈਤੀ, ਧ੍ਰੋਹ, ਆਦਿ ਦਾ ਮਨ ਬਣਾ ਹੀ ਲਿਆ ਤਾਂ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਨਾਲ ਐਸੇ ਵਿਹਾਰ ਦੇ ਫਲ ਦਾ ਵੀ ਬੀਜ ਬੋ ਦਿੱਤਾ। ਸਮਾਂ ਆਉਣ ਤੇ ਕਿੱਕਰ ਕੰਡੇ ਹੀ ਉੱਗਦੀ ਹੈ ਅੰਬ ਨਹੀਂ। 

ਹੁਣ ਐਸੇ ਚੋਰਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਧਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਰਖ ਦਾ ਵੀ ਇੱਕ ਲਿਟਮਸ ਟੈਸਟ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ। ਉਦਾਹਰਣ ਵਜੋਂ ਸਿਆਣੇ ਚੋਰ ਨੂੰ ਅਕਸਰ ਹੀ ਮਾਮਾ ਅਖਵਾਉਣ ਦਾ ਬਹੁਤ ਸ਼ੌਂਕ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਉਹ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ ਸਾਲਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਅਖਵਾਉਣਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ। ਹੁਣ ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਮਾਮਾ ਬਣਨ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੌਂਕ ਹੋਵੇ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਸਾਲਾ ਬਣਨ ਲਈ ਵੀ ਤਿਆਰ ਰਹਿਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਤਾਂ ……. ਤਾਂ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਕਹਿ ਹੀ ਦੇਣਾ। ਪਰ ਸਾਧ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਕਿੱਕਰ ਦੇ ਤੁੱਕਿਆਂ ਦਾ ਵੀ ਅਚਾਰ ਪਾ ਲੈਂਦਾ ਅਤੇ ਮਾਮਾ ਤੇ ਸਾਲਾ ਅਖਵਾਉਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਵੀ ਆਪਣੀ ਟੌਹਰ ਸਮਝਦਾ।

Divided by beliefs 

​A Pakistani Sindhi and a Sikh Punjabi strike an interesting conversation living in a student accommodation in Australia. 

Sindhi: So what are you studying and where?

Punjabi: I’m studying at University of South Australia and doing a Masters by Research. And you?

Sindhi: I’m also studying at UniSA and doing my Masters in Engineering. So what are you researching?

Punjabi: I’m researching Australia India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

Sindhi: What’s that?

Punjabi: Australia and India are trying to negotiate a free trade agreement between themselves. This will help in abolishing a lot of trade barriers like customs, duties, taxes, legal impediments, bureaucratic red tape, corruption, non-commercial barriers, etc.

Sindhi: Hang on! Isn’t India a great country and doing great under Modi’s leadership? Didn’t that demonetisation thingy and IT help India cut back on corruption?

Punjabi: Great country my foot! In India a cow’s life is better than a woman’s life. People get killed if they kill a cow and nobody does anything to stop such murders. But if women get raped the conviction rate is less than ten percent.

Sindhi: I thought Pakistan was much worse. 

Punjabi: Ha…religion is irrelevant when you have the same blood, culture and values.

Sindhi: Oh yes! When intent is same, religion is irrelevant. But isn’t India going to overtake China in the near future? You guys have such a big consumer market and been to the Moon and Mars. 

Punjabi: Never! Indian economy is more internal because of it’s size. It’s never going to be like China. Moreover, in order to marginalise and breakup Pakistan India is going to break itself up. China is investing more than fifty billion dollars in that corridor up to Gwaadar port. China and Pakistan will destabilise Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab if Chinese investment is threatened. War will pull the whole region backward.

Sindhi: Oh yes! You guys have problems in the North and North East. I’m aware about that.

Punjabi: Most of the people living beyond Delhi are cowards. It’s only Punjabis living in both countries that are the real deal. Rest are just sheeps. 

Sindhi: I agree. Punjabis are very dominant in Pakistan too. I am also a Punjabi but my family lives in Karachi. We have our business there. Anyways, it was nice meeting you. I got to go. See you soon.

They meet again the next day in the living room and watch TV together. While they are chatting, it comes up in the news that Pakistani army has killed two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies and militants have shot five policemen in Kashmir Valley. 

And a strange silence prevails between them. But then they both laugh it away knowing fully well of the stupid intentions behind the border skirmishes. While their soldiers are involved in tit for tat at the borders they live in the same building as good neighbours. They meet every day, share smiles and ask about each other’s welfare as culturally good brothers ought too. But behind their smiles they hide their pain and feel sorry at the stupidity of their leaders. They are divided by faith but united by same skin, culture, blood and values in a foreign land.

Mrigashira

God is both with form (sakaar) and formless (nirakaar). To start the creation, he expands himself and creates duality i.e. matter in the static form (male) and energy in the dynamic form (female). To keep the cosmos stable he further subdivides himself into trinity together with their consorts i.e. Brahma and Sarasvati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and Mahesh and Parvathi. From matter space and time are created. Space and time have no boundaries and are always dynamic.

Now Brahma creates the creation while Sarasvati gives knowledge and wisdom, Vishnu protects and maintains while Lakshmi provides good fortune, and Shiva destroys and recycles while Parvathi fertilises with love and devotion. The universe is a creation of incest basically between God’s male and female parts. God creates himself from nothing and then keeps on subdividing and multiplying himself to create the cosmos we live in. This means that we all are related to each other and are equal irrespective of sex, race, religion or any form of discrimination.

The cosmos is ever expanding and has a life of 2,160,000,000 years. To keep the system stable so that it doesn’t expand out of control, God instructs Shiva to destroy everything and the universe contracts to become nothing only to be created again. This cosmic cycle is repeated indefinitely. So, the universe we live in has been created and destroyed innumerable times previously and the same will happen in the future.

Although Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are demigods and their consort’s demigoddesses but none of them know the secrets of the singularity i.e. God. They can only know if God lets them know. God is beyond the understanding of anyone in this creation. To understand him you must become one with him i.e. Brahmagyani (the god conscious being or the knower of Brahman i.e. God). Brahmagyani’s are so rare that even God and all the demigods search for him.

In this background, I am going to elaborate some bold themes associated with the nakshatra (constellation) Mrigshira (the one with a stag’s head).

Brahma is also called Jupiter, the creator, the priest to demigod’s and the great philanderer. To create kama (lust, desire) is necessary and that also falls under Brahma’s department. When Brahma was single, he created Usha from his own semen on the suggestion by Lord Shiva i.e. Mahesh. Usha was so beautiful that his own father, Brahma, became amorous. Knowing this she ran away in all directions. But Brahma kept on chasing her. To avoid him she became a female deer. Brahma became a male deer too and chased her and tried to mate. But since Shiva is Brahma’s son he became angry when he became aware of his father’s conduct. He shot an arrow at the male deer which cut his head and so the constellation Mrigshira was born. That same Usha became Sarasvati and later Brahma’s wife.

In another story, Brahma’s wife, Tara (star), couldn’t tolerate Brahma’s rigid morality, ethics, laws, spirituality and philandering behaviour anymore so she elopes with Chandra (Moon), the mind, sensuality and emotions. Since, God manifests himself in male and female forms, essentially, they both enjoy equal status. So, Brahma couldn’t attend Indra’s, the king of demigod’s, court and perform his duties as a priest. The reason being he had lost his wife and couldn’t perform any religious duties in her absence. He only realises his wife’s worth when he loses her. Previously, he was taking her for granted and only gave her importance to keep his job as a divine priest. The couple had lost the necessary love, sensuality and emotional sentiments between themselves.

Brahma and Indra go to the Moon to get Tara back but she refuses and Moon also doesn’t let her go. Tara’s argument is that Moon values her emotions and truly loves her. But Brahma and Indra put forth the argument that emotions can never override spiritual duties. But she still refuses to go. After resorting to all solutions and when nothing works, Indra gathers all the demigods and challenges Moon for a battle. Moon accepts the challenge and he assembles all Asuras (demons) for battle and is helped by Shukra (Venus), representing romance, beauty, sensuality, etc. Both the armies come to the battlefield and when battle is just about to happen Brahma panics. Brahma being the creator is worried for his creation and the catastrophe that the war would bring. He again persuades Tara to accompany him. To avoid war Tara comes back but she gives birth to Moon’s illegitimate child, Budha (Mercury).

Budha is exceptionally intelligent and because of his intelligence Brahma (Jupiter) adopts, Mercury, but curses him to be neither a man nor a woman. Now Mercury hates Moon and Jupiter but Jupiter loves both Moon and Mercury. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer because he learns Moon’s deep emotions and puts them into his morality, ethics and spiritual laws. Moon and Tara sit on Shiva’s head and are also symbol of Islam, bismillah meaning Shiva and Parvati. Angel Gabriel is Lord Shiva in reality.

In Ramayana, while Ram, Sita and Lakshmana are in exile, Sita sees a golden deer in the forest. Sita tells her husband Ram to get the deer for her. Knowing fully well that there are no golden deers Ram dissuades Sita. But Sita insists and makes him go into the forest to catch the deer for her. Ram, who is born under the influence of Moon and Jupiter in the Punarvasu (becoming light again and whose symbol is bow and quiver of arrows) nakshatra in the Cancer ascendant goes into the forest to track the deer while leaving Sita in his brother Lakshmana’s custody.

Ram uses the Shiva’s bow and arrow to hunt the deer. The deer is shot and it cries aloud in pain for Sita in Ram’s voice. Lakshmana and Sita hear the deer’s cries. Sita worries for her husband and makes Lakshmana to go into the forest to rescue Ram. While both are deep in the jungle Sita is captured by Ravana, the king of demons, who comes disguised as a saint. When Ram and Lakshmana return, they go to search for Sita and finally find out that she has been captured by Ravana and kept as a hostage in Sri Lanka. Eventually the brothers must fight an epic war to free Sita from Ravana’s captivity. In this war Ravana is killed, his army is decimated and his estranged brother Bhishma is crowned as king.

Ram, Sita and Lakshmana return to Ajodhya, their kingdom, after exile. Ram gets his kingdom back and is crowned a king but his joy is soon shattered when people start questioning Sita’s chastity while in Ravana’s captivity. To keep order in his kingdom Ram must remove Sita as her queen and sends her into exile while she’s pregnant. Sita gives birth to twins, Luv and Kush, in sage Valmiki’s custody.

In nutshell, we all have our Mrigshira, golden deer, moments and it’s always better not to chase those golden deers of desires and sensual pleasures. We are no Brahma’s that our follies would be tolerated by the society of imperfect men. Act in haste and repent in leisure. Since there was no sin when there was no creation and there will be none when this creation is destroyed to be created again. God forgives everyone’s sins but you can never escape the results of your actions. This also tells us that no man can evolve spiritually without a woman and that is why women enjoyed equality from day one and still deserve the same treatment as accorded to them throughout ages. Moreover, it’s not easy to be a highly creative and positive person. There are many more insights to this story. Please comment likewise.

 

ROADIO 

​On 27th August 2016, I had a chance to travel interstate by car to Sydney, New South Wales from Adelaide, South Australia via Melbourne, Victoria. My motive was to travel and meet some old friends and relatives. But I was actually helping Sameer, a God brother, to move to Sydney. During our second leg of the journey from Melbourne to Sydney it came to our notice that there were some  graves on the roadside. We both observed these graves a few times while travelling but didn’t discuss anything about them. As we were more interested in enjoying our journey, the lush green countryside, our chitchat and having fun.

We stopped near a road sign from where Sydney was 615 kilometres away and an emergency phone 2 kilometres. We wanted to ease our legs, click some photos and broadcast a part of our journey on Facebook. At this place, rail track from Melbourne to Sydney, ran parallel to the road almost fifty metres apart. Throughout our journey the country was lush green and so was this place. We walked a little bit and clicked some photos. As we were walking we observed a grave that had a beautiful steel made cross on it.

I suggested to Sameer, “Bhaji (Brother)! We should check this out and have some photos.” He responded with fear, “Bhaji! Please don’t go near the grave and break his sleep. It is not a good thing to go near a grave.” Although I am also afraid of dead bodies and can’t even tolerate anyone bleeding. I even unfriend people online who post violent stuff and/or people suffering. But once a person is dead he/she is dead. It doesn’t matter you burn, bury, or do whatever with the dead body. It only matters as long as we are alive. So I responded, “Bhaji! The person is dead and buried at least six feet underground. He won’t come out. So why fear? Moreover, I am not going over his grave but just standing on the side.”

I was little bit curious and despite Sameer’s stopping I went near the grave and had a close look at it. A young man who was born in 1979 was buried underground. On the cross were mentioned his details and painted the logo “LMR Racing”. I stood there wondering why was he buried on the roadside in a public place? Since it was just a short stop, I asked Sameer to click some photos. He clicked some photos reluctantly. Actually he is a Hindu and I am a Sikh. In our cultures we don’t bury the dead, we burn them instead. So that explains our fear of graves. But I have never been afraid of cemeteries and graves although I detest dead bodies. After all, the death is evident and that is our final reality. 

I kept on thinking and started walking towards our car parked on the roadside. As I was walking I saw another grave besides a big gum (eucalyptus) tree. Despite Sameer’s stopping I again went near the grave and had a close look. A car’s registration plate, ER 405, his details and a cross were fixed on the tree and some flowers were lying at the base. This was a middle aged man’s grave. I didn’t notice when the both men had died. I clicked some photos and left the spot thinking. As we sat in the car, we started discussing why do people bury their dead on the roadside? Sameer said, “Bhaji! These people may have died in road accidents and because of distance from habitations they are buried here.” I questioned, “How come Aussies can’t afford to have a decent burial for their dead in spite of Australia being so rich and civilised?” Then I joked, “Probably they loved the road too much and their relatives just buried them at their favourite place. This is also explained by the signs on their graves.” We had a good laugh and then I decided to write a piece on this incident.

In reality, Australian roads are highly safe because of strict road laws and public awareness. Although your chance of dying in a road accident in Australia is little bit higher than serving the country in the defence forces. It is also a reality that in Australia if you want a decent funeral then you need a couple of thousand dollars. Many Aussies buy funeral insurance for obvious reasons. The reasons being lack of family care, not being dependant on others even in death, not bothering your kin after death, etc. Although it is a good practice but this also shows how broken to the core this country is. I maybe wrong but having a decent funeral for some is a big challenge here and that explains the burial on the side of the road.

“May their souls rest in peace.”

Appreciation

Indian community in Australia is an ethnic minority but major enough to be recognized by major political parties. Overall, people from the subcontinent are in enough majority in Australia that they can easily elect a few polies of their own. But this is a sensitive political issue and it needs much deliberation. I will write about it in detail some other time.

 

Being a minority community in Australia there are some typical challenges we have to face and one of them is celebrating our unique festivals. Being in a dominant Anglo-Saxon corporate culture, ethnic cultural and religious events and festivals are not celebrated the way we celebrate them back home. That is, we don’t have national holidays to celebrate our festivals. So usually what happens is that ethnic people celebrate their festivals at home or their community places on weekends. Some communities also celebrate their festivals by having paid events with a specific social and political agenda.

 

A few years ago, I went to one such paid Indian community Diwali night with my family. The event was hosted in a function center run by the Italian community. The place was decent and the event was organised well. Soon the place was full with punters and VIPs. The VIPs included some Liberal polies from SA and some other besties from the Liberal party. The event was managed by Dr. Hakim, a long-time Liberal underdog, from the Indian community. The stage was managed by Safeer, a popular small fry, together with Dr. Hakim.

 

Both of them were finding it very hard to settle down the audience. They were too eager to kick off the event and enjoy their melodious voices. Anyways after repeated requests and threats from the comperes the show started with an applause. We enjoyed the opening ceremony, songs, jokes, poems, folk dances, the speeches, the artists, the food, the beauties, the dance and the overall chemistry of the affair. But the only thing the punters didn’t like was the frequent interjection by the comperes and demanding their claps. They were so desperate to get some that they went to the extent of taunting the audience with their sarcasm and cheap talk.

 

During this drama on stage I was thinking, “Why do you worry so much about getting the appreciation from the audience? Why do the audience have to clap after the end of any item being presented? If the items are good enough shouldn’t the audience automatically burst in applause? If the show is not good enough people will start leaving or will leave early. Instead of thinking too much about the audience the artists and comperes should bother/ have bothered about putting up a great performance. You should basically enjoy yourself without thinking too much of others.” While I was thinking about the lousy stage coordination by the comperes something dramatic happened.

 

In the middle of the show, after an item was over, the audience clapped mildly and Safeer couldn’t tolerate it anymore. He pointed his finger towards me as if he was listening to what I was thinking. He asked me, “Are you old?”. The audience started looking around to see who he was talking too. I also looked around and thought he was talking to somebody else. But then he pointed out, “I am talking to you Mr, the one who is sitting with your arms closed.” My wife made me aware that it was me.

 

I felt a little bit angry and surprised but then nodded in negation. He then asked, “Why I am not clapping?”. Everybody in the audience looked at me and I felt embarrassed by his silly behavior. Instead of jibing at him and getting dirty with the pig, I responded with a mild clap. I let the matter go but it left a very bad taste with the audience, my family and me. It also made me think of the futility of seeking appreciation from people. I understand that everybody needs appreciation in their life. Some need it more and some less. But contentment is the greatest gift anyone can get. Because approval from others is subjective and is a sign of dependence.

Based on a real life incident. Names have been changed, time and place not disclosed to prevent defamation.