Tuesday, June 21, 2016

On handling paramparaa / traditions

Imagine you get a big, old box/chest that was used by your
predecessors and now it's in your possession.

You open the box.

Inside the box there are several kinds of things. You enjoy your time
sifting through them, checking them out. Many interesting things. Many
of the things seem to also have a higher purpose of reminding about
what is important in life, what should be kept in mind, etc. There are
also some papers, letters in the box, written by the previous handlers
of the box, with some having explanations about some of the
constituents of the box.

Amongst them are also some broken things, some things that were useful
in earlier times but no longer useful. Some of these hold great
nostalgic or emotional value, but some others don't.

There's also a few things that have gone stale or are rotting and
might be giving the box a stench. Some item somewhere might also be
doing something, like emitting fluid, that might harm / damage /
deface some of the other wonderful things that are there in that box.

As a responsible successor of your predecessors, the maintenance and
upkeep of this box is your solemn duty.
And that responsibility includes the task of taking out the stuff
that's redundant or rotting or is now a threat to the other
constituents of that box.

At the same time, the wonderful content and variety of the box has
come about not because of one single originator long back filling it
up at a go, but because everone before you whose hands it passed
through had put in something nice that they felt would make a great
addition to the box. So you can do the same.. after taking out the
stuff that needs to be taken out, look around for things in your life
right now that you think would make great additions to the box too,
and put those in. Be creative!

In the life cycle of this box, there have been 'cleaning out' times
when a large number of the constituents had to be removed for some or
the other circumstances, but the purge was always followed by many new
additions too. The things that went out created space where wonderful
new things could come in. It might just happen that such a time has
come now also when the box is in your possession. If so, don't be too
afraid or sad about taking out the old.. they will make space for even
more wonderful things to come which the next person you pass the box
to, will get to enjoy.

Write down and leave a few messages also in the box if you feel called
for it, to explaining why you put in so and so item, what it's good
for, and (with an acceptance that nothing lasts forever) when it would be a good time to take it out.

Maybe you could also explain why you took something out, if you weren't able to make more changes needed and if the next person you pass this box on to has to resume or finish the job.

So engage and enjoy with this box. While you don't need to keep it
exactly as-is, you also don't need to shut it or throw it out
completely. Ignore both those extreme instructions if you got them
from anywhere. Take your time and explore all the constituents of this
box with a spirit of discovery and adventure and love and gratitude for those before you who made it so beautiful, take out what should no
longer be there, put in new things, leave a few messages, give it your
love and your personal touch. And when the time comes, let it go so it
can be passed on and explored by the ones after you with the same freedom and autonomy that you had.

1 comment:

Pareen Lathia said...

Amazingly balanced article. Love it.

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