Make peace with an incomplete Life

No matter how hard you try, some part of your Life will remain unfulfilled, incomplete, sometimes, even irreparable….
This is true for each of us, for every Life.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi: Worshipped by legions of fans
Picture: Raghu Rai Source: Internet
The latest issue of Open magazine has a poignant story of Raghavendra Bhimsen Joshi, 69, eldest son of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the late singer-genius. Raghavendra was born through Joshi’s first wife, Sunanda. Lhendup Bhutia, who wrote the Openpiece, talks to Raghavendra about the latter’s just-released Marathi book (also translated in Kannada) titled Ganaaryache Por (Singer’s Son). In the book, and in the interview with Bhutia, Raghavendra tells, with both reverence to his father and with total honesty, the tale of how his mother, he and his siblings had to face neglect and abandonment after his father married a second time, a woman named Vatsala, and eloped with her. “When people wrote articles or books on my father and his personal Life, we would never be mentioned…It was extremely hurtful. Here was this star, a public figure growing in stature, and here we were, neglected and alone,” Raghavendra told Bhutia. Raghavendra believes that as the years went by and as the guilt of neglecting his first wife and children grew, Joshi, who already loved his drink, took to the bottle more. Raghavendra confesses that he never really mustered the courage to either ask his famous father why Sunanda and her children were neglected. And although Raghavendra wanted to be a singer himself, he could never bring himself up to ask his accomplished father to train him. Then, a few years before Bhimsen Joshi’s death, as Joshi lay in bed with a fractured leg, Raghavendra asked him: “You could so effortlessly move people to tears with your voice, how could you be so cruel to your own family?” Joshi did not reply but, recalls Raghavendra, instead cried. Even as Joshi cried some more, Raghavendra took his permission and sang him a song. Again Joshi said nothing. Raghavendra sang for Joshi, one more time, a few years later, as Joshi lay on his deathbed. At the end of the song, Joshi, too weak to speak, gestured to the lone nurse in attendance in the room, with his eyes, what a fine Raghavendra was!
Such a great singer. Someone that legions of fans adored and worshipped. A Bharat Ratna. Yet Joshi died unable to express his love and admiration, per Raghavendra’s version, for his eldest son and without being able to ever acknowledge his first wife and her children in public.
This is Bhimsen Joshi’s story. Gandhi too, per his oldest  Hariram’s point of view, failed miserably as a father – although he is revered and remembered as the Father of the Nation! But none of us is any different. Each of us do have some part of our Life remaining unfulfilled or incomplete. With someone it could be a relationship with a spouse, with someone else it could be with a child. Someone could have a huge health challenge or the loss of particular physical faculty. Another could never perhaps get his career in order. Or someone will have either no parent to look up to or may not have one that understands.
Life deals with each of us differently. Even so, a spot of sunshine is surely ordained in everyone’s lifetime. Just as a patch of pain is. Sometimes, the factor causing pain may end up being a permanent aspect of your Life! When you realize that you can’t do anything to remove that factor which is causing you pain, learn to either accept it or ignore it. Accepting or ignoring the pain will not make the pain go away. But it will surely help you deal with it better. And it may well help you not to suffer.
But the choice to accept or ignore, whatever’s causing you pain, can be made only when you understand that there are some aspects of your Life which will be unfixable. Acceptance is easier in a physical context. For instance, if you lose a limb in an accident, it is easier for you to accept this reality and not grieve over it or suffer. But if you lose a parent’s trust or understanding or don’t get her affection, you will struggle with both accepting or ignoring it.
Intelligent living, however, means to be able to see a pattern to your Life – with regard to your relationships or with regard to those aspects that don’t seem to have ever worked and to simply move on. That’s when you will be in complete peace even with an incomplete Life!

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