Life doesn’t bother what you feel about it

Understand that Life may sometimes appear to be unfair. But there’s no point fighting Life. It’s an exercise in futility.   
Rajesh and Nupur Talwar
Picture Source: Internet/Financial Express
I am still to come out of the shock of watching Meghna Gulzar’s “Talvar”. Based on the sensational double-murder of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, “Talvar” is very, very, very disturbing. Like journalist Avirook Sen’s book on the murder case and trial, the film too points to the injustice against the dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur. The film just corroborates something we all know about our system in India – that it is apathetic, inefficient and in several ways, dysfunctional! There is absolutely no prima-facie evidence that the couple killed their daughter. In fact, all evidence in the case is purely circumstantial and whatever is has been badly collected, analyzed or documented – either by the UP Police, who first investigated the crime and later by the two CBI teams. If anyone got close to solving the murder mystery, it was an upright CBI officer, but he was side-lined when a new CBI Director took over. So, nett nett, the two possible culprits roam free while Rajesh and Nupur are serving a prison sentence, having been convicted by a Special CBI Court, in Dasna jail in UP. They are accused of murdering their only child – only because, of the four people who were (ostensibly) in the apartment that night in May 2008, two are dead and the other two are them!
The more I think of it, the more the unfairness of it all rankles me. But there’s no point in feeling so. The truth is Life never promised any of us any fair-play. You are created without your asking for it. Things happen to you. And you must take each even as it comes in your Life, as it happens, accept what is, and simply move on. This way, while you cannot prevent what happens to you, you can at least choose not to suffer. This doesn’t mean you should not fight injustice. Of course, the Talwar couple are moving the High Court in Allahabad seeking a review of their sentence. But given the long list of pending cases and appeals in that court (like in most other courts in India), it may be some more time (read years) before they get a hearing and a review. When you read Avirook Sen’s “Aarushi”, you will discover that the Talwars have adopted an accept-what-is while being-at-the-problem-to-fight-the-injustice stance.
That can be your learning too. So, while you fight the injustice in any context, make a choice not to be bitter. Bitterness will only cause you suffering. When you suffer you cannot focus on and deal with a situation. You will feel drained and defeated. So, in your own interest, in order that you fight the good fight, you simply must first accept a reality – any reality – for what it is, the way it is. When you accept a reality, you can understand its ramifications better. When you understand something well, you can deal with it wholesomely.
Life is inscrutable no doubt. But it is also a series of happenings. To label any happening or event in your Life as good or bad or ugly or fair or unfair is of no use. Life doesn’t bother what you feel about it. So, when you can’t enjoy a situation, don’t fight it or resist it either. Simply endure it. This is the only way you can be at peace – despite your circumstances.   

Peel off and junk this label called “failure” – to hell with it!

You fail at something only when you can’t – or refuse to – face the reality. Not when you try, fall and don’t achieve the outcome you planned for.
I read an interesting interview with American researcher, story teller and author, Brene Brown, in a recent issue of TIME. Her most recent book Rising Stronghas just been released and deals with the subject of failure. Brown tells Belinda Luscombe of TIME, “We are handling failure with a lot of lip service. When failure doesn’t hurt, it’s not failure. He or she who is most capable of being uncomfortable rises the fastest…Shame needs three things to grow: secrecy, silence and judgment.”
I can relate to every word of what Brown is saying. I come from the view that nobody fails at anything just because the outcomes are not what society expects or what you want. Failure and success are but social labels. They come from judgment. Now, why judge anyone for any reason in the first place? So, when Brown says that one’s capacity to deal with being uncomfortable contributes to rising strong, she’s right! What does being uncomfortable mean? It means you don’t like what you are seeing. It means you are honest to yourself and are seeing the reality as it is. You are not in denial. When you accept a situation, you can handle it much, much better than when you don’t accept it. It’s as simple as that.
A friend of ours is separating from her husband. Now two people, mature adults, are concluding that they can’t be together anymore. Where is the need for failure as a label to come in here? But it does. The families of both people are labeling the marriage as a failure. And they don’t like our friend talking openly about it. They are trying to cover-up the separation as something that is bad, as if something grave has happened. But our friend is very clear. She says, “Listen, it is not working out. I didn’t sign up for this to be unhappy. I am very unhappy in his presence. I am moving on.” This ability to face the reality, to accept an uncomfortable truth that it’s all over (in the context of our friend’s marriage) – this is what determines how strongly you rise from a setback. Earlier this week, actors Konkona Sen Sharma and Ranvir Shorey too handled their separation – or their ‘failed’ marriage per a social definition – admirably. Here’s what Konkona tweeted: “Ranvir and I have mutually decided to separate, but continue to be friends and co-parent our son. Will appreciate your support. Thank you!”
We must all realize that things just happen in Life. We don’t always get what we want. To feel shameful of a situation is never going to help change it. Shame breeds guilt over what you may have done. Covering up an outcome that you don’t like to accept doesn’t help either. It is only going to accentuate your stress. And please don’t judge yourself. We all try. And we often don’t get what we set out to achieve. The logical next step is to try again – and try differently. It is not to sit and brood over what has happened.
I would go a step further than Brown and say there is nothing called failure. Or success. Both are subjective and are defined by a society that judges people far too quickly without ever having been in their shoes. I think you fail at something only when you refuse to face it. When you face a situation, when you see and accept reality, your desire to change that reality spurs you into action. Only through action can there be change, progress – and inner peace!