Each of us is a unique aspect of creation. Love being who you are, the way you are!
Someone who had watched the documentary ‘Rise In Love’ (made by a young film-maker Shalu to explore how love thrives in the face of adversity) on Vaani and me got in touch a few days ago. He said the reason for my ability to withstand the pressures of an enduring crisis (‘Fall Like A Rose Petal’, Westland) was that Vaani has stood by me like a rock. “My wife simply refuses to partner with me the way Vaani does with you. I feel lonely and lost at most times. What should I do,” he asked. I smiled and asked him if his mother and the rest of his family understood him. He said they did. I told him that in my case they didn’t. I pointed out to him that each of us has a different, unique Life design. So, comparing ourselves with others is of no use. It is the surest way for us to invite suffering into our lives.
Comparisons, especially in today’s wired, visible, demonstrative world, may seem inevitable. Yet they must be avoided. The way Life operates is that each aspect of its creation has a path and destiny of its own. The only common thread is the divinity, Life itself, that thrives in each of us. Otherwise, everyone’s story is unique. That’s what makes Life so mystical, so magical, so beautiful and so inscrutable. When you compare yourself with another person you are surely breeding jealousy in you. And you are choosing to be miserable instead of being happy. If feeling jealous or miserable about someone’s Life can get you their Life, then it is perhaps worth the effort. But the truth is nothing, absolutely nothing, can change your Life’s design. It is what it is for you. It is what it is for all those who you compare yourself with.
Instead of comparing yourself with others, get on with your Life. Live it your way. Surely, set yourself up against inspiring benchmarks. But don’t get bogged down if you can’t achieve your own exacting standards. Just keep trying. But do all this without postponing living or being happy. Because every moment that you have squandered in comparing yourself with another person, and have felt sorry for or angry with yourself, is a moment you have not lived!
In the ‘80s Hindustan Lever ran a popular TV ad for its best-selling detergent bar Rin: “Bhala Uski Kameez Meri Kameez Se Safed Kaise” (“How is his shirt whiter than mine?”). Their print ad showed two women, one envying the whiteness of the other’s (Juhi Chawla!) sari: “Mud-Mudke Dekhe Sansaar, Super Rin Ki Chamatkaar” (Super Rin’s whiteness will make the world turn around and look at you!”). Such communication did create memorable advertising but clearly this is not the recipe for intelligent living. So, drop all comparisons, let others be who they are, and you go be yourself, love what you do and love who you are. To quote Shailendra’s lyrics from the immortal song from Raj Kapoor’s 1955-classic Shree 420 (Shankar-Jaikishen, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey): “Mud-Mudke Na Dekh, Mud-Mudke…” (Don’t turn back and look…)!!!