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It’s my destiny! (Karma for dummies)

What is karma? Every action you do, like me writing at this very moment, has a consequence, an effect, in this life or the next. Everything is a matter of cycle. Basically if you do a good action with a good intention, you will sow positive fruits. However if you do a bad action with a bad intention, careful with the backlash! And there is no way to escape... It’s a bit like fatality: it’s inevitable and it looks like an occult force which would determine the events. Nevertheless it doesn’t make the individual less responsible: he is his own master, and everything depends on him, on his intentions and his choice... If your life is full of shit, too bad, there is no much you can do about it, you are carrying bad karma; however you can keep doing good things for the future effects! Just see what Sogyal Rinpoche writes in Glimpse by glimpse:

india,karma,buddhism,religion,destiny,fatality,diwali,noise,crackers,sikkim,rumtek monastery,monk

And to illustrate... One day I did something wrong. What I don't know but as a result, I got a cracker exploding right next to my ear and it was so deafening that I thought it would lose hearing. It was my first Diwali in Mumbai, in 2009. Following this unfortunate incident, I swore I would never spend another Diwali in this city, already noisy in a normal time, and which turns crazy during this festival of lights; they burst crackers (and not small ones, day and night). So this year I went to Sikkim. A very small State, in the North of India, Buddhist like I like it. With mountains, lakes and monasteries. Peaceful. Quiet. I was there, on top of a hill, in the backside of Rumtek monastery, next to the monks’ playground, when, while I was enjoying the view, a young monky... bursted a cracker just next to me, blowing my ear. Karma suffers no exception... I just have to live with it: I am meant to have my ears suffering during Diwali!

By the way, at the time of writing these lines, I hear a valse of crackers. Apparently they are celebrating basilic (Tulsi) - go figure - and preparing for the birthday of the guru of the Sikhs. It's  like another Diwali, which I have never experienced. If this is not the proof of karma what would be? One cracker for each slap I gave my younger brother, I am not close to the end of it!!

india,karma,buddhism,religion,destiny,fatality,diwali,noise,crackers,sikkim,rumtek monastery,monk

The prankster monks of Rumtek monastery, Sikkim


In a man's world...

I stumbled upon this Indian web-series and loved it!!

In the West we have been talking a lot (since 2013 at least) about India and the safety issues for women (rape, harassment etc.); here is how some Indians try to tackle it by educating in an entertaining way. And you realize how a man's world India is... (we forget, we get used to, we don't react anymore when it is a guy doing your pedicure!)

It's the story of an Indian guy who believes that the world is unfair to men and women exaggerating about their situation and suddenly get thrown in a world where the women / men roles are reversed (episode 1). He then experiences getting promoted at work (episode 2), experiences being chased when going out and asking help from the police (episode 3) and finally getting married and living the "housewife"'s life (episode 4).

Don't forget to put subtitles (option at the bottom!):



More than a woman

To start with, what is s a hijra? Neither man nor woman or rather man and woman both... To put it simply, the Government (which recognized them officially in 2014 only) classifies them under the generic ‘third sex’. It thus gathers hermaphrodites (intersex, born with both female and male attributes), eunuchs, transgenders and cross dressers (even if technically, the majority of hijras get emasculated and if there are also transvestites who dress as women for fun and not because they are hijras). 

The tradition dates back to thousands of years when the genre was pretty popular in the Royal courts. They also have had the reputation of bringing luck (that’s why they always come to weddings and births to fetch their due in exchange for their blessings). And then the British landed and discovered this practice; disgusted, they ostracized them and they are often reduced to begging and prostitution. And the quotas that have been put in place last year don’t seem to help much...

If it is clearly not a panacea to be a hijra in today’s India, they have been having their small success at the stoplight and beggars, never short of creativity, have found new ways to exploit this windfall and to compete with them. This is how I came across men dressed as hijra – yes, men who dress up as men who dress up as women. But this is not all! I also met women who dress up as hijra –women who dress up as men who dress up as women. In short, the world has gone crazy!!