I was in an introspective mode when I put up the following update on my Facebook update:
Nothing would have prepared me for the interesting responses I got from my friends. However, only my dear friend @ksekher from Mumbai got it right instantly. Sekhara, u r a genius:)
Most people chose my four year old son Adi and/or Sri Sathya Sai Baba as the most important person in my life. Even those with whom I don't speak about Baba seemed to choose Baba as the most important person in my life. Many of you gave me logical, correct answers. Fact is that you forget I am a simple, sentimental woman. All that logic goes over my creative head. All that I know is to love and write. So, here I am, sharing my thoughts with you on a query that I got so much interesting, insightful feedback on.
To a great extent, that is true but the thing that is overlooked is that I have been such an inconsistent devotee that it tells me I've not given so much importance to Baba after all because out of say ten things he emphasizes on, do i even follow one consistently? Is it that I love him less?
Nope, its just that the effort and the level of importance is not urgent enough in my materialistic mind, so what is the point of me saying that He is the most important person in my life when I don't do anything He says? Same applies with my dad. I adore and idolize my dad but I've never done any of the things he would have been proud to see me do. Same reason, I guess.
With Adi, I think while I am crazy about the brat, I am aware that a child is God's gift, you are given this gift for a while till the time God wants Him back for His own purpose and grooming. The relationship that is based on unconditonal love is like a rented home. You have to remember that anytime, you have to let go and our kids have to go out there for a brighter future not because we want them to go but it is their destiny to do so.
It is difficult for me to document all the responses that I got and I hope my friends will bear with me for picking out a few that seemed to have insightful inputs. I liked the fact that all my friends made an attempt to share their opinions, freely and frankly, and yes, they seemed to know me well enough while doing so, even Jay Menon who cited "Your dad" and then to "Paachakulam Vasu" in his typical witty style.
My dear friend from Kochi, Seema Lal, wrote, "all are equally important... each situation makes each person more important :D safe answer right! :D"
My sister in law wrote, "One tends to love their dad and mom the most becoz they are the first people who you fall in love with. But in your case it is your dad who was holding that position for the longest time until your son's arrival. Now the love you have for y...our own flesh and blood whom you carried for nine months and who you gave birth to makes him more special than probably even the love you have for your dad. But the eternal love you feel for Baba, i am not sure whether it is stronger than these two bonds. So i am totally confused. Or else to you all these three people have their special position in your heart just as any other relationship is to you. But the three mentioned people might be dearer than the rest."
In this context, yes, I must confess that my love for Baba surpasses anything I have ever felt or experienced in life. His very name and form fills me with love that is inexplicable and one that people who know Him not fail to understand. In fact, as a teenager, I have been bullied and been subject to so much ridicule because I always dared to say that He means the world and more to me. However, having said that, I will not dare to say that He is the most important person in my life because that would be boasting an empty claim. I have never practiced even His simplest teachings and therefore, I fail to say that He is the most important person. If he truly was, the manifestation of it should have showed in my conduct and actions.
Just to speak a few words about my mother because I rarely do - The reason that I place so much importance to my identity and freedom to be me stems from the way my mother gave me complete freedom to be who I want to be. That freedom, she told me, is based on equality and for that reason, she always insisted (my dad is conservative, in comparison, prefers his daughters to be gentle home makers than career-oriented, independent professionals) that my sister and I should be professionals, financially independent at all times and be very clear about having a good career. She felt that way because she had always been a house wife, in the background of a very busy, professional husband, and therefore, she always felt that she hadn't had the advantages that we have today - the right of making a career related choice was not open to women of her time, at that point. She always wanted me to do law and I completed law only for her. She had always wanted to be a lawyer when she was young but of course, it was socially taboo and she inspired me to go for law.
Whereas my dad, while I adore him, prefers his daughters to do something that is more conventionally acceptable. In fact, my dad doesn't approve of me working at all. He likes me to spend my time with Adi and take care of my family. Career, according to Dad, is secondary. For mom, its the opposite. Her two daughters having good competitive job growth and career is of utmost importance to her.
To get back to our story, another friend Pooja Mohan from Kochi wrote, " it has to be YOU, cos if not for a mentally and physically healthy you, you wouldn't know who is important or how to love...Ur dad, ur son, ur husband, ur mom, in-laws, and ur lord all will fall into that category of specially improtant people."