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Atoning for my sins

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The first thing that I read in The Hindu everyday is the obituary column in the Sports page. I read it to see how many of my age group have kicked the bucket. The consoling factor is that, according to the law of averages, I have another 20 years to live though occasionally a few of my age group are in a mighty hurry to practise football with buckets. I have every intention to hold on tenaciously to planet earth and with good friends like you and a host of others lending a hand, I am on a song!


    I do, however, panic a bit on days when I see more than the accepted level of sixties taking wings. I suffer on such days all the telltale signs of fatalistic ailments like ectopics, sweating, raised BP et al. A more cheerful Hindu on the following day brings me back to my normal self. On one such gloomy day when The Hindu was full of obituarial references to a large number of sixties, I started gearing myself mentally for the interminable journey. My mind started visualizing what it would be like crossing the serene River Vaitharani on my way. Suddenly I remembered that I had to atone for all the sins committed during my long march through life.

    I shut myself in my room, closed my eyes and sought Divine pardon for all the sins I could remember having committed. I was ashamed that the list never seemed to end but I was glad in the end that I could bare my soul to Him and felt much lighter. And I vowed that I would never commit these sins again:


    Age 1 to 10
    • Pouring coffee on my elder brother’s assignment note books
    • Giving threadbare the details of fights between my parents to the inquisitive lady next door in return for some toffees
    • Catching dragon flies and tying a long piece of thread to their tails
    • Pretending to be very sick to avoid going to school
    • Hating my mother for making me do things that I disliked most like taking bath

    Ages 11 to 20
    • Deflating the tyres of my neighbour’s cycle
    • Demanding bribe for doing small errands for my parents
    • Forging my father’s signature on my progress reports
    • Cutting classes to go to movies and sports events
    • Ignoring the rainbows and looking at the neighborhood girls instead
    • Listening to the titillating stories of seniors with a wide open mouth
    • Reading clandestinely the books banned by my parents

    Ages 21 to 30
    • Taking to smoking in a big way for the next 20 years
    • Reading only the back cover of the most talked about books and bragging about them as if I have read them in full
    • All the smoke I exhaled in air-conditioned rooms
    • Remaining adamant knowing fully that I was being unreasonable
    • Not returning the books and cassettes that I borrowed from friends
    • Telling every classmate(F) that no one affected me as much as she did
    • Spending a lot of time on useless literature

    Ages 31 to 40
    • Living ostentatiously knowing fully well that it was beyond my means
    • Spending long hours in clubs and reaching home after my kids had gone to bed
    • Explaining such delays as necessitated by problems in office
    • Avoiding problems in office by going for field inspection
    • Not smiling even once on many days
    • Sleeping through the post lunch sessions of expensive training programmes
    • Not carrying out many of my commitments to my family

    Ages 41 to 50
    • Delaying my voluntary retirement from the Bank till I was 48
    • Having been a sycophant for petty professional gains
    • Not casting my vote in important elections
    • Covering up my shortcomings with clever arguments
    • Being unnecessarily rigid to my clients to demonstrate how above board I was
    • Plucking the flowers from my neighbor’s garden for doing pooja

    Ages 51 to 60
    • Telling youngsters how righteous I had been all through my life
    • Bribing the powers that be against my conscience
    • Not taking many crucial decisions and allowing things to take their own course
    • Missing glorious sun rises due to my late hours in clubs

    Ages 61 to date
    • Soliciting praise and adoration
    • Not paying as much attention to others as I expect them to give me
    • Telling people that age is only in the mind while worrying sick about growing old
    • Pretending to be Mr.Clean while in reality being a living garbage bag
     
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,
    You first line reminded me so much of my late father-in-law..thats what he used to do as well..I too sometimes glance so as to see if there's someone local I might know of..This would have been a difficult topic but for your expertise..you have made it so light reading in your inimitable style. You said it right with the lines we have to atone for all the sins committed during our life ( I think I can use the plural we as opposed to the pronoun "I"). Your list reminds me of purgatory period..I for one cannot remember back to the age 1 to 10 category..your 11 to 20 reminds me of pranks more innocent..21 to 30 makes for more light reading..making me think "IS this IT"??. All in all a mild purgatory period may I say?..Oh You are just fine..I just finished reading the list and trust you me that you are in the list of angels..and the Gods are smiling at you..As I am sure you understand these comments can only be made with a relative perspective in mind and I am only authorized to use me as the relative to point..Yet another interesting topic and great style and manner of writing which is such a treat to us readers.
     
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC
    What a superlative and profound response! You have literally made my sins a kind of reference list! When you say that the Gods are smiling at me, you seem to have indicated that these are within the tolerance limits set by Gods for sinning! That statement eases my conscience a lot.
    Your statement 'I am sure you understand these comments can only be made with a relative perspective in mind and I am only authorized to use me as the relative to point' is a profoundly eternal truth. No one can judge another on absolute terms; it can be only vis-a-vis his own personal conduct.
    Sri
     
  4. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniyasir,

    I read this post last night, wanted to come up with a repartee witty and wise. And sadly for me, inspite of raking my brains could not come up with even a hi-bye reply. This post is absolutely out of this world. I can never cease to marvel at how you can spin a moral from everything around.

    Mea Culpa! I too check the Obituary in the Mathrubhumi paper first thing in the morning. The font takes eternity to download, I strum and wait. My husband says that I seem to derive some morbid pleasure reading about the deaths in my lil part of the world. But, I dont read it for fun. Sometimes, we find an acquiantace has passed on peacefully. Another times, it is an old foe. And even then, their death does not content, the sins of the dead are easily condoned and forgotten. Particularly sad, was to read about the death of a school friend leaving behind an infant son. Reading the local obituary is a cathartic experience. It emindins me of my own mortality, that I too will pass some day. And if lucky, someone somewhere will read about it and think about me for a moment before clicking the mouse to the next link.

    Christ said something like let who he has not sinned cast the first stone. So, I have no right to judge your sin-list. But, they look so natural, obvious and innocent. In my book, these would hardly be sins. Much of what you confessed is just a rite of pasage into a more sublime state of physical being and mental maturity. I wouldn't know what the seven cardinal sins are, but I know for sure that I am guilty of atleast six of them.

    We consider stealing a sin. Robin Hood had a different definition to that. In Africa, it is a sin for the locals to steal from other locals. But it is not a sin to steal from the expatriate employees. In Mauritania where slavery is till legal, it is a sin for the slave to try to escape from the master. The sin register looks different everywhere and sinning is a relative art.

    Human as we all are, we cannot escape sinning. As long as we accept that we have sinned, as long as we are not self-righteous, I assume we all can be redeemed morally. I am reminded of a lil confession made by my favourite person, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. As a Buddhist monk, He is not allowed to eat after sundown. But Dalai Lama has a snacking habit and he often keeps munching well after dusk.He said with a twinkle in His eye that He did it knowing it was a sin. But to atone, He did a few extra roundsof Om Mani Padme Hum. And Buddha condoned Him dusk after dusk.

    I love that philosophy and acceptance. To sin hurting no one, to accept the sin, to atone and then to sin again and go on. The cycle of life is only as eternal as the cycle of sin.

    Loving you, loving your posts! Cheeniya, keep rolling!

    regards
    Vidya
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Oh, you have started atoning for your sins, by confessions?! Ofcourse, some did make very interesting reading, no doubt ! But you have written the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth (I hope) and perhaps left out more "unmentionable" sins !

    One of what I liked best is your admitting
    Not smiling even once on many days
    Now, you have given me a topic for my next blog - badluck for ILites, I can hear you saying !
    Well, your friend is very miserly with smiles ( I am sure you will retort, how he was all smiles whenever he saw you....), I cannot forgive anybody who gives the same repeat performance and punishes those who live with them !

    Thank God, we were not classmates - otherwise, I would have commented for the following line
    Telling every classmate(F) that no one affected me as much as she did !
    My return comment would have been, you know what !

    Well, when I rewind & think back, I cannot recollect any such simple sins that I committed.Not that I was ever a goody goody girl - never, infact. Studying in a co-ed college, I used to be mobbed with L letters from classmates & seniors. I used to put on a serious face and tell them that I had come with a firm decision to concentrate only on my studies and not to play around. But, I had a "separate channel" going on with my young, brilliant, handsome professor, whom I have writeen about in an earlier thread of mine.Now, tell me, did I commit a sin?
    But, I cannot help admitting that just like you, I commit all the sins you are committing in the age of 61 plus.
    Sri, can't help mentioning, you are posing yourself to be your own competitor in posts heavily laden with very enjoyable humour.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  6. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidya
    Yet again you have produced a response that sounds a lot better than the original thread! With great difficulty, I restrained myself from cutting and pasting it as an addenda to my thread.

    Having said that, let me now proceed to, in the clichéd phrase of my erstwhile Bank’s style, advise you seriatim as under:

    It is interesting to note that you too have a similar interest. What you say about the sins of the dead is quite engaging. It is perhaps because we are aware that nothing can be done about the dead, we tend to condone and forgive their sins. We are only too conscious of the fact that if we continue to harbour it in our mind, we’ll be only punishing ourselves for their sins!

    Any thoughts of our mortality can only have a sobering effect on us at least for a while. But I have always wondered how people would react to our obituarial reference. A man’s character is truly revealed in the manner in which his end is taken by his kith and kin. I know of a famous Doctor in Coonoor who was very curious to test this. One day he caused an announcement to be made that he was no more. Coonoor being a small town and he being one of the very few who could use a stethoscope properly, the news spread like wild fire. All roads led to his house. People were lamenting about his sterling qualities and everyone looked as sad as possible. Then the Doctor made a dramatic appearance. The people looked stunned and perhaps felt cheated. Some of them even spat on the ground in disgust and all this sight perhaps would have made the Doctor think that he would have been better off dead!

    I wonder if the seven cardinal sins barring one or two would be relevant in today’s context. Sloth, Lust, Greed, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Pride are not reckoned as belonging to the same class. Most may not know even the meaning of sloth! Lust is about the only one that continues to enjoy the ‘cardinal’ status. Greed, envy, wrath and pride are the hallmark of any successful man. These are the motivating factors that egg him on to perform better and better. If we look at the components of gluttony viz. eating too expensively, eating too much, eating too eagerly, eating too daintily and eating too fervently, I am sure all of us are gluttons! We also have the awesome marketing gimmicks of the manufacturers of eatables aimed solely at making a glutton of everyone!

    Perspectives never play a greater role than in determining what a sin is. From what you write, I see that even ethnicity and geography play a role in this. Your statement ‘To sin hurting no one, to accept the sin, to atone and then to sin again and go on. The cycle of life is only as eternal as the cycle of sin.’ about sums up my view too to nicety!
    Sri
     
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Having known Vish for many, many years, I know that he has enough flexibility in his facial muscles to manage a smile. In fact, during my Banking days, I have never seen his face sans a big smile. But your accusation is well taken. I am aware that it is such a strain to keep smiling when there is no reason to smile. Create enough opportunities for him to smile!

    Dont rewind too much for the simple reason that you cant take us there. For those who are used to your Githopadesam and lip smacking recipes, it will be difficult to imagine you as a coy college girl causing young men to flood you with Prempatras!

    Are you in possession of a list of all the sins that can be committed post-60? If you have, I would love to have a copy. I dont want to overlook any of them!
    Sri
     
  8. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir
    Thanks for a wonderful reply to my simple post..You did make me feel special and not flippant as my post was just another ordinary post..But that's how you anwer each one of the posts here and I am sure I am not in err to say thats your endearing quality for all readers here..:hatsoff
    o.k coming to business and wearing kulla
    ...
    andha amma edho
    andha naal nyabagam
    vandhethe..:banana vandhethe. :banana.vandhethe..
    enru "mobbed with L letters" :rotfl
    enru yedho cholla poga
    neenga adhai oru "pinch of salt"
    kuda eduthuka theriyama :confused2:
    "Dont rewind too much".. enrum
    "Create enough oppurtunities for him to smile"..
    enru chollee
    list veyra kettu teenga!! :notthatway:
    ennanga sir neenga
    list ellam keekatheenga
    appuram avanga "Singara Chennai"
    illai illai "Mattamana Madurai" :twisted:
    avangalukku letter kuduthudu enru
    sollikittu nadaka pooranga:queen
    namakku edhuku sir indha vambhu
    amam..amam..amam..amam.:shhh:.
    enru thaliyaii aatuvom
    What say you now ?????:wink:
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Oh, so you think, I am not worth even a pleasant smile from your friend ? Why bother to create opportunities & get back only frowns? Not worth at all !!

    Now, now, premapatras continue through out life (now, don't get me wrong again for this simple statement) & have nothing to do with
    Githopadesam and lip smacking recipes
    I am sure you were never at the receivng end of premapatras & now, "seething" with
    "--------". I understand, my elderly friend !

    Yes, I am PM ing you, suggestions for enjoyable, harmless sins that can be committed post 60.
    You are trying hard to create a "holy image, elderly image" etc for me.Let me not waste your efforts & post them here !!
    Love,
    Chithra.


     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear AC
    As a kid, you might have played with an alarm clock as all of us have done. You must know what happens if we wind or rewind the clock beyond a point! The spring breaks and wont come back to its original position. I have advised her not to go too far behind and put the tensile strength of her mind to a great stress only in good intention. If she gets stuck there and starts reciting nursery rhymes, it wont look nice!
    Sri
     

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