1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

I Hate To Ring This Warning Bell - But I have no choice!

Discussion in 'Saturdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Most Gracious Ladies,

    After indulging in nostalgic memories of our romantic pasts, for more than a week and a half, I do not have the mind to start discussing anything serious. Wanted to end this week with Kambar or Bharathi, or at least another malarum ninaivukal from my journals. (Oh, I have reams and reams of them).

    But we do not come here just to relax. We come here to know, to share, to learn and above all to understand more of ourselves. Honouring our informal mission statement, this week, I am taking the enormous risk of opening the Pandora’s Box for the umpteenth time (I have lost count of how many times I opened the dangerous box earlier). And this time a highly dreaded creature comes out, but in all its beautiful, resplendent costume. Talking of this human quality I am reminded of Shurpanaka, the demon-damsel, who in order to seduce Rama, took on the form of a beautiful woman. The great Kambar devotes a rhythmic verse to her

    பஞ்சியொளிர் விஞ்சுகுளிர் பல்லவம் அணுங்க

    செஞ்செவிய கஞ்ச நிகர் சீறடியளாகி

    Now you would have guessed what it is. Hypocrisy. My aim is not to add to your existing stress load. But I have a task to do, which might make you tensed up.

    Imagine you are with your dentist. And an extraction is in process. The only way you can co-operate with the dentist is to stay relaxed and offer the least resistance. My request to you is not much different.


    Relax, I will hand-hold you through this dark dungeon in the human mind and it will be over sooner than expected. Now stretch yourself. Take a deep breath. And remember, stay relaxed throughout the journey.

    Of course once the extraction is over you have all the right in the world to condemn your dentist; you can compare him with others and say that he has been a bore and tells the obvious, but collects his fee.


    Sting me with your words. You are doing a favour to me, by making me think harder and deeper. And you are doing a greater favour to the ILites by making them come to this place in droves.

    There is no better introduction to hypocrisy than his imaginary conversation with an elderly woman – an old joke rendered in conversation format.


    We: You were saying something about your son and your son-in-law.

    Lady: Yup. You know my son-in-law, the best architect in the town. And the most intelligent man I have ever seen.

    We: Really? Did he by any chance design the Opera Hall at <st1:city><st1:place>Sydney</st1:place></st1:city>?

    L: Why should he? You know he listens to whatever my daughter says.

    We: Interesting

    L: Not even my husband did that.

    We: That’s bad. So what did your daughter advise him?

    L: She is such a kind, smart, sweet girl who made him understand that it is not worth the while living as a joint family with his parents.

    We: Then

    L: My SIL is a man of action. He bought a luxury flat in Velachery and they have moved over.

    We: Great news. So, how’s your doctor son doing? I heard that he got the Padmasri Award.

    L: True. But at times even fools get awards, you know. The whole system is screwed.

    We: Really?

    L: You just hear me out and decide for yourself.

    We: Yes.

    L: This idiot, the fool of a first order, good for nothing brat…

    We: Are you talking about your only son?

    L: Yes. He got the Padmasri. But he never thinks for himself. Blindly listens to that bitch.

    We: His wife?

    L: Yup. And that devil mesmerized him into setting up a separate home. This fool, useless fellow threw away fifty lakhs on a luxury apartment in Velachery. That ungrateful dog and his bitch left us, his parents, in the lurch. What do you think of that irresponsible fellow?

    We run away from the lady as fast as our legs can carry us.

    We have seen in close quarters one of the most horrible traits of human mind, hypocrisy. And the beauty is that this quality just steals into our psyches before we can even try to spell the word.

    My very first middle published in 2001 highlighted an instance of hypocrisy. I was so frustrated that I had branded hypocrisy our national trait, as lion is our national animal and peacock, our national bird. I had given an incident where the social forestry department uprooted a huge tree by the side of the road to fence the site and erect a huge hoarding proclaiming in Size 200 fonts “Plant More Trees. Protect the Environment.”

    Hypocrisy as a human failing has been recognised since the olden days. Gita speaks of a fake ascetic who for external appearances appear calm, internally, is in the grip of his senses, as a foolish man. Krishna coins a term to describe that person – mithyaacharaha

    Indriyaarthan vimoodathma mityaachara sa ujjyathe

    Living by his senses, that fool is called a hypocrite.

    In Tamil we have the saying,
    மாமியார் உடைச்சா மண்குடம்
    மருமகள் உடைச்சா பொன்குடம்


    Our great saints have waged war against this quality. You may know about this incident in Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa’s life.

    A lady brought her son to him requesting him to advise her son not to eat too much of sweet meats. The saint asked her to come after a month. When she came again the saint said in soft words, “My dear boy, do not eat too much of sweets. It is not good. Ok?”
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
    Loading...

  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Part 2!

    The lady was not impressed. “You could have said this last month itself.” To which Paramahamsa answered, “Lady last month I was also guilty like him. I was eating too many sweets. Probably Jeganmatha, my Goddess, wanted to correct me. And she sent you along. Had I advised your son at that time, I would have been the worst hypocrite. So in the last one month I have avoided sweets and have vowed not to eat sweets anymore. I now have the authority to advise your son.”

    If any of you feel that you have never been affected by this quality, then please pm the fact to the organisers of the site. When they organise a contest for who tells the most unbelievable lie, your entries might win surprise gifts.

    Let me make it very clear, all of us are hypocrites. And let me also tell you, there is nothing wrong about it, so long as it is within limits. Jealousy is like drugs; there is no healthy dosage of it. Hypocrisy is like coffee or drinks. You can stay healthy with a little; too much of it, or the wrong cocktail, is toxic.

    For example all our social courtesies are built around hypocrisy. If you trace the origin of the word you will find that its Latin root is hypocrisis for which the Greek root is hypokrisis, which means pretense or play acting.

    A writer friend of mine called me on the phone the other night. He is a very nice man and a gifted writer. He has published poetry collections which have been acclaimed by great poets. He went on talking for about an hour and a half without even caring to know whether I liked that or not. He talks so well, all right. But one and a half hours on a cell phone on a working day – I was restless. Finally he asked, “Did I bore you, sridhar?” I said, “Oh, God, definitely not. I would love to listen to you for the whole day. But you see…”
    What I said was a lie. It was hypocrisy in a mild form.

    Where is hypocrisy allowed? To this million dollar question, my answer has always been, “When not having it hurts the other person more.”

    For example I could have told the writer, “Yes you are damn right. You were boring as hell. How can a person go on talking for one and a half hours without checking whether the person at the other end is dead or alive?” These words were in my mind. I would not have been a hypocrite had I uttered these words. But I would have hurt him. And to hurt a writer, a poet, that is the last thing I would do in the world. Did not our Tamil poet warn us?

    ஊருக்குக் கதை சொல்வோர் உள்ளத்தை வதை செய்தால் சீர்மிகும் கவி வாடுமே

    If you hurt he minds of story-tellers, then the world of literature would suffer.

    When your friend is in deep trouble calls you at midnight, let’s say, at the “most inappropriate” moment (hangover from VM thread), the first thing she would say is, “Am I disturbing you?”

    “Sure as hell, you are. You could not have chosen a worse time to call me. It’s mid night and my husband has come down here after three months. And this is…”

    You might think all that but you do not say that.

    “Not at all. Tell me dear. Any problem?”
    You are using pretense not to hurt her. That is okay.

    But when we use play acting to present ourselves in a better light then what we are in there is a problem. Over the centuries showing-off has been perfected as an art form. The problem in showing off is that the person loses touch with reality soon. There is a permanent conflict in her mind robbing her of all possible moments of peace and tranquility.

    I read a beautiful short story several years back. There is a middle class housewife. Her childhood friend has become a great actress. The actress recognises her friend in a meeting and invites her home. They fix a day and time. The actress gives her phone number and asks her to give a call, so that she can send her car.


    Meanwhile the housewife borrows jewels from a neighbour, makes her husband buy an expensive saree for her and other make-up articles for her visit. The story was set in those days where not many houses had phones and STD booths were not there.

    On the D day this housewife keeps all her things ready – the extravagant saree, the jewels and the make-up things. She estimates that it will take about 2 hours for her to shower and get ready. She wants to give a call to the actress right now, so that the actress’ car will be parked before her house for a longer time.

    Dressed in a shabby cotton saree which she slept in the previous night, the housewife rushes out to make a call. The usual place from where she would normally make calls is locked. So she wanders a few streets away and approaches a large house. She requests the person there to allow her to make a call. Seeing the lady’s plight and her shabby dress, the person relents.
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,047
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Trophy Points:
    340
    Gender:
    Male
    Part 3!

    The housewife tries the number several times. She gets a busy signal. Frustrated she tells that person that she is not able to connect. The person wants to help her and when he hears the phone number, he laughs out aloud. For it belongs to the same phone from which she is dialing. The housewife had accidentally reached the house of the actress. Meanwhile the actress hearing the noise comes out to see and is happy to see her friend. She hugs her and takes her in.

    Now if we can imagine the housewife’s mind, when the actress sees her in her shabby dress devoid of any make-up, then we will never like to show off in our lives.

    Hypocrisy becomes a real evil when it is used to preach some thing different from what you practise.

    Our Super Star drinks and makes no fuss about it. In 1996 he was interviewed while travelling from the <st1:country-region><st1:place>US</st1:place></st1:country-region> to <st1:country-region><st1:place>India</st1:place></st1:country-region>. The reporter pointed out to the bottle in his hand. He said coolly I do drink. And I love to drink on the rocks. So what?

    It will be rank hypocrisy only when he talks to his fans against drinking. In fact I love our superstar mainly because there is no tinge of hypocrisy in him. He comes to the public functions without make-up or wigs. He does not hide anything from his fans.


    I remember a smear campaign in the 60s in which a leader was accused of having liaison with the then famous cine-actress Bhanumathi. He did not deny the allegation. He just said.

    நான் முற்றும் துறந்த முனிவனும் இல்லை
    பானுமதி படி தாண்டா பத்தினியும் இல்லை
    Neither am I an ascetic, nor is she chaste.

    That said it all. It endeared him to the masses and ensured his success.

    Once my young lawyer friend was asked to address a Rotary Club on Child Labour. The Club was at that time leading a campaign to abolish child labour in Sivakasi, the place where matches and fire works are made mostly by child workers. The lawyer saw a boy of twelve serving tea and snacks in the meeting.
    He spoke for two minutes.

    “You are advising the entire world not to use child workers. While in this very meeting, you don’t mind using a child to serve food to you. First look into yourself. And eradicate child labour at your place. If everybody does that, there is no need for campaigns like this.”

    As a professional, I have a larger does of hypocrisy in me. So my advising against hypocrisy by itself may be the worst form of hypocrisy.

    But of late I have been developing some kind of allergy to this habit. Ten years back when I used to advise on a risky tax-saving scheme, I would say, “Go ahead. I guarantee nothing would happen.” As if paraphrasing a popular mixie ad.

    But now I play a different card. The real one. This happened about five years back.
    Once a client facing a difficult situation, asked me with all sincerity and anxiety,

    “Sridhar, I hope, there won’t be any problems in this? I want your guarantee.”
    My instinct was to provide that guarantee then and there and collect my fees. But something in the way he spoke moved me. I told him softly.
    “I can’t guarantee that there would be no problems. But I can guarantee you that if there are any, I will be with you. I can guarantee my earnestness but not the results.”

    I felt as if a load had been lifted from my heart. He was also comfortable and went ahead with the scheme. No doubt I collected my fees; but with lesser pinpricks from my conscience.

    Hypocrisy and religion is a lethal combination which has wrought havoc for centuries. Religion is all about symbols. For ages symbols have been confused with what they represent. Thus wearing a religious symbol when you do not have a religious bent of mind is hypocrisy.

    When I was young I used to wear my religious symbol. (srichoornam or what is affectionately known as Othai Namam). I looked great in it. And I started getting undue respect from people. I had it when I went to the college. Teachers started respecting me. I continued till I joined CA. Then I thought that I was blaspheming religion by using the symbol as a cosmetic aid. When I do not do my regular prayers thrice a day, when I do not read the scriptures or visit the temples, wearing it is showing what I do not have. That is hypocrisy. I have abandoned the symbol since them. My love for God has increased after that.

    William Shakespeare gave a highly practical advice on avoiding this dangerous trait. And by doing so he has also provided a fitting finale to this write-up.

    Have more than thou showest
    Speak less than thou knowest


    sridhar/varalotti
     
  4. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    176
    Trophy Points:
    155
    Gender:
    Male
    Sridhar/Varalotti,

    A bell that needed to be sounded, jarring as it might seem! Good post, great theme. As they said in Victorian England, go to church on sundays, cheat the customers all week!!

    Lest I be judged for my thoughts ( as seems to be the wont) and not my words in the post, I am stopping here.

    regards
    Vidya
     
  5. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    70
    Gender:
    Female
    Wow, Sridhar, you really brought us flying straight down from our seventh heavens/ clouds...or whatever place we were happily residing with our memories of VMs.....ouch that hurt, landed with a thud!:roll:
    Yeah i do know this human failing.....sometimes it is too hard to digest when we see it so jarring in other person.....like you have rightly said as long as it does not hurt then it is okay.....but to put up with such people all the time is a real torture.....
    ( well , this is an off aftermath of some happenings here....so dont get confused ....cos i am myself confused:idontgetit: )


    But all said and then you did lead us through this topic, safely.....of course would love to hear more personal instances , so that we all learn and share and try to get rid of this habit! Will think and get back with pesonal details ....hopefully soon....
    Awaiting to hear more from other esteemed friends !
     
  6. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Gender:
    Female
    Sridhar,
    Seeing the long three parts, I thought it will take two or three days to finish reading. Usually, when I read something I have to answer my children many times. At least twice they ask while reading one paragraph. So I stop reading and postpone for next day. This time I didn't even hear, did they call me or not. The three pages provided good reading.

    At many occasions we are compelled to pretend. Or we just act not to hurt others.
    So many situations happens which we cannot avoid. I am taking rest with severe head ache. I hate to talk when having headache. Guests come that time. So I get up and try hard to smile and talk to them. I don't want to tell them my condition.
    Actually we perform many of such dramas.
    But when other person cannot hide his emotions, he/she responds to me with his/her own natural feeling. Definitely, I got hurt. And I do not want to have their company. For me it is hard to suffer if some one behaves in that manner. So I keep myself by not hurting others. Mostly by pretending.

    As you said, before wearing all religious marks, everyone should start to love God from their inner mind. The other one is really deceiving himself and God.

    All your articles touch the dark parts of human mind and I really wonder would I be able to know any really good human being, who is free from all the evils?
     
  7. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,

    A superbly written piece . It brought us straight back to reality after all the VM posts. Now please do not call me a hypocrite, i sincerely mean all the words I am writing!!. Very engrossing post and i did read all the three parts in one go. And there is so much truth in Shakespeares words at the end.

    Yes we are all hypocrites like you said, when we do utter a few untruths about our real feelings so as not to hurt others. I have seen the other extremes of hypocrisy too and it used to bother me so much, that i have indeed landed in a soup a few times for calling the persons involved in it.
    I had to develop the art of hiding my true feelings and wax eloquent so as to get along. And those are the instances when my conscience really bugs me for a long time.

    Well keep the warning bells ringing Sridhar.

    Vandhana
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  8. jothi

    jothi Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,

    Your post on hypocrisy could not have come at a better time in my life. I have been battling the hypocrite in me for the past couple of days. My father is scheduled to get a bypass next week and I did not see the compassion that I expected from my husband. Well I thought about that long and hard and realised that I would have done the same thing as him, if the situation was otherwise. What a hypocrite I was.:bang .I vowed to myself last night that I was going to change myself first and then talk to my husband. It is ironic, that I see this post this morning.
    I happened to have a conversation with my husband about men in general. Most men are hypocrites. When they are young they have the audacity to hit on girls(sightadippanga), but when it comes to guys hitting on their sisters they turn into protective brothers...they dont want that happening to their sisters...
    Most Women are hypocrites too, when it comes to their families. We find ourselves in the middle of two families, (husbands and ours) and tend to have a soft corner towards our own.
    So I agree with you that we are all hypocrites in a way. Shakespeare's words are defintely befitting to ur warning bell.

    Thanks and Regards,
    jothi.
     
  9. anjana

    anjana Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,
    Your warning bells do help me analyse, and gives room for self-improvement.
    Let me make it very clear, all of us are hypocrites. And let me also tell you, there is nothing wrong about it, so long as it is within limits.You couldn't have said it better.
    Hypocrisy is the result of the conflict between our ideals and our desires, between what is and what we think should be and you have elaborated on that very well.We as individuals are always quick in pointing out others as hypocrates and to some degree we are all one.Do ring these bells quite often.
    Love,
     
  10. vidyasarada

    vidyasarada Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Sridhar,

    From the Red Roses and Chocolate Hearts of Valentines Day, straight into Hypocrisy ! I have a suspicion, your tongue was in your cheek when you chose this subject as the dessert for the V.Day Feast ! Like Cootie-cooing on Feb.14th. and baleful bickering on Feb 15th ? Well, thats life I guess - ugly, unvarnished transactions interspersed with Festivals of Hypocrisy ? !

    We don't label ourselves "hypocrites", never !, but just believe that wrongs are not wrongs if committed by nice people like us ! The wrongs we do and the wrongs we suffer are never weighed in the same scales ( like the claypot and the goldpot example)
    Hypocrisy in daily life is an accepted norm as it is often given the label "politeness". It is one of those all too human failings. But I dont think we take any strenuous efforts to overcome it . Because we stick to our belief that it is a necessity , to get by smoothly in life.

    When you say hypocrisy, I remember a funny line attributed to Abraham Lincoln : " Hypocrisy is like the man ,who murdered both his parents, pleading for mercy on the ground that he is an orphan" !!!

    VS
     

Share This Page