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Musings of an Aunty Trying to Turn Back the Clock

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar’s take on the theory of relativity.

At long last, we arrived at zero on the daily countdown our grandson has been forcing onto us for the past six months, towards his birthday, which he celebrated with gusto. He and a handful of his ‘cool’ kindergarten pals had a Spider-Man themed party in the apartment’s event hall; with his papa and sis acting as emcees; and his dadoo (grandpop) as the experienced, in-house magician. It was delightfully heartwarming to see how much they were enjoying themselves with such simple fare, and how very unfortunate it is that we get too serious and resist getting off that pedestal of adulthood to jump into the fray with uninhibited abundance, and once again experience genuine, childlike joy. 

Of course, the enthusiasm my grandson has towards life, versus my lack of that self-same enthusiasm, is quite understandable. His road lies ahead, into a tomorrow, one that he’s in a great hurry to reach; an adulthood that he naively assumes to mean no school; a free-pass to cokes; ice cream and chocolate instead of daal and sabjee; unlimited TV time; and to finally own a mobile all his very own, with plenty of apps, totally clueless that it’ll need the sweat of his brow to acquire. As yet, he’s unaffected and unsullied by real life and incapable of knowing that liberty and complete autonomy is a fallacy at any age and time; rich or poor, man or woman, adult or child. While for me, I’ve trodden this beaten path for far too long and it’ll be but a short time more before I reach the dead-end of my journey. 

But Sri M, who is a spiritual guide, social reformer, educationalist with plenty of books under his belt, and a recipient of India’s third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan, says, “time is neither linear nor within the three dimensions that we perceive. Time is not just the mechanical process of needles on the watch showing the passage of time, but changes and shifts also translate as time; moreover, time is a relative and psychological concept.”

What is to us a few days, translates as a mosquito’s entire lifetime: from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult; the struggle to survive, then to breed before its short life span ends. Likewise, time, for my grandson, is fun; time is energy; time is exciting; while for me, the hours ticking by are scary. To him, it’s always too short a time in which he can play or watch TV; but for me, the seconds on the clock, going tick-tock, tick-tock, are moving too fast for comfort. 

Coming back to Sri M, who was born Mumtaz Ali Khan. He had his life turned around at the tender age of nine, when the apparition of a tall entity with deep set eyes and matted hair appeared to him under the jackfruit tree in the garden. At nineteen, he left his affluent home in Andhra Pradesh in search of an explanation, and he finally found more than he could have asked for after meeting the Himalayan Yogi, Sri Maheshwarnath Babaji. For the next three-and-a-half years he apprenticed for Babaji in the remote and harsh terrains of the Himalayas, and received the spiritual teachings which he has been sharing with the world for the past 31 years from his headquarters in Bengaluru. 

Consequently, time is relative, and yet it existed before the beginning, that is, if there even was an exact moment when time and existence began. Time exists now across the vastness of creation and will continue to exist beyond count, and our limited imagination. So, what exactly is time? Sri M says to start by acknowledging its existence and then recognise it to be something much more than the seconds and minutes through which we gauge it. Then, rather than dissipating the powers lying latent in each of us in useless pursuits, we should awaken them to go beyond both time and space, and finally get off the eternal and ever-spinning wheel of time!

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