Friday, 17 April 2015

To forgive is divine

My experiences over the past couple of days, detailed in my earlier blogs, has given me an insight. The way I used to understand the saying, “To err is human, to forgive, divine”, was like this: People who err are being only human, but those who forgive others are being more than just human, ie. divine.

That’s not how I see it now. My present interpretation is: To err is second-nature to humans, but to forgive is not so easy; it requires divine intervention and Grace. I’m not saying that people have no responsibility in the matter. One must, at some level, want to let go of all the bitterness, pain and hunger for vengeance. One must, at some level, make a conscious choice to be happy and free, as opposed to resentful and tied up to the past.

However, having taken this conscious position, one cannot consciously forgive as an act of volition. One may say, “Jao, maaf kiya” but the heart is not cleansed by just those words. Only the rainfall of forgiveness from above cleanses the heart and soul, makes you feel genuinely loving and caring for the other person, as opposed to feeling sorry for yourself and aggrieved. It makes sense to pray for this rainfall and to wait patiently, with faith, for the prayer to be answered.

My prayer was answered in the past couple of days. You know that fresh saundhi-saundhi khushboo that rises when the first showers of the year fall on the parched earth? I’m intoxicated by that smell now, rising out of my own mind…

(Postscript: I’m not a teenager in the throes of a pehla-pehla pyaar, going through romantic tiffs and patch-ups with his sweetheart. I’m a tired middle-aged guy after 17 years of marriage, just come home after a hard day’s work, which involves more than three hours of sweaty commute by train and taxi, and three client meetings. I believe what I write will continue to hold true when I’m an old man of seventy or eighty.)

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