Monday, December 9, 2013


Lying down in the car, feeling sick because of some smell that we could not figure out, Raghav's mind still did not stop what it so loves to do - think, imagine and wonder!

The person driving our car got a mouthful from another car driver, was honked at and shown fingers, while we were making our way through the traffic in Madurai. Everyone in the car was discussing about how if our car had a Tamil Nadu registration (it has a Karnataka one now!), we would be given more respect and not be treated like outsiders.

Raghav listened to all that and asked :"Amma, who is an outsider?"
It was only as I began thinking about ways of telling him the meaning of that word, that I realised what a profound question it  actually was. As I was gathering my thoughts and words, my husband attempted to answer the question by drawing a comparison to family and how people who are outside of  or don't belong to that group are called 'outsiders'. I then added what I felt - that it was all in the minds of the people in the group - what they thought of the others, as to whether the others were outsiders or not. And as I was saying all that, I realised this - that the words that we use, often make up our thoughts and beliefs.

Raghav was lost in thought. I guess he still could not see the point of using a word like "outsider".
"But then, why would someone look at or think of you as an outsider, when cars are built and meant for traveling from one place to another?", he asked. Good question.

For the rest of the time in the car, Raghav pondered over this and asked us more questions -
"Who owns the earth?" was the starting point.....and that led to others like "Who owns the planets, the sun?", and so on. He answered most on his own too, saying that we were living on the earth, which is a part of the sun's family, and that the sun was a part of the Milky Way's family and that was a part of the Universe's family. All discussions like this one often end in only one word in Raghav's dictionary - "The Universe"!

But I like the way he always puts things in perspective for himself and for me. I like the way many or most of our conversations like this one involve looking at ourselves as part of the bigger picture. I like the way he builds a world that is free from beliefs and thoughts tied to words like these. I love these unexpected discussions that open up, often like Jack-in-the-boxes, to hit home a forgotten truth.

So where do we belong really?
Are we outsiders at any point in our lives?
Why do we feel that we are outsiders anyway?
What do we own?

Those are just a few of the many soul-searching questions that we touched upon here. I am sure there will be many more! And I will wait for them to spring up, wake me up and shake me up, in their own time :)

1 comment:

  1. wow.
    vasudhaika kutumbam.
    what a wonderful child Raghav is.


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