Baduku jatakaabandi vidhi adara saahEba
Kudureneen avanu pELdante payaNigaru
maduvegO masaNakO hOgendakadegOdu
padakusiye nelavihudu- Mankutimma
“life is a horse cart. Fate is it’s driver. You are the horse. He (the driver) decides the passengers. Marriage or funeral, run whichever way you are asked to. If your legs fail, you have the ground to support you.”
This is probably the first verse from ‘Mankutimmana kagga’ that I got by heart. The meaning is fairly simple. There was no need for me to go through the book which explains the meanings of these verses or the dictionary, to get it. Every now and then I remember this verse and I have been lucky to just appreciate it from afar without finding myself in a situation in which one needs the solace that can be obtained by the last two lines.
You are only a horse. You have no control over the passengers. The driver takes in whoever HE wants. Your parents, siblings, children, friends, relatives and any one with whom you may come in contact during your life time. – If they are pleasant, enjoy their company. If not, tolerate them, their actions, mind and moods. You did not select them and you can not reject them.
You have no control over where you head, either - The happenings in your life. It could be things that are good and enjoyable or those that make you sad and depressed. Marriage-meaning everything that is pleasant, good or enjoyable, Funeral-you got the meaning, it is not your choice. The driver is directing you. You are not responsible for your actions. Enjoy or simply bear. No choice.
Yesterday I came across this sentiment being endorsed by a very unlikely character. Calvin of all people! In his own way and his own version. You know Calvin don’t you? The boy who carries squashed bugs, flies and spiders in his lunch box and has a tiger for company! You will find him confidently rolling full speed downhill in his roller cart dragging his reluctant companion and flying off the cliff! I was enjoying some of the Calvin and Hobbs comic strips and came across this one: Calvin walking with Hobbs on a starry night
C: Do you believe our destinies are determined by the stars?
C: Oh, I do.
H: Really? How come?
C: Life’s a lot more fun when you are not responsible for your actions!
The comic strip made my thoughts run astray and ended up with this piece. Having started it let me finish.
As long as the load is light, company pleasant, road good, mood happy, run along merrily. Bad luck strikes, load gets heavy or road goes bad? Still you can’t stop running. Run along hoping for better times. Can’t run anymore? Legs giving way? Are you sinking? Don’t despair. The ground is there to support you.
Now, what is this ground? This is left to one’s imagination. I feel what Sri DVG means here is the God or the belief in god. If your fate has driven you to such a situation where you feel you are sinking, the belief that the god is still there-keeps you up. So, do we need to believe in god? One need not, if one is so confident about one’s legs. When that confidence is lacking, it is better to have the support of the ground. I feel Sri DVG himself was not sure about God. Look at this.
DevarembudadEnu kaggattaleya gaviye?
Naavu kaaNalaaradudelladara oTTu hesare?
Kaavanorvaniralke jagada katheyEkintu?
“Is god a dark cave? (something that we can’t see or realize)The name which encompasses everything that we can’t see or understand? If there is a caretaker why is the world like this? What are life and death?”
But he chose to believe in god for his own benefit. And suggested the same through ‘baduku jatakaa bandi’. Just like Sri Rajaratnam, whose ratnana padagalu express a similar feeling in the poem ‘devru’
Nanagen beda nin budwaada
Nanagu ninagu baaLa bheda
Nan taapatren muLugistaite bagavantan esarin sakti
Adake nange bagavantan esru andr aapati bakti!
“I don’t need your advise. You and me have lot of differences. The very name of god,(or the belief) gives me strength to bear my difficulties. That is why I worship him.” It is my belief and it gives me relief.
I intended writing the calvin and hobbs strip and two lines of baduku jataka bandi and ended up with all this. I will stop here.
Our collection from Lalbagh
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