In a pensive mood recently, I was reflecting on how our mindscape is dotted with numerous words, with a few clearly outnumbering the others. One such word that has a dominating presence and there is no denying that is of course – Perfection. How many times have we as children or students been told to achieve perfect scores, as teenagers the perfect life sans the worldly evil temptations, the perfect sculpted body, as married couples the perfect married life, be the perfect son, father, mother, brother sister, spouse and finally as old parents fit into the role of perfect grandparents, but does the list end there? In fact it doesn’t, every day we discover and add new dimensions to the word perfection. The list is endless as is its’ pursuit.
Sometimes I wonder whether perfection is closely linked to and rhymes best with aspiration, inspiration, perspiration or frustration. While I leave each of you to figure that out for yourselves I wouldn’t be wrong to say that what we all would have in common though ,would be giving in to temptation, the temptation of trying to befriend that elusive word at some time and stage of our lives.
What is ironical probably is that we ourselves are not perfect yet make attempts to point out the vices and faults of the people we interact with, are brutally judgmental and spare no efforts in pointing out their imperfections sometimes even deriving sadistic pleasure in their misery.
Each one of us is entitled to have our own yardstick to measure and judge what we count as perfect and the attempts that we have made in that direction and our distance from the finish line. I was in deep thought reflecting on my personal accomplishments so far, when suddenly, I was shaken out of my reverie by the sound of loud drum beats, which almost made me spill the coffee from the cup that I held in my hand as I sat perched on my large French window, overlooking the crowded street below.
The colorful cloud of festivity loomed large, the air was rife with revelry, crackers and loud drum beats made that once in a while welcome intrusion to the peace and quiet of the surroundings. There was something magical about Ganesh Chaturthi – The festival of the Elephant God …… “Wait, Hold on what did I say? The Elephant God? but weren’t Gods supposed to be the symbol of perfection how were the masses worshiping a deity that was in fact far removed from perfection , who didn’t look anywhere close to a perfect body, face and figure ? ’’ But magically, as I looked down and saw the huge Ganesh idol that was being welcomed with loud drum beats, singing, chanting and dancing, I was enveloped with deep respect, a flash of realization dawned on me which made me realize that there was something truly mesmerizing and heartwarming about Lord Ganesha.
Although we could never come even fractionally close to his godly stature nor have the audacity to debate the myriad reasons and explanations of why he is so loved and revered, but the moment I laid my eyes on his regal, stately idol, I was speechless by his magnificence and splendor and engulfed with a myriad emotions, overwhelmed with feelings and a deep and strong realization.
I realized that as mere mortals and individuals we could at best seek inspiration from him and accept that in our pursuit of perfection – it wouldn’t necessarily be the perfect figure, the perfect look, the perfect actions that would make us revered and welcome in society, but the attempt in seeking and drawing out the perfection in the imperfect US!
For making that perfect attempt to bring out the best in US. What then would be the perfect attempt? In my opinion it could start as the temptation to create a perfect recipe for life by adding equal measures of aspiration, inspiration, perspiration and discarding and ruling out any toppings of frustration.
Feeling immensely empowered and enriched with this realization, I kept aside my cup of coffee which had gone quite cold by now, folded my hands, bowed my head in gratitude and mouthed the 3 magical words –“Ganpati Bappa Morya!’’ and added with a smile – “your advent into my cluttered imperfect mindscape came as the perfect cleanser and you could not have timed it more perfectly !