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Peace and harmony

By Nickunj Malik - Mar 19,2014 - Last updated at Mar 19,2014

In the third world countries, there is no concept of DIY. Believe me, it’s true. Come to think of it, there is never any need also. To “do it yourself”, that is. In these places, what they lack in infrastructure, they more than make up in manpower. 

So for any given task, there are several people who can do it for you. Take this scenario for instance: Supposing your car breaks down in the middle of the road. The tyre has to be changed or, worse still, it has to be towed away. Do you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to the chore? Not at all! Folks materialise out of thin air to offer help. A bit of money exchanges hands and, before you know it, you are on your way. 

One simply gets used to this kind of culture and becomes quite useless at helping one’s own self. But there are embarrassing moments when one travels abroad to first world countries, where occasionally, something as simple as opening a sauce bottle or a can of sausages, becomes a major challenge. Especially if you look able bodied and mentally stable. The residents cannot understand why you are the way you are. The mystery remains unsolved if they never get a chance to visit your homeland. 

For me, personally, self-help is an alien concept. I never get a chance, you see. There are so many people eager to help me that I am the last person I turn towards. It has always been like this, from the very beginning. Perhaps it has something to do with my diminutive stature. I would add meek nature, but even under the blanket cover of poetic licence, that would be an untruthful description of myself. I realise that. But what I cannot fathom is why people are so keen to rush to my aid. Sometimes, unwanted too. 

Therefore, when I walk into bookstores and see shelves lined with books on self-help, I don’t even go there. I mean what is the point? Of say, teaching myself the art of flower arrangement, or going on a cabbage soup diet, or gardening on my tiny patch of land? Somebody somewhere will do it for me, even without my asking for help. So I never really bother to find out. 

But then I came across the term “inner peace”. I remember exactly in what context I first noticed it. It was at a Deepak Chopra talk that I was writing about for a newspaper some years ago.

This wily new age guru is a holistic, alternative medicine practitioner, physician, public speaker and writer all rolled into one. I was a part of the mesmerised audience and my first question to him was on how to find this reclusive “inner peace”. 

“See, it is simple. When anyone is confused in life, the inner harmony becomes a mythical goal and troubled thoughts or unhappy feelings cannot be turned into inner peace,” he told me. 

“Huh?” I said. 

“Yes,” he smiled. 

“You are going to help me find it, right?” I requested. 

“The secret of inner harmony is that it already exists,” he stated. 

“Where?” I was curious. 

“It is within you. You just have to uncover your inner peace,” he insisted. 

“How?” I persisted.

“Like blowing dust off a mirror or letting the clouds pass away from the sun,” he lectured. 

“Phoo, phoo, like this?” I asked puffing my cheeks out. 

“Exactly,” he laughed.

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