Sunday, December 09, 2007

Breaking the Habit

Its been a tradition. Every school examination. I get up and get ready then walk into the pooja room to pray then touch my parent's feet then take off. My dad initially had to remind me every exam morning. It turned into a habit later. Especially in 12th standard with so many exams back to back, I used to just walk into the pooja room without even thinking about it. Basically, I couldn't go to the exam hall unless I finished this.

When I came to stay in hostel for my university life, I had no clue how I would follow the tradition. No pooja room, no parents nearby. When my first exam came, I figured a way out. I used the idols I have in my room and a picture of my mom and dad to follow my tradition. All was peachy. In year 2, there might have been one or two exams for which I forgot the tradition and walked off to the exam hall. But year 3, the habit's completely gone! I had 4 exams. I forgot before my first exam. I remembered that I forgot only when I sat in my seat and saw my exam paper in front of me. I actually remembered before my second exam when I was taking bath. But after I stepped out of the bathroom and reached my room, I forgot again till I reached the hall. Same thing happened for the next two exams. And I felt guilty each time. My exams didn't go too well this semester and a part of me is wondering whether this is the reason. Of course, a bigger part of me tells me that the reason is definitely inadequate amount of preparation. This made me feel less guilty (oddly enough) but made me wonder why I used to follow the tradition in the first place. Was is to ask for excellent grades when I didn't study anything at all? Grades I might not deserve?

The answer is no. Anytime I pray before exams, I only ask for help to remember what I have studied and if I haven't studied well, then I ask for the strength to accept the poor grades that might (erm...will) come my way :P I know it all sounds cheesy but hey, thats how its been in my life. I did feel bad I broke a long standing habit. But I no longer will blame that for poor grades. I feel bad only because it used to be a tradition and I strongly believe in upholding traditions.

There was a couplet I learnt in 6th standard which I still remember.

Dukh mein sumeeran sab kare, sukh mein kare na koi,
Jo sukh mein sumeeran kare, tho dukh kaahe hoi

(Translation: Everyone prays when they face hardships, but nobody when they are happy. If you remember to pray when you are happy, then why do you have to worry about hardships)

Moral of the story.... Whether or not I remember to pray before exams, I should remember to be thankful for what I have. I need to remember to follow Kabir's doha (couplet) and I know I will be fine :)

Vacations are finally here!!!! As clueless loves to sing.... "what time is it?! Party time, its our vacation!" :D :D :D


Clueless said...

"We can sleep as late as we want to, we can do whatever we wanna do!" :D :D

I wonder a lot about these little customs and traditions we follow - why do we do it? Do we really believe in any of it? I guess it doesn't matter sometimes whether or not we know why we do it, as long as it holds some personal meaning, even if it is as simple as "I've always done it, that's why I still do it."

As far as exams are concerned, I'm with you. Gotta be thankful for what we have, and hopefully make efforts to do better next time! :)

havemanynames said...

Hi MG,

I am GOD. I also noticed that you have been ignoring me lately and I am wondering why? Have I not done my job till now by granting your wishes. What more do you expect from me? Since you have stopped praying I do not know what you expect from me. May be you can listen to one of my favourite disciple who once said "The only God to worship is the human soul in the human body. If one cannot worship in that, no other temple will be of any advantage". Let me repeat again, this is GOD writing to you.

soleil said...

Woohoo! Party time! :D haha. Being thankful for everything is important and yes, you will be fine ;) *hugz*

quantumelixir said...

its a wonder if i remember to attend the exam in the first place, let alone praying to do well in it.. :p Just noticed how religiously disconnected I was after reading your post. Please dont make readers feel so bad about themselves.. ;)