It’s beautifully enigmatic as to which among the two is an encompassing entity, the water or the pear shaped vessel that it’s poured into.One is the rigid, impermeable vessel that’s shape giving
Other is the flexible, skilfully deceptive water, that’s shape taking. It’s in the head as much as in the perceived emotion attached to one’s object of musing.Beauty indeed is in the eye of the beholder.
The other day I was at my pet temple, part of a daily ritual. The lord’s deity’s has pretty much remain unchanged since the first time I’d gone; embellished with ornaments to value higher than the GDP of a third world nation on some days or modestly dressed up to look like a working class demigod on some; depending on the whims & fancies of seasonal festivities. Basically over the years, I’ve got acquainted with the deity and its opulence well enough. Well enough to not be awestruck and familiar enough to overlook some facets. Contempt or not, familiarity definitely does breed indifference, even to the most amazing of manifestations.
This day was special than generic, courtesy the epiphany it entailed. My eyes directly went for the lord’s feet, his lotus feet actually. That’s when I realised its nonchalant prowess and the sway it would have on a soul at a designated time. It was ironic that the most beautiful and divine part of the deity, should be the lord’s naked feet made of black stone, the only un-embellished part. It made me realise my insignificance in the larger scheme of things, a feeling usually reserved to stargazing.
I was overwhelmed by a stream of emotions that rolled down the cheeks as tears; a moment I realised anxiety and peace could co-exist. Anxious by the guilt of taking this piece of infinite energy for granted. Guilty by the gratuitous reverence of featuring it alongside daily routines like brushing and bathing. Peaceful that my soul had found its beckoning, a higher authority to surrender my ego without much adieu. A supreme personality whose awareness made obeisance such an organic process, The lord’s feet that day taught me a lot more about spirituality as a concept in a matter of minutes, than my post puberty life had in a whole decade.
When I was bastardly enough to round off the Lord to generic significance, you could imagine the reverence I would’ve attached to my parents. Familiarity definitely has bred copious amounts of contempt in this case, all the more given the fact that my workplace ain’t different from my home. My parents have become a daily feature in my life, not that it’s such an outlandish thing for other people. Just that it doesn’t help that I’m a pesky private person, who could buy privacy on e-bay if traded.
So having to interface with dad in an informal space and in an official capacity sort of screws the head in terms of demarcating mind spaces for familial fondness and hierarchy stiffness; that too under the same roof.
Reverence here is a very thin line to tread in terms of parents; given the fact that its exercise happens in an informal set up and isn’t as extramural as paying obeisance to the lord, in terms of spontaneity. After growing up, parents become your friends and directing gratitude and reverence to people you have inconsequential tete-a-tetes with; is a strange…rather evolving concept that happens in a subtle evolutionary manner in sync with one’s emotional maturity as an underlying thread.
The habit of touching elder’s feet was imparted at an impressionable age to me as a part of a doctrine directed at preserving an elderly culture aged multiple centuries. As I grew up; I tweaked the habit to fall in line with my moral code. So I stopped touching the feet of all and sundry based on the underlying rationale that age doesn’t lead necessarily to nobility. Rather I fell at the feet of people I looked up to in terms of virtue or as an act of expressing gratitude. So touching my parent’s feet became a regular ritual. A purposeful act of expressing gratitude in the process of receiving their blessings. Deep inside I figured out that; this was a process of preserving my ego by knowing to surrender it at one place. Contradictory? Well, not exactly.
Ego if founded well is a virtue than a vice. A luxury only the honest can afford. Like other resources it is expendable. This act of knowing where to let it go, who to surrender it before is a wonderful process of discretion which lets one to preserve it, in the process allowing him to expend it manifold times by the leverage attained.
In short the places we surrender our ego, charge it for use at other places.
Who better than my parents to feel humble before. Letting go off my ego at their familiar, yet congenial feet is a therapeutic process that makes me a more thankful individual with every iteration, reassuring them of my reverence and love. In short, it’s an humbling experience that lets me be proud.
Touching your soul mate’s feet is altogether a different experience. The firmness in your hold shows her the extent of your devotion. The manner you run your fingers on her feet, caressing them radiates passion. The process by itself lets her know in an un-fussy manner,the vantage point you’ve given her in your life.
At a surface level, they are the ones we have regular exchanges with- verbal and non-verbal, latter flattered popularly as “making love“. So to intersperse a superfluous reverential act into this kind of a peer-to-peer ecosystem earmarked for beings, celestial and elders is a rather cerebral concept.
This barter for solace at a loved one’s feet is a subjective process, endorsement to which depends completely on how romantic a person one is.
If obeisance to Lord’s feet marks surrender to his inundating authority and the parent’s feet exudes reverence and gratitude. The beloved’s feet in the romantic syntax, represents reassurance and security. There is no overwhelming sense of the divine authority, a visible generation gap, a spiritual pursuit nor a affiliating bloodline; which makes the act of touching the feet of one’s beloved all the more special by the sheer exercise of autonomy sans conventional endorsements.
A pure, unadulterated display of love.
It took me a while to figure out the myriad emotions involved in the contour of the feet that I was tempted to put my epiphanies down. Probably in all likeliness these are mental escapades of an abstract person, who takes pride in ensconcing in the cozy confines of his over indulgence. Or probably not. In which case, there is a layman sanctity attached to the process of bringing down one’s upstream faculties like the head and the hands in contact with a downstream faculty like the feet of another person as a mark of reverence.
It’s a beautiful process of bowing down by an evolved entity, a wonderful creation in himself in an endeavour to enshrine his reverence for another magnificent entity who managed to tug at his soul strings.
To me, feet of an important person is a sanctum sanctorum of sorts-to tame my ego, direct my gratitude and cultivate congeniality. To others, it might just mean a shoe size or a pending session of pedicure.