My writing about my life experiences is in a way an avenue for my own self healing / clearing and too, in presenting to readers who may connect with what I have to say in regards to their own respective life journeys.
I’ll start here by relating on aspects of stuff in my life that I had impactful aversions to, and further to the insights as to why this was so and where I am now finding harmony with this, 40 years down the road.
Its a path of reconciliation of sorts, coming face to face with unwanted patterns and conditioning of old, recognizing them, understanding why they were there, with regards the role they played, acknowledging this and coming to terms that I no longer have to hold on to these. And in doing this, I set the stage to free up my mind and energies to move forward lighter and also to look back and discover the beauty and harmony that actually existed within that I was once averse to.
If you relate to what I’ve just mentioned, consider where in your life, do you see this play out in your own and what can you do henceforth to set your own stage for transformation.
What I’ve written here is something that I’ve always kept to myself and not even the people closest in my life are probably fully aware of this, Well its out now.
I currently live in Perth, Australia, but I originated from Malaysia. I am Indian by race and I am what I’d term as a 3rd generation “Malaysian Indian”, on the basis of my great grandmother emigrating from South India to Malaysia. While Tamil was my mother tongue, I grew up with English as my main language. I myself though have never been to India, well one day I will.
Culturally and behaviorally, I see (well my view at least) a difference or distinction between the Indians born and bred in Malaysia in contrast to those in motherland India. For that reason too I’ve never quite identified myself with the ethnic cultures and dispositions of those from motherland India. That world as I then viewed it was a case of “Us” and “Them”. Even for that matter, as you’ll discover below, I also never quite fully identified myself with the ethnic cultures and dispositions of Malaysian Indians as well.
Up towards my teens and into my adult life, I found myself being quite averse to aspects of Indian culture and really “anything Indian”. I won’t say it was so in total, but it was significant enough.
Strange one would say, given that is my heritage.
I had this intense dislike for Bollywood movies, especially Tamil movies. With Hindustani movies however, somehow that seemed more tolerable, but still definitely not my cup of tea. And given Bollywood movies and songs go hand in hand, the same aversion existed within me for Tamil and Hindustani songs, here too with me being a little more tolerable towards some Hindustani songs.
These movies (and culture) for me were a representation of “too much drama”. Well those who watch Bollywood movies will know what I mean (well maybe some of you). To me the “drama” in these movies represented and portrayed a host of negativity, sorrow, pent up anger, narrow minded mentality and focus, glass half empty attitude, etc. Hang on one would say, there is beauty, harmony and joy in the songs and the dancing, well sadly I never saw that or related to it.
For me, all of this was in fact anchoring to the “drama” I observed in real life around me, family, friends and especially in general within the Malaysian Indian community. The intense dislike for Tamil movies came from this and my “over exposure” to it growing up as a kid.
I saw the Indian community in Malaysia as taking on the aspect of “Life Imitating Art”. A lot of them seemed to emulate the unhelpful “drama” of these movies into their daily life and this was in turn projected onto people they interacted with. I truly believed that absent the influence (“drama”) of Bollywood movies, the Malaysian Indian community in general would possess a greater degree of consciousness.
I never quite resonated with the mindset, character, temperament (looking for the right phrase ..LOL ) of the typical Malaysian Indian and in particular that of the typical Indian male. I just never fully jived with it and with the associated bravado.
I’d like to emphasize here that I do not intend any disrespect or disregard to any persons or aspects of communities mentioned. What is being related here is my story, as a result of my own experiences and conditioning … read on.
So here I am painting multi aspects of the Indian community with the same broad brush and strokes. Nice one Tony !!
It can be said that my perception at that time was rather biased, somewhat judgmental, negative. All of this was however based on my clouded internal perception of “anything Indian”. Looking back it was due to my own insecurities and selective filtering, generalization of reality out there, resulting in my own selective reality based on my experiences of my life then.
As A Result
The consequence of my mindset, my self denial stifled my energy. I indirectly placed self impositions on what I can and can’t enjoy in life, where and how I should have fun. Because I placed rules on what I can and cannot like, I inadvertently placed blocks on the joy of life flowing through me.
You know, one would never ever catch me dead wearing traditional Indian menswear. There was no way in hell you’d get me into one of those. Well, hang on, I may have once, dunno, its a faded / vague distant memory. Again, this is the result of the internal representation I had created in my head about “anything Indian”.
These days I am more comfortable in admitting and saying, without fear or favour that I never really liked my childhood, I did not enjoy it. I also don’t recall much of it, and where I do, its about things that I disliked about myself and what it represent in regards to that I wish I was not, or could have been instead.
In essence its not so much about what the external world projected onto that little boy, but more the meanings and the representations that little boy choose to take on as his belief systems and his reality.
But I have since, especially in recent years come (learnt) to sit in harmony with that little boy within.
There was a time when I left the family home, living and working in other towns (well, cities really). For me it was a time away from all these. Even still I’d literally & physically cringe if I were to walk into a situation where there was a Tamil movie playing and / or similar real life situations.
But it was not all 100% aversion. There were some old Tamil songs that I liked, the same with Hindustani songs and a couple of Hindustani movies (who recalls “Bobby” with Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor ). But in the style of self-denial, aspects of me would never admit or acknowledge this, while secretly having a fondness. Ahahaha !! A representation of the many opposing conflicts within my life then.
The first three girls that I courted were strangely and in contrast, .. guess what ? Ahahaha …. Indian !!! would you believe ?? But then I found myself being pulled towards girls who were non-Indian. The pattern was playing out and my attractions diverted to females who were non-Indian. That was the case for subsequent girlfriends (not that I had many or I was playboy like .. Gosh !! the truth being far far from it ) and my eventual marriage to a non-Indian. That in itself tells a story huh ?
Digressing a little, I held within me huge insecurities about me and the opposite sex. This was in relation my insecure take on their likely perception of me, my interaction with them and / or my concept of the opposite sex ever finding me attractive enough. Aspects of these core insecurities exists still today .. well that’s a story for a another blog and how I overcame it and how I continue to mop up the residual.
Fast forward to present time and my journey of awakening and growing in consciousness and spirituality. Its been a long “tooth and nail” path of transformation to where I am today. Do have a read of my blog titled “Finding My Inner Radiance“ for more “juicy insights”.
I now consciously experience wave after wave of shifts both in the cognitive and spiritual sense. But just when I feel I’ve reached a stable platform, something else, some gunk, is unearthed within for me to come face to face with. And when I learn to sit in harmony with these, I am then transformed and raised to another platform of being.
These days, I look forward to the “gunk” in my life surfacing, for its within these lie the answers and keys to my path henceforth. It frees my energies for me to engage more effectively in fulfilling my Life Purpose, the reason I came to this planet.
Today and in recent years I find myself becoming more in harmony with these aversions of past and my views of “anything Indian”, and this is the result of my progression in clearing away layers and layers of insecurities, unwanted patterns, conditioning and belief systems. I find myself now attempting to reconnect to my roots, my heritage in a new light and with a fresh set of eyes and perspective. Where this will take me, I do not know, but its a good thing.
These days, while I still don’t have any inclination to watch Bollywood movies, I find myself looking back in fondness at some of the songs of old and discovering the beauty and light in these and in others too . With regards my aversions of “anything Indian”, I nowadays find myself more accepting and in flow with it. I am now able to catch myself in the act of any past patterns and have a conversation with myself as to why it is so, and what I can do to change it.
Of late I found myself waking up in the morning with some of these songs stuck in my head or finding myself spontaneously bursting into song with these, humming as I go about my day (Damn !! feels like me in a Bollywood movie ehh, bursting into song ? .. Ahahaha !!).
Today was one of those days and I even did my gym workout listening to tracks of Hindustani songs .. LOL ! .. Gosh !! OMG !! What’s happening to me ! … hee hee !! Well, it inspired me to write this blog out.
I leave you with this Hindustani clip “SAY SHAVA SHAVA” below. Compared to other songs this was kind of in the “acceptable” list for the me of the past. But as a result of my past internal perceptions it would have been uncomfortable for me to sit and watch the video in full .. e.g. the whole group dancing, party concept etc, amongst other things.
I guess some of you must be by now scratching your head and going .. but why ? Hmmm ! The power and impact of subconscious patterning.
I now am able to enjoy listening to this and more significantly so, am able to watch the “antics” with greater sense of internal authenticity, acceptance and in harmony …. a stark contrast to even the me of even a couple of years ago, leave aside the me of old (not sure yet how I’ll fare with Tamil clips … watch this space).
I’ve come one step more towards sitting in harmony with things that I once dissociated with. Consider, that the things we fear, dislike or have aversions with are the very things that we’d need to face, find harmony with for our ongoing spiritual and cognitive growth.
Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Blessings to you !
Song and Video Credits And Acknowledgements
P/S : If the video above buffers too much, do click on the You Tube link below
You Tube Clip – SonyMusicIndiaVEVO
Song Name – Say Shava Shava
Movie – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Singer – Sudesh Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aadesh Shrivastava & Udit Narayan
Lyrics – Sameer Anjaan Music – Aadesh Shrivastava
Director – Karan Johar
Studio – Dharma Productions
Producer – Yash Johar
Music Label – Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt. Ltd.