worries that make the very journey of life a big burden and unbearable

Courtesy:Sri.Vasudevan Srinivas

कुग्रमवासः कुजनस्य सेवा कुभोजनं क्रोधमुखिच पत्नी
मूर्खाश्च पुत्रः विधवा च कन्या दहन्ति चैतानि जनं विनाग्निम्

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There are certain worries that make the very journey of life a big burden and unbearable. These stare at us each day of of the life; it is impossible to forget them. They have an uncanny ability to pop up at the most unwanted times and remind us of their existence. They cannot be solved easily and they appear perennial in their haunting capacities. One may be bestowed with bountiful pleasures, but these worries swallow the cumulative pleasant effect of all those pleasures.

The first of such worries is living in an unwanted place. Godforsaken place. Kugraamavaasa. Living in a place without basic amenities. No communication and conveniences. No like minded people or companions. No social life or facilities to pursue one's favorite pastime. These were the type of places to which an unwanted civil servant was being transferred when he earns the displeasure of his authorities. He continues in service but also continues to suffer each day of his living there. Burning the person alive on each day of stay there. The only relief is of dreaming of the day when one gets out of such place.

Second one is of serving a bad boss. Kujanasya seva. A boss who is an expert in finding faults, but does not believe in guiding or providing solutions. If something is done, he asks why it was done. If the same thing is not done, he asks why it was not done! If something is done in one way, he asks why it was not done the other way. If it is done the other way, he questions why it was not done the earlier way. Burning alive each day of the life.

The third of such troubles is bad food. Kubhojanam. The food is ready and kept before you. You are hungry too. But the quality of the food is pretty bad or it is an item you detest. If you try to eat it, it does not pass through the gullet. If you want to leave it and get up, hunger does not allow the option. Either way you suffer. If this repeats day after day, it is a never ending problem.

The fourth of such worries is a volatile spouse. Krodhamukhi patni (or pati). It is difficult to live without the spouse. It is even more difficult to live with such a spouse! One does not know when the volcano erupts. Or what ignites the volcano. Living under such fear for ever. Until divorce do us part. Of course, such a solution was not available in the past.

Fifth of such worries is living with children who are neither useful nor can be dismissed. Moorkhascha Putraha. All the duties of a parent are to be discharged in bringing up such children. But there is no use from them. Even if one assumes that bringing up them is a duty to be discharged without desire of returns, the duty never ends. They are a life long problem and a constant source of burning the parents alive. They can neither be got rid of. Living with them is a problem personified.

The sixth has undergone change with times. It was said to be a widowed daughter. Vidhava kanya. This was true a few decades earlier. But providing good education and skills to the girl child has reduced this problem a lot. Whatever be the case, staring at the life of a son or daughter without a spouse is considered a big problem of parents. Opinions differ, but some still believe this is a source of lifetime worry that burns alive.

The troubles of first have been tempered now due to better communication facilities. The third is moderated by availability of a multiple restaurants in some places. The fourth is solved to some extent by divorce laws. Fifth and sixth are probably less intense now. But the worry of serving a bad boss continues for some even today.

The subhashita quoted above summarises the above six beautifully.

All these were very relevant when this was written. Today some have changed partially or fully depending on how one looks at them. Parts of them are true even today.