Seriously, Modelling is NOT My Thing!

September 2, 2014

As Arundhati and I waited to pick our son up from tabla class, we suddenly saw a cluster of photographers chase a fashionably dressed lady in front of a trendy restaurant in Singapore. For the next several minutes, the young lady tossed her head hither and thither and struck a multitude of poses as the photographers clicked away on their fancy DSLR cameras. Given the lack of frenzy that is said to surround celebrities and the paparazzi who stalk them (did you just ask, "how do I know?"), Arundhati and I concluded that this was a group of student photographers who were practicing their craft on a live model outdoors.

Within 10 minutes, I had come to the earth shattering conclusion that I was not cut out to be a supermodel. How could any rational person want to preen on demand so that a photographer caught the perfect image? And on why on earth did it require so many shots? Imagine if it was the old days of film photography? These guys would be bankrupt exposing and printing all that film.

I suddenly thought of the many times I envied other people who appeared to live fun and glamorous lives.
  • Like the time, my friend Laurence said he was taking his family to Hawaii, from London, since he had to use up his million frequent flier miles! Why didn't my boss make me travel business class back and forth across the Atlantic?
  • Or when, I saw Shankar Mahadevan perform and learnt he was only 5 years junior to me in school. I could have been the one revelling in the presence of an audience that screamed "Once More!" Why didn't my parents send me to music classes?
  • My next door neighbor Raghavan who nonchalantly compared first class travel on Emirates versus Singapore Airlines and declared how Singapore Air wasn't what it used to be; How unfair!
  • The numerous time when I was sure that I could have reported the news better than those presenting the headlines on Aaj Tak or NDTV (this I still believe is easy!)

I recalled the two Geeta verses, 3-35 and 18-47, where Śrī Kṛṣṇa emphasizes svadharma or one's inherent duty (see below for complete verses).

Pujya Gurudev says in his commentary on Chapter 18-47:

Anyone can appreciate the logic of it if he considers the following: (1) the deadly poison in the fangs of a serpent never kills the serpent; (2) living organisms crawling in fermented wine never get drunk; (3) the malarial germs in the mosquitoes do not attack them with shivering fevers. The svabhaava (inherent nature) of each one cannot destroy itself! If the poison is drawn from the fangs and wine is poisoned, the crawling organisms die. Similarly, if the Kshatriyas were to perform the duties prescribed for the Brahmana-types, they would be only doing harakiri. Arjuna was a Kshatriya; hence retiring from the battle-field to a jungle for meditation would have destroyed him.

In short, it is no use employing our minds in fields which are contrary to our nature. Everyone has a precise place in the scheme of created things. Each one has his own importance and none is to be despised, for, each can do something which the others cannot do well. There is no redundancy in the Lord's creation; not even a single blade of grass, anywhere, at any time, is unnecessarily created!

Everything has a purpose. Not only the good but the bad also are His manifestations and serve His purpose. The Pandavas' glory is, no doubt, great, but the manifestation of the wickedness in the Kauravas is also the glory of His creation. Without the latter, the history of the former would not have been complete. Nothing is to be condemned; none to be despised. Every thing is He. HE alone IS.

So, while I toil away,
you, dear reader, can be happy that you will never see me in a glossy magazine as a scantily clad supermodel. That has to be a relief!

Hari Om and Namaskaar until the next post

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः ||३-३५||

shreyaansvadharmo viguNaH paradharmaatsvanushhThitaat.h .
svadharme nidhana.n shreyaH paradharmo bhayaavahaH .. 3-35..
Better is one's own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one's own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear.

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् ||१८-४७||

shreyaansvadharmo viguNaH paradharmaatsvanushhThitaat.h .
svabhaavaniyataM karma kurvannaapnoti kilbishham.h ..18-47..
Better is one's own duty (though) destitute of merits, than the duty of another well- performed. He who does the duty ordained by his own nature incurs no sin.