However much you try to protect yourself the enemy will find a way to get to you
I’ve written here a fair bit about the gods. It’s largely been about Ganesha and hanuman, though and there is very little about Krishna that I’ve written here. However an incident at today’s dinner suggested there is an important life lesson to be learnt from Krishna as well.
I was wearing my white T-shirt. Rather, I was wearing one of my two plain white Zara T-shirts. I’ve abused them both a fair bit ever since I got them. It’s inevitable that when i wear them I end up soiling them by spilling some food stuff. So far it’s not been too expensive – each time the shirts come out of the washing machine fully clean. I don’t know how long this will last.
We were having dinner at our hotel in chettinad – the generally excellent CGH earth Visalam. It was a sit down banana leaf dinner, but there were napkins provided with knives and forks (no clue what purpose the latter served!).
I’ve had a complicated relationship with napkins. In nursery school I remember they would make us tuck napkins into our shirts while eating. I hated that (also a reflection of the quality of napkins we got in 1986-88). and so I started considering napkins as a downmarket thing.
And then over the course of life I found that putting the napkin on your lap was more elegant – shirts weren’t protected now but it was far less awkward. Growing up I figured the napkin could be used to signal to the waiter when you were away from the table – on the chair means you’re going to be back, and on the table meaning you were done. Etc.
Anyways so today at dinner I remembered that I’d dirtied this shirt for the last 2-3 times I had won’t it. And so I decided to protect it by wearing the napkin in the way it was taught to us in kindergarten – tucked into the front of the collar.
For readers more familiar with Greek myth than with hindu myth. Krishna has an “Achilles-like” story. It goes that his mother dipped him into a pool of liquids with immortal powers. However since his mother held him by his heels they didn’t touch the water and so remained mortal. Finally he died by a hunters stray arrow that hit his heal.
And this is the principle I’m talking about – Krishna’s mother wanted to make him immortal (especially given the looming Kamsa thread). But the part with which she held the baby remained mortal. And that caused his downfall.
So the Krishna principle says – however much you try to protect yourself (or a loved one) there will always be a vulnerability, that the enemy will exploit.
And so today I was happily enjoying my dinner, with my napkin tucked into my front collar, seemingly safe in the knowledge that my shirt was safe.
Then they served crab. As I tried to break one of its claws, it squirted some weird liquid. Which splashed right into the sleeve of my shirt!’! and so it went.
Hopefully this shirt will survive this wash as well. Tomorrow I’m going to be wearing its partner – the “mid weight” Zara T-shirt. I’m hoping I’ll be able to protect that one from culinary damage!
At the cost of one shirt stain, I’m happy I’ve managed to get an interesting concept.