There is this quote that I see quoted (much too often, if you ask me), doing the rounds on the net (and probably in real life too) from Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist.
“When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
If you think it is a newfangled thing, you are mistaken. Go back a few years and you will find Ralph Waldo Emerson has to say much the same thing:
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
Really? I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y?!!
I bet if you go even further back you will find more who have already said the same thing. I am sorry to rain on your parade guys (and gals among them if any), beg your pardon and all that, but personally, I think you all are talking through your bally hats. This is nothing but gobbledygook being served (and lapped up) by a growing number of individuals. Universe conspires to make it happen, forsooth. I have never heard such dashed nonsense in my life. The next thing you know someone will be telling me that I conspired with the Universe to beget osteoporosis? Oh yeah just try telling me that and I swear on my calcium-starved bones that I will take a swing at you, brittle bones notwithstanding.
During the first trimester of my first pregnancy when I suffered from severe nausea and vomiting, the dear Mother-in-Law said that it (the discomfort I was experiencing) was all in my head. Yup, she did, in a single stroke negating all that childbearing women have gone through, are going through and are yet to go through. One day she ‘caught’ me sitting (half-sitting would be right as I had rested only one bum on the cot, expecting her to drop in unannounced any moment and chide me) in my room between housework and wanted to know what I was up to shirking work? As soon as her large frame had swum into my ken, I had automatically risen with ingrained good manners (yeah, I am a well brought up obedient girl who jumps to her feet to this day when she sees elders) and was standing respectfully in a suitably servile manner expected of a DIL, in spite of the fact that I was feeling faint and nauseous. The naive girl that I was those days, I answered her in a very apologetic manner: I had felt dizzy and hence sat down for a while.
I don’t think my MIL has heard (or read) of Ralph Waldo Emerson or Paulo Coelho and what they have to say about the Universe that (sic) “makes things happen”. Yet, surprisingly enough, their conclusions seemed to coincide. She categorically stated to me that my uneasiness was brought upon myself by my own self. Something like, I wanted so badly (Pray, why?) to feel faint and nauseous, so the Universe had obliged by gifting the situation to me would say Messrs. Emerson and Coelho. Pardon me for repeating this; I haven’t heard such dashed nonsense in my life. The MIL developed her theme further and sagely advised me that if I got going with the housework and ‘stopped thinking’ (Isn’t that what most ALL want us to do? STOP THINKING) about nausea and dizziness, it would go away. According to her there is NO SUCH THING as discomfort or uneasiness during the first trimester (for some it lasts the whole term) of pregnancy. What made me raise my internal eyebrows to their highest and most ironic level was her observation that came next, that SHE had had severe nausea and vomiting during HER first trimester. Well, well, well, well, well. Well, well, well, well, well. Anyways, since this post is not about my MIL, I will stop here and go back to what I was saying.
The topic is Universe and its capacity to make things happen for you. Tripe. Baloney. Bunkum. Nothing but utter balderdash of the first order. You don’t really suppose that I wanted my arm (and that too the right one) to pain so god-awfully that I needed to go see the doc, do you? You don’t think I have some kind of fixation for popping calcium pills that I went and willed myself to get osteoporosis? What nonsense. The Universe conspires to make your wish come true, my foot! As if Universe is this benevolent force that specialises in making people happy by truly “listening” to them. If you ask me, if such a universal force exists at all, it is a diabolical one which cackles gleefully while denying people their greatest wishes.
Ahh I know what the ‘experts’ are going to say. The Universe knows what’s not good for you, that is why it has denied you. Well, really? You mean, R-E-A-L-L-Y?! Now YOU don’t talk to me through that bally hat that seems quite popular everywhere. Egad. WHAT is the Universe’s job, tell me once again? To make wishes come true or to pick and choose which are best suited for you and make it happen? Aww come on now, why don’t you just leave the Universe out of it and simply say, sometimes some things happen at other times they don’t. The Universe has NOTHING to do with it. It may at best show you something of value. Whether you take it up and make it happen depends ON YOU. The Universe is not going to lift even a tiny finger to do it for you.
As for me, the Universe has always been in on my thought processes. There have been no secrets, no dillydallying or vacillation on my part as to letting it know what I want or don’t want. And yet, the supposedly “listening” Universe decides to play the deaf adder. Indeed, one can say that it has gone out of its way to make sure none of those things ever materialised. My experiences have confirmed that this here is a sinister character who specialises in hokus-pokus to make sure wishes don’t come true. So you can say I was not exactly surprised when the doctor told me,
“Congratulations! You have got a tennis elbow without ever playing tennis.”
Much as I am proud to have my elbow associated by with the revered game of tennis (While a college student, I had posters of Bjorn Borg on the walls of my room which caused a minor furore at home, with my parents behaving as if I was planning to elope with the guy) even though it be by name only, I must say it came as a blow. How I wish I did not have to be so closely associated. Watching tennis players on television while they did their routines on the court was good enough for me. I did not yearn for any closer association than that. But did my wish have any bearing here? Nope, none at all. The mad-hatter Universe, who in my opinion is wicked and delights in taking candy away from the hands of kids and making them cry, did not deem fit to give a thought to MY wish. Ha, told you so. Sadly enough, that does not mean that I was elated at being proved right (yet again) on hearing what the doc had to say. I would have been much more delighted to be proved wrong about the Universe. If only….
So at the end of that entire ramble (phew, it is so much fun to ramble aimlessly after that self-imposed abstinence from what goes for writing that I do) what I want to convey is, I am back. Not in perfect condition, but still back and in one piece still. I won’t be writing much. I would be commenting even less. So forgive me if your blogs miss my comment, or if I don’t answer your comments here, an activity I otherwise enjoy doing about which the spoilsport Universe came to know. So here is to more of them blogs!
Sorry if I have broken hearts with the stand I have taken. But look to the right and in my bio you will find something that talks about a tongue in a cheek. That should explain things. So cheer up. Universe just might be listening to YOU, though not to me. So go ahead, make that wish.
Sajeevs blog said:
What a wonderful post! I pray to the Universe (oops! sorry) – just pray that you recover soon from your tennis elbow and write many, many more posts:)
Welcome to Shail’s Nest Sajeev 🙂 Thank you for the prayer for me 🙂 It couldn’t get any better!
Every concept has to be used with discretion :P.
The universe has already answered my wish – I was hoping you’d feel good enough to write something/anything/everything soon cause I was beginning to wonder if you were alright. Now I am wishing you a recovery, at a pace that will allow you to heal without after effects and me stuff to enjoy reading over the web :).
Good morning Mysoul! It was one-week of self-imposed rest. 🙂 And if this is how the Universe answers your wish, more power to the Universe, say I 😉
Ah she is back .. and with what vengeance !
This is Shail at her sarcastic, witty best! Epic !
*Widest grin* Thank you! 😉
The Universe missed you. And hence, you’re back…self imposed blogging and all! 😀
Welcome back! On MILs, mine got osteoporosis recently and also got back to decent levels with a few months of calcium supplements. FYI.
Lol, really ?! 😉 Oh that is good news about the calcium supplements. Thank you for the info. 🙂
Indian Homemaker said:
Your MIL had nausea in first trimester but she said it doesn’t happen? I had a young bachelor, in a party, telling me that women in his state (Haryana) never allowed nausea to stop them from going about their chores We Indians love motherhood but have no respect for the mothers, until they have grown up sons.
Agree about the Universe. I always thought it meant that if you really want something you will work to achieve it and that improves your chances of getting it.
She never forgot to remind us all how she suffered during HER pregnancies. But of course we DILs were making it all up 😉 How true that motherhood is spoken of in glowing terms but how many women are treated the way they should be during pregnancy?
Universe is going to do nothing on its own. It is up to us to carry forward and make our dreams come true.
I guess it makes people feel good to think there’s some benevolent force looking out for them and their well being. Otherwise they’re just too terrified to admit that they’re actually alone, everything is random and there’s no “purpose” in existence 🙂
Everything ultimately boils down to that, it is the ‘feel good’ factor in it that makes it a star attraction. What amazes me the MOST is the absolute certainty with which people talk to you about the purpose of life and what God intended this world and inhabitants to be, almost as if one of them took down the dictation on that in his office just that morning or someone else did centuries ago. :P.
LOL!!! @ took down the dictation on that in his office…I said this to a neighbour of mine when she said “this is the way to live our life cause God said so” I asked her how come she got the post of God’s Personal Secretary, when and how did she apply and what was the selection criterion. :P. Wonder where that girl went…
Hahaha. Priceless. Yes there are many such Personal Secretaries to God roaming the Earth 😛
Get well soon, Shail! Your stand has broken my heart 😦
I think your MIL is partly right – ‘most’ of it is in our head. That’s from my experience (and of many others too) – as long as I was at school I would be alright, but the minute I step into our apartment I would start feeling all sorts of discomforts (because I could afford to take time out for that). I hated holidays and was on duty till the day I delivered. Proud to say that I never took a day off during the entire pregnancy, despite all the excuses I could have made.
Ooops! Here is some bandaid for the broken heart 😀
BTW my MIL herself did not subscribe to her own theory with regard to herself. It was aired for the benefit of the DILs and other such lowly forms of life.
My mother had small pox while she was still a baby. She does not have a single mark on her face or anywhere on her body. Would it be right for me to conclude, based on that that small pox does not pockmark anyone’s face?
There are pregnant women who will ask you “Morning sickness? What’s that?”. There are those who will tell you doing something takes their mind off their symptoms. There are yet others who suffer, in varying degrees, from 3 months to all 9 and a quarter month. So, no, I don’t agree at all that ‘it is all in the head’. The symptoms vary as much as pre-menstrual symptoms do among women. It will be like me saying, that since I don’t get cramps those who do are imagining it. Some have it easy, others don’t. It is as simple as that. These hardships cannot in anyway be called ‘excuses’ 🙂
lol!! loved the post!! get well soon 🙂 looks like you had one typical MIL eh?
Thanks Reema. You bet about the ‘typical’ 😉 🙂
😀 Welcome Back…
Loved the rant.. Lost me halfway through and I read some of it in a daze I thinks, but welcome back.. 😛
Thank you. Ahem, Do you want me to send the St Bernard to lead you safely back? 😉 🙂
Tito seems in a daze
Lost midway in a word maze
Oh what have I done, putting him in a haze
All along I had thought nothing would him, faze! 😛
Usha Pisharody said:
Great to have your wholesome self back. Whole in one terrific ranting raving piece, ravishing too, no doubt, and doing what you do best 🙂 🙂
I differ a bit, on the Universe thingy, but if I may be permitted to sound contrary, I totally empathize 😀 (It is possible!) And all that balderdash your MIL gave you is just that :D. I was nauseous and almost starving, because I could not keep much food down, right up until the first born made his appearance. Beat that 😛 :P! No don’t :D. You have enough with a phantom tennis player’s ache having taken residence in your forearm, and dwindling stock of calcium it would seem!
Take care, Shail, and hugs!
P.S. A review in in the process of being fermented thereabouts, on a certain anthology. Hope to air it soon 🙂
I knew you’d differ! 😀 😀 See, I know my Usha 😀 And I perfectly get the empathy part of it too 😉
Errrr… I beat that for my second one. Till due date I was going ‘puke, puke’ 🙂 In the initial months the doctor threatened me with ‘drip’ and hospitalization if I did not take bed-rest seriously! I could not attend my brother’s wedding at Guruvayur due to restrictions on travel. And as the elder sister, lost my chance to ‘tie’ the thali for him 🙂 To think all my life I had been complacent that it was a cinch and there was no question of anyone messing with it. 😛
I love the phantom tennis player’s ache bit. How extra-ordinarily true that sounds! 😛 Hugs back 🙂
And OHHHH. I am WAITING! *more hugs*
Soma Mukherjee said:
ouch the universe is hurt
I puked ( not nausea nausea was not known to me , i just vomited every morning and night like some ritual )for solid 9 months …now if three months of nausea was cos you thought about it then i must be obsessing about it….
Get well soon Shail universe is getting ready for next miss universe so forget it
And you never fail to make me laugh. I almost heard the ‘ouch’ from the Universe. 😉 And wow Universe at the Miss Universe pageant? Haha.
Oh yeah you obsessive girl, obsessing all of nine months! 😉 I got better magically after the third month the first time around, but continued feeling sick for the whole tenure during the second one.
R's Mom said:
LOL! you are back with a super post 🙂
1. Get well soon…drink lot of milk or curd or any other calcium giving food okie? *Gives stern look*
2. Your MIL actually said that…I just cant believe it 😦
3. You got tennis wala elbow 😦 thats bad…but seriously get well soon…your posts are missed 🙂
4. I had no nausea during the pregnancy but my cousin suffered ALL NINE months and then went on to have a second child *Falls at cousin’s feet everytime I meet her* but seriously while may be some may be in your mind, I dont think its made up at all…some people actually do suffer…I wouldnt agree to your MIL on the ‘all in your mind’ thing
I hate milk, R’s Mom. Last tasted the horrible stuff when I was 5 years old 😐 *intimidated with the stern look* But yes, I will have curd. 😉
An interesting story is how during my second pregnancy I told the L & M, ‘Never again’. The nausea and vomiting was that bad. Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage and had to eat my words because I went in for another pregnancy and actually had to go through the same discomforts for the third time 😛 😛 *waiting for R’s Mom to fall at my feet too* 😉 😀
R's Mom said:
Totally falls at your feet…you are too good!!!
I find that having tunnel ears is such a blessing…when I dont want to hear the nonsense spewing out of the elders mouth…my ears become tunnels from one ear to another and none of those words stay. Do you ever wonder how I live in my head? *giggling*
It took me years to achieve that sort of tunnel ears. Plus now I have the blog 😉
And I am trying to guess about that head :of yours 🙂
Ah there goes the big bang theory out of the window.. .it was all just about making a decision.
Hahahaha! Well, the Universe is in your mind too 🙂 Good post Shail. Get well soon. A friend of mine who had tennis elbow found that physiotherapy helped her, so maybe you can try that.
Reading about your MIL reminded me of this article – thought I’d share –
Is it?! *shakes head vigorously trying to get Universe out of it* I am damned if I am giving Universe rent-free space to stay. 😉
I think I will have to go for that physiotherapy one of these days 😦
Lemme go check that link now 🙂
I had long back taken a stand
that I will not open my mouth on things I don’t understand
even so, though I fear the bricks flying from your hand (are you well enough to throw)
don’t you believe that everything happens just as the universe as planned?
Try selling your, ‘Everything happens as the Universe planned’ idea to Messrs Paulo Coelho and Ralph Waldo Emerson, not to mention Usha, Bindu and many more like them 😉 They say different, that the Universe wants to make your wish come true. Anyways I will reject your theory too. I think its the most foolish idea that everything has already been planned. I will settle for random happenings, thank you. And nope, my arm is not yet ready for throwing anything 😦 More’s the pity. 🙂
Hopped over from IHM’s blog!
I too, never really understood what Coelho meant when he wrote that. For that matter, never really got the essense of his books too 😉
I mean, the Universe does not have a mind, and hence, it cannot “do” anything for anyone. And if this was to be the case , I guess all of us would never have any wishes because the moment we wished for something, the Universe would be at our service to fulfill the wishes!
Welcome to Shail’s Nest Mypunchingbag 🙂 And I would also add that wishes of one might (in many cases it indeed is) be in contradiction to another’s. I wonder who the Universe sides with in such cases? Is one person’s wish more deserving than another’s?! Better be safe and not believe any such nonsense at all 😉
glad 🙂 you have high class disease not any pani, jaladosham, vadham, pittham etc. hey, get well soon shail!
It reminded me of the old times people proudly said they have diabetes as an indication of their high std of living-high class. same with ‘so and so died of heart attack’. talking kerala nattinpuram..not sure of cities and all.
sorry, nothing to comment on universe’s conspiracy
Lol, looks like pani, jaladosham and their ilk have run their course with me when I was younger. I was called ‘pani kutty’ for getting fever and colds so often. OMG I am done with those days, it used to be so terrible.
I think nowadays diabetes and heart attack are so common. But I do remember the time you speak about 🙂
Thank you. I am getting better. 🙂
Lindy Lee said:
Simply satisfied to be a citizen of the Universe over here. Thank you, good write…
I landed up here while researching (yeah…. big surprise!) this exact quote which II had just heard for the umpteenth time. And your post had me in all splits.
I thoroughly enjoyed your “no holds bared” way of writing honestly. And my fingers on their own rubbed each other in glee as I read your comments on your MILs (yep – I have had enough such people in my life and have already opened those evil MIL pages you have written – to read as soon as I finish writing this comment)
Kudos to you – do keep writing. You have a way with words. Looking forward to a book written by you – yes, you should! (Just look at the trash that others write. you will be doing your gift a dis-service by not writing books)
Incidentally, if you ask me (yes, I know no one did, but you never know… just in case…), I feel that this quote (attributed to Waldo / Coelho / everyone else) is definitely catchy and anyone in trouble will WANT to believe in it – hence it works. much like an urban legend which becomes popular because you WANT to believe in it. Some might even mumble… just like the idea of God.
I sure like it. “… when you want something real bad, the forces of the universe will conspire to enable you to get it…”
Now – don’t for heavens sake, say that Hitler thought the same….
Welcome to Shail’s Nest, Anshuman. Glad that you enjoyed my take on the quote. Thank you. 🙂
Always find a little to laugh about and a little to think over when I drop by here. 🙂
Phew. It took me two years to respond to you! Thank you for your comment. I much appreciate it 🙂
Laurance Emory said:
Brilliant and funny. My kind of rants, reminds me of Francis Wheen’s writings (very high compliment in my frickin universe….). Glad my friends nonsense post that sparked this rant was enough to get me to google and find your fine observations.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest 🙂 Now I have to check Francis Wheen’s writings. And, thank you, for the compliment. 🙂