So decided to post them here and if you too have found yourselves wondering about them, then join the club!
The often repeated warning that I heard as a child was not to play too much in the sun – they said it will make the skin dark (you see, the concept of sunscreens had not yet reached the middle class Indian families of those days). Now when any elderly person used to boast of their being worldly wise upon some matter, he/she would often end by saying, “Ye baal dhoop mein safed nahi hue hain.” Which when translated into English would mean – “My hair have not turned white due to being in the sun. They are white because they show the years of experience that I have had.”
[The topics for the elderly were fairly limited like – why someone’s son was not taking care of his parents after he got married or why someone’s daughter was not getting married or how a government office worker had all the novelties of those days like television, refrigerator in the limited income. So of course the experience would be huge, having talked of those topics over and over, with different set of people being judged! Also, we were not allowed to listen to all this gossip. We were simply told, “These things are not for children, go outside and play.” But as we all know now, that the more forbidden a thing is, the more is the fun in getting to it.]
Coming back to the topic, I deduced from that almost cliché one line “ye baal dhoop…”, that the hair can get white by being in the sun. Now I wondered why is it that my skin would become dark while the hair could get white, by the same Sun.
But no answer.
The parts where I lived as a child, which is the North of India, experiences a very harsh summer and even harsher winter. And winters always brought the issue of catching a cold.
My question was “Why does everything else freeze in the winter but my nose becomes runny?”
Then the issue of sweating while in the sun. When after washing, the clothes were put out to dry in the Sun, then how come my clothes became all sweaty when I was playing in the Sun?
Now there are a few questions – not natural phenomenon but more from what I read – for which I have formulated my own answers, they may or may not be correct but I am satisfied with the answers that I have.
Like, in a country where it is almost a national crime not to be married, why did Lord Hanuman not take nuptial vows?
The answer came to me while I was returning one late night from the office. Any guesses?
Well, I think that at the beginning of his career he decided to be on a 24 by 7 duty to Lord Rama and hence, by the time he thought of taking the plunge, it might have been too late for him to settle to a normal 9 to 5 job (habits are so difficult to break!). Ideal wife for him would have been an equally career oriented lady but somehow our mythology lacks in such a character, hence the missing suitable bride for our (eligible) bachelor Lord Hanuman!
Next question was why did Lord Krishna have more than sixteen thousand wives?
There were two answers that i could come up with.
First was that since Lord Krishna is supposed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and in another incarnation he appeared as Lord Rama. While as Rama, he had vowed to have a single wife and the consequence was that when Sita (his wife) was abducted by the demon Ravana, he did not have any consort for about eleven years and even after he rescued her after eleven years, he had to abandon her because of the washerman’s accusations!! So in the second incarnation as Lord Krishna, he decided not to repeat the same mistake and risk being without a wife for even a single minute, but in doing so he went slightly overboard.
But there is a second answer too which is – may be at one point of time there was a huge mismatch in the boys (eligible) to girls (all girls are eligible) ratio. But then there was almost contemporarily, another social issue of all the five Pandavas getting married to the same girl Draupadi! So it could be that the Pandavas were so desperate that they could not wait for other four girls to come along with whom they could marry (later each of the Pandavas had at least one more wife, with Arjun having the maximum of the lot!). Now I don’t know for sure whether the polygamous nature of marriages of Lord Krishna and the Pandavas were at the same time or not – if yes, then my theory of ratio mismatch stands good, while if no – then can someone answer this?
Though there are several more of such questions for which I am in the process of finding answers but as of now I feel that this post has become long enough for the readers. So until I get next such attack of “Tell me why”, I will end this post here.
As always, comments are welcome.