AAP BEETI LAMHEY (AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MOMENTS)
‘Aap Beeti Lamhey’ is a phrase I heard being discussed by poet & writer Javed Akhtar, on Tataky. The phrase means `autobiographical moments’ or `moments of our life expressed in our own words’.
‘Aap Beeti Lamhey’ is a collection of 20 real life stories, penned by someone. It speaks of people who have struggled through life – and made it against the odds. These are narratives of people and their lives – as expressed by them, in their own words.
‘Aap Beeti Lamhey’ is apparently a moving, inspiring narration. BUT it was actually something else that caught the poet-writer’s attention:-
The common thread in all the 20 narratives of ‘Aap Beeti Lamhey’ (autobiographical notes) of 20 unrelated people from 20 unrelated walks of life was:-
- Each was a struggler
- Each was a survivor
- Each achieved success stories against the odds
- Each was a victim of someone’s oppression
- Each had battled an offender
- Each displayed phenomenal inner strength
- Each was a hero / an inspiration to those who heard their story
That prompts Javed Akhtar to ask and analyse thus:-
- If each one of us is a victim of someone else’s oppression; if each one of is a defender of someone else’s offences – then the all-important question is: WHO OFFENDS? – Because there is not a single person in this world who has ever spoken about himself / herself as the `offender’, the `oppressor’ or the `tyrant’.
- Every country has a Ministry of DEFENCE, never a Ministry of OFFENCE. We all say we create armies and acquire weapons to DEFEND ourselves, never to OFFEND others. Yet, wars are being fought, and lives are being lost every single day. So the same question plagues you: If we are all defending ourselves – who is the one offending us? And there are never any answers.
- The answer lies within us. Hidden inside every victim & defender, is also an oppressor & an offender. In another person’s story, WE may be the tyrant and the offender that they have overcome to create their success story. And those who hear their version of what has transpired on them – will stand equally moved and inspired.
- In a way, biographies are more rational and impartial than autobiographies. In our autobiography, we are always the hero.
A paragraph of Carl Jung comes to mind here:-
- The mind is a beautiful organ. It is designed to help us survive, and take us to the end. Painful, hurtful and humiliating memories need to be modified or deleted. The CONSCIOUS mind holds within itself – the hurts, humiliations and offensive acts of OTHERS ONTO US. The SUBCONSCIOUS mind holds within itself – the hurts, humiliations and offensive acts of US ONTO OTHERS.
- The subconscious mind is the rational and truthful counterpart of our illusionary earthly existence. So when it speaks and thoughts flow to the conscious mind – there is an urgent need to camouflage those messages or hide them – and in their space bring to the forefront the faults of others instead. Else our nervous system may risk a breakdown.
- Hence, in a quick succession of events, the conscious mind suppresses the subconscious mind and what emerges is a success story where “we” the hero, have conquered “they” the villains.
- And life goes on….
- What is also important to note in Jung’s theory is that – those who constantly enact their victim status – are perhaps those, whose subconscious mind (the truth-keeper) is more active than those who do not do so. And that is a double edged sword – a blessing and a curse.
As Javed Akhtar beautifully sums up – at some point in time, we reach a stage where we wish to confront our subconscious mind. That is perhaps when our `Aap Beeti Lamhey’ – our autobiographical notes may actual show us up as the oppressor, the tyrant, the offender – and that is when we attain that symbolic state of MOKSH or REALISATION.
It’s so true that poetry can change the world – and even more true that a poet can change your perspective. #JavedAkhtar take a bow.