There was a time when I went through intense self-doubt. I wanted to look inward, discover myself, who I was, what I had inherited from my gene pool and what I had imbibed from my social and emotional network. In short, I was searching for the meaning of life.
During the period of my inward journey, I came face to face with this conundrum. Would I have been me if I had been adopted? How much of me is my ancestors? Would I have been me if I had been born in a village and kept away from the opportunities granted to me by my parents?
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
During this period I stumbled upon the study of vedic astrology. It seemed to be in line with my quest so I spent three years studying vedic astrology. It was interesting, so many people are born with almost similar planetary configurations and grow up into different people. Identical twins do not lead identical lives but parallel ones.
Adoption was what fascinated me the most. Children and parents with a biological relationship have close resonances in their birth charts. The wonderful thing is that adopted children and their adoptive parents have the same kind of resonances.
Of course I do not mean that vedic astrology is correct. It is, at the best, a reference point, and that too a vague and iffy one. After three years of study, that is what I discovered. I refuse to believe it can predict the future – or even tell the past. It can just give an insight into human nature and that give sweeping broad generalizations.
But it taught me one thing – that relationships are valuable. Blood line is not the only way one can have relationships. The closest relationships do not depend on them. The spouse is the closest bond, and it does not come through blood. Friendships last longer and are sweeter than sibling relationships. Here is the meaning of life for me : for a man to find a woman, for a woman to find a man, the creature most unlike you, of the opposite sex, but of the same genome. And then to make babies, or to find the babies they want to parent, but then to raise them up, and watch them do the same thing, generation after generation, so that when you die you know you are permanently a part of the great web of life. That you are not a loose thread, snipped off.
The bloodline does not matter, the humane-ness does.
Ritu Lalit is the author of two novels, A Bowlful of Butterflies published by Rupa & Co., and Hilawi published by Popular Prakashan. She is a single parent and blogs at www.phoenixritu.com