The problem with problems

Let me confess- I’ve been cheating.

Every morning I ensure that there’s at least one hit on my blog by reading it myself. That’s because I hate duck-outs, and my blog has been threatening just that, with daily views that go like Yuvi’s form: 3,1,2,1,1,1,1…

While at it this morning, I was shocked to notice that it had two posts written by my Inner Voice. I was livid. Breaking into my head is fine, but breaking into the only private space I had left, is unacceptable.

‘I need a lawyer!’ I screamed to my wife suddenly. ‘I want to end this Inner Voice menace right now!’

Her reply came faster than an echo.

‘Rum,’ she said, ‘whom you need is not a lawyer, but a shrink.’

A shrink? How could she say that? Impossible! No way was I going to agree to this!

Within the next hour, we were at Dr. Goel’s clinic.

You know what it’s called? On the couch with Goel. I swear!

But that was the least of my problems. Dr. Goel himself was a disaster. He has this annoying habit of talking to you in plural. So, my first ten minutes on the couch with Goel go like this:

‘So how are we today? What brings us here this morning? Ah, since when do we hear our Inner Voice? And what does our Inner Voice have to say just now?’

Oh, trust me, he can drive even normal people insane. I felt like snapping at him with:

‘Hey, if we both have problems with our Inner Voices, then how the hell are we going to treat ourselves today?’

Obviously, I didn’t. I couldn’t, because his hypnosis was already taking effect on me. All I said were half sentences and half words as replies to his rapid fire Q & A about my soul and past lives. He inferred from my half replies that I had a menial and primitive soul. I wanted to sit up and slap him. But all I could manage was half a curse: ‘You ba…you ba…’ And guess what, he triumphantly diagnosed that by saying, ‘In his previous birth your husband was a goat. A lost and lonely goat!’

Thankfully, that put my wife off. After all, who wants to be Mrs. Goat!

No matter to which experts and which professionals we run to in the beginning, the last resort for all our life’s problems is always the same- Godmen.

Ours is Swami HaHa Ananda. We did the ritual of washing his feet and drinking that water as Prasadam. Just that, for some strange reason it tasted like nail polish.

He listened to all our problems and smiled. ‘How can there be no conflict in a person whose name has both Ram and Rab? His mind has become a disputed site,’ he thundered more to his gathering than us.

‘What’s the Praichitam, Swami?’ I asked, my head bowed in devotion and defeat.

‘Change your name!’ he said to a chorus of HaHaya Namaha from the gathering.

‘Change your name to Aar Aar!’ he pronounced the verdict like a Supreme Court judge would, leaving no room for appeal.

On our way back home, I was hoping for a veto. It came and how!

‘Rum, come what may, you will do no such thing!’ she said decisively. That to me was clemency from the President.

That was the first time we had rejected Swamiji’s advice in our life. I sat alone worrying- Will all hell break loose now?

Yes, it did.

‘So, Mr. Aar Aar Goat?’ I heard that voice for the first time in many days. ‘As always running to the whole world looking for solutions when the only one you should have gone to is yourself?’

‘What do you mean?’ I asked.

‘Stop looking for solutions. Start looking at the problems better. If you look well enough, you will see a pattern to every problem in life. And once you see the pattern, solutions will emerge themselves. From within the problem.’

‘Is this a Metaphysics class or something?’ I asked, irritated.

‘Much simpler! Much much simpler if only you care to see the pattern in your problem,’ said the Inner Voice.  ‘You noticed the days when there were different voices in your head. But you failed to notice the days when there was only one. Alongside the problem of separate voices, lay the solution of unifying them, which you missed.’

‘Are you telling me that it’s possible to have just my voice inside me?’ I asked eagerly.

‘Of course! Did you hear me even once when you went on and on about Money the other day? That’s because every time you kill greed, envy, dishonesty, anger and all their evil cousins, to say what’s pure, true, fair and simple, you will hear only one voice in your head- yours.’

‘Ah! What you are saying is that you will shut up only when I agree with you! Very clever! This whole thing is so conveniently loaded in your favour,’ I was all set to launch an offensive.

‘Rum! Do you want to see the lawyer this evening?’ my wife yelled out.

I sat there confused. ‘I’ll tell you in a while, honey!’ I replied like a delayed yo-yo.

I am not convinced about problems coming with built-in solutions, but I am pretty sure that solutions come with built-in problems.

Psst…I picked this math problem from my son’s book. Let’s see if there’s a pattern to it. Let’s see if there’s indeed a solution buried in it. I believe only 2% succeed. You think we might be among them? Tell me how you fare.

5 + 3 + 2 = 151012

9 + 2 + 4 = 183662

8 + 6 + 3 = 482466

5 + 4 + 5 = 202504

7 + 2 + 5 =  what?


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rohan Menon on October 12, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Interesting read Ramesh Mama…..Was thinking if the sub conscious and the inner voice are the same or is inner voice the one that understands our sub conscious better which makes it more powerful….
    I get the idea from your blog that the inner voice assimilates more information/ knowledge from the surroundings than the self… while I tend to believe it can give a different dimension/outcome/analysis to situations troubling us with the same information/knowledge not adulterated by the society beliefs, norms or opinions but by analyzing within our own experiences, rationales and capabilities…
    Look forward to read how you are going to take this further… :)….felt that you have opened up by taking the characters out of the house and adding new ones

    I think the answer to the puzzle might be XXXXXX…the last two digits took some cracking…maybe my inner voice helped 🙂


    • By calling me mama you have killed all my possibilities of passing off as a 20-something, 6-pack Greek God. You are pardoned ’cause you did me proud, my nephew! You are first off the block and right about the answer! Sorry, I have blanked it out from your comment just to make the other 98% sweat it out! Regarding your Metaphysics questions, search me. I’m trying to figure this out, too. 🙂


  2. Posted by kumar ganesan on October 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    So now you’ve decided to get cryptic. Must say though I don’t seem to get what you are trying to say lately, I am reading you every single day. Commenting is getting a tad difficult so I choose to shut-up and let people assume that I’m dumb than open my big mouth and actually prove that I am.

    Ram and Rabi, let me chew on this while I have my rum and coke.

    Keep this going.




    • ‘So WE have a problem, eh?’ as Dr. Goel would ask. And as HaHa Ananda would say, ‘The universe is a conflict between the dumb and rum. Hum are in the middle.’ I hope that clarifies things. 🙂


  3. Posted by Charu Sarmalkar on October 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Hi Ramesh,
    It is rather difficult to understand what you write or say and how much do I get from what you say and write. Please try and write something plain and simple. Pl don’t give me any maths problem; I am trying to imporve English so I read a lot but no maths riders and problems again. C U bye… Charu


    • Sir, I am not an Agony Uncle. Just an uncle in agony. English isn’t my strength and Maths isn’t to your liking. Would love to discuss Anatomy, but this is a family blog. Youngest reader 11. Oldest 80+. But I’m sure you”ll give me another chance to impress. 🙂


  4. Posted by Sunit on October 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm


    Told you my inner voice kicks your inner voice’s ass.

    On a more serious note, look forward to your posts. Please keep them coming.

    PS: did you notice the typo in Charu sir’s comment? I think it was his inner voice, and not him commenting on your blog.


  5. Posted by V L SAJAN on October 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Hi ram &rab,Raghupathi raghava raja ram , eswar allah tero nam ———–, afterall everything looks to the eye of the beholder the way he looks at it , so leave people’s opinion to them as it is their opinion , to me you are still the same 16 something, 6 pack greek god, forget your inner and outer voices just listen to your wife’ s voice. it will keep you insane for sure .what a blissful state to be in this SANE world


    • It’s so nice to hear such words about my 16. Keep lying! ‘Stay insane in a sane world!’ That’s a pretty twisted thought. You think it has something to do with our schooling? 🙂


  6. Posted by V L Sajan on October 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Yeah Ramesh,we are what we were schooled to be. Thoughts dont get twisted ,we get twisted.Either I am sane in an insane world or insane in a sane world. Searching for my inner Voice,hope to find it some day, till then let me be in peace with myself.


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