O Karma! Where Art Thou?

As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma.~Sri Guru Granth Sahib, The Holi Book of Sikh Religion

Me and my karma often talk to each other. Well actually, I do most of the talking.  And, I hope and wish that my karma listens to my one way communications, at least once in a while!

‘The karma has a mysterious way of responding’, so I was are taught. I have never been able to figure out how it works. Our karma is the result of our actions – good or bad; but when, where and how will you see those results is a not a planned outcome, as far as I can tell from my own experience!

To solve these mysteries of my karma, I have tried some out-of-the-box ideas for a long time. I even once befriended a Punjabi dude with the same name – Karma. However, I found out that my karma had nothing to do with my new friend,  so we have drifted apart since. Now and then, I still get calls from him, some times in the middle of the night, due to time difference between Jalandhar and Chicago. He mostly calls me to ask for more money; “it will ‘clean’ my karma and make it better”, he says. I tried it a few times a while back, but I did not win any lottery; nor did it help me with any other stuff that would prove this ‘karma cleaning’!

Since I came to USA,  I have realized that my overseas karma is no sharper or better than what it was back in India. Everybody used to tell me, “Going to America is a sign of good kismat and good karma”. So, I thought my good karma would follow the glory of my new NRI status. However, I am not-so-happy to report that the whole thing, – this going to America – may be a bit over-hyped. My karma has been quite sluggish, especially during the first few years of my farang experiences. Just like most of the new-comers, I have had my share of overseas hurdles and challenges..

During my first year abroad, I could not get any decent job offers. May be I was overly conscious about my Hinglish and my English accent; I could not talk to anybody in proper English without feeling uncomfortable. My spoken English – considered quite well in India – was not doing the same magic in America. It was a year of confusion and culture shock! In spite of all the family prayers going on in parallel – both in India and here in America, my good karma was no where to be found!

After one year of fruitless struggle, something hit me one evening; I wonder where I had heard that before – ‘Karma works in a mysterious ways!’ So that evening, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my karma. Well, I did all the talking as usual. Both of us reached a compromise, at least that is what I believed! We agreed on this: I will keep on doing my fair share of efforts without complaining, with the due expectation that my karma should step in sooner or later to help me out.

Lo and behold! There it was one day – my karma in action. I went in for a job interview for an engineering position, and I thought my interview went horrible. I was asked many specific and technical questions during the interview, to which my answers were redundant and some times irrelevant. However, I got the call next day with a job offer. May be my desi accent and English pronunciation worked in my favor. Perhaps, the white guy interviewing me did not understand me completely and giving me benefit of the doubt, assumed my answers to be good enough! As I recall, he kept reading my resume to correlate my verbal responses. So, lack of American English actually may have helped me get my first job.

The next week, when I got a call from my old Punjabi friend Karma to send him some money, I politely told him ‘no’. I had finally realized what I should do to improve my karma: I need to keep doing my share of sincere efforts, while I wait on my karma to reciprocate and pay back. After all, the karma does work in a mysterious way! 

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3 Replies to “O Karma! Where Art Thou?”

  1. Very cute! I like that you talk to your karma. I talk to mine all the time too, but being a native-born American and not a Hindu, I just think of it as grumbling. Maybe if I thought if it as karma, I would do better. 🙂

  2. FutureExpat
    Glad you find it interesting.
    We all talk to our karma – the fate or the luck or self… -mainly when not satisfied whit what is coming our way. So, grumbling is not far off from my ‘talk’ with my karma :)! ..regarads.

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