Mechanical Mouse

Rachna Vinod
Gyan vividly remembered the day when while learning the use of desktop computer, he was introduced to a device called mouse. He had studied when b for bat, c for cat and r for rat was the only way the English alphabets were taught. He couldn’t help laughing when Beni, his daughter, had taken upon herself to teach him handling of computer and in the process she taught about the use of mouse and very casually referred that mouse was another name for rat. Beni was irritated at his laughter and told him that In modern world, the mouse was a very important device of the computer which had become integral part of everyone’s life. But eager to learn more about computers, he controlled his laughter. Beni told him that the computer mouse was shaped exactly like physical mouse taking into consideration the advantages of small size and ease of maintenance.
Beni had made it a habit to question logics for following traditional way of life. Since her childhood she was fascinated by hymns, religious sermons and singing prayers in the temples which were frequented daily by her mother and grandmother. She often accompanied them and took part in singing prayers. So impressed by the effect collective or solo singing prayers had on the devotees that when time to choose the subject for her studies came, she chose Theology. Her mind had been fed on adhering to traditions unquestionably. But now it was not acceptable to her to follow traditions blindly.She had developed interest in knowing more about relevance of religion in science and relevance of science in religion. Beni was seeking answers for belief in mythological stories continued since thousands of years. Without responding to her daughter, Bidya quietly kept watering and worshipping Tulsi (Basil) planted in the centre of the house courtyard. This was her daily routine. It might seem paradoxical that in arguing with her mother Bidya, many a time, Beni often found answers to many of her queries.
Bidya wasn’t academically much educated but like many of her, she was very well aware of religious rituals and traditional way of life. Somehow she knew the story of Swami Dayanand Saraswati who was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a reform movement of the Vedic dharma. He advocated the equal rights and respects to women and education of all children, regardless of gender. His father a devotee of Shiva and had taught him the ways to worship Shiva. Once on the occasion of Shivratri, Dayananda sat awake the whole night in obiesance to Shiva. During one of these fasts, he saw a mouse eating the offerings and running over the idol’s body. After seeing this, he questioned that if Shiva could not defend himself against a mouse, then how could he be the saviour of the world. So he left worshipping idols. This was one of the stories often heard from Bidya to inspire Beni to question the logics of blind faith.
There was another popular story linked with Lord Shiva. Once a sage in meditation for centuries , was disrupted when a mouse fell in his lap. Taking it as a blessing from God, he evoked Lord Shiva’s Blessing to turn that mouse into a girl so that he could bringup her as his own daughter. Shiva blessed him accordingly. The sage was very happy and brought up her as the most beautiful with charming manners. When she attained the age of marriage, It was left to her to marry a person of her choice. She wanted to marry the most powerful person but she couldn’t find anyone suitable. Once lost in such thoughts of finding suitable match, she was disturbed by some noise as if somebody was making a dig. She looked around and found a mouse digging a hole in the mountain. A sudden thought flashed her mind that the mighty mountain was unable to push away or prevent the mouse from making any hole on his body. She found that mouse the most powerful and made her choice accordingly. She asked the mouse to marry her. The mouse was helpless as he couldn’t marry a human being. She sought permission from her sage father to let her marry the mouse by converting her back in a mouse, her original self. This transformation was possible only with Shiva’s blessings. Sage therefore, again evoked His blessings and the girl was again turned back into a mouse who could then marry other mouse. Beni pondered whenever she looked at the image of Lord Ganesh, God of Wisdom, Wealth and Fortune sitting on the mouse, ‘No wonder modern computer device has been designed, developed and designated as mouse, a mechanical ride for attaining wisdom and prosperity’.
Beni was amused to find portrayal of mouse so powerful that it made a complete turn around in the lives of persons whose life stories later became inspiration to many. Her mind started seeking some relevance, some link to the modern mouse on a computer. The scientists were well aware of the capability of living mouse to deliver them what they wanted when it was used as an object of numerous experiments for scientific advancement. Did the inventors of this device already knew the capacity of a little mouse to live for the welfare of other living beings that this small device was designed like a mouse? This mechanical mouse has the power to control the movement of cursor on the computer screen storing files, folders etc. and bringing the global information access with the help of internet by just keeping hand on it and clicking. This mechanical mouse keeps digging into mountain of ideas in human mind to know more about the universe around. Aren’t the scientists the saints of modern world focussing single-minded in newer and newer inventions and discoveries as if they are lost in meditation of giving new meaning to life in this mysterious universe?
Constant comparison between traditions and logics and questioning was inevitable in Beni’s field of work. That didn’t stop her from acknowledging not highly educated parents among the best source persons with their traditional and emancipated outlook enlightened her on many topics untangling tangles of mind which assisted in completion of her research work in theology successfully.