Those days of Janmastami…

Those days of Janmastami…

As far as I remember I have never been a God-fearing person but you can perhaps call me a God-loving person, and at times venting out my frustrations and anger at him and even calling him names. It’s a very personal relationship that I share with him and I believe I don’t have to justify to anyone how and what I feel for him. I guess I don’t have the sanctity angle of how to fear him, that might be even foolish. For him I would like to believe that he understands, although I am so fallen in the true aspects that I might not be even considered if he is looking out for the candidates who are ready for liberation. But that’s alright, right now I can’t care more about salvation and other things beyond our world and metaphysical dimensions but the topic in itself have always fascinated and intrigued me. But I can’t focus my mind in the spiritual endeavors that I wish to undertake. It’s a sign of agitated mind, and a mind like this can’t fathom much about the transcendental path to be taken.

With some questions that started bothering me 17 years back I went to Rukmini-Krishna temple with a friend. Like most of the times I was skeptical, I was uncomfortable with the very idea of meeting strangers and that too draped in saffron cloth with ‘Tilak’ made of sandalwood paste. The first experience of anything in this world is something which we never forget, but this was something which was not of this world. When we entered there was such a calmness in the air, the aroma of the sandal incense sticks burning in the corners of the temple hall was spiritually intoxicating. I was in a momentary pause, I never felt that aura before in my life, I just didn’t know how to handle the experience that I was encountering that moment. I was in a different galaxy, the ecstasy in my senses was invigorating. Debarun, my friend gave me ‘charnamrit’, a purified water that was fused with rose water, tulsi leafs, and flower petals. The chamber of Rukmini-Krishna was not yet open for ‘darshan’ and we would have to wait for another half an hour before the ‘sandhya-arati’. My friend introduced me to the deity of the old man sitting crossed legs in the opposite direction facing towards the chamber as Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. I learned that he was the founder of this organization who sailed to America in 1960s with the sole idea of spreading Krishna consciousness. Debarun told me how he established the first temple in the soil of USA in a tiny shop named-Matchless Gift.

In the meantime we decided to meet Vrindapati Das. Debraun told me that he was a learned scholar and did his Masters in Metaphysics. His room was in the other building, we knocked the door and someone from inside asked us to come in. He was sitting and was probably meditating and chanting, he was a man of tiny stature with a magnificent nimbus surrounding him. He didn’t speak much until inquired upon, when I enquired couple of questions from him, he said, ‘One needs to develop the required faith to understand things as they are, start chanting, and start meditating’. He himself was living a simple life of simple sustenance, most of the times he was devoted to the study of books and translating scriptures. Probably this very encounter of a pure devotee so many years back is still a reminiscence of spiritual path that I undertook whose seed is still inside me. It was time for ‘sandhya-arati’ and also to witness the deities of Rukmini-Krishna, devotees have already gathered to sing the names of the lord, I could see the ‘Mridangas’ and ‘Cymbals’ being readied to accompany the hari-naam. I think it was the most beautiful deities that I have ever witnessed. I believe it blessed me and bestowed with the wisdom to undertake the unique spiritual journey for the next seven years which I consider it as a golden period of my life. That evening, I surrendered myself to the chant of Krishna and his wishes.

Since that day, and till the end of seven years I never looked back, chanting his name in glory, talking about Krishna with friends, singing his gospel. When Debarun and me initiated Bhakti-vriksha, a youth forum to preach Krishna consciousness some years later it was such blissful moment. Singing kirtan, cooking prasadam was the best of memories from this spiritual phase of mine.

Today, being Janmastami, I remember how we used to immerse ourselves in the name of Bal-Gopal, and used to witness ‘Nirjala-vrat’ (fasting without water) to purify our souls. By the end of the day we would sell and distribute thousands of books and dance in ecstasy. Waiting till the end of the fasting and having the first bite of prasadam as we if we were lying there hungry for thousands of years. I think about them, those days, and I perhaps want to go back to them. As another year passes by of not visiting ‘You’ in Janmastami, I pray that you forgive me of all my sin and pave my way which leads to you, may be give me back my innocence so that the bygone days come back…the days of Krishna!

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The gift!

The gift!

You are reading the second chapter of the ten story-series of heartache which never saw the light of the day. Life is not a bed of roses literally, we store so many stories of our past in some forgotten corners of our heart, I am just trying to re-visit them as a tribute to all my friends and strangers whose tale are never known or perhaps long forgotten. The ten-chapter series is a work of fiction. There resemblance with any person living or dead might not be coincidence, anything can happen- this if life!

Here’s the second one…

The conversation between the bride’s father and that of the groom’s was needlessly getting intense over several pegs of whiskey, “Madhab, the wedding of our children will be in such a grandeur way that every person alive in Tinsukia shall remember in their many lifetimes to come”. Dipen was Madhab’s childhood pal and now to be the groom’s father, he replied, “Don’t worry my friend, I will decorate the entire town with lilies and chrysanthemum and invite all the humankind present in the town and throw a feast that their seven generations will remember”. The pride and superbia was very much present in the pre-wedding plans between the two heads of the most affluent families of Tinsukia.

Anamika and Anjuman grew-up together and we can say they were besties since their birth.  If you believe in the concept of ‘soul-mate’, then probably they spotted each other from the days of their innocence, they were inseparable. Unlike the love of two individuals who meet each other somewhere in the boulevard of life and fall in love, their bond was like the continuance of an ever-existing passion from a previous birth. When they were toddlers everyone felt these two kids indeed are special for each other. As they grew older their affinity for each other only grew stronger, by the time they attained their puberty their bond trespassed into intimacy. And unfortunately, there was no villain to make a dent in the story, so there was no climax of bashing up the bad guy, and the fairytale story of how the prince and princess lived happily ever after.

However, their families were more than happy and excited of the union, besides, it was a great opportunity to take the years of friendship between the two families to the next level. Saikias and Sonowals owned acres of tea estates and both of them were men of property. Anamika was the only child of the Saikias and needless to say that along with affluence there was love in abundance, she was raised devoid of the idea of penury. She was never a demanding type though, she was untouched by all the vices that can corrupt anyone who is born to a family of immense wealth. She in fact grew up to be a woman of poise who naturally commands respect. Anjuman was the eldest of the two sons of Sonowal family. He grew up to be a handsome man and possessed all the qualities of a gentleman. Both the families were bestowed with opulence of unmatched stature of both tangible and intangible riches. Considering everything this was a match which was perhaps made in heaven, only the demigods were left to come down and witness the remaining ceremonial proceedings.

Sometimes the biggest villain in our life is right within us, it looks out for the right moment to strike its prey, it thrives on the weakness of the frail nature of men and it shows up in the form of ego. It results into fatality and leaves behind a trail of blood that further stenches your very presence.

“Dipen, I will be giving away my only child to you and I will make sure that she goes to your place with all the comfort”, looking confused by what his friend actually meant, he replied, “Madhab, by God’s grace we have everything, and rest assured she is more than a daughter-in-law, don’t worry my friend”. “I know my biggest well-wisher, and I will be damned if I even for a second I doubt how my daughter will be treated by her in-laws. But it’s a norm in the family to send-off the daughters with a king-size bed made of cider wood. And I will not break this family custom that has been existing since ages”. “I am afraid, you have to break that ever existing tradition, I won’t accept even a penny from you let alone a ‘king-size’ bed”. “You don’t have to accept anything but I will procure the bed to gift my daughter”. “Forget it, there won’t be any exchange of gifts”. “But I am not gifting you, it is for the couple”.

One could sense the rising tension in the ambience, both were unwilling to bog down from their stand, and both these gentlemen were famous for their stubborn nature. They would lay down their lives but they won’t let go of their ego. One wanted to gift his daughter and the other would not accept, and all of a sudden the years of friendship took an unusual turn which was in itself farce. By now, the conversation shifted into an argument and gradually turned into an altercation.

“I will see who stops me from gifting the bed to my daughter”.

“You fool, why don’t you understand? We don’t need any gifts, rather make one for yourself and sleep on it with your wife”.

Madhab’s anger knew no bounds now, and he announced-

“To hell with this marriage, I won’t give my daughter to your son, you guys go to hell”.

“Who are you to cancel? In fact, I won’t allow my son to see your daughter anymore, be with your bed”.

Who would have thought that the years of friendship and fondness for one another would meet its end in this manner? All their possible nightmares were turning out to be true, it was a travesty in its highest stature.

After weeks of total solitude by both the families, Anjuman and Anamika decided to meet on a neutral ground and call it a truce. After half-an-hour of conversation of uncomfortable nature, they started aiming the cannonballs of blame to each other. “If my father wants to gift me something then what is the problem with your father?” “Don’t get me started, we won’t accept even a single piece of grain from your family”. The truce was very much a failure.

One can only visualize how the to-be groom and the bride would elope after learning the unfortunate turn of events. But, nothing that sort of adventurous move was undertaken, they accepted their father’s decision willingly, of course they blamed one another for this debacle.

Some say love is overrated, but what has love anything to do with the vices of a men, vice so deeply rooted within. What one thinks is of futile exercise, wise men say whatever you believe in is true- you want to see the light of the day or take peace in the darkness both are fine in their own perspectives.

Few years later, both of them got married, not to each other, but to someone else. Bride’s father could gift his daughter a king-sized bed, he looked very content on the marriage day. Similarly, the wedding of the groom was also solemnized in a grand fashion, of course the father didn’t accept even a single gift from the bride’s family. Whether Anjuman and Animika were thinking of each other when they exchanged garlands with their partners was something only they could tell…

(Featured image is downloaded from the web. source: google images)

 

Gaze of a stranger.

Gaze of a stranger.

You are reading the first chapter of ten story-series of heartache which never saw the light of the day. Life is not a bed of roses literally, we store so many stories of our past in some forgotten corners of our heart, I am just trying to re-visit them as a tribute to all my friends and strangers whose tale are never known or long forgotten. The ten-chapter series is a work of fiction inspired by real events.

You know Libra men are always full of this love thing, they seek love and love to express their romantic ideas with few. But they seek someone who completes them, and until their search is over they would always look out for them, and at times at the wrong places. Almost two and 3 and half years back I started feeling for a girl, the kind of emotions which is similar to what I am going through. Although, my heart ran for a place to hide, to save his grace and the fragility when the world came crushing down to me. I wrote on a piece of paper “I have fallen in love with you, however if you feel otherwise I would understand”, wrapped it nicely and put it inside the ‘Love bird chocolate-bar’. I wrapped the bar nicely and handed to her on some casual pretext of giving away a gift, I only know how I tamed my heart to beat softly when she approached me. I wanted to express my feelings to her before the Valentine’s Day because I didn’t want her to know my intention at the first impression. She used to visit me home at times, but that day I was seeing her for the final time. She didn’t look angry, she was bereft of any emotion, there were no lines of stress on her face, and she just asked me, “I got your note, why have you written all those?” I turned red, I could sense my ears were turning hot like a furnace. The chocolate turned bitter for me, and I was standing in the midst of a frozen burnt umber. Suddenly I felt I was a complete stranger to her, does she even recognize me? I took all the hurt, wreckage, and remains and buried deep beneath in some unexplored corners of me.

After all these years the dormant feeling wanted to surface again. Her gaze had the same innocence and quiet appeal. As we stood near the ascent of where the college students park their bikes, and chit-chatting amongst ourselves three girls passed by us. Eyes of one of them was fixed at me, what could be the reason, is she interested in me? We kept staring at them, and before they could take a turn to their right and disappear into their classrooms she turned her gaze towards me again. My friends asked me, ‘Do you know that girl?’ ‘No man, I am seeing her for the first time, you guys know her?’ Brahma, one of my friend replied, ‘I know her, she has a twin sister too, she is from H.S. final year, but I don’t know her name’. ‘Guys hold on to your nerves, I don’t think she was looking at me, why would she?’ ‘We clearly saw what happened man’. I hid my excitement, and I could hardly believe in the serendipity amidst the nonchalant gossips.

After that day, we would cross by each other several times unplanned, at the corridor, on the way while changing rooms to attend our subjects, and several times on the link road towards Icon College. Every time we would pass by each other we would manage to sneak a look, and immediately look away as if our eyes were searching for an imaginary being somewhere else. I also made some deliberate attempts to catch her glimpse, and when our eyes would meet I would sigh.

That day there was an utter chaos in the college premises, few students of Hindustan College brushed up with the seniors from our college, eventually it turned into a brawl and later became ugly. The administration immediately took an action against these ruckus. In the meanwhile we were enjoying the whole affair with lots of enthusiasm, it was actually fun to witness them fight, and like us there were sea of people watching the drama. I didn’t realize the girl with whom I have been exchanging glances was right beside me, and she didn’t know that I was standing next to her. I decided to ask her name, so I gathered some courage and turned towards her, but she was not there. She already left, I saw her in some distance, but I decided that I would call her out, ‘Hey, excuse me’, but by then the noise grew back and my voice fainted somewhere in between. But she did hear me, she turned and looked at me, I could see her subtle smile. She disappeared in the crowd. I guess that was enough for me to fall for her.

As the second year’s bachelor exams were approaching we became busy with our preparations. I didn’t see much of her except on few occasions, but somehow I didn’t get the chance to talk to her.

Exams got over, results were announced and we were off to a brand new beginning of the final year of bachelor’s degree. It’s funny but somehow I couldn’t get to know her name yet, but soon she would reveal her name to me herself. I happened to attend a two days’ workshop on Personality Development, and yes she was one of participants too. We were each asked to go in front and stand against the large number of participants and introduce ourselves. I was already glued to my seat and waited for her turn, ‘Hello everyone, my name is Ankita…’ I couldn’t concentrate on rest of the words being said. Finally, from a nameless damsel I have an adjective that I can call her with. But I didn’t see her at the college at all after the workshop.

Exams were approaching us again, and what better way to catch her glimpse again and maybe give myself a chance to approach her and at least strike a conversation. I didn’t know what was there in her mind but let me give it a try and see what was there in her mind. I took out the schedule of their exam-dates, and I decided that I will reach college early and wait for her. I saw her approaching towards the entrance-gate, she had the same intense gaze towards me, I said, ‘Hey…hi, you’ve got exams from today?!…I just wanted to wish you’. She looked a bit puzzled and replied, ‘I don’t know you’. Definitely, I was taken aback, I mean she doesn’t have to recognize me but she could have responded in a different manner, well it certainly hurt my ego. But I consoled myself…I was sure that it was perhaps the panic of the exams that lead to her erratic reaction. C’mon, I meant no harm, I was just there and did nothing adventurous but only wished her.

A month and a half later when we were just killing time in the afternoon near the tea corner, Doley tapped me on my shoulders and said, ‘Hey look, there goes your girl’. It was our one of the last weeks in the college, and in that trepidation I knew that if I don’t get to know what’s going on in her head I might have to live the rest of my life in that mystery. I hurried quickly and walked towards her, somehow I felt this is probably my final chance to know, I called her out, ‘Hey, excuse me…Ankita…’, she turned back and she replied, ‘Yes?’. ‘Hmmm…I just wanted to know something…can we sit for a coffee or so…’ ‘Look, I don’t know you, and stop disturbing me, I am busy right now’. ‘No, no, Ankita, I don’t mean to disturb you but just wanted to…’ She cut me short and said, ‘Please, don’t disturb me’. She left me there in the middle of the road, and I looked around to check whether people are laughing at me from a corner. I was ashamed with embarrassment, being ignored can be such humiliating acts of humankind. I trudged back to my friend, he asked me, ‘What took you so long?’ ‘Nothing man, I guess I misunderstood her, forget it, let’s have tea’. Only my heart understood that it broke into million pieces one more time. The seek of the Libra men continued…

(Featured image is a downloaded image from google images)

Indifference of Independence..

Indifference of Independence..

Today we celebrate India’s 70th Independence Day and I am trying to retrospect a bit, and also to see what has changed in all these years as I consciously feel my spirit to gesture upon this day has feeble down manifold. As a nameless individual, my introspections of these kind might not even mean much, but they hold a portion of rumination to me, a loosely held meaning that might even answer the long standing proceedings of mine. Also, I don’t intend to prove any point in my intended expressions, for me the inert thread of reflections are what comes to me as one of the myriad emotions that I feel, this write-up as one of them.

22 years back…

I would get up early, there would certainly be some incomparable aura on this day which was marked by our striking energy. Instructions would be given to us on the previous day to reach school half an hour early for flag hoisting. The Principal would hoist the tri-color, then the Cadets from N.C.C. and Scouts & Guides would march past the flag. The cadets who were our class seniors would rehearse their march-past since a month to showcase it on this day. For some reasons I never saw the cadets could parade in unison, their marches would never match with each other. But there was no dearth of zeal and their utmost dedication for this day. Then, our principal of the school Mr N.P. Roy would start the day with his jubilant “Good morning, Children” followed by his speech to grace the eve. Certainly, I didn’t use to enjoy the long paced speeches back then, but when I think about it, I miss them dearly. The speech was followed by Abha Kalita madam’s number of patriotic songs which she would present with a group of students. Although, those days we would feel that singing some nonchalant patriotic songs was a torture under a scorching sun, and at times we just used to move our lips without uttering anything. If not for anything else, we would be definitely waiting for our share of bundiya ke laddoo (sweets) and singara (samosa). At times we would try our hands on more than one packets, and that would depend solely on one’s ‘reach hierarchy’. We would come to know that we are free to leave after we had shouted together “Bharat Mata Ki Jay!” right after singing the ‘National Anthem’.

Those days are gone, they left me like a betrayed spring which made some eternal promise to never come back. As did my emotions, these were like the celluloid novel where you could remember them, feel them, laugh or cry with them but you can’t have them, they were simply gone and locked someplace inside you.

Seventy years since independence and till this day we are still beating our victory drums over Britishers against whom we achieved this fete. It’s time to move on! Before I write further let me mention that I am not even qualified to pay my respects and homage to those who led us to Independence with their lives. However, it doesn’t matter how bitter the truth is it shall finally rise to the surface. We have become so divided that the phrase, “Unity in Diversity” appears nothing but a farce verbalism to me. There is diversity without unity that is functioning at present India, positive thing will be to recognize it, understand it and become unified again. Although I am not hopeful about it, human beings are perhaps the worst creation of the almighty. He never learns but only when it suits his interest. If a guy from north India ventures in the northeast he is termed as “Bihari” and similarly a guy from northeast is called “Chinki” or “Nepali” in north, on that note south Indians are wholly called “Madrasis”. For a sane person this is nothing but an instigation for further damage. We have witnessed already that how these harmless slurs can take an ugly turn which have both resulted in loss of life and mass panics.

The curse of knowledge is perhaps that you start questioning everything at your disposal, it starts with the question ‘Why?’ When someone once asked me “Why our anthem never stretched beyond Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha…Dravida, Utkal, Banga?” I never put that emphasis on it, after all I have sung this song religiously, with pride, without fail, daily for 12 years. It didn’t matter much to me. Every time I heard the anthem I would get a goosebump. The other day I heard someone questioning in a primetime debate that “The concept of a country goes beyond the mere layers of a state-district administration, and is inter-connected and intertwined on emotions”. Why not? I would like to agree on that thought, but then if that is true then the doubt raised with the question on the beginning of this para also stands true. Moreover, the non-repeal of AFSPA in the northeastern region forced me to have this shift in my outlook. I have my own valid reasons to feel like that.

A citizen of a nation is the reflection of a nation itself. When we are busy exploiting its natural resources and our womenfolk I don’t have the audacity to shout out- “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” anymore. May be our leaders are referring to some imaginary figure that I am not sure about. But where is the jai-kar in the shout when women and nature are raped every day and every moment.

These perspectives have also shaped due to my interactions with the torchbearers of those of believe in the idea of a world which is without borders. I don’t know what is the intention of these bunch of believers but the idea itself is of altruistic essence, don’t get me wrong here, we might understand this concept when we are probably technologically advanced enough to view Earth from the Moon, and think “What have we done?” after looking at its remains. Looking at the progress that we have made in science by now we could have at least understood this fact that this planet Earth is unique, and evolution of life didn’t take place only for the nature to witness men to destroy everything at its disposal including its very own kind. We fight and go to wars in the name of religion and in the name of protecting its own boundary to help gain someone’s vested interests.

Few people shun me away or rather the question by saying “Don’t ask what your country has given to you but ask yourself what you have given to your country?” These are nothing but some genuine thoughts which is spun by years of discord with what the people usually feel. I don’t want to celebrate any genuine gesture as symbolic impression although it has its own importance. I would like to have the feeling of nationalism beyond the Bollywood caricature, beyond hoisting of a flag, a reason based on higher grounds, a higher purpose. I want to be a part of a nation whose citizens are proud intrinsically, who gestures each other with mutual respect combined with good intentions. I want people to become humans and act as humans and not to discriminate against each other not only in terms of caste and creed and also in terms of food habits and different backgrounds. A country’s prosperity does not just lie on economic reforms and development but also on enhanced positive social structures.

However, I have become indifferent and may be a pessimist because we don’t want to change, we have become a country of hypocrites and allow ourselves to be led by corrupt leaders- corrupt both from heart and mind. We have become a bunch of ‘patriots’ who would often point fingers at others on social media ranting their naïve jingoist feelings. These people would talk about “Swacch Bharat Mission” but won’t think twice before dumping their garbage on other’s backyard, these lot of people won’t think twice when they talk about child rights but the very same bunch would abuse and exploit a child. For me any nation is not a utopian dream of some vague idealism but a place where every person is respected for his being and thoughts, being heard and an opportunity to being heard and prosper.

But I don’t see it happening, the more we go march ahead I only realize that we are becoming insensitive, crippled from the minds with the inability to empathize with others. We are being so blinded by ‘reality’ of development.

I would like to conclude with a tender remembrance of someone with whom I encountered some 9 years back. I was staying in West Delhi, and I had to make a demand draft for my semester admissions. I didn’t know much about it, so I went to the nearby post-office as being suggested by someone. As expected the guy in the counter laughed at my ignorance and told me to try somewhere else. I felt bad and angry, and told him that if he couldn’t help why was he even laughing at me. An elderly man probably sixty years of age was listening our conversation. He called me and said, “I have heard everything. Listen son, being Saturday its already late, so there is no use going to the bank today. If it’s alright I can go along with you and help you in filling the demand draft, don’t worry”. At first I was bit surprised, then understood that this old man really wanted to help. He gave me his phone number and asked me to call him. On Monday, he spent almost the whole day with me at the bank because of some link failure. When I apologized he told me not as it was not my fault, he was so patient with me. Usually it is very difficult to find a person of his stature and attitude. I was a complete stranger to him but I think this very same emotion binds us together which we are seriously lacking in these desperate times. I couldn’t thank him enough, I don’t remember his face properly but the feelings that I feel for this person is of utmost gratitude, the feeling of selflessness and attitude of being helpful is what we are lacking in today’s time.

Thread of a lifetime bound together- a memoir

Thread of a lifetime bound together- a memoir

Friends this will be long, and I would really feel delighted if you take out some time to go through it, especially those whom I have tagged. I shy away from symbolic gestures, and at times even avoid people these days because I have become a person who loves his solitude. Having said that it doesn’t stop me from remembering all those people whom I have encountered in various phases of life. And, I had this restlessness to express. Therefore, this write up is dedicated to all my friends as memoir of the bond called friendship or whatever you would like to call.

It was in the year 1989 when I was studying in Pragjyotish Boripara I met a boy in my nursery class (there were no preparatory classes back then) named Pintu Bhattacharjee. He used to fold his sleeves till the elbow in a peculiar way, I still remember his tiny features, although we more or less kind of shared the same feature but he was tinier than others, and he was my ‘best friend’. We used to share our tiffin during the lunch break, and we understood each other well. We lost contact when we shifted our home and I took admission in K.V. Maligaon. Ever since that day and till now I don’t know his whereabouts, no, the social media network didn’t help me either. I just hope he is alive, and probably he remembers me too just the way I do.

I think Arunjyoti Deori aka Kon was the first person whom I have met the earliest and our bond is still fresh like the morning dew. It was in the year 1990 when Deori family came to meet Doulagupu family and I played the whole day with Deori brothers. It won’t be incorrect to say that we grew up together. In fact, we spent the glorious 12 years of school together, of course it is also a fact that every time he soiled his pants I had to call his home and deal with it, after all I was also the class monitor. Most of my friends know how talented Deori brothers are, and their drawings were something which awed the whole school. Varun, his elder brother was genius (now he is happily married with his love and father of a lovely son) in was a gifted soul. I remember, how we used to ride cycle, fly kites (I would just watch you guys fly, I still don’t know the trick) together and try to pick some projects to make hot air balloon from my science project digest. Those days’ evenings were only about cricket…yes street cricket with the cosco ball. And, oh boy, how proud we used to feel when we scored runs and took a wicket. I miss those days, and if I can go back, I would probably go back to those days.

I guess back then everybody knew our friendship Satyajit…I feel strange writing about you, and I don’t know why but I have to do this, these word are mere expressions and expressions are always deceiving. It was probably in 5th standard that we came so close, we were class monitors then. Our favorite moment was narrating stories of movies that we would watch in the theatres nearby, there were only two theatres-Anupama and Pragjyotish, they have demolished Anupama and built an apartment instead. We would always have our lunch together and whenever we would not, I would feel whether something is wrong. Once, I ate the apple that you brought, you were suffering from some fever and your jaws were swollen, next day I came to school with my jaws swollen. We grew up so fast and the person who joined us next was Subhankar…

We had our differences in the initial days, those silly fights but when we came close I had one of my best times. Every evening we would spend time talking about UFO’s, aliens, laws of physics, metaphysics and about the galaxies. We three became inseparable, I miss those long walks in the misty winter nights. We would go for a long stroll, there was some unexplainable magic in that moment. You guys probably remember my red Nike pull over. We three were one of the initial owners of Ranger swing- the cycle with Shimano gears, and we took such a pride flaunting it on the streets of Maligaon.

 

After 10th I took a different stream and got separated from you two. Although it was a virtual separation only, but some things really distanced us. I miss them, and I miss you guys, it’s actually not possible to be the same again. But I remember and wish that you do the same. May be someday when our hearts are sown back together, perhaps we would sit and click some glasses of wine together and talk about all the old memories we created on the way.

I remember you fondly Samuel, but I am not sure about you. You were the first person with whom I learnt the first chords of guitar and sang songs. We used to talk and giggle sitting at the last row in the class. Exchanging cassettes of different albums, and took my first puff of cigarette with you.

Debarun, I don’t know where the hell are you. You brought one of the most important turning point in my life when you introduced ISKCON to me, but that also became my nemesis later. I was like the other son in your family, I miss that, I really do. Where have you vanished?

Abhijan, I like you more with your moustache, but you wouldn’t listen. Remember, how we used to sing Lucky Ali’s song…’O sanam, teri yaadon ki kasam’.. it still puts a smile on my face. The combined study of accountancies, and how it would turn into a discussion of dilemma of not being able to express our love to our crushes. I miss Monalisha who used to read my palm and tell me interesting things about my future, although I don’t remember anything materializing but I miss you, I heard you went missing from your hometown Nagpur, I pray that wherever you are may you find peace and protection. I remember that quite girl called Mili, I at times would think how dumbo she was in those days. But it was your innocence only that has made you so spiritually inclined. I am glad we are still in touch.

Then came the college days, and I met you Abhishek in the first week of my college. You would take half an hour to finish a vegetable wrap, by that time I would already have finished two. I remember when I inspired you to go ahead and talk to your crush and you simply destroyed all my instructions, you were so shy, and you still are. You have stood by my in all my desperate times, you have supported me in all decisions whether it went right or wrong, this is also a moment when I say ‘thank you’ for all the things that you have done for me, I am indebted to you, and I love you.

Dipankar, I met you on the first day of my college, and connected straight away. We don’t talk much now, but that’s alright, we become busy as we grow old. Those unforgiving, sadistic winter nights of Delhi, we have drank our share of liquor together and shared the joys and sorrows. I remember getting drunk with you and sobbing on each other’s shoulders. It feels so funny now.

Diana, I think this is the first time I am calling you with that name of yours after ages. I cherish our days in Convergys. You remember when we went out for lunch in the café (I was going through my vegetarian phase then)? The way you respond to my doubts and questions, at times becoming my punching bag I think no one could do…thankfully, you are still there. We have supported each other well and having known you for nearly a decade now is a blessing. I love you…dholu.

Shivam, I know we shall remain family till we are buried in ash. You know very well my mother loves you more than me. You know how to make her happy. I have to thank Megha for letting you hijack from her. We don’t have to chatter over the phone, we know we are there for each other. I remember the nuance we created in Jorhat circuit house, at times I regret but I love that. You literally were there when my life was into a deep shit, but you pulled me out. I am sure we would kick some more asses in the days to come.

 These expressions are not random but I think of them every now and then. They linger in my heart and at times bother me with a tinge of nostalgia. Those friends who are long gone I remember you too, yet some friends are lost in the oblivion, they have left us with some beautiful lessons, lessons to learn and smile back at them. I have always found solace in expressing myself and that’s what I have tried to do it here, you guys stay happy wherever you are, and whatever you do.

*Image is taken from Google images.

Expecting the ‘Expectations’.

Expecting the ‘Expectations’.

The motivation of my write up is triggered by some bittersweet aftertaste which you experience when your expectation doesn’t meet the outcome. You might expect the crystal clear aqua-blue sky with rainbows emerging from a distant valley and you get dark clouds and mist instead. I tell you if what you get in real and what you had expected don’t come any close it will be a disaster. One might not express but deep down he is hurt, the wounds might not be visible but the deep-rooted scar remain unsheathed until it is again made right. It is futile to think that someone else would come and ease the pain because that is another expectation.

Everyone’s expecting something, whether it’s from your siblings or from your parents, whether it’s from a friend or from your better half we all end up falling for the same trap. We not only expect from our social circle but also from people whom we don’t know, and who are actually complete strangers to us. We expect our friends to respect our feelings, we expect them to be there when we need them, we expect them to not to betray, not to be talking behind our backs. What about parents? We expect a lot from them and in turn they do the same, an important portion of our life’s road map is shaped on it. Our spouse or our better half would tend to occupy most of our lives, and this relationship is again much elaborated in nature. The most important of them is the relationship that you share with yourself, many a times we go harsh on ourselves based on the expectations we create, the kind of relationship you share with yourself would define or become an underlining principle to understand whether you have positive expectations or negative expectation from yourself.

Why do we expect?

I guess it’s in the human nature to expect, I can take the foundation of this understanding of whatever spiritual insight I have. Human beings have the profound need to hanker for happiness, when we are ‘expecting’ it inertly means we want to belong, we want to be secured, we want to be assured and everything combined we want to be happy. We don’t want the opposite of it, we don’t want anybody to show our vulnerabilities and scratch our wounds. Why do we get offended when someone we don’t know behaves rudely with us? At times we feel so bad about it that we start to sulk.

It’s very comfortable to say, the question might even confuse you, but if you try to dissect you will understand or at least try to see things from that angle too. As a spiritual being our constitutional position is to always remain in bliss or happy but in the material realm we tend to move away from this position. We in turn start to ask for recognition of this position from the nature. It’s always functioning and existing right from the time of your existence for eg. When a baby cries it is simply expecting the caress of her mother, you will often see a baby becomes quiet and peaceful after feeling the mother’s affection. It is simply the outcome of baby’s expectation. Therefore, it won’t be incorrect to say that to expect is natural and is perhaps in our DNA.

I don’t write to educate people on what to expect and what not to, I write for myself, to find solace. Now, when I wrote the prior sentence I can see that I am expecting to find solace…peace. At times I might even find it, and yet many times I may not. Therefore, understanding yourself is primary, whether you find peace or not is unimportant, but what do you do to attain that is very important.

 Right and Wrong Expectations.

I really don’t have the answer to that. I don’t know what set of expectations are right and what are not. But knowing your truth and accepting as it is brings one closer to the answer. So what’s the truth that I am talking about? It’s the moment, this very moment…do you know what your reality is this very moment? Or perhaps you are bombarding yourself with questions and sulking. The more you resist, the more power you give to it. You can’t fight out of it, perhaps the metaphor can be understood by recalling the situation when you get ready to go out for a party and it suddenly rains, you keep wishing, ‘Rain, please go away’, but all you get is a set of downpour resulting into flooded roads that spoiled your evening. At times your wishes might work though. Generally, we would make ourselves understand and accept the situation. When it comes to people it works differently, we curse, we get upset, we become indifferent and surround ourselves with negativity. At times we switch on the self-pity mode and blame ourselves too. That is sad, I have been there, I know.

So what can be done to deal with ‘Expectations’? Well, nothing can be done or rather needs to be done. Just like we cannot do anything regarding the ‘Rain’, it is futile to expect stop ‘Expecting’. It is natural for human beings to expect. But we can change our approach, our outlook for the same.

If you have reached till here then let me also give you two words to deal with it: Assumption and Love.

Well people, stop assuming! If you thought that the person for whom you have done so many things and in return you didn’t get what you expected then perhaps stop and think. You took out time to plan and bring happiness to that person but it didn’t quite match up to ‘your’Expectation’ when they reciprocated. Every single person on earth is unique and they have their own unique ways to express. If you have gift to express your love in a special way then it is wonderful, but it need not be necessary to expect the love in the similar way from others. So stop assuming that all individual are same.

You just don’t have any better way to deal with it except for love. These days it will be difficult to understand this term because it is diluted. Diluted in such a manner that it is increasingly becoming synonym with expectation. But love is only love and nothing else. Even if the earth becomes dry, lifeless and bitter the rain will fall over it making it full of life again. When one tends to love without any conditions, that itself is a blissful position, that itself is the right and positive way of ‘Expectation’.

 Next time you are surrounded with a somber feeling when you were let down, know that it is but natural to expect, but if you are in harmony with your ‘self’ you shall do just fine. What I try to do is to try to live ignorant of any understanding of expectations…I fail every now and then but when life gifts you happiness in small amounts in the absence of it, I surround myself with surprises.

sri-chinmoy-peace-begins-expectation-ends

*Image courtesy: Google images.

Whole lotta love on your b-day!

Whole lotta love on your b-day!

Happy birthday my lady, I wish you only super health. Rest of the things you can manage, and you don’t have to worry about me either, I won’t say ‘I’m always there’, because I am just a mortal guy with limited abilities, but as long as we two are alive, I am there. We both have written love-letters to each other several times, well, there’s still one pending from your side since my birthday, but, this time I don’t write about ‘us’, this time I write about you. Since you are superstitious about anything related to us, I guess there’s no harm in posting this small memoir because it’s about you.

Let’s rewind a bit…

I met you during my Post graduation days, like so many ‘love thing’ instances, by sheer coincidence (I don’t believe in that, everything is planned). I am still thankful to my batch mates from PGDM days, and to the quants teacher, who turned out to be your cousin who organized that picnic. Though, I have already bid my goodbyes silently , I still am thankful to them for this. Without them I would have skipped the picnic easily, I have attained finesse in skipping social engagements.

Yes, picnic it was, and winter and picnic in Assam is ceremonious, I am terrible with dates (except few), so, I don’t remember the dates of the picnic, perhaps in the month of January it was. It was not love in first sight or so they say, because our eyes never met properly, we didn’t caught each other stealing glances either. But when I felt your presence near me, I felt (or so I thought), ‘I should go ahead and start a conversation with you’. We were still coming out of our previous relationships. We were still searching for someone to heal us.

A bit weird it may sound, you fell for my feet. You say that it’s the blood red sole of mine that you fell for my love, later that’s how you named my café- Pink Cherry Bubble.

I might not have met you in your formative years, but certainly, I have witnessed you growing. I remember when you would not allow me to hung up the phone, and asked me to continue talking to you because you were too scared to sleep because of an incident. From someone who got herself admitted in the ICU because of a shock to someone who came out of her fear and faced the immigration officers when you were deported in a foreign country all alone. You have come a long way lady. From a stage of confusion to a stage of conviction, it’s something every individual hankers for. I remember when you dropped out of masters from NEHU to pursue your call against everyone’s wishes. To know your call is to know thyself. While you were still searching for it, came the unfortunate series of clashes in Kokrajhar, I knew there was something boiling inside you, something that you wanted to access, that you wanted to pull out from the crater of your heart. You channelized your thoughts, your energy, and your effigy of mental turmoil left you and initiated ‘Shradhanjali’. I think there was no looking back for you after that, you just discovered yourself. After that, there were numerous times when you have made so many people proud but that’s secondary. I need not say to express my happiness that I am proud of you, but yes, I am so proud of, much more than your achievements for the fact that you have found yourself. Let the search and the discovery of ‘you’ not stop here.

We two are our most difficult critique of whatever things we do in our day to day affairs. Initially I used to hate it, but over the time I learned that it had only helped us getting better as individuals. It’s been close to a decade of togetherness now, and I think we are just beginning to roll. You are the dominating partner in our relationship, and you are the only one who can dominate this arrogant brat. Yes, I am impulsive, I am blunt, I take decisions hastily but you got no other way out, your fate is sealed with me :P. I am only apologetic about the situation of uncomforting nature while I am pursuing my dreams. Please don’t stop believing in me, I have failed many times but I am reaching there.

We two have to be that pair of birds who fly in search of their freedom, in search of that flight that will release them, release them from their ever existing inquisitiveness of the sun, while they are burning they will know themselves. If the world is cruel, I don’t care we two can always find a place in each other’s arms, now, I don’t want to sound cheesy but that’s true.

You have been too kind to forgive my mistakes and tolerate my tantrums and angst, I know it’s not easy to handle this complicated person. I always think that words are mere words, they are not the valid mode of expression, because what we want to say might come close to what we want to convey but words are mere cacophony. Having said that we don’t have to complete our sentences, every time, every day you know what is going on in my mind, I just can’t hide it from you.

We have given each other something for the person we have become today, and I am glad about it. I am glad that in you I have found a person with whom I can have conversations on different topics. We don’t have to agree on everything, but it’s enough when I have someone to listen to me.

Yes at times I do miss the days when we used to have long conversation over the phone, ‘us’ would occupy our heads and hearts 24*7. I know it’s not possible to do that anymore. In life, we become busier, we have to take care of so many priorities and I understand that. God willing, I wouldn’t have to miss the moments anymore, we shall do the chores together.

I think that will be enough for now. Once again, a very happy birthday to you, may your day be bright and full of sunshine. And let me end with customary three words by saying I love you, but you know I do. Just keep walking, I am there right beside you! ❤

p.s. As you are approximately 2400 kms away right now, I thought of writing this to you here. Mail seemed too boring, and thought of utilizing this blog rather.